The photo you see above was provided to us by guest Sean Shapiro of recently-married Ian and Beth Rickenbach’s wedding. It’s been getting some play on social media, and, yes, it does depict James Franklin and several recruits photobombing a wedding picture.
Here’s the story behind it:
Ian and Beth got married at the Arboretum this past weekend and held their reception at Beaver Stadium, as many Penn State weddings do. After the couple stepped outside to get their Beaver Stadium wedding photos, they noticed Franklin and the recruits and commits on the field below. They notified the rest of the reception, full of Penn Staters, and it was outside in no time.
“It was already an amazing day,” Beth said. “Seeing James Franklin and the players made it that much better.”
There were at least 50 people in the wedding reception group, said Sean Shapiro, who took the photo. As Penn Staters are wont to do, the reception began a “We Are” chant with the recruits that went back and forth for some time.
“We just saw them taking pictures, they saw coach Franklin and that just set it off,” said offensive line commit Steven Gonzalez in this PennLive article. “They were like ‘we are’…and then we shouted back Penn State and it just kept going. It was pretty funny.”
Everyone, of course, was taking pictures at this point. So the group on the field decided to run over to the south endzone and give them a photo they’d never forget.
“They literally ran all the way to the endzone to come over to us, and they went, ‘one, two, three, photobomb!'” Shapiro said. “Everyone was taking pictures so it was really cool. The recruits gave everyone a feel-good, school spirit kind of feeling.”
The guy in the middle of the photo with the white shirt is indeed Franklin. And that day, Penn State notched a commitment from New Jersey linebacker Manny Bowen, who was one of Franklin’s visitors.
“Afterward, everyone was joking that Ian and Beth should be on the recruiting team,” Shapiro said.
This makes two cool stories to emerge from Penn State weddings this summer.