Brennan Franklin Commits to Penn State
If Bill O’Brien is truly successful on the sidelines on Saturdays at Penn State, names like Hackenberg, Breneman, Sickels, Mahon, and Johnson will be a big part of it. Keeping a strong and close knit 2013 recruiting class together following NCAA sanctions is essential to winning football games, but post-Monday of this week, the focus has been less about wins and losses and more about pride and solidarity.
First, there was a social media outpouring of decisions to stay at Penn State. Then, there was a Wednesday morning players announcement that affirmed commitments before O’Brien hopped on SportsCenter and other ESPN programming for interviews. At around 9:30 p.m. last night, things got weirder, although this time, it did not involve opposing coaches infiltrating campus nor talks of transfers.
Enter Brennan Franklin. If you do not know who he is, that is perfectly fine. I didn’t either until 12 hours ago, but it’s now a name no Penn Stater should forget. Franklin, a linebacker from Peoria, Arizona gave his commitment to Penn State last night. A late addition to the 2012 Recruiting Class, he will be on campus when practice begins August 6th.
Unlike the prospects that people are begging to stay aboard come next February, Franklin doesn’t come with five stars next to his name. Opposing coaches don’t have his number on speed dial ready to tell him why committing to Penn State is a bad decision. While some other schools including Brown, Toledo, and a few PAC 12 schools gave it some thought, no program would budge on an offer until Penn State did.
If he does not use a redshirt, the 6-2 225 lb. prospect will never play in a bowl game during his time in Happy Valley. That doesn’t seem to bother him too much according to an Arizona based site. “I get to play in a stadium with 107,000 people. I get a great degree at the end of the day,” Franklin said.
As the 20th member, Brennan should fit right in with the rest of the Class of 2012 that is built more on bricks and pride than stars and flashiness. Guys who bought into the program and stuck with it even after these sanctions when some other potential recruits would not even listen to what the Nittany Lions were selling.
Maybe Brennan will fade into oblivion and never play a meaningful down for the Nittany Lions. But no matter what, his name should not be lost on any Penn State fan. To commit to Penn State this week is almost unthinkable, and that type of character will not be forgotten by Nittany Nation.
Take that, Mark Emmert.