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March 13, 2019

James Franklin

University Park, Pennsylvania

HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: Appreciate you guys being here, really do. Looks like the weather is turning for us for spring ball, which will be great.

Obviously excited about getting on the field. I think we've had a really good winter training, winter training period with our guys. We tested extremely well. I know you guys got a chance to meet with Coach Galt. I know that's always great access for you guys, invaluable, but it was good for us, too.

We were able to kind of get an idea where we're at. We're obviously young. We've got a lot of question marks obviously with some of the guys that we've lost. But I also think there's a lot of excitement, as.

Well. Interesting, just like you guys, you're kind of going over returning starters. I'm kind of going overall my stats and I have my answers ready for you guys and that kind of stuff, but also have some interesting situations, too, where you have a guy like Micah Parsons, wasn't really stay starter last year but led us in tackles.

So I think sometimes the stats can be a little probably not as clear or don't tell the story exactly the way it is.

But we're excited. I don't think there's any doubt about it. A couple things just to be aware. I think some of the stuff you probably are. Some things, I'm probably going to visit with you guys Wednesday after practice once I've cleared some things up, as well.

But I think most of you guys are aware, Mac Hippenhammer is playing baseball. That was, as you guys know through the recruiting process. That was always part of the conversation with Mack. He split time last year, which we all know is hard to do. It's hard to just be a Penn State student alone, and then to try to do Penn State and football and school at the same time, that's very challenging.

So had a lot of discussions and he's going to concentrate on baseball full-time this spring and had a lot of conversations with Cooper, and he's doing a really nice job. I don't want you guys to come out to practice and wonder where he's at. That's what he's doing is playing baseball. He's Bo Jackson for us.

Some positional changes, which I think you guys are aware of is C.J. Thorpe did an unbelievable job for us in terms of we had a need, some size, some veteran experience that we needed on the defensive line; so we were able to move him over.

We really believe that C.J. has got an unbelievable ceiling when it comes to being an elite offensive lineman, so we've moved him back over while he kind of allowed us to create some depth and gain some maturity, and gain some maturity there.

But we think for our team and for C.J., we think he's got a very, very bright future. Brings a physicality. We went back and watched cutups from early in the season and missed that on the offensive side of the ball so excited about that.

The other thing is Grayson Kline is a young man that we've moved to the tight end position to create a little bit more depth there. So he's moved over.

Kris just walked out -- sometimes you guys ask me questions, and I want to answer the question, but sometimes the timing isn't right. So we've been trying to get in touch with somebody because I want to be respectful of the family and their privacy, but something again I didn't want you guys to come out to practice and question where somebody was.

Without getting into specifics and details of this, and I'd ask you, please, to respect the privacy of the family, but Juice Scruggs got in a car accident and will be out for spring ball. Will be out of spring ball.

So I didn't want you guys wondering where he was at, but again, I don't want to answer this question in the press conference and you guys asked me and I haven't talked to Juice's mom and I haven't talked to Juice and make sure they are comfortable with me releasing that personal information publically, but I also knew I was probably going to get asked the question and you guys were going to wondering.

Sometimes when I'm trying to balance that, respect for the kid and the family, but also give you guys what you guys are looking for, as well. So that's why Kris just walked out. We were able to get in touch with him and his family and clear some of that up. Wanted to clear up some of those things.

Kind of our objectives for the spring, I think confidence and chemistry is a huge deal for us. We're going to work very hard at that this spring. Offensive ball security, defensive ball disruption, I think we played really good defensive football around here the last couple years.

I think one of the things that could really help us is do a better job of creating turnovers. That's a huge stat for us and we're going to put a huge emphasis on that. The good thing was we weren't as good last year offensively in protecting the football, and we have done a good job of that over my history of being a head coach.

So I think the emphasis on defense will actually help us on offense, as well by those guys going against each other and challenging with strips and things like that. We'll do more of that in practice.

Always want to teach situational football, always believe in this, two-minute, four-minute, backed up, red zone, coming out, all the special teams situations, continuing to teach our guys about the why.

So it's not just memorizing plays and we are not just running plays. They understand on first down and second down and third down and fourth down what the objective is; how is third down different in a two-minute situation than it is in normal situations, well, because third down really becomes second down in a two-minute situation to win the game because you know you're going to go for it on fourth down, those type of things. Make sure the guys understand the big picture.

Spend a lot of time talking about situational football. We have gone through as a staff saying these are all the things we want to talk about. These are all football things we want to talk about. Here's things outside of football: Drugs, alcohol, healthy relationships, all these different things. There never should be a time we break our meeting early because we've gotten the install done.

So at the end of that meeting, we've got a list of topics that we should be covering with our guys outside of football, or, football-specific situations, big picture.

So we get done the install for that day; you have an extra ten minutes, let's make sure throughout the year we've covered all these different topics that we have the responsibility to educate our players on.

Obviously we've got to find a two-deep that we can win with at D-tackle that we feel really good about. Obviously we had some early departures, some that we knew about and some that we weren't completely sure how it was going to play out. When we say two-deep in D-tackle, typically the way we look at that is five guys.

We really need to feel like you've got five guys that you can play with at that position, but maybe that fourth and fifth guy, or guys that you feel like come to the fourth game of the year they need to be really ready to play and continue to develop, but that needs to happen at D-tackle.

Safety, same thing. We've got to answer some questions in two-deep at the safety position, and I'd say the same thing at the wide receiver. We have to speed up the maturation with a lot of those guys at those positions.

We have to continue to develop them all, there's no doubt about it, but I would say those are the areas of emphasis for us as a program as coaches, as players that, we need to figure those things out sooner rather than later.

You know, couple other things that I want to cover with you. Again, we kind of talked about returning starters. We have five offensive returning starters, the way Kris calculates it, but again, in our eyes we look at Jahan Dotson as a returning starter, we look at Mac Hippenhammer as a returning starter, we look at Mike Miranda as a returning starter, Cam Sullivan-Brown; those guys play a lot of football for us.

Same thing with the defensive guys. I won't go through those. It's not hard to figure out. But we have five other guys that we would consider starters that don't necessarily meet the data requirements that Kris comes up with. Tariq Castro-Fields, I think it's hard to not consider him a starter. Fred Hansard, Micah Parsons led us in tackles. Antonio Shelton, I think we would all view as a starter in a lot of different ways and Jonathan Sutherland. Those guys have played a lot of football for us. Feel really good about that.

Just a couple other things I want to hit with you and then I'll be quiet and take some questions.

We have our women's clinic, which is really exploded. We haven't even advertised the clinic. We just put it up on our website and it's up over 350 people have already pre-registered for it. That's turned into one of our bigger events of the year and really a cool event that we take a loot of pride in, had a lot of fun with that.

But that thing has really blown up and then just a couple things that I would say about perspective out there. We're tied for ninth in the country in terms of FBS winning percentage over the last three years. We're very proud of that. Very proud of that. Obviously we've got a lot of work to do and there's a lot of areas that we can improve, but I think that's something we're really proud of.

And then another stat, if you look at the college football rankings, which I think is really kind of shifted over the last couple years and probably being the most important form of rankings that everybody's focused on now the way college football has changed, there's six teams that in the last three years have finished in the Top 15 of the college football playoffs and that is Penn State, that's Alabama, that's Clemson, that's Ohio State, that's Washington and that's Oklahoma. That's a pretty good group to be associated with over a three-year period of time, so we are very proud of that.

Got a lot of work to do. Got a lot of work to do in a lot of different areas, but once again, I want to thank you guys for being here and coming out and covering Penn State Football.

You know, happy to open up to questions.

Q. Last year you talked a lot about Micah and saying there were areas that he really had to develop outside of just football. How has he come along football-wise and in those areas that you were hoping that he would address as a young guy?
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: I think we're all growing. Let me start by saying that.

I think you'd better have a growth mind-set the rest of your life as coaches, as players, all of us. You need to be constantly growing and trying to get better and evolve, that's as football players, that's as coaches, that's as students, that's as parents, brothers, dads, whatever it may be. You need to be getting better, all of it, dealing with the media, every area, and I think Micah is like that.

I think early on, obviously we knew Micah was extremely talented, but when you're asking a guy to play a different position than he played in high school naturally, that was going to take some time to do that.

Obviously extremely talented but from a fundamental standpoint. He had some things to catch up on and all of the stuff away from the field, he's been -- he's been phenomenal (knocking on wood) he has, he's really been phenomenal and I say that for all our guys. Last semester I think he got a 3.56. I think that's the last two semesters, he's done extremely well.

He's very coachable. He's got a very strong relationship with the coaches. He's in my office all the time. He's in Pry's office all the time. We do workouts. He's mad when he's not chose to compete.

I think he came in here, such a high-profile guy, that I think some people had a perspective about who and what he was going to be, and you know, our guys on the team love him. He's been a great teammate. I've gotten really good feedback from different things we've had on campus from professors, from different trainings that we do with the freshmen, a lot of different things.

I've been very impressed. Got a very close relationship with mom and dad and his high school coach, which I think is helpful, as well, because we're all in this journey together. It takes a village, and he's doing a really good job.

And I think that was a big reason for us not starting him last year. We wanted to take some of the pressure off. There's always enough pressure, especially on the high-profile guys. I've been very pleased with him but it's a work-in-progress for all of them.

As you know, I've got 120 18 to 22-year-old males, plus two daughters. They are getting older every single day which scares the heck out of me. We bent bowling and my daughter took the ponytails out and got her hair straightened and blown out, and it scared the hell out of me to be honest with you. My daughters are growing up, but I've got 102 kids that I'm responsible for, and I'm very proud of what they are all doing, all of them.

It was pretty cool yesterday, a bunch of the guys came back for pro day and were all in the facility. Trace was there and Nick Scott's there, Jonathan Thomas, a bunch of the guys were back for pro day, and Nick Scott goes, "Hey, is it okay if I go see Addy at school?"

It's really cool, and they are some of the cultural things that we've built from a family perspective that I'm really proud of, I really am.

I know that was a long answer, but I'm proud of Micah and I'm proud of all of our guys. It's not always perfect, but I see tremendous progress being made.

Q. You said in the past that it's tough to evaluate the safety position in the spring, especially early, given the lack of hitting. But what are your thoughts on that group as you look to replace Nick and then with Jonathan, did you see him as a guy who will contend for that spot, or more of a box safety like Garrett?
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think that's a really good question. I think we've got a group of guys that we feel good about. The way we have it right now at free safety, we've got Taylor, Sutherland, Neff and Romano at that position, the way we have those guys ranked.

And then at the strong safety, which for us is really like the field safety, boundary safety, the field safety, you've got Wade, Petrishen and Rudolph (ph) and Hartlaub.

But as you know, you know, they are moving parts. So if you're the backup at the 1, but you're one of our two best safeties, we'll move it around and plug-and-play.

But I think you are right. There's some aspects where we like to drop one safety into the box more and play to their strengths. That's something that Sutherland does extremely well, and I think like all of them, you know and all of us, there's strengths and there's weaknesses.

We are trying to play to their strengths as much as we can but also work and groom and help them grow with their weaknesses.

So we're really excited about Wade, what Wade's done this off-season. Really excited about what Petrishen has done. He's healthy, probably for the first time in his career over a length of time, and Sutherland just continues to show up and make plays in a lot of different areas on defense, especially.

So it's going to be great competition. You have Rudolph who came here and I'll be interested to see what he does, as well. We feel good about the group and then we still have Brisker (ph) coming in who blows me up constantly. I mean, he is -- during the National Championship, he's sending me messages. Same thing, me, Coach Pry and Coach Banks. I got a message from him yesterday morning, his workout videos. He's excited. I think he's coming up this weekend to be around as much as he possibly can.

We feel like we have a good group, but obviously we have to answer some questions.

Q. Your first --

Q. He was Mr. Europe. I went down to Cuba. Felt like a whole different world altogether.
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: Old cars -- where did you go? Good for you. Do you know Blake Newsalk? You need to talk to Blake, our video guy. He did the same thing. He went and saw a Manchester-U game in France, I think.

Q. Well, now that we're all back (laughter).

Q. Back to beautiful State College, this is your first spring camp you've gone into with redshirt freshmen who have played games. Your assessment for what that does for player personnel through one season of that new rule, and if you have any particular adjustments that you may make to your approach in 2019 with the redshirt rule?
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: I think you have a couple different things.

College football right now is I think at a really interesting time in our history. A lot of the different things that are being discussed nationally, a lot of the court rulings, a lot of the NCAA rule changes has really changed a lot of different things for us.

You know, all these guys you see them commit and they say -- which I get it, but a lot of these guys commit and they say I'm going to be at Penn State from three to five years.

I get it. I want all these guys to be able to chase their dreams in the NFL, but I'm still a huge believer of the student athlete and our model and it should be about getting education first, and then also being able to chase their dreams at the highest level. We want them for them, as well.

But my point is, that's always a hard balance now is do you play a guy as a true freshman because if you don't, and you redshirt him, you may not have him for that fifth year; so did that make sense.

Did the four games really help? I think the four games really help because maybe a guy can gain some experience where it saves you late in the season for injuries and things like that. I do think there's some flexibility that that has created for us specifically with the redshirt guys. I don't think there's any doubt about it.

I think for example, if Rasheed Walker, I think obviously he feels a lot different and we feel a lot different now. Although he red-shirted he got some game experience. So there's tremendous value in that and I think there's a number of guys like that, so we'll see.

I do think it creates confidence for those players, but I do think there's a lot of dynamics right now in college football and probably specifically in our program because we've improved dramatically in such a short period of time, especially on the way probably people nationally viewed our program six years ago, and then also the way recruiting has changed dramatically, that it really changes how you have to manage your roster and your team.

So I think it's helpful. There's no doubt about it, but there's also some challenges that come with it, too.

Q. You've lost some very strong leadership the last two years. Now with Trace gone, where do you expect that leadership to come with this young team?
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: I think it's early to say that. I don't think there's any doubt about that. What I would say to you is I do think one of the things that I know I want to do this year and moving forward, we'd always gone with two captains on offense, two captains on defense, two captains on special teams.

Talking to the team in our off-season studies and conversations, we only had the three captains last year, and I know that's a model that a lot of people use, but I feel like we need more. We need more of that strong leadership, more captains, more players that can relate to more captains.

You're going to have some guys that relate to some groups. We've got a diverse team, so I think that's going to be important, if we have the ability to go back to two captains on offense, defense and special teams, I think there's a lot of value there.

Right now, obviously Fries has played a lot of football for us. Menet has played a lot of football for us. Gonzalez has played a lot of football for us. Those guys are going to have to bring a lot of leadership value to our team. I think a combination of Freiermuth, although he's played a lot of football for us, and Bowers, are going to need to do it.

And then at the quarterback position, you always need it there. Having obviously guys like Stevens, it always is going to start with your quarterback position and Clifford, two guys that have played a lot of football, been around a lot of football, been a part of the program, understand the expectations and the standards.

And then I think the guy who probably has as much energy and can affect people in such a positive way is K.J. Hamler. I think we all know, you spend five minutes with K.J. or his mom; they affect the room in a positive way. They walk in a room, they brighten up the room with their energy and their charisma and the substance behind it, as well.

But we're going to have to develop it, because we are going to be young, but we're going to be talented.

Q. When you've got guys like Sean and Tommy that have been in the building for a long time, obviously you know them but is there still, not a reset, but a recalibration of that relationship when you know one is going to be your starter? By my count, this is the fifth time you've had a new quarterback going into the season. What have you learned about the first couple weeks with a guy?
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: I think in general as a program, you'd better approach it that way every single year with your whole program. You can't just say, well, we're back and we're going to build all that we did last year. You have to build it from the ground up every single year.

But your point specifically with quarterbacks, I don't think there's any doubt about it when you've got a guy like Trace that you started and played at such a high level for such a long time. That's a big transition. I don't think there's any doubt about it.

The interesting thing is you've got Tommy Stevens who, you know, really two years ago, did so many great exciting things and everybody was buzzing about Tommy. You know, as you guys kind of know some of the details, Tommy played through a fairly significant injury all last year, which affected him.

So that in some ways was a blessing in disguise for Sean, because then Sean was able to gain some experience and did some really good things for us.

Yeah, I don't think there's any doubt about it as a coaching staff and as a program, and those guys, I think Tommy understands, hey, I've have got to step into this role right now. I have a responsibility not only to run the offense and to lead the offense and understand that, you know, Trace had instant credibility with our team from what he had done the previous years.

Tommy understands it's his turn now to step up. Sean feels that way, and I also don't want to exclude Levis because Levis is a guy we think is extremely talented, and he's got to step up, too. I think we're going to have really good competition at a lot of positions.

But we will be really inexperienced and young at some positions, as well. What I don't want to do, and I don't want -- because I know our players listen to these press conferences and things; that's who we are. We embrace it and we accept it and we're going to maximize this opportunity.

Does experience count? Yes, it does. But I know there's a lot of excitement on our team and in our locker room and in our offenses about what we're going to be able to do.

Q. With Tommy not being at the Bowl game, to clarify, will he be able to participate in the spring?
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: He will be able to participate. I don't know if it's going to be full go.

Again, I think when you guys ask me those questions, sometimes you think I'm not answering, but sometimes it's day-to-day. We're dealing with our own doctors and trainers on campus but we're also dealing -- he had the surgery off campus. So we are communicating with his doctor, as well and trying to get everybody on the same page.

At this point, he'll be limited from the beginning of spring and depending how spring goes and how he's document, it could be full go by the end of spring but I'm not sure of that yet.

Q. And also, you mentioned a lot of -- some departures and seems like you've had a lot of staff turnover, sports staff, as well. Have you ever dealt with this much change, and do you think you're good at dealing with change?
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think this is college football. I think we have dealt with this pretty much every year since we've been here. I dealt with this at the previous institution, as well. Sometimes, obviously, you have it more than others.

But you know, for us, I'm excited for those guys. We've got men and women that are getting promotions and having opportunities to take the next step in their careers, which is also part of my responsibility.

Part of my responsibility is to not only help our players become the best students they possibly can be and have the best football experience and grow as young people, but it's also for my staff. And to me, that's a tremendous -- that's a tremendous compliment to our program and to our university that guys are able to come through, gain experience and take the next steps in their career.

Selfishly, would I love for these guys to stay at Penn State and retire and watch their goatees get grayer at each press conference like mine is? Yeah. I'd love everybody to stay at Penn State forever, but that's just not the reality of our industry anymore.

I think we've got to work really hard in the administration, as well as coaches, to create a situation here where people don't feel like they have to leave; that there's opportunities for growth, but then there's also going to be some times where people are going to have to move on and hopefully we can bring them back at another point.

You know, to me, it's the nature of our industry now and we're going to embrace it, and we're going to make the best of it and we're going to be prepared for when those times come, but I also want to make sure that when people do have those opportunities, that we make it difficult for them to leave and make it a challenging release conversation.

Q. Another Tommy question for you. Given this era with player mobility and the transfer portal, do you have to have newfound appreciation for Tommy for him to stay and wait his turn?
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: I wouldn't say "newfound appreciation" because I think really what's happened with the transfer portal has been going on with quarterbacks for a while. Would you agree with that? I mean, that's been kind of the nature of the quarterback position for a while now.

So I think with Tommy deciding to stay, I think you guys know, that was a big deal for us. Not just about him as a player, but also the relationship that we have with his high school coach, his parents and him; that it worked out.

I think what we all hope is at the end of the day, it's a win/win for everybody. It's a win for Tommy and his family and it's a win for Penn State. That's what you try to create in life is as many win/win situations as you possibly can.

And then obviously, maybe I think I said this to you guys before, maybe the greatest Tweet of all time that he sent out when he was staying -- I think it was the Wolf of Wall Street deal he Tweeted out -- which I thought was awesome, based on the expression on your face, I don't know if you liked it.

But yeah, I don't know if that necessarily is different. I think your point, with the situation we're in, I will tell you this: That we had a long discussion as a staff, I'm talking about months and had a long discussion with the leadership council about the transfer portal. I wanted to hear their perspective, how our players saw it, which I think a lot of players across the country think it's the greatest thing that's ever happened since peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I think coaches understand is the need for it but also maybe have a different perspective because I think it's always great to get in a room and have healthy discussion and dialogue and hear their perspective, but also have them understand an administrator's perspective or a coach's perspective and how to manage the roster and how could we come up with a plan that maybe there's some compromise on both sides about how we're going to deal with this moving forward.

I've talked to a lot of coaches all over the country about how they are handling, and I think that's one of the bigger challenges with it is the way it has been dealt with by the NCAA. Each school has their own way of dealing with it, which could be problematic because now you kind of set up a policy in your school and your buddy is at another school and they are handling it different there, well how, come -- well, each school is different.

I think we're in a good place and we've learned a lot about it like a lot of people across the country have. I've been able to lean on other coaches and call them and see how they are handling it. It is as wide a range as you could possibly imagine in how different programs are dealing with. But once again, it's where we're at, and you'd better embrace it and move forward.

I think the other thing on the other end that's challenging with it is -- and a lot of schools are struggling with this, too, is it's one thing to have your normal policies and how you accept kids from high school, but now this is spiking the transfer process, and how does your university handle the transfer policy, undergrad and graduate school.

But what you're going to see across the country is you're going to see a lot of transfers at maybe schools that haven't done that. And you're going to have to -- and there's a new model, so that's created a lot of discussion for us with our administration and university, how are we going to handle this moving forward because the model has changed and we're going to have to change with it, too.

Q. What did Lamont Wade tell you about his reasons for entering the portal, and was there ever a time when you thought there was a serious chance of him leaving?
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think for all these guys, you know, I think the transfer portal created an opportunity for guys to look around and make sure that they feel like they are in the best situation possible for them and their family.

For me, again, maybe different than the way a lot of college football programs are conducting themselves now, not all, but a decent amount. I'm always going to start with the education.

So, where are you at in terms of your Penn State degree; then, where are you at in terms of your football career. Then what are your goals and objectives, kind of in that order. So I kind of approach it that way with all of them.

Again, I think a big part of it is had a lot of conversations with Lamont's mom. Had a lot of conversations with Lamont's dad. Had a lot of conversations with Lamont, and we were able to get to a good place. But again, it's all based on that, where are you at academically. I think that's one of our other positives is that we graduate so many of our players early based on summer school and how our guys attack their educational experience here.

But also, that's creating some problems because if you look at a lot of our guys that did leave, they had already got their degrees. So it wasn't even necessarily a transfer portal situation. It got clunked in there. It was more back to the graduate transfer rule that we spent a lot o times dealing with.

Yeah, I think this new rule kind of had everybody in the country kind of say, let me take a moment, kind of look at this thing and make sure it's the right thing for myself and my family moving forward.

But we're always going to kind of address it that way, academics first, and then obviously their current career on campus from a football perspective; and then also, what are they really trying to achieve down the road, and we want to help them to do that in every area.

I hope it's at Penn State forever. No different than we say during the recruiting process; once they commit, we're engaged. Once we sign, they are married and there's no divorce, and I even hope even the guys that do decide to transfer, that I'll still be a part of their life and helping them down the road.

And they are not easy conversations to have, but I would hope that our relationship is a lot stronger than that, and that they know that ultimately, the end of the day, what I care about is I care about Penn State's success, the university, the community, all those types of things, and most importantly, I care about these guys' success, their success individually, but also collectively.

Q. What do you want to see from the running backs this seen as you go through a changing of the guard there and is Ricky at the top of the depth chart or how do you see that for first day of spring?
HEAD COACH JAMES FRANKLIN: I think it's probably slashed. I think Ricky has done some really nice things. I think Journey is also a guy we've been really excited about since the high school process, you know, when he rushed for over 700 yards and ten touchdowns in a game. I would not be upset if he did that for us at some point this year or in his career.

But again, one of the things that we spent a lot of time talking to our players about is our players put so much pressure on themselves about their timeline.

So what I mean by that is they all think they are going to come in and play as true freshmen, and it's going to go wonderful and they are going to be in the NFL the first year they are able to.

There's the other end of the story, like Troy Apke: Doesn't start until senior year, has an unbelievable senior year, is starting for the Raiders, runs 4-3 at the Combine. I think our guys put way too much pressure on themselves that -- everybody's journey and everybody's path is different. You know, some guys have to go East Illesburg (ph), Cookstown to James Madison to Idaho State to get to Penn State. Some guys have to be like Troy Apke. Some guys are going to start like true freshman, and it's going to go like that (snapping fingers.)

I think patience is such an important part of this and as long as you're getting better and as long as you've got a great attitude and waking up every single morning and attacking the day with everything you've got academically, socially, academically, at some point it's going to happen for you, and I think that's journey.

Journey's always been really talented, but now a lot of these other things are falling into place to allow him to play with the confident and the speed. I think you guys know this. We talked about this, he broke Leroy Burrell's record in the State of Pennsylvania who went on and won a Gold Medal.

The guy's got the ability, but all the other things are falling into place now that you are starting to see those things: His confidence, his understanding of what we are trying to do and why.

So those two guys, I think are both in a really good spot to go out and compete their tails off. Feel really good about those two guys and then obviously, you've got Kline and you've got Holmes who we're also very excited about what they are going to be able to do. Eury has done a tremendous job for us and then we have another one coming in in Ford. We have created a really good competition at that position.

We are probably going to need them all and we also want to see more of our offensive players having a bigger impact on special teams than we've had in the past. We've got way too many athletes and way too many good players for them not impacting in every possible aspect they can.

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