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


October 24, 2017

James Franklin

University Park, Pennsylvania

JAMES FRANKLIN: Just quickly review the last game. Players of the game offense was Trace McSorley. Defense we went with the defensive line as a unit. Special teams we shared it with Blake Gillikin and Tyler Davis, Tyler for his combination of six for six extra points, but really his kickoffs. I thought that was a major factor in the game. Two touchbacks, 62-yard average, did a great job there. Then obviously Blake has just been fantastic. I would make the argument that one punt out of our end zone that I think he punted it like 60 yards and then we pin it on the sideline and Irvin Charles I think is probably playing as elite of a level as you possibly could play as gunner. And the combination of Blake's punts and Irv going down there, you see a guy who is six-four, 230 pounds and running down the field like that, he's been tremendous. So they're our players of the week. In general I thought we played really physical, which with that type of team and the style of play that they want to play with, I thought we were very physical and we challenged the team before the game about that up front on both sides of the ball. We challenged our wide receivers, again their style of defense they're going to be in your face, they're going to be very physical at the line of scrimmage and we were going to have to make plays and create separation.

Very pleased with our overall discipline and organization, our substitution, our communication. We only had one penalty in the game, none on offense, none on defense, and one on special teams. And then I think we all realize the importance of starting fast. First quarter we scored 90 points and we have given up zero. And third quarter we have scored 72 points and given up three. I think that was magnified, if you think of this past game, if I'm correct, I think Michigan had scored on their opening drive five out of six games. We were able to hold them to a three and out and then in the third quarter we forced them to a punt on their first drive as well, so that continued. So I thought that was really good overall of the.

Then I kind of already mentioned special teams. I think that Gillikin and Irvin Charles are really playing at a high level right now and I thought we improved our field goal protection, obviously it just showed up on extra points, but pleased with that, just watching it.

To get into Ohio State obviously, so much respect for the university as a whole and the football program and their history and their tradition and obviously Urban Meyer is one of the most respected coaches in college football and has been very, very successful there and everywhere else he's been. Their defensive coordinator, Greg Schiano, obviously very familiar with him and his reputation. Got a guy who's been a college and NFL head coach as their defensive coordinator. And then their offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson, again you got a successful college head coach in our conference. And then on special teams you got Kerry Coombs and we also realize Urban Meyer's always been very involved with special teams. So tremendous challenge there, tremendous respect, great history, between these two schools, I think that's probably going to be one of the biggest differences in this game is being able to go on the road and play one of the best teams in the country on the road in a tough environment. It's one thing to win at home in a whiteout, it's one thing to win at home College Gameday, 110,000. It's another thing to go on the road and do that. And that's a challenge for our entire program. Coaches, players and everything else. So we're excited about it, looking forward to it.

Offensively up tempo offense, they're a spread scheme, they do run zone, zone read, power, stretch plays, do a good job with those things, take shots down the field. J.T. Barrett has been playing at Ohio State for I think this is his 16th year, maybe going on 17, one of the most successful quarterbacks in school history, if not the most. One of the most successful quarterbacks in Big-Ten history and nationally. I mean you got to just completely respect everything that that guy's been able to do in his career and everything I know about him and have heard about him, he's a class act. So that's going to be a challenge for us because he can beat you with his legs, he can beat you with his arm, he can beat you with his mind. His touchdown interception ratio right now is excellent. Doing some great things. And then obviously the combination of Dobbins and Weber in the back field and they just got so much speed and at athleticism across the board. Elite defense, everybody all off season's talking about their D-line, obviously they got tremendous depth, size, athleticism, power up front. That's kind of been their calling card. Coach Johnson obviously does an unbelievable job with them and has his whole career. They pressure a good amount, they're a 42 percent pressure on normal downs. And obviously Nick Bosa, I know you guys laugh when I said I was trying to get Saquon Barkley's family to have another child, send him on a romantic vacation, well, Urban obviously has done this with the Bosa family, because they're just seems to continue to be great players from that family playing for Ohio State. So he's going to be a challenge for us and then obviously Jerome Baker, a guy that we know very well, who is playing very well for them as well. On special teams, you see all their athleticism and speed all over the field, their kickoff return unit and their punt return defense are number one in the conference and ranked in the Top-5 in the country. So, tremendous challenge, but we're also looking forward to it and we're going to have to a great week of preparation. So open it up for questions.

Q. You mentioned your experience coaching against J.T. Barrett. How has he evolved, what is he doing especially well this year?
JAMES FRANKLIN: Well I think we all know Kevin Wilson is a really, really good offensive coach and been successful wherever he's been and I think early in the season they were still trying to kind of find their offensive identity and they found it now and they're putting up big time points and yards on everybody and you knew it was just a matter of time because Kevin's such a good coach and they got so many good players. I see J.T. playing with a lot of confidence right now and he's obviously surrounded by a lot of talent and he's doing a great job of distributing the ball to that talent. So, again, you got an experienced play making quarterback and playing in a scheme that really accents his abilities and his supporting cast. So it's going to be a real challenge, there's no doubt about it.

Q. Now that you've seen the tape of the Michigan game, the offensive line play, your offensive line play, how did you think they did overall and especially Will Fries, that was a big spot for him how do you think he did?
JAMES FRANKLIN: They're getting better. I know everybody wanted, in the beginning of the season, for every position, every unit just to be kind of hitting on all cylinders, but that's just not how it works. Just got to love those guys and keep developing them and keep coaching them and they're getting better. Matt Limegrover does an unbelievable job for us and I think the combination of Will Fries and Chasz Wright, and those two guys development and those two guys' ability to create depth for us as well is really good. So I think they played really good against a really good D-line last week, but they're going to have to continue to grow because like I mentioned in the very beginning, I think everybody realizes the type of respect and the type of players that Ohio State has up front, so it's going to be another challenge. That's the beauty of this conference, week-in and week-out you're going to go against high level players and you need to continue to develop and you need to continue to grow and you need to continue to learn. Those guys are doing that.

Q. You and Marcus Allen arrived at Penn State right around the same time. What has your relationship with him been like over these four years and what ways have you seen him grow and change?
JAMES FRANKLIN: Really good. I got a really good relationship with Marcus and Marcus's mom and Marcus's dad. I've talked to you guys about him before, he's a unique player, we're kind of in a time where everybody wants to be tough and everybody wants to be hard all the time, that guy any video you watch, any picture you see or any time you're around him he has got a smile from ear to ear. He's happy, he's appreciative, he's hard working, but then he's able to switch and go on the field and be tough and be physical. But he's able to do both, which I think is a really, really important talent. And he has it. He's been a great player for us, he's been a great leader. His energy is infectious in our locker room. We had a long talk, me, him and dad after the season about his future and what he wanted to do and what was the right time to do it and he decided to come back to Penn State and really didn't have to. He had, from pretty much everybody I talked to, had strong enough grades that you could make the argument and he felt like there was still some areas and things that he wanted to work on and help our team and also help himself. And I don't think without that relationship, I don't think that happens. His dad was able to be very honest and direct with me and I was able to be very honest and direct with his dad and with Marcus and so he's a tremendously talented guy and one of the leaders in our locker room and I think he's got a very bright future, not just in football, but in his life, because he's one of those people that people are attracted to because of his energy and how positive he is and how intelligent he is. So he's got a very, very bright future in whatever he decides to do.

Q. You spoke before about the 2014 Ohio State game's impact on your team. Wanted to just maybe refresh that. What role did that game play in your team's development to where you are now headed to Columbus this week?
JAMES FRANKLIN: Well I think it played a big role in our game last year. I thought there was a lot of confidence from our team because we had played them tough in the past and really you could make the argument should have won that game. So I think our team has like steadily just grown over the last four years in a lot of different ways and a lot of different experiences to get to this point. But again, there are no moral victories, but I do think there are lessons, there's lessons that are learned in every win and there's lessons that are learned in every loss, as long as you're willing to look at them and be honest with yourself. And we got a really mature football team and we have done that. So I think all those experiences matter. We talk about it all the time, about each Friday night before the game we talk about how hard we have worked to get here and I think a lot of times people focus on the week that we, how hard we prepared that week or how hard we prepared in the last year, but I make the argument these guys have been training for 18, 19, 20 years for this opportunity. I think when you look at it that way, maybe you don't overlook things or maybe you don't take things for granted as much. I think the older you get you're much more appreciative of things. I try to kind of impart that knowledge into our team and into our players is, guys, you've worked your entire life for these types of opportunities and you're blessed in so many different ways, so let's take advantage of it. I think our guys understand that. So it's all those experiences, it's the Minnesota game, it's the Kent State game, it's the Akron game, it's the Pittsburgh games, it's Ohio State whiteouts from a few years ago, it's the one from last year, it's the one that we went on the road to Ohio State, all these things -- it's the Michigan game on the road last year -- all these experiences positive or negative have gotten us to this point. So we just try to be very open and honest about those things and not rationalize and not make excuses, own all those things and learn and grow from them.

Q. Mike Gesicki, what's the biggest improvement in his overall game from last year to now and how would you grade his end zone celebration leap over Trace?
JAMES FRANKLIN: You know, I didn't see it, actually, I saw the pictures. It doesn't shock me. I mean I think we all know that Mike can jump out of the stadium, high level volleyball player, high level basketball player the best every time we have a dunk contest on the football team he wins it. That's I think one of his special qualities is how well he can jump and go after the ball in the air or jump over things like human beings like Trace. So, yeah, I'm pleased with Mike. He is has I think improved in a lot of areas, especially in his blocking. I thought that my discussions very similar like with Marcus, my sit down discussion with Mike about areas that he needed to improve, no one from our team perspective, we need Mike to continue to be a difference maker for us in the passing game, but for Mike's individual future, which we do talk about in the off-season, there's not a whole lot more he needs to prove as a receiver, it's as a blocker. That's the area that he needs to grow and has grown dramatically. But to show people that he can be an every down tight end and be a major factor in the run game as well as the pass game. And he's taken that very seriously and he's worked really hard on it. I think if you look at us right now and our running game, our perimeter blocking with the tight ends as well as with the receivers, I think it's probably maybe one ever our most improved areas on our team. Our wide receiver and tight end perimeter blocking as well as our tight ends mixing it up inside as well is vastly improved and we need to continue investing in those areas.

Q. To follow-up you're talking about the different experiences you had over the years but I wanted to pinpoint on last year's Ohio State game and how much did that just boost your guys' confidence to know that all this hard work and preparation has led them to a win over an elite team and how that carried you forward for the rest of last season and into this season.
JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I don't think there's any doubt when you find a way as an organization to beat the No. 2 team in the country, I don't care where you're at in your program's development, things like that, those wins have a big impact from a lot of different perspectives. So, yeah, I don't think there's any doubt about that. As you know, we take it one game at a time and things like that, but, yeah, I think that there's definitely awareness from all of us, including me, that wins like that build confidence and a confident football team has a chance to develop into a pretty good football team.

Q. The program's getting an unbelievable amount of media attention lately and I think probably most of us saw you on Monday night football last night and I'm wondering if you are now having to manage your time and learn to say no, you personally, are having to learn how to say no and manage your time in a way that maybe you haven't had to before because of all of the requests for your time and attention.
JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, it's probably, this is something, and I want to thank Kris because Kris does a great job with that, she's the bad person where she has to tell people no. But obviously it's magnified right now but we kind of stick to the same model, so we try to grant a certain amount of local requests because the local beat writers and media people that cover us day-in and day-out, we feel like those people deserve the most access. And then we also try to do some things nationally, because we also understand the importance of getting our brand and our university and our football program out nationally, so we try to do those things as well. And what Kris has done a good job for me and for the players is trying to limit the impact that it has on our normal day. So I know most people don't like it with me, but we have a staff meeting every morning at 7 a.m. so I'm not going to do anything after 7 a.m. So most of my interview stuff I'm doing before 7 a.m. before the staff meeting. So 6 o'clock, 6:20, 6:40 or whatever it may be, and then we'll also do some stuff typically late at night. So basically Kris does her best in trying to protect my day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

So that's why I know we got somebody in the room that's looking at me right now that I'm going to meet with I think tomorrow and it's at the crack of dawn. But that's why, because as a head coach, if you're not careful, and it's already an issue, you're just constantly getting pulled out of the meeting room. You're trying to sit in with the defense and you get pulled out five times. You're trying to sit with the offense and you get pulled out 10 times. And some of them you can't control. Player issues, you know, that's, you got to deal with that. So Kris does a great job and then obviously trying to manage Saquon to make sure that he's able to handle his academics and handle his football and then be able to interact a little bit, but Kris does a great job and in balancing that and helping us kind of manage it and for the most part we're on the same page with how we want to do it.

Q. You mentioned it quite a bit, you mentioned it earlier, but because of the kick coverage and the work of the kicker and the punter you guys have largely controlled field position just about every week. In a game like this against a higher ranked team how much is field position on the road magnified with kick coverage and things like that, especially when the weather forecast might be calling for rain and stuff like that?
JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think it's one of the most important aspects of the game is field position. It's funny, you talk about all these different games, I remember Michigan last year we start the game backed up and are punting the ball out of our own end zone with a tight punt to Peppers, it's like the last way you would want to start the game. We started it that way and then we played almost the first half on our side of the field. That's not how you would like it to go. It's funny because I've been really looking at Northwestern, whenever you go to Northwestern it always seems to be really windy and I've really noticed Pat -- it's funny, last game, I saw him talk to the reporter after the game and she asked how, why he handled the end of the game the way he handled it and he goes well look at your hair and her hair was like blown all over her head. And to me that's me kind of understanding the Big-Ten a little bit more where at Northwestern that's usually a factor. So I think you have your general rules, but then you also have your stadiums and your certain venues that magnify it. But it's something that we tried to emphasize as much as we possibly could and we got really good team speed right now and we got a punter that does a great job in to me the three things that we ask him to do which is hang time, which is distance, and which is location. And right now he's doing really good job in all three of those, which isn't easy to do. And then we got guys that are taking a lot of pride in their role in terms of covering kicks and it's the same thing on kick off. Tyler has been excellent in kickoff. I know there's been talk about we have missed a few field goals or had a few field goals blocked but he's been excellent in kickoff and I think before the end of the season he'll be viewed the same way on field goals. So we believe in it, field position is something we talk about all the time with our players, the importance of winning the field position battle each week, and so far so good.

Q. Ohio State is coming off of a bye. Is it reasonable to expect them to add new wrinkles or are you guys prepared for new things they may do and then what were the advantages maybe you had coming off of a bye against Michigan and how much can that help when you're going into a big game?
JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think it has a lot, I think it helps a lot. There's no doubt about it. You just have more time for everything. More time to recover, more time to get healthy, more time to watch film and plan. It's valuable. I think it's probably the most valuable thing we have on this earth is time and a bye week creates that. So yeah, it helped us last week and it's going to help them this week. There's no doubt about it. But again we control the things that we can control and this isn't one of them, so we got our normal week of preparation, which I feel good about it, I do think we handled our bye week good enough that we are still getting some residual affects two weeks later from how we handled the bye week two weeks ago. I also think the way the game played out last week, that we were able to get some back ups in the game and things like that, that helped that it wasn't Iowa where it was this emotional draining and physically draining game all the way up until the last second. So I think that there's value in that as well. So we're going to maximize this week and get to the hotel and get a little bit more rest and then get ready to play the game.

Q. I'm wondering you touched on it a little bit earlier as far as Marcus Allen, Jason Cabinda and Grant Haley, obviously those three guys came in together three of your leaders on defense, what do you notice about the differences in their leadership styles because at least to me it seems like you got kind of three different personalities there.
JAMES FRANKLIN: Very much so. Marcus is bubbly, outgoing, full of energy, huge smile on his face, dancing, laughing, clowning other guys, me, other players, everybody. He's just a ball of positive energy that I love. And he's, and it's different because he was the same way as a freshman, but he's a senior now, he's more mature, there's a time and a place and he does a great job with all of those things. He is universally respected on our team and really all three of those guys are. Grant is completely different. Grant has probably said 32 words. He's more reserved, he's Mr. Dependable, you know what you're getting with Grant every day. You know what you're getting with Grant every play. It's just kinds of a very, very mature, steady well respected, very thoughtful, very intelligent and really all three of those guys, that's the thing that's so cool is they're all so intelligent and articulate and those types of things, just they're packaged differently. Marcus is crazy and Grant is more reserved. I could see Marcus being on some type of movie or comedy show. And I could see Grant running for politics one day. And then you have Jason Cabinda that is probably one of the more natural charismatic leaders I've been around. Jason has very strong opinions on things, which is also why I think he's such a good leader is because when Jason opens his mouth and says something he says it with conviction, he believes it in his heart. He's also the guy whenever I have counsel meetings or captains meetings, he's the guy that's going to speak up and is willing to challenge or ask me tough questions about things and I love that. I love that about those guys, I love that about Jason. Jason over his time here kind of understands there's a time and place for everything as well, but he's not afraid to speak his mind. I said in front of the team the other day, I talk all the time about using our program more than just for football and for school, but for networking and for contacts and all these wonderful opportunities that they get and it's funny because I met with the Gameday people last week and they could not have raved more about Jason Cabinda and how they think he has a bright future in being a sports commentator and that not only is he going to do it, that they want him working at ESPN. To me that's, all our guys should be taking advantage of all these opportunities. Meeting Letterman, dealing with the media, they're job interviews, every time you get up and talk in front of the camera it's a job interview for our guys and those three guys have just handled things so well on the field, they have handled things so well off the field, they have been extensions of the coaching staffs, they have been what we talk about all the time -- I would probably say the best way to describe them is their culture drivers. That's really what they are. Those guys are, have taken the culture that we wanted to have at Penn State and they have driven it home in every area, recruiting, player development, how to conduct themselves in the classroom, in the community, with the media, they are culture drivers and we will be forever indebted to them because those guys are going to leave here and they're going to leave a legacy on -- I remember when we got here I think the best person to describe is Mike Hull there's still guys talking about Mike Hull. And I actually think that Marcus and Grant and Jason could be those type of guys that the freshmen now are going to be telling the freshmen four years from now, this is how Jason Cabinda did it. This is how Grant Haley did it. This is how Marcus did it. And you can't put a value on those types of guys in your locker room.

Q. You talked Iowa before, how much can you draw on the experience of already going into a hostile environment and winning a close game going into this game?
JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think that from my time at Kinnick, did I pronounce that right? Is one of the better venues I've been in. They are right on top of you, they are wild, I know obviously going to Ohio State's going to be the same way. So I do think that there's value that we have been on the road in a tough environment. Not only in these guys' careers but in this season. Because I think we all know it's tough to do. It's tough to come and play at Penn State. It's tough to go on the road and play at Ohio State. But that's the situation we're in and I want our guys to embrace it, I'm going to try to make practice as difficult as I possibly can. Typically we do light music on Tuesday, because there's still a lot of teaching going on on Tuesday from a game plan perspective and then Wednesday it's full throttle, piercing eardrums, headaches for the coaches at the end of practice, it's not a whole lot of fun, to be honest with you I've actually been talking to Javon, I don't know a whole lot about this kind of stuff, but turning the treble down, because it just pierces your ear out there. But we're going to do it starting today Tuesday, Wednesday, we're going to do it all week long to make it as difficult as we possibly can make it. As you guys know, I think I told you earlier in the year we went out and bought one of those decibel meters for practices and for games so we can literally replicate the type of music that's played in the stadium, crowd noise, chants, songs, how loud it is, the whole deal. Probably more so for the offense than the defense, but the other thing is on special teams, for the punt team to be able to hear the calls and those types of things for the field goal team. And that's something that probably in years past we hadn't done a good enough job, but we have implemented that into special teams as well now.

Q. How is your team's confidence developed over the past 12 or 13 months and how does that manifest itself on the field?
JAMES FRANKLIN: I think it's good. I think it's good. We have routines around here and I think the routine is important. Standard operating procedure, I think there's confidence that comes from that because they know what to expect. You can say whatever you want to say about me and my staff, but we're the same guys every day. I think that is so important. Coaches are constantly complaining about leadership, not enough leadership, well it starts with us. So I think there's confidence that comes from that. I think there's confidence from winning tough games like Iowa. I think there's confidence from winning tough games and opponents like a Michigan. There's confidence from going on the road, there's confidence from playing in Rose Bowls, there's confidence from all these different things. You can learn from them, but again, we're going to be playing one of the most talented, gifted, athletic teams in the country on the road at a team that knows how to win and has done it for a number of years now. So it's going to be a real challenge. I don't think there's any doubt about it. But I do believe in our formula. I think people kind of within our circle kind of understand our formula, it's like after the game I get asked about Ohio State, I'm not talking about Ohio State yet. And it's funny because whenever you do anything like this, other fan basis and nationally they, they're looking for reasons to go crazy. I have, I could not have more respect for Ohio State, their program, and Urban Meyer, but can, I mean literally the game just ended, can I talk about Michigan, can we enjoy Michigan for a half hour before we move on to the next opponent. But I bring that up because I think there's confidence from our locker room and from our program that they know what to expect and they know how we operate. I think whenever you can compartment at that list things like that, no different than us talking about playing great football for six seconds. That's the average college football play, let's do that. And I think these approaches I think have been helpful for us and our program and for me for the last seven years that I've been doing this as a head coach.

Q. You already talked about Ohio State's defensive line, how many great players they have. What are the challenges specifically in obvious passing situations when they put four defensive ends on the field just because there is so much athleticism on the line at that point?
JAMES FRANKLIN: I think it's exactly what you said, it's the athleticism. When defensive ends typically different body types, different movement, different style, and we do the same thing, we call it our wild package where we put four defensive ends and I think Parker Cothren is one of the better nose guards in the country, but his ability to rush the passer is going to be different, it's going to be more power based compared to quickness and lateral movement and those types of things than if you're going against a traditional inside guy. So fortunately for us we go against pretty good ones in practice all the time, which helps us, but that's going to be a challenge in the game. I would also make the argument us staying on schedule and not getting into situations where it's third and long and obvious passing situations helps because people aren't typically comfortable going with four D ends in the game when the offense could run the ball in that situation. That's obviously why you don't play with four D ends. So I think that's an important part of it as well is not put yourself in those positions as much as you possibly can.

Q. In what areas has Grant Haley improved the most from this time last year until now?
JAMES FRANKLIN: I don't know about from last year but I would say overall is the thing that most DB's have to get comfortable with is playing the ball in the air. I think you see young DB's they will struggle with that. How do they stay connected and when do they try to find a ball and how do they do that. Then they get to the point where they start to get more confident because some guys, the ball's in the air, they panic early on, because the receiver knows where the ball is or where the ball's going and they have no idea. And that is I think one of the more difficult skills to learn. There's a lot of different ways you can do it, you can turn and find the ball and knowing how to look and where to look to find it, I mean it's as simple as a long ball guys turn and look over their shoulder, well you got to look up because you see how many teams you see a guy look back and then the ball drops over his head. So understanding where to look, understanding how to stay connected to the receiver, understanding that you should never look for the ball unless you've closed that space and you're in proximity of the wide receiver. So I think that's probably the biggest thing with him is he's very comfortable now when the ball's in the air, which allows him to get more pass breakups, allows him to get more interceptions and make plays on the ball and is really playing at an elite level right now. I think that the Jim Thorpe Award came out the other day, I actually think that Christian, Grant and Marcus could have all been on that list pretty easily and that's not a slight, but I think all of them are playing at a high level, but I think that us and Alabama I think we're the only two schools in the country that had multiple players on the list and so that's a credit to Terry Smith, Tim Banks, and Brent and to those guys, but I think it's his confidence with the ball in the air and I think that's somewhat typical for a DB's maturing into that position.

Q. Is this the toughest division in college football?
JAMES FRANKLIN: I don't ever like to say things that are like definitive like that because I haven't gone out and studied it. Coach Galt sometimes will say that, he'll say, "We got the strongest O line in the country." Or he'll make statements like that and I'm like, whoa, where are you getting this data from? "Well I believe it." Which is great. I want us to feel that way. I want us to believe that. I have worked in a lot of different conferences and I think we're part of the discussion. I think that you can't have a discussion without us being a part of that discussion, obviously our side with Penn State and with Michigan State and with Michigan and Ohio State all in the same side of the conference, it's up there. Obviously someone that maybe has SEC ties is going to feel about that or someone who has ACC ties is going to fell that or the PAC-12 or Big-12 there's going to be arguments made. But I think for the people that study the game nationally, without being biased, we're going to be a part of every single one of those debates and conversations and I think that's all really you care about. But I would be making that argument. I would be making that argument.

Q. Obviously J.K. Dobbins is having a really good freshman season for Ohio State, how does that compare to is Saquon Barkley's a couple years ago? They were both guys that really weren't expected to make huge contributions and now they have.
JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, you know, I'm not sure, I guess I don't necessarily look at it that way. I expected Saquon Barkley to have a big impact as freshman. We recruited J.K. Dobbins so I think actually Coach Huff said about two months ago that he'll be the starting running back before the season's over. And that's no disrespect to Mike Weber, we think he's fantastic too. So I think that he's a special player. There's no doubt about it. He's playing behind a really good offensive line and a good scheme and just like us they got a lot of weapons that you have to deal with, which is ideal for running backs, I tell running back, guys that we're recruiting all the time, not only do you need to help us recruit offensive linemen but you need to recruit the wide receivers. He's fortunate to be in that position with an athletic quarterback and an experienced quarterback and an experienced offensive line and a lot of speed at the skill position. So he's a talented guy. There's no doubt about it.

Q. If you could put yourself in the shoes of a defensive coordinator and you have an early start, for game planning against a guy like Saquon where do you start, what's your week look like early enough?
JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I mean, I get it, I mean why would I answer that question? Why would I say what I would do against Saquon Barkley when I am going to know that better than anybody, you just --

Q. Maybe --
JAMES FRANKLIN: Do you understand why I'm not comfortable answering that question?

Q. Absolutely. Sure. Do you understand why I'm asking the question?
JAMES FRANKLIN: I get it, you have your job to do, I got my job to do.

Q. Do you have much of a relationship with Urban Meyer and I'm wondering you got a program on the rise, high stakes whether it's Harbaugh, Coach Meyer, how much camaraderie is there among the coaches or does it allow for that?
JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think during the season it's hard. I think that I might have mentioned this last year we go on the Nike trip together, I've gotten to know him probably more so from that experience than anything. Then you have the head coaches meetings and I actually called him three weeks ago about a rule that we were having a discussion about and I wanted to get his opinion on it and I think it was probably three weeks ago or something like that. But, yeah, during the season you just are so busy doing your jobs and then in the off season you're so busy recruiting that you don't have as much interaction as you think. You see each other at the convention, you see yourself maybe on like a Nike trip or things like that, you see him in a high school but they're usually walking out had a high school while you're walking in and they're going to see the next prospect or get on a plane and fly somewhere else. So not as much interaction as you would think. I think probably where you get the most of it is with your staffs, like typically I'll have someone that I'm really close with on their staff or they have someone they're really close with on our staff and you kind of get to know people that way. We got guys on our staff that I've built relationships with because of someone they're really close with. So no different than your industry, I would think, is you meet people, you guys probably spend a little bit more time together than we would, but that's kind of how the interactions go and you really probably get to know people and like people and respect people based on what you're told by your buddies that end up going there and working there. And the same thing about you. Because they will say, well, that guy over there's a really good guy, I worked with him, known him for a long time, and you kind of get to know each other that way in a lot of ways. It's amazing how many times we're sitting there watching film from early in the morning until late at night, Mondays are long days for us, and Joe will have a story about guys that he worked for or worked with 20 years ago or Matt's got a story and kind of something may come up on the film or something may come up from a game planning perspective that triggers a memory, Josh Gattis has got a story or Rickie has got a story or I got a story or the other side of the ball. And that's kind of how you get to know people and then it kind of goes from there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
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