Thanks to a unique partnership between Penn State and Georgia State, the Nittany Lions will have a chance to evaluate Georgia prospects up-close and expand its ever-growing recruiting base under James Franklin.
Franklin and the Nittany Lions’ coaching staff will travel to Atlanta on June 10 to participate in the Trent Miles Football Camp as guest coaches. Penn State will have a chance to scout local talent, while Georgia State, a program with just three years of experience at the premier level of college football, will have the opportunity to take a look at more high-level recruits than usual.
You might be asking yourself, why is Penn State, a 127-year old nationally-recognized program with two national championships, spending time with a Sun Belt team that finished last season 0-12? According to NCAA rules, teams can’t host a camp outside of its own state or within a 50-mile radius if campus is located on the border of a state. In other words, Penn State can’t just drive the Coaches Caravan down to Atlanta and set up shop. However, there’s nothing in the rulebook that prevents teams from partnering with other programs.
“The way the rules are set up, you’re not allowed to have any camp outside of your state, unless you’re on the border and within a 50-mile radius. And a lot of people recruit in Atlanta,” Georgia State head coach Trent Miles told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “But you can legally work somebody else’s camp.”
“So it’s beneficial to both parties where Penn State can come down here, work our camp and get to see the kids that they’re recruiting,” Miles added. “And it benefits us by the amount of kids that are coming.”
While it might seem that Penn State is simply taking advantage of Georgia State for selfish reasons or poaching on the Panthers’ turf, Miles said he welcomes the Nittany Lions with open arms and is not concerned about Franklin or his staff overstepping any boundaries.
“I don’t worry about being overshadowed by anybody,” Miles said. “That’s just not a concern. [Franklin’s] ego is not that way and my ego is not that way. We’re not going to recruit the same person, you know? There’s no way. The Sun Belt doesn’t recruit against Penn State.”
“Let’s face it: I’m not competing for kids against Penn State or Georgia and Alabama. I’m just not. Nor will we ever,” said Miles.
After coaching at Vanderbilt for three seasons, Franklin brings recruiting experience below the Mason-Dixon Line that Penn State’s previous regimes sorely lacked. Penn State has signed only one Georgia player in each of the last three recruiting seasons, while Franklin had 13 in the same span.
It will be interesting to see if any high-level Georgia recruits decide to commit to Penn State following the camp. Heading into the summer, Penn State’s 2015 recruiting class is ranked second in the country behind SEC-powerhouse Alabama.