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September 27, 2022

James Franklin

University Park, Pennsylvania, USA

Press Conference

JAMES FRANKLIN: So like always, appreciate you guys coming out in person or online to cover Penn State football.

A couple things, one thing before I get into reviewing the last game, kind of a cool thing, my college coach, Mike Terwilliger, is about to coach in his 500th game at East Strasburg. He's been a part of every game since 1974, either as a player or as a coach, so pretty cool. Happy for him. Wanted to take a minute to recognize him.

From Central Michigan, when we talk about the key stats that we talk about, first one is turnover battle. We won that. That's been a consistent theme this year that we need to continue to do a good job on, plus four.

Penalties, we were able to get that one, plus 35 yards. Drive start battle, we got that one. Sack battle, we got that one. And then the explosive play battle, I talked to you guys after the game, it didn't feel like that at times, but we did win that, both offense and defense, our goals achieved there.

We talked about the players of the game, on offense Kaytron Allen; on defense, Kalen King; on special teams Barney Amor.

Then our D squad players of the week, on offense Beau Pribula, Matt Detisch; on defense, Smith Vilbert and Mehki Flowers, and then on special teams Cody Romano, and then obviously the Big Ten freshman of the week as you guys know was Kaytron Allen, which is cool.

Some other general notes about the games. We were able to play 59 players in the game, which continues a trend that we've done really all year long, which has been really positive for us.

National rank, I think we're ranked fourth in FBS and second in Power Five in turnover margin. We're first in the country in PBUs at 41, and the next closest is 25.

Areas for growth, we've got to eliminate the pre-snap penalties. We've got to get rid of them. Then obviously continuing to emphasize special teams, attention to detail, kick locations, protection, those types of things.

Then just the last few notes, some interesting notes that came up that Kris and Greg were able to find, Nick Singleton leads the country in yards per carry; Joey Porter, Kalen King, Johnny Dixon and Keaton Ellis all rank in the top 15 in PBUs in the country.

We have nine different players who have recorded a sack, which ranks second among Power Five teams.

Then Barney Amor has placed 50 percent of his punts inside the 10-yard line, which leads the country. Some positive things to build on.

When you get to Northwestern, obviously it starts and ends with Pat Fitzgerald. Obviously a guy that's had a significant impact, not only on Northwestern but on the Big Ten, as a player and as a coach. I've got a ton of respect for him.

Then you talk about offensively, Mike Bajakian is a guy that we know fairly well, the offensive coordinator. He was the offensive coordinator at Boston College with both Frank Leonard and Coach Trautwein. So kind of a pretty good idea about him, and they have a ton of respect for him.

Guys that we've been impressed with, their running back Evan Hull. Really the whole offense kind of runs through him, not only as a runner but also from a reception standpoint; wide receiver, No. 6, Malik Washington; obviously offensive lineman No. 77 Peter Skoronski; and then their tight end, No. 7 Thomas Gordon.

On the defensive side of the ball you've got Jim O'Neil who is from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, as defensive coordinator, his second year at Northwestern. He's also been a defensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns, both as the defensive coordinator, so obviously tremendous experience.

Guys that we've been impressed with on defense is D-end No. 99. I don't want to mispronounce his name. Middle linebacker No. 32, and cornerback No. 2. Those guys have been impressive on tape.

Then their special teams coordinator I've known forever, Jeff Genyk, all the way back. We used to recruit New Jersey together. He had a cell phone, I didn't, so I'd follow behind him and he'd call the schools and let them know that we were on our way, which was helpful. Those were the days that these people don't even understand anymore, pulled over to the side with quarters, pay phone. Some of these reporters are looking at me, they don't even know what a pay phone is. Pay phone with your recruiting book, big booklet on your arm. So he helped that process by me following him. We were recruiting the same area, so worked out well.

Their long snapper, No. 43, is just extremely consistent and does a great job for them.

Obviously at home. It'll be a challenge. Whenever you're playing a Big Ten opponent, it'll be a challenge. We're looking forward to the opportunity. Obviously today's practice will be critical.

Q. I know what pay phones are and I have used pay phones.

JAMES FRANKLIN: Is there any more in Pennsylvania? I don't know if I've seen one.

Q. I have seen one in our county. I think there is one.

How important are defensive backs in today's game, and was there ever a point as a head coach that you have put extra emphasis on recruiting D-backs because obviously you have so many good ones right now?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think the game has obviously changed, whether it's NFL, college, and even high school. People are throwing the ball more than ever. Obviously a big part of that has been the summer 7-on-7 circuit that's been going on for a while right now, and people are so much further ahead.

I think the other thing is the emphasis on explosive plays and the importance that they play in the result of the game. There's also obviously been a major push of making it more of a space game with the spread emphasis that's on all levels now.

So yeah, I think that's a big part of it. And yeah, we have kind of felt like that all along. If you talk to the NFL people, if you talk to coaches in college that have been doing it a long time and you had to rank positions based on what the defensive coordinator thinks is the most important positions or the offensive coordinator's most important positions in their offense to function at the highest level, obviously there's going to be a difference if you're talking about a Wisconsin one week or something like that. But more often than not, week in and week out, the corners or defensive backs in general are going to play a priority.

I think the other thing, too, to that question is I really like when we're able to start a guy at corner even if he is eventually going to be a safety, because I do think there's a ton of value in what Zach Key was able to do for a year when he ended up redshirting. I think there's a ton of value in that experience that he gained.

Q. After Purdue went at him quite a bit, I think Joey has only been targeted seven or eight times over the last few weeks. What does it do for a defense to have a guy that teams will look at and say, we should probably throw the other way?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, you know, and there's some examples, and again, I know you guys study the game differently than the average fan, but there's some examples that we show the team and we show the defense of really Joey just eliminating a guy in a play that he's not even an option for the quarterback.

So yeah, I think there's a ton of value in that. Schematically there's a ton of value in that. There's a ton of value in that as a defensive coordinator in maybe what you are able to do maybe to stop the run, that if you didn't have the confidence in the corners that maybe you were limited in.

Those things -- I think we're a little bit different this year; we have size, speed and experience, where sometimes you may have a combination of those traits but not all of them.

Yeah, it's extremely valuable, and we don't take it for granted at all. I think those guys that we are fortunate to be playing with right now, we don't take them for granted one bit. We talk about them all the time in our staff room.

Don't get me wrong, they still need to develop, as well, but they're doing some really good things, and I do think -- I don't think that's how Purdue is wired. They're just going to run their offense.

Let's be honest, the one guy, I think he's leading the nation right now in receptions, but I think more times than not, people are going to say, look, if everything is even, we'd like to go away from this guy or whatever it may be.

Q. You've discussed trying to get Drew Allar a second-quarter series against Ohio and Central Michigan. Are you planning to try again Saturday, and what in-game criteria do you use to determine whether it's feasible?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, we want to try to get -- we have a very similar discussion about how we're going to rotate Hunter Nourzad in and how we're going to rotate Effner in, the running backs. I can go on and on kind of at every position on both sides of the ball.

But yeah, I think the more experience that we can get for guys -- his situation is probably a little bit different because he just hasn't played college football as much, but the more experience that we can gain and allow those guys to get, the better we are.

Fortunately, Sean Clifford and the offense and the coaches and the defense have allowed us to be in a situation where we've been able to get them time in every game and not just Drew but CV, as well. There's a ton of value in that. We would love to be able to do that again this week.

We have not talked about our strategy about that this week yet. We always will do that as a coaching staff first and then obviously talk to the players about what our approach would be before I would make any announcements in the public with the media.

But we've got a ton of respect for Northwestern, and most importantly we've got to find a way to be 1-0 this week.

Q. Kalen King, can you talk about what level he's at now? Can you talk about the level of play he's been progressing at this year? And also, is there another step for these guys? You have a ton of talent that's showing out, 41 pass breakups.

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think Johnny Dixon is the other guy. I thought the interception he had on Saturday was big-time. I think really all three of those guys are playing at a really high level.

Then you talk about -- obviously everybody is talking about Joey Porter, and rightfully so. We should be.

But you talk about Joey Porter, we've got a ton of respect for Marquis Wilson, as well. He continues to grow. That's four guys that we've got a ton of respect for, and then Hardy. Hardy is a guy that's quietly had a really good career, really since arriving on campus.

That's a room that we take a lot of confidence in, that we take a lot of pride in. I know Terry has done obviously a really good job of recruiting those guys and developing those guys both on and off the field. So it's cool to see. It's cool to see.

Like we've talked about before, when you talk about all the positions at Penn State with great history and tradition, and corner is one of them, but when you look at kind of the list of whether it's all-conference or All-Americans or NFL, that list wasn't maybe as robust as maybe some of the other lists.

I think Terry, obviously being a Penn Stater and taking tremendous pride in where he's at and who he represents and how he goes about his business, has done a fabulous job. Obviously Coach Poindexter has come in with his experiences, as well, and helped.

One of the things I think they do a really good job of is we make sure that at least one day a week, if not more, we watch film together. Those guys have got to be on the same page with how they're seeing things, how they're communicating. We had one play on Saturday where there was a little bit of kind of a discussion between a nickel and a Sam about how we were going to play something, and at the end of the day, it's not necessarily who's right, it's about us all being on the same page and playing it out.

But I'm glad that those guys are getting the recognition. We talk all the time, with team success comes individual recognition, and those guys have earned it. They've worked very hard. They have great battles at practice every single day. Iron sharpens iron, when we talk about our development of our wide receivers as well as our defensive backs and tight ends. It's been pretty cool to see. It's pretty fun out there at practice watching those guys get after it and compete and challenge one another.

It goes both ways. There's some days where the offense gets the best of the defense, and there's some days where the defense gets the best of the offense. We do competitive drills to start practice every single day.

I think it's been really good for our guys to be prepared for what the speed in the game is going to be like and what the competition level will be. It's been good.

Q. Smith Vilbert started the bowl game last year and seemed to have a really good game. He has not been in uniform, I don't think, this year. I assumed that maybe there was an injury involved there or whatever, and now he's on the scout team. I hope I haven't missed something here, but can you clarify where he's at?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah. You know, just not available. I'd like to sit down with Smith and make sure that me and him are on the same page. Again, like we talk about all the time, whatever it may be, whether it's injuries or whatever it may be, I don't like to make announcements here publicly before we have spoken so we're all on the same page.

I've got a ton of respect for all the players in our program, and I want to be respectful of their situations, whether it's personal, whether it's professional, whether it's academic, whatever it may be. I want to be respectful of those things.

I'm really proud that Smith Vilbert is a part of our program, and I'll leave it at that for right now, but I will follow back up with you guys now that it's specifically been asked.

Q. It's arguable in some circles, I guess, but you had the best punter in the country last year, and now you have a guy who's angling toward being among the best punters in the country this year, and they both came out of the transfer portal. How do you scout that position when you've got guys who are looking to move and asking you guys to maybe consider them, and how did you guys go about getting Barney?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, and you know, as you know, all these situations and circumstances are different. Barney is different because he came here as a walk-on, a run-on, excuse me, earned a scholarship this year. He's been here for a couple of years.

One of the things that I'd like us to do is put something out about Barney. I wrote a note down. I don't know if I followed back up with our people. Talk about a guy that's maximized his experience, I think he's got seven degrees now or seven pieces of paper, whether they're degrees or certificates or whatever it is, from a combination of his previous institution as well as at Penn State. He's just been phenomenal. Gave a great share the other night at the hotel, and he's mature. I think that plays such a big part really throughout your football team, and it's something that's harder and harder to have and develop based on just how college football has changed.

To have a veteran guy like this that really understands what it takes to be successful -- Barney is very talented, and I don't want this to come off the wrong way because I could say this for a lot of guys, I don't know if he's the most talented guy in the country, but it's not about just talent. It's about production and it's about your routine and how you go about your business and consistency.

I know he had a long conversation with the other specialists, him and Chris Stoll, about how they need to operate and what their routines need to be and what their habits need to be so that they can go out and perform on a consistent basis like he is.

He's just got a very mature approach to how he goes about it. I hate to use the word "business," but very businesslike in how he goes about his business.

I'm very proud that he's at Penn State and part of our family because he's been a tremendous mentor and leader that brings a different lens, which I also think is important. He's been great.

But for us, his situation is a little bit different. With Jordan, I think when we looked at him, when he became available, I think he was way up there in the country in kickoffs, in ranking of doing that, and he was a walk-on at his previous institution.

Between looking at the numbers that he produced in games and then obviously you've got these kicking gurus all over the country that specialize in different things, they help, as well, not in recruiting but being able to evaluate them and find out what they think of guys, whether they're in high school or the transfer portal. There's value in that, no different than talking to high school coaches.

We take a pretty active approach in recruiting our specialists. We're in a much different position now than we were when I first got here in terms of depth. We'd love to be in a position, like at every other position, where you've got a starter, you've got a backup that you feel like you can win with, and you have a third-team guy that is an exciting young player who's developing for when his opportunity comes.

We have a similar situation right now with really all three of our specialists.

Now, obviously the next part of your question, if you had the opportunity to do a second question, is we've got to be better in kickoff and we've got to be better in field goal. That's coaching, that's protection, that's production in those units, as well.

But Barney and Jordan Stout, obviously back to back, knock on wood, have done well so far.

Q. Beer sales coming to Beaver Stadium, which is a big deal for a lot of people. From your perspective as a football coach, what are the benefits of that decision by Penn State, and did you have any input into the discussions at all?

JAMES FRANKLIN: On the record or off the record are you asking me this question?

Q. You choose.

JAMES FRANKLIN: I'm not like -- as you guys know, I'd prefer to spend my time talking about Northwestern and trusting the decisions that are made, whether it's our athletic director Pat Kraft or our president Dr. Bendapudi.

But that's kind of above my process and decision making and things that I spend my time on every single day.

I'd prefer to just leave it at that if that's okay, all due respect.

Q. Going back to the kicker situation, when you make those decisions on who's kicking from what length, who's doing the field goals, how much of that is based on pure analytics, and how much of it is that gut feeling that coaches kind of have? Is it a mixture?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, so it's all based on practice and game data, who has consistently gone out and produced.

Now, if it's close, then that's where the either past experience comes in or the gut comes in, and you trust your instincts. But more times than not, it's usually decided pretty clearly in practice.

But that's all based on data. You talk about all camp, all the kicks that they take during practice, and then all the kicks that they take in a pressure environment at the end of practice, that them making it or missing it would dictate the team running and things like that, trying to put pressure on those positions like we do every other position, whether it's the punter, snapper, kicker, like we do every other position in practice to prepare them for what the games may be like.

But the gut and the instincts come in when it's close, but usually it's not. It's pretty clearly decided.

Q. We're about a third of the way through Sean's final season. How would you evaluate what he's done so far, and where have you seen him take a step in his last year?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think he's much more even keeled that I've seen in terms of his demeanor. I still think he's having a ton of fun and competing and being a leader and all the things that really he's done for a while. But he's just more even keeled. He's not getting too high when things are good, he's not getting too low when we'd prefer to have a play back. That I see as much as anything.

Then I think what you're trying to do at all positions but obviously at the quarterback position, is you're trying to maybe -- trying to reduce or eliminate those three to six plays a game that you'd like to get rid of, and I think he's done a really good job of that, of -- you look at his numbers right now, he's responsible for 12 total touchdowns and one turnover, 64 percent completion percentage, and I think that could even be better, almost 1,000 yards, 39 points, and most importantly, 1-0 each week.

He's doing a great job, sixth-year quarterback. He's done a lot for Penn State. As you guys know, I've got a ton of respect for him and what he's done for this university and what he's done for the football program, and on top of that, always has represented us the right way off the field, as well.

I think he has taken another step, and those would be the two areas that I would say. I think he's reduced the number of plays that after the game he would like to have back and we would like to have back or do over, if there was such a thing, and just being a little bit more level.

I would also make the argument that maybe those two things go hand in hand, that when he maybe has a play that he'd like to get back, he's able to get over it quicker because he's been more even keeled.

Q. We didn't get a chance to see Hunter on Saturday, but we still saw rotation at left guard with J.B. involved. What was the train of thought in sticking with that approach with Landon's activity, as well, and do you have any kind of anticipation for Hunter being available this Saturday?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, bumps and bruises, and we felt like if we could hold him out last week, then we'd be able to get him back this week.

The good thing is J.B. came in and played really well. We were excited about how he practiced, and we were excited about how he ended up playing in the game.

We're going to try to keep the plan the same if possible, if we can stay healthy enough to do it. But had some bumps and bruises last week that we felt like if we -- if he could have played, but it made a whole lot more sense for us and for him to try to hold him if we could, and then J.B. practiced and played so well that it was the right decision.

We'll see how this week goes. We're hoping to have him back. If we don't, then we feel confident that J.B. will be able to go in and do the job. But that's kind of how that's going to play out each week in a perfect world.

Q. A lot of your defensive ends are off to pretty productive starts in terms of disruption. I wanted your thoughts on a couple of those guys are going to have to deal with Skoronski, No. 77, and he's considered maybe the best lineman in the Big Ten at left tackle and maybe a future first-round pick. Just your thoughts on your guys going up against him?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think that's awesome, right. That's why you come play in the Big Ten and specifically that's why you come to play at Penn State is to have the opportunity to compete and practice with really good players and have an opportunity an Saturdays to line up against guys that are highly regarded.

One of the things that's interesting is this offensive coordinator, you check his history, he's a big chipper. So whether it's a running back or a tight end, chipping the defensive ends before he goes out. Some people do that when they feel like there's a match-up challenge. He does it all the time. So we're going to have to deal with that, as well, and we're aware of that.

But I think that's -- I think our defensive ends are excited about it. Again, this is why you come to a place like Penn State, to compete and play against this type of talent week in and week out for the most part.

Q. How would you evaluate Manny's job four games in, and how do you think he's kind of finding his way with this program and how the players are adapting to it?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think really good. First of all, the guys like and respect him, which I think is important. I think stylistically and maybe visually it looks a little different than how we've played in the past. Obviously the turnovers is significantly different, especially in the last two games.

But I think our guys are getting more comfortable and more confident each week. I think he's getting more confident and comfortable each week in terms of knowing who our players are, what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, how you call a game based on knowing your personnel better and getting more comfortable and familiar with the league.

But I think really good. Really good.

I think at the end of the day, obviously points is the most important stat for an offensive coordinator or a defensive coordinator, and then the other two that we know that we talk about all the time is explosive plays and turnovers, and probably the area that we could probably take the next step as a defense is reducing some of the explosive plays.

But the thing that I think we're doing a really good job, which is probably the most important stat, is not giving up explosive plays for touchdowns. Those are the ones that kill you, because if you're not giving up explosive plays for touchdowns and you're playing good red zone defense, then once again you have a chance to be pretty good in the stat that matters most, which is scoring defense.

Q. You have historically been -- you said you see it every week, that teams will blow a lead, you don't want to take guys out, and that has held true for the most part I would say. Outside of Purdue, Drew has gotten in maybe earlier than historically you might have made that change with Tommy or Will. I know a lot of that has to do with a lot of different things.

Is that informed by how situations like Iowa last year won, is it informed by the future of the program, or is it informed by this is how we feel about it right now?


Q. And that's what I thought the answer would be.

JAMES FRANKLIN: So I think it's a combination of the things. I think your point is a good one. People ask me, well, you wanted to get him in in the second quarter, and it didn't happen. Yes, but to your point, most importantly, we're getting the guys in the game a little bit earlier than maybe we had in the past, and that is really putting a priority on creating depth. That is based on previous experiences. That is what I think we need to do in 2022 with making sure that as many guys in the locker room feel like they're getting opportunities.

It's all of that, but it's a fine line because everybody is critiquing me that guys should get in the game earlier, but then you guys all watch college football, and there's things that come up every Saturday where people felt like the game was over, and it wasn't.

That's where it's not necessarily science, it's a little bit of an art in being able to navigate that.

It's also the thing that I try to emphasize on the headsets, because more times than not I make suggestions. So when I'm on the headset, we're playing a team and maybe they've left their starters in late in the game, and then something happens. I'm using that as examples with our staff. Guys, this is why.

Although I want to lead the country in scoring defense, it's not worth an unfortunate targeting penalty, and now we lose the guy for the second half, or it's not worth an unfortunate sprained ankle to one of our guys that really didn't need to be in the game.

It's not always perfect like that, especially when you're on the road and you have less options of guys to put in the game in terms of what you're able to travel, but it's all of that. It's all of that, and I think to your point, last year I thought we were playing really good football, and then we had some injuries at some key positions. We were willing to make sure we had more depth this year really across the board.

I think linebacker is another really good example that not a whole lot of people have been talking about. We were young at linebacker, and you think about the amount of reps that Kobe has been able to get, the amount of reps that Abdul has been able to get, Jamari has ended up playing more football than maybe people anticipated at this point, DeLuca has played a ton of football for us.

It's really across the board that we're trying to do it, and how the games have played out has helped with that, too, a little bit.

Q. Getting back to the pay phone, your coaching tree and player tree is growing so much. Do you have much time during the season to be in touch? Do guys reach back just to stay in touch or advice, whether it's coaches or players staying in touch?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah. I'm not as good at that as I'd like to be. I'm one of these guys that I hope our relationships are strong enough that when we see each other and do talk, it's great, and they understand kind of how I feel about them, and that is unconditional and consistent.

But I'm not a, like, write a bunch of letters or send a bunch of text messages or phone calls to check in with people. But yeah, I've talked to Brent Pry this year. I've talked to Ricky Rahne multiple times this year. I've talked to Charles Huff.

Yeah, I think that's still happening. I've got buddies in the NFL that reach out that are coming, and then players. Obviously having Pat and Marcus back this weekend was awesome. I think it's one of the things that's really cool about Penn State -- that's why I love when a lot of these guys can get drafted or picked up by regional teams, because it just helps with that.

As you guys have heard me talk about before, it's not just me, it's my wife, it's my daughters. I probably shouldn't say this because I'll get in trouble at home, but it's a good story and it connects the dots, so I'll take the punishment.

But Marcus Allen comes up to me -- I don't know if it was right before the game or right after the game, and he's like, Shola has got a boyfriend? Like the fact that he knew that -- because you've got to remember, as you guys do, they were like teeny, and they've grown up, obviously. But it's just cool that we're able to have that relationship and that my daughters have these big brothers that look out for them and care for them.

Yeah, it's really cool. It's very similar. I think you guys know that a lot of the wives and kids went down to that opening game. That was the night after our game, I think, to open the season with Virginia Tech and Old Dominion. They're all like buddies.

Yeah, I think it's cool. It's something that's important to me. We work very hard at some of the guys that maybe came before us that could come back to Penn State forever, and it was the same group of men and women that have been there for almost 50 years, and when that changes, obviously there's less of that, so we've worked really hard at hopefully bridging that gap.

So yeah, that's really important to me. I think it's really important to Penn State, that sense of family and community.

Q. Your pass rush, you have 13 sacks on the year and it's kind of spread out through eight or nine guys and you're playing a really tough offensive line in Northwestern. What has made that unit so successful, and how have you been able to schematically get so many guys involved to pressure the quarterback?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think it's more, again, we're just playing a lot of guys. The other thing that factors in sometimes is when the score gets -- when there's a margin, a larger margin of score, people feel like they have to throw more, that creates opportunities, as well.

Then I think we're doing some things scheme-wise, and I think John Scott and Deion Barnes are doing some really good things from a fundamental standpoint. I think we can get better there with tackles for loss and sacks. That's a big part of what Manny wants the identity of this defense to be, and I see it getting closer to how we want it and how he wants it to look, which is turnovers, sacks and tackles for loss.

Every week I see signs of it that are encouraging, and we've got to continue to build on it. It's also cool when it's unusual to be playing some young players like true freshmen, like Zane Durant and Dani that are playing as true freshmen, which is somewhat unusual on the defensive line, specifically at D-tackle.

Those things I think have been really good. It's great to see Adisa coming back and really starting to come on. Amin Vanover is a guy that I'm really proud of. He's been patient, for the most part. Everybody has frustration at times. But to me, I see the light starting to go on for him and what he has to do at this level at Penn State to be successful.

I've had a ton of conversations with Amin and his mom and dad throughout the years, and I called Mom the other night, and she wanted to know why I was calling, and I was praising her son for really what he's doing. I'm proud of him.

It's cool to see that, especially when you've been here a couple years now and you're able to watch these guys come in and grow and evolve as players and as people. I still get a huge reward from that, in watching guys develop, whether it's academically, athletically, socially, spiritually, whatever it may be. Pretty cool.

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