Franklin brings Penn State 'fun' to Highacres

Olive Rios
May 13, 2017

Penn State Football Coach James Franklin was in York Monday for the start of his Coaches Caravan tour, a tradition he has followed up with following former coach Bill O'Brien's departure from the program. "But now that we've gotten these rings, we're not talking about it again".

Penn State's 13 verbal commitments has it No. 2 in the 247Sports' Composite rankings behind a steadfast Miami, who sits at No. 1 with 17 verbal commitments in the Class of 2018.

Athletic director Sandy Barbour, who said before the Rose Bowl that things were "moving along" on a contract extension for Franklin, said Monday that "we're nearly there". Franklin's Nittany Lions then started the 2016 campaign 2-2, including a 49-10 loss at MI in their Big Ten opener. That's a far cry from a year ago, when Franklin's job performance was questioned and his team was supposed to finish in the middle of the conference pack.

"The next thing is that next goal, and there's nobody in this room that's achieved that before, so how do we do it?"

"So he says to them, "Look, I'm going to talk to you like I talk to my players.' And I'm like, 'Oh, God, what is this man going to say to my team?' " Washington laughed".

Denise St. Pierre (women's golf) on the dais.

"I think you guys know how committed we are about recruiting the state", Franklin said. I think there is an excitement and enthusiasm. Moorhead and Pry have at least been mentioned for head coaching jobs at other schools.How long Penn State can keep both of them on the staff remains uncertain."We realize that finances matter, but it's not the end-all, be-all", Franklin said. "They just grew on me".

With Lake-Lehman grad Connor McGovern shifting from guard to center for his sophomore season, star receiver Chris Godwin gone to the National Football League and some holes on the defense to patch, Franklin and the Lions have a lot of work to do to live up to a likely top-10 preseason ranking.

During Tuesday's luncheon, Franklin pulled 12-year-old Notre Dame fan Connor Shamany to the stage and let him touch the team's 2016 Big Ten Championship trophy. I've never made decisions off of (money). "What do we need to do in terms of support, what do we need to do in terms of my staff, what do we need to do in terms of facilities".

The coach added that there was no time to take a deep breath after last year's 11-3 record, saying, "It's just not how I'm wired".

"Obviously, for other than the outcome for us this past year (a 42-39 Pitt victory at Heinz Field), it was a pretty exciting football game". They trusted us. I think you saw how much fun we had playing together.

Penn State women's basketball coach Coquese Washington said that James Franklin had given a pep talk to her team before a game late in the season.

Regardless of the 31 varsity sports that Penn State offers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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