He started all 13 games for the Razorbacks and was named second-team All-SEC by the conference's coaches. He led the team and ranked 10th in the SEC with a career-high 100 tackles, becoming just the second Razorback since 1960 to lead the team in tackles three straight seasons. He also led the team and tied for seventh in the SEC with a career-high 13.0 tackles for loss and tied for the team lead with five quarterback hurries. He ranked second on the team and eighth in the conference with 6.5 sacks, another career high, while adding two pass breakups and one forced fumble. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 22 following his 20-tackle performance, which included a career-high-tying 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack, in Arkansas' 38-31 double-overtime victory at No. 22 Mississippi State. His 20 tackles were the most in the SEC and tied for the fifth-most in the NCAA in 2010. The career-high total was the most at Arkansas since 2002, the second-highest against an SEC opponent and 10th-highest overall in school history, as well as the highest for any Coach Petrino-led team. Franklin recorded 11 tackles vs. No. 1 Alabama and 10 stops, including 2.0 for loss and a career-high 1.5 sacks, at No. 7 Auburn. He had nine tackles, including 1.5 for loss, with one quarterback hurry and one pass breakup in the Razorbacks' 38-24 win vs. Ole Miss. He made eight tackles, including 1.0 for loss and 0.5 sacks, and had one pass breakup in UA's 31-7 victory vs. ULM. He recorded eight tackles again the next week, adding 0.5 sacks, in Arkansas' 31-24 win at Georgia. He opened the season with a seven-tackle performance, including a career-high 2.0 for loss, in a 44-3 victory vs. Tennessee Tech. Franklin also recorded seven tackles, 0.5 for loss, and one quarterback hurry in the Allstate Sugar Bowl vs. No. 6 Ohio State. He made seven tackles, including 1.0 sack, in UA's 58-21 win vs. UTEP. He recorded four tackles, including 1.0 sack, with two quarterback hurries in the Razorbacks' 41-20 victory at No. 18 South Carolina. In Arkansas' 49-14 win vs. Vanderbilt, he contributed three tackles, 1.0 for loss, and one forced fumble. He also added three tackles, 0.5 for loss, in the Razorbacks' 24-17 win vs. Texas A&M and three tackles with one quarterback hurry in their 31-23 victory vs. No. 6 LSU.
He played in all 13 games with 12 starts. The only game he did not start was Eastern Michigan. He led the team with 94 tackles, tied for first with three interceptions, tied for second with two fumble recoveries, and added 5.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and three passes broken up. He was 12th in the SEC and second among all underclassmen with 7.0 tackles per game. His three picks tied for second among all SEC linebackers. He had five tackles in the opener against Missouri State and one against Georgia. At No. 3 Alabama, he had 10 stops. In the win over Texas A&M, he made four tackles with one for a one-yard loss, and returned a fumble 85 yards for a touchdown. He followed with nine tackles against No. 17 Auburn, five with a six-yard sack at No. 1 Florida and eight with a three-yard TFL at Ole Miss. He had five tackles off the bench against Eastern Michigan. Against South Carolina, he had 10 tackles. He had three against Troy. Franklin closed the year with 11 stops and a one-yard TFL against Mississippi State, 13 tackles with a half sack and 28-yard interception return at No. 17 LSU, and 10 stops with a 31-yard interception return that set up a field goal in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl victory over East Carolina.
He enjoyed an outstanding campaign and was honored as a Freshman All-American by The Sporting News. He was also named to the All-SEC Freshman Team by the league coaches and was a second-team Freshman All-SEC selection by College Football News. Franklin started all 12 games at middle linebacker as a redshirt freshman and led the Razorbacks in tackles with 87. He also led the squad in fumble recoveries (2) and tied for the highest interception total (2). He recorded a season-high 12 tackles against Louisiana-Monroe and forced a fumble in the third quarter, and added a tackle for a loss. He was very active against Texas with eight tackles (second on the team) and his first of five pass break ups in 2008. He had one of the most complete games of his career against Florida with 10 tackles, one for a loss, and the first interception of his career. The interception was the first for UF quarterback Tim Tebow on the season and snapped his streak of 203 attempts without a pick. Franklin had seven tackles against Auburn and Kentucky, and recovered a fumble in the game against the Wildcats. He had nine tackles at Ole Miss, including a sack for a loss of eight yards. He had his second interception against Tulsa and accounted for six tackles in the 30-23 victory. He had four stops and a pass breakup at South Carolina, and six tackles at Mississippi State. He finished the season with five tackles in the 31-30 win over LSU.
Franklin was named the 6A Offensive Player of the Year and the 6A East Back of the Year as a senior. He earned first-team all-state honors playing wide receiver and running back on offense. During his senior season, he scored touchdowns via the run, the pass, a fumble return, an interception and a kickoff return for Coach Mark Uhiren. He hauled in 18 receptions for 463 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 183 yards and three touchdowns. On defense, he tallied 76 tackles and six interceptions. He returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns. As a junior, he was named the 6A Player of the Year in Arkansas and the defensive player of the year for all classifications by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He tallied 15 catches for 520 yards and eight touchdowns in his junior campaign. He also earned 67 tackles and seven interceptions, returning three of them for touchdowns. Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 38 safety in the nation. The outlet also ranked him as the No. 8 prospect in Arkansas, and named him a member of the HawgSports.com Natural 21 at No. 7. Scout.com tabbed him as the No. 7 player in Arkansas and the No. 90 safety in the country. He chose Arkansas over Ole Miss, Illinois, Miami (Fla.) and Tennessee.
He is the son of Mary Franklin.