home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 4, 2015

James Franklin

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're going to start with, we'll take some opening comments from coach and then we have got two hand held microphones.テつ Raise your hand and we will bring the mic phone to you.テつ Coach, take it away.
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ Okay, great.テつ Well, like always, I really appreciate everybody taking the time to come spend your afternoon with us.テつ We have had a great day.テつ Really excited about how this whole thing played out.テつ A lot of hard work went into it by the coaching staff, the administration, the support staff, our players.テつ And I think really for the most part we did a nice job.
So I'm really pleased.テつ We have added depth, we have added talent, and I think we got really good fits. テつSo I'm really proud.テつ I thought would I kind of rattle off a few points that I think were significant.テつ 22 of the guys that we recruited were cap tanks of their high school football team.テつ Three state champions.テつ Three Under Armour All‑Americans.テつ Two Army All‑Americans.テつ 11 commits rated as four stars or higher according to ESPN or Rivals, if you care about those things.テつ 13 commits rated four stars or higher according to 247 and Scout.テつ Where I think that is significant, if you compare that to 2013 there was only three, 2012, there was only one.テつ And 2011, there was five.テつ So I think that's significant there.
Entire class was rated three stars or higher.テつ That's the first time ever that's happened.テつ Since Rivals began in 2002.
We finished second in the Big‑Ten, which I'm not happy about, we finished 11th nationally, as an average, if you take all the different scouting services as an average we finished 11th.テつ I think this is really significant.テつ The average class ranking the last five years was 34th. テつSo I think that's significant.
12 offensive players, 13 defensive players, eight states plus Washington DC represented.
11 signees from Pennsylvania.テつ Most signees I think since 2004.テつ I want to hit on that.テつ That's something that we take great pride in.テつ We take great pride in the State Of Pennsylvania, we take great pride in this region.テつ We have tremendous respect for the teachers in this state and the teachers in this region and in preparing our guys and getting them ready to come to Penn State and be successful academically.
We take great pride in the high school coaches and the players in this state.テつ We think we can be very, very successful with players from Pennsylvania and from this region.テつ So I think that's very, very important for us moving forward.
Seven out of the Top‑10 players in the State Of Pennsylvania, most in more than a decade.テつ When we got the job last year, there wasn't one player in the Top‑10 players in the State Of Pennsylvania committed to Penn State, if you can imagine that.テつ And only one in 2013 and then if you take the last four years before we arrived, only four out of 40 players had chosen Penn State.テつ Which is again, dramatic.
Some interesting facts that I thought were just kind of interesting tidbits for you, the heaviest player is Steven Gonzalez at a slim, a slim 328 pounds.テつ He's two cheese burgers away from 330.
Brandon Polk at 163 pounds is the lightest player.テつ The tallest player we have a tie for that with Sterling Jenkins at six eight and Paris Palmer at six eight.テつ The shortest player is Andre Robinson at five foot eight.テつ Largest hands is Nick Bowers at 10.25.テつ The smallest hands is John Petrishen at 8.25.テつ Longest reach is Paris Palmer, a reach of 34.テつ The shortest reach is Brandon Polk at 29 and a half.テつ The fastest player is Brandon Polk with a hundred meter time of 10.38, a 200 meter dash time of 22.16, and a 55 meter time of 6.63.
So really some exciting things, most importantly we feel like we went out and asked a lot of questions.テつ We asked a lot of questions of parents, of high school coaches, of guidance counselors, people in the school, our players, when these young men came and visited, asked our players about them and made sure that these guys were the right fit academically, the right fit socially for us and felt like they were going to be great members of our team.テつ And feel really good about that moving forward.テつ So excited, excited about the class and again appreciate everybody coming out.テつ To cover Penn State football and the exciting and our exciting future.テつ So I open it up to any questions.

Q.テつ You talked about the job you did in Pennsylvania.テつ How were you able to turn things around?テつ What were some of the keys to being able to get some of these kids that maybe weren't going to Penn State the last few years?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ Well I think the first thing is to come in and make some really bold statements in your press conference and not give your self any other choice.テつ But I think more than anything I think the fact that you look at our staff, I'm from Pennsylvania, Bob Shoop is from Oakmont, Pennsylvania.テつ Brent Pry is from Altuna, you look at John Donovan is from New Jersey and has recruited the area for a long time.テつ Herb Hand's from New York.テつ We got so many guys.テつ Terry Smith, being able to bring Terry Smith back, bring him back home had a huge impact in western PA, because if you study Penn State in the last five, 10 years, most of the western PA kids were going to West Virginia and going to Ohio State and going to Pitt.テつ So I think that was significant as well.テつ I think Terry was a major factor in that.
So I don't think it's anything different than anything else in life, you make something a priority, whether it's being a great student in school, you make it a priority, you're going to do well.テつ You make it a priority to keep the best players in this region home you're going to do that and I think we can do better going forward.テつ We got four of the top players in the country already committed to us for 2016.テつ So, we're excited it, never really ends.テつ Everybody's like, like Signing Day is today, we had a Junior Day two weeks ago, we got another one in two weeks.テつ We're already all over 2017 players.テつ It never ends.
But we're excited.テつ We're excited about it.テつ Because the play just seem to work better with really good players.

Q.テつ You mentioned fit a couple times already.テつ How do you go about balancing that, particularly in this class with talent and potential and positional needs?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ I don't think you necessarily have to.テつ That's what's great about being at a place like Penn State.テつ You can pass on some guys that you just don't feel like are a great fit.テつ They may be a great fit somewhere else, but they may just not be for us.テつ That may be feedback from our players, that may be academically, a lot of different things.テつ So, that's where I think we're fortunate.テつ I think that we're still at a point where if the guy's a great fit and a great player you take him no matter what your need is.テつ But there's a fine line to that, because you'll become out of whack.テつ You'll have way too many ‑‑ right now we're short on offense, we're under our numbers in almost at every position on offense, defensively we're not, we're pretty much at our number or above.テつ So you have to be careful, because if you get too far out of whack, you're going to have a hard time making that up the following year.テつ So we just keep track of all those things and our scholarship grids and making sure we have an understanding.テつ That also will really have a big part in what you're going to emphasize next year.テつ What's going to be a big part in your following recruit class.

Q.テつ To follow‑up on Mark's question, a year ago, how do you go about building the relationships within the state?テつ What did you guys do exactly to gain the success that you've had today?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ I think it started way before that.テつ Like I said, our coaching staff is from this region or they have recruited this region for a long time.テつ So, I went to a teacher's college, I went to East Stroudsburg, which started out as a physical education teachers college in the State Of Pennsylvania.テつ All my buddies are high school coaches throughout the state.テつ Guys that I went to college with, guys that I went to high school with, the same with the other coaches.テつ So I think that helps.テつ There's a rapport there, there's trust there.テつ So I think that's a big part.
I think the other thing I think you have to be careful I think this happens all the time is the guy that's in another part of this state or excuse me, another part of the country, you don't know enough, you don't know as much about him and maybe the local prospect you know too much about him.テつ And you have to be careful about that.テつ So, we love the guys that have come to camp, we had a number of guys that came to camp and we know exactly how fast they are, we know how they compete, we know exactly how big they are.テつ That's important.テつ Because a lot of the stuff you see out there is not accurate.テつ Everybody is pretty much an inch shorter than what they say, including you guys, if I asked you how tall you are you're probably going to be an inch shorter.テつ The weights are not usually right.テつ And nobody is as fast as they say they are.
You go on Rivals or 247 right now there's about sixty kids that run 4.3.テつ You go to the NFL combine there's six.テつ I don't know where they all went.テつ But I think the fact that you can get the kids here on campus and work them out in camp and see how they compete and see how coach able they are and things like that, that's valuable information.テつ I would rather take a guy that I know is 4.5 on our clock, which is fast, than a kid who says he's 4.3 from another part of the country.テつ I think knowing is really, really important.テつ That helps you in terms of eliminating mistakes.テつ I think that's probably a thing that's not talked enough about is getting the high end prospects are really, really important.テつ What people would call the high end prospects.テつ But also not making mistakes and we have a system of checks and balances in everything we do and I believe in that.テつ So, you never have a guy who is the O line coach is recruiting and he's in his area, so he's the only person that's evaluated him.テつ We need to make sure there's a number of guys that evaluate him and that's everything in our program.テつ That's everything.
That's academics, that's offense, defense, special teams, that's recruiting.テつ We have a system of checks and balances to support one another.テつ It's not that we don't trust each other, it's just you're going to make less mistakes when you have a number of opinions on a guy.

Q.テつ With roots in Western Pennsylvania in Bob Shoop and Brent Pry and Terry Smith, how important was that in going after John Petrishen and Nick Bowers, two guys you focused on but weren't able to reel in until the end of the process and what made you guys go after Kevin Givens so close to Signing Day?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ They were all guys that we all loved from the beginning and we were just limited scholarships.テつ If we would have known exactly how many scholarships we had from the very beginning of the process, that's guys would have been offered.テつ And I would make the argument hopefully had already been committed.
Again, we had Petrishen in camp, we had Givens in camp, and we had Bowers in our seven on seven and loved all those guys.テつ We basically kept in touch with those guys the whole process and said, if the scholarships come available, you're going to be one of the first guys that we call.テつ And that's how it played out.テつ I think the fact that our staff was really honest although it probably wasn't what they wanted to hear in the beginning, the fact that we were really honest, I think built some of that trust and allowed us in the end to swing them in our direction.テつ And we are fired up about having those guys join us.テつ We really are.

Q.テつ Obviously state and region is very important to you and everything.テつ You were only here three or four weeks last year and I think there was six different states that aren't represented this year that you got last year.テつ Is there kind of a balancing act you do or is it a trade off where if you want to get this region that you're not going to get the south or the west or whatever it might be or how do you kind of do that?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ Two things.テつ Number one, we have a national brand, so we want to be able to continue to expand the areas that recruiting and do that positionally.テつ Allow coaches to recruit outside their region by recruiting by position nationally.テつ You'll have a state or an area their responsible for regionally, and I think that's going to help us continue to grow moving forward.テつ But I think more than anything it's about relationships.テつ We were able to be here for a full year and develop those relationships and talk to the guidance counselors and coaches and parents and young men and develop those relationships.テつ When we first got here last year, we had relationships in different parts of the country that we had been developing for two and three years.テつ So, there was trust.テつ You think about this:テつ We talk about Givens and that was an exciting story in the 11th hour.テつ Last year, we got commitments from two players that never visited campus.テつ That was Torrence Brown who red shirted who people are really excited, defensive end out of Alabama and Christian Campbell, a defensive back out of Alabama that started for us an as true freshman.テつ Those guys were taken the night before Signing Day.テつ Kevin Givens falls in that category.テつ But that comes down to the fact that we had been recruiting those young men and for two years and had built a relationship.テつ Penn State kind of stood on its own.テつ They knew about Penn State, the reputation, they knew us.テつ So those two young men committed without ever seeing the place and we brought them in official visits for the spring game.テつ Probably going to do the same thing with Kevin bring him in on his official visit for the spring game.
So, I'm excited about it.テつ I think the staff's been really thorough, one of the things I'm really proud no different than a season and no different that be than what I want the guys to learn in life is it that this didn't go perfect the whole way.テつ We had some challenges and would he had some adversity, and guys found solutions.テつ They kept hustling, they kept calling, they kept looking wherever they had to look to find solutions to the problems and I think every time we faced a challenge we came up with a solution and sometimes you can make the argument even maybe even a better solution.

Q.テつ Your staff, you guys take a different approach than most schools.テつ You guys have two, three assistance, going after a prospect at the same time.テつ Where most schools they will have a coach in charge of a region and maybe the position coach will be reaching out.テつ With your approach, how much do you think that's played into your success, having two, three, four coaches reaching out to a prospect at the same time?テつ I've had a lot of people come to me and say, the fact that you guys have built such a good relationship with so many coaches, that really played into it.テつ Do you think that's had a lot to do with your success?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ Yeah, I think it goes back to what I was saying too about the system of checks and balances and being thorough.テつ I want the recruits and their parents to really not be sure who is in charge of their recruitment.テつ That they just feel like they have a relationship with so many different people on the staff.テつ Their position coach, their recruiting area coach, the offense or defensive recruiting coordinator, the offensive and defensive recruiter, the head coach, I am actively involved with every single one of these guys.テつ I think that's very, very important, so there become as comfort level with not one guy but lots of guys.テつ The other thing is we got a really talented staff.テつ Some of these guys are going to have opportunities to be head coaches.テつ We need to do everything in our power to keep the staff together as long as we possible can but if they have opportunities to be head coaches, we want this for them.テつ So what that allows you to do is if you have a guy leave to be a head coach and he's been recruiting a young man and he's the only one that has a relationship with him, you're going to have a hard time holding on to him.テつ But if there's multiple coaches that have developed that relationship, you can overcome those things.
So we believe strongly in that, we believe that everything in our program is about relationships.テつ And that starts through the recruiting process and making sure that the young man and the family and the high school coach feel comfortable with our entire staff, just not one or two guys.

Q.テつ You said last year with the offensive line there was no magic wand for experience but I think you might have found a way around that with Paris Palmer.テつ What have you heard early reports from him since he's been here and do you think it's, what are some of the challenges he faces as far as transitioning in here and obviously having a chance to play right away?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ Yeah, well, fortunately, he comes from a great program and that's at great coaches at Lackawanna, I think that's helpful.テつ I think the fact that he's really comfortable here and that he's already on campus came in December, he's interesting because he came in and around 297 and is actually down to 288 now.テつ I think he's going to put the weight back on but it's going to be the right weight.テつ But it's a huge transition.テつ A huge transition academically, it's a huge transition socially, and then football wise as well.テつ So, he's doing extremely well, everybody I talked to the academic staff, the strength staff, the trainers, everybody, they have just been impressed with him.テつ You guys saw the tweet that he sent out when he committed, very well thought out, very articulate, I just have been really, really impressed with him.
And the thing that's exciting is he's raw athletically.テつ Time in the weight room and time with our coaches, I think he's got a chance to be a really special player.テつ Getting him in here in December is invaluable.テつ The other two guys obviously getting Tommy here at mid semester as our quarterback, he's already went from 187 to 200 pounds.テつ He's six foot three.
I called his dad two nights ago just to say everybody's in love with your son, he's just one of these kids that doesn't take things for granted any more, he's very appreciative, I get text messages from him, I got three text messages in the middle of the night from him saying how much he loves Penn State, how appreciative he is of the opportunity and I want more of our guys to be like that.テつ Just to be appreciative.
Then you got Sterling Jenkins, who is six foot eight and showed up at 307.テつ We went out to dinner the other night I took the three guys out for dinner and afterwards dropped them back off at the facility and I put them on the scale and Sterling was 326.7.テつ Since he's arrived.テつ And it's good weight.テつ It's good weight.テつ So he's doing extremely well.テつ The strength staff have just been raving about him.
He's just a neat kid.テつ His grand mom we went and found her brother that played here and she's been crying and emotional she's sent me a birthday present the other day, she's just so proud of her grandson so it's awesome that he is here and all three of those guys are doing great.

Q.テつ Robert Windsor is another guy who came late in the process, maybe because how other chips fell.テつ How did you find out about him, how long did that relationship go and how do you project him growing?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ Yeah, Robert Windsor's a defensive tackle out of Wisconsin.テつ He's six foot four, he's 270 pounds.テつ I think he has a chance to be a really big kid.テつ A great student, great high school student, he's kind of old school.テつ What I love about that from a recruiting stand point, he's a guy that is how it used to be done 10, 15 years ago.テつ You didn't really start getting recruited until your senior year and you evaluated these guys and went from there.テつ He had a great senior year, ended up getting a bunch of offers there, and we were fortunate, we were fortunate to build that relationship and recruit him hard and get his mom and his dad and his brother really comfortable with us.テつ And Robert comfortable with us.テつ Then really the last point he had basically committed to us before he came on the visit and all he wanted to do was get around our players and make sure he was comfortable with that.テつ So I was really confident.テつ Once he got on campus around our guys, it was a done deal.テつ But I'm excited.テつ I think he's got a chance to be a blink of an eye be a 300 pounder inside who can really move and is athletic.テつ It also helped his dad did his residency at Hershey Medical Center so there was some familiarity with Penn State as well and a lot of respect for this school and what it stands for and the type of education we provide.

Q.テつ You like a lot about this class through out the day you've made note of what you liked, but is there are there any things you guys wish you could have accomplished or other areas you could have improved on in this cycle and maybe you'll to focus on next cycle?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ I think you guys know my personality and our staff's personality, we're never satisfied.テつ We always want more.テつ You always want to do better.テつ I love the guys that we got.テつ I love the class that we put together but we're never going to be satisfied.テつ I told these guys, we're going to go out and recruit a class next year of guys to come in and take their jobs.テつ That's the mentality.テつ They're going to be sick enough to help us go recruit.テつ Windsor is going to be sick enough to help us go recruit the top two defensive tackles in the country to take his job next year.テつ And he understand that's just going to bring out the best in him creating the most competitive environment in the country that we possible can.テつ So, I still think you guys know the magic wand comment that Audrey made, our O line, D line you don't solve that overnight.テつ We made progress there but we're still behind in terms and depth.テつ We're the second youngest team in America last year, that's not going to, we're not going to be the most veteran team next year.テつ We'll have a bunch of red shirt freshmen that will now be ‑‑ excuse me got a bunch of true freshmen that will be red shirt freshmen.テつ We had a bunch guys who played as freshmen that will now be sophomores.テつ So we'll be a young team on the O line and D line that's going to be a challenge.テつ That's going to still need to be an emphasis for us next year.

Q.テつ You mentioned camps a couple times already.テつ We saw you pull some guys aside this summer.テつ How much weight do their camp performances maybe carry as opposed to seeing a quarter of them in person or seeing the highlight tapes?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ I think it's really important.テつ I think it's really important.テつ If you look at most of our class a bunch of the guys came to camp and worked out, so they could improve and get better with their fundamentals and their skills and have great high school careers.テつ But also there's an opportunity to evaluate those guys as well and see how coachable they are.テつ So all those things I think are really important.テつ So I think the camp in person evaluations are important.テつ Whether it's going to watch them practice or go watch them play basketball or football or being in camp.テつ I think those things are really valuable.テつ Let me say this because I want to make sure that this is covered as well.テつ We still have scholarships available.テつ So, whether that's for transfers, whether that's for guys today that did not sign, we still have some scholarships available.テつ So, if anybody knows of anybody out there that wants to get a world class education, wants to play big time football, wants to have a great relationship with their coaching staff, and wants to be in an unbelievably supportive community, with the best fan base in America, let us know.テつ Because we still have a few spots available.

Q.テつ How many?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ How many?テつ We think two.テつ We think two.

Q.テつ I want to ask you about Andre Robinson.テつ You mentioned right off the top he's the shortest recruit that you have.テつ What did you see in him that made him so appealing to Penn State and also coming from a school like Bishop McDevitt, do you look when you're recruiting schools at a pedigree because they have guys like LeSean McCoy, Ricky Watters who played there.テつ Both guys in the NFL do you look at a high school pedigree when it comes to recruiting just in general?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ A little bit but not a whole lot.テつ What I do love is that, what I do love is that Andre broke LeSean McCoy and Ricky Watters records at Bishop McDevitt, I like that.テつ You're talking about a guy that's been successful and playing at a high level at a really good high school for a long time.テつ Against good competition.
So, but you're right, I don't know if I would necessarily say that factors in terms of how we rank them, but having great relationships with schools that consistently produce high level student‑athletes, then, yes, for sure.

Q.テつ Two things, Zach Simpson, is a walk on from our area.テつ Can you discuss what you like about him, what his potential up side could be?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ Yeah, we love him.テつ You look at Penn State there's a tremendous history of the walk on program or run on program.テつ You look across the country, those guys have significant impacts.テつ They, there's a bunch of those guys playing in the NFL.テつ So we have targeted a bunch of guys throughout the state and really through out the country at specific positions that we think could come in and help and he's one of those guys.テつ He's got length, got athleticism, he's got the size that I think he can really grow into a guy that's going to be able to contribute down the road.テつ We have targeted those guys.テつ We have gotten more of them than probably I thought.テつ We had a couple guys turn down 1‑AA scholarships to come.テつ So I think those numbers and names will come out a little bit later and you guys will get a better idea of that, but that's something that we want to continue.テつ We want to continue to promote and we want to continue to build on.

Q.テつ Givens is also from our area, he flipped from Pitt which had two guys, Coach Gattis did have the tweet yesterday about when negative recruiting goes wrong, you don't want to awake a giant by throwing stones.テつ Was that aimed specifically at Pitt or was that just a statement in general?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ No, that was a general statement.テつ There's an aspect of negative recruiting, guys are competitors and guys want to do a great job of representing their university and getting young men to come, but there's a fine line to it.テつ You just have to be careful and Josh is as competitive a guy as there is.テつ But we just want to make sure that we're always representing Penn State the right way and we're selling Penn State.テつ We don't need to talk about other schools, we need to sell Penn State and our education and all the things that we can offer and every once in awhile you got to have a conversation with the assistant coaches as well and say let it ride, you don't need to go on Twitter.
I love Josh, he's the best, his son is probably‑‑ this is probably illegal, but his son, Jace, is committed to us for the class of 2033, we offered him this morning and he's verbally committed.
But, you know, we got a competitive staff and they believe in doing things the right way and representing this school the right way.テつ But the competitive juices get flowing sometimes and sometimes you feel like you need to strike back.テつ That's not always the case.テつ We want to take the high road.

Q.テつ It seems like everything today kind of went off without a hitch no real surprises.テつ Is that what you guys expected coming into the day or were there a few guys iffy or everything kind of solid?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ Yeah, I don't like drama.テつ I don't like drama professionally, I don't like drama personally.テつ So, we try to talk through the process.テつ Really detailed.テつ You guys have heard me say this before, I don't want guys to commit unless they're a hundred percent sure this is what they want to do.テつ Some people say well coach that's not fair he should be able to go on other official visits.テつ That's fine.テつ If you want to go on other official visits don't commit.テつ But once you give us your word that you're coming, that's what we expect.テつ So we kind of make sure the high school coach is on the same page, parents are on the same page, the young man is on the same page and understands what he's doing and we're pretty thorough about that.テつ Because of that, we don't have a whole lot of issues.テつ You're still, there's still a lot of anxiety until that last one comes through.
Josh Gattis was impressive because he had the first two in this morning.テつ I think it was, I think it was Brandon Polk who was number two and number one was Irving Charles were the first two in.テつ But he also got the last one in.テつ Which was Shareef Miller, so Josh Gattis will be buying lunch for the entire staff because the last one in does that.
He's going to get up here later and probably make an argument of why he shouldn't have to do that but he will be buying lunch for everybody but we compete in everything we're doing and there was anxiety until that last one came in.テつ But I think more than anything just how thorough and detailed we are about the process and be very open and honest and consistent and because of that, we didn't have any drama this morning, which is awesome.

Q.テつ You had eight guys from southeast PA, southern New Jersey your old stomping ground.テつ I wonder how some of your long‑standing relationships impacted that particular part of your class?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ I think it helps.テつ It helps with my background, it helps with our coaches background that you're not really working you're not really recruiting, you're driving around to see all your buddies.テつ A lot of times you have an opportunity to offer a kid that's playing for one of your friends and now that guy can say look I'm not going to tell you where to go but I'm going to tell you you can trust that guy you can trust these guys and I know the type of education at Penn State that they offer, so that helps.テつ Because now if it's a tough call and the kid's struggling with the decision, and you can be kind of having a discussion with the parents and they're trying to decide and now they lean to that coach and he says like once again I'm not going to tell what you to do but I know that guy and he's going to look out for you, those things help.テつ Those things help.テつ So I think relationships and the chemistry and the years of trust go a long ways.

Q.テつ To your left, you had mentioned to Corey's question that you had many some guys who had committed to other schools, whether they were 1‑AA or some other schools.テつ One of them is from the Redding area, Jan Johnson, could you comment on him, what did you guys see in him and where do you projection him on what side of the ball?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ I'm being told that I can't really talk specifically about these guys.テつ My recruiting coordinator just came and saved me by slashing his throat and telling me to shut up so I appreciate that.テつ When the time is right I'm more than happy to talk about those guys and we're really happy that they're joining our class but we can't talk specifically accord to go Andy Frank, so I would rather be safe than sorry.テつ Thank you, Andy.

Q.テつ I don't want to booby trap you again, you talked about numbers and maturity and you guys are adding a transfer a fifth year guy, if you're able to talk about Reanor, if you are, what he might add as far as having that extra experience.
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ We're not allowed to talk Andy is slashing his throat again.テつ We're not allowed to talk about students that are still going to school at other universities, we're not allowed to talk about guys that haven't officially signed today, so I would appreciate and I understand guys, you got to do your job, but I would appreciate if we could just leave limit our questions to the guys that actually signed today.テつ I would appreciate it.テつ Thank you.

Q.テつ You had mentioned about having a couple extra scholarships, could you describe the process of how those became available, one and then two, a guy who did sign today Saquon Barkley, where do you think he fits in with this group?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ It's somewhat complicated, to be honest with you.テつ But since the consent decree went down, we were able to basically push some guys back.テつ We have been kind of working and asking a lot of questions and getting clarification, there wasn't a whole lot of time to get it done, but we were able to find out there at the end that we did have a little bit of wiggle room and then specifically what the numbers would be we would love to have found out earlier, that would have been pretty valuable but we were able to make some decisions at the end and this does create some flexibility this spring with some other transfer students who or some guys that maybe on Signing Day for whatever reason it didn't work out with, or also we could have some young men in our program currently that earn that spot.テつ So, we'll just see how that thing plays out moving forward.テつ But that did allow us to be aggressive in the last two days with some guys.

Q.テつ What is today's class say about the strength of the program?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ You want to know what I think about Saquon Barkley.テつ I love him.テつ Yeah.テつ Saquon's been an awesome kid we got a great relationship with all the people at that high school.テつ They have been so supportive of him and got a great relationship with his parents, had a great home visit with him.テつ Always got a huge smile on his face.テつ He's just a great kid.テつ He had an unbelievable senior year.
Another guy that when we got the job was committed to another school and we were able to convince him why we thought Penn State was the right fit.テつ And that worked out really well.テつ We had a funny conversation last week because if you have watched Saquon's high school highlight tape, it is really impressive.テつ It's sick.テつ He's go the some great plays in there.テつ And he has a tendency to hurdle people.テつ Which is really impressive.テつ Not just once or twice, he's go the multiple hurdles.テつ And he said to me the other day on the home visit he goes, yeah, I'm not going to do that any more.テつ I'm not going to hurdle any more in college.テつ And I said, that's confusing to me, because in high school in the State Of Pennsylvania it's illegal to hurdle people.テつ You can see on his tape he's hurdling and the official is throwing the flag and it's not illegal in college.テつ And I says, that doesn't make a lot of sense to me, and he says, that does make sense, coach, I'll continue hurdling people, I said, good, I like that.テつ He's a talented guy.
You look at Andre, he's 220 pounds, Saquon's 210 pounds.テつ So these aren't guys that you sit there and say, they're going to need to come in and soak in the weight room for a year before they're going to be able to do it.テつ I think both of those guys will show up probably in the 215 pound range and we'll see if they're ready.テつ See if they're ready to play come our first game against Temple.

Q.テつ What is today's class say about the state of Penn State football?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ You know, I think it's exciting, because there's so many things right now that are falling into place.テつ You look at the recruiting class, you look at the length and the athleticism and the size and the fit that we were able to, we were able to attract.テつ You look at ending the season in a really dramatic bowl win in New York City in front of a basically a home crowd.テつ You look at getting scholarships back.テつ You look at being able to go to a bowl.テつ You look at all the wonderful things that are going on here at Penn State.
So I just think that in a lot of ways for a lot of our fans, the pride and the hope of Penn State football and this institution never left.テつ But a few that maybe had lost some hope I hope these things have pulled them back in and you guys have heard me say this time and time again, that once we have everybody pulling the rope in the same direction, and I think we're closer to that right now than we have been probably in the last five years, everybody pulling the rope in the same direction and doing what's best for Penn State and most importantly doing what's best for the kids, that then the sky's the limit.テつ I just see so many things falling into place with us right now and some real positive momentum.テつ So, we're going to wake up every single morning, do a back hand spring out of bed, compete like crazy in the classroom and on the field, put a bunch of really good days like that together in the off season and let's see what happens.テつ Let's see what happens.テつ Looking forward to seeing everybody at the signature event tonight.テつ Looking to see everybody at the blue and white spring game.テつ Which we had 75,000 people last year, I expect us to have 107 thousand, the game sold out, going crazy, another hundred thousand in the parking lot tailgating, going berserk.テつ And I think that the future's very bright at Penn State.テつ So thank you.

Q.テつ Can you get to 85 logistically when all the numbers are done?テつ You talked about that a little bit that you weren't quite sure.テつ Can you get to 85?
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ This year?

Q.テつ Yes.
COACH FRANKLIN:テつ Not right now.テつ We will not be.テつ Obviously, if we end up offering a scholarship, the scholarships that that are guys on our current program or if some guys come in in terms of transfer students and/or guys that we just find late, then possible.テつ But, no, if I had to say we were going to be in the high 70's, low 80s, could get even a little bit closer than that, because I say that and I just see Audrey's face kind of crinkle, because she looks at me like I'm crazy, but there's attrition every year.テつ We study attrition.テつ You look at Penn State, you look at programs across the country, there's positive attrition.テつ Guys that leave early for the NFL you have guys that transfer, you have guys that graduate, you have guys that just make other choices.テつ There's usually attrition around four or five guys a year, so we'll be somewhere between 78 and 82 players somewhere in that range and then if we get a few more transfer players, you never know.テつ Thank you so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297