James Franklin Talks Man Caves, Star Trek, DJs, and Michigan
James Franklin was on top of his media schmoozing game on Tuesday afternoon as he held his weekly press conference, covering a number of unusual topics in between analysis of the Nittany Lions’ upcoming matchup with Michigan.
The presser started off on an odd note when Franklin sat down and heard the hold music over the speaker for reporters calling in. He did a little dance in his seat and let everyone know that his boss, Sandy Barbour, was in the room before launching into updates on the bye week and Michigan.
Before we get into the more important stuff, here’s a list of weird things that Franklin talked about:
- Helicopters: When asked about taking a helicopter on a weekend recruiting trips, Franklin said that it’s a matter of efficiency, noting that he made it to four different high school football games on Thursday.
- Star Trek: What’s the only thing better than a helicopter for recruiting? According to Franklin, it’s a “Star Trek transporter.”
- DJs: Franklin briefly spoke about having a DJ in the end zone when players come out of the tunnel on gameday. “It’s about providing the best experience for the 107,000 in that stadium every week.”
- Man caves: “My man cave was finished this weekend, so on Saturday I just sat down down in the basement and watched a bunch of games. I just posted up, which was awesome. I know that that might not be newsworthy, but I thought I’d share it with you anyway.”
In other news, Franklin said that the bye week went well for Penn State as the squad looks to rebound from its first loss of the season.
“We had a really productive bye week,” he said. “It seems like forever since we’ve been out there and played and I know we’re excited to get going again.”
Franklin was unsurprisingly asked again about the struggles in the run game. With the exception of a cupcake game against UMass, the Nittany Lions’ running back trio of Zach Zwinak, Bill Belton, and Akeel Lynch has had problems finding room to run behind an offensive line that hasn’t yet gelled.
“I wish it was just a magic wand you could wave over people’s heads, but football doesn’t work that way and neither does life,” Franklin said. “We can’t abandon the run game. There may be what people call an ugly three-yard run but those are beautiful. We’ll take those all day.”
The head coach also took time to go through the Michigan depth chart and point out players that the team is focusing on ahead of Saturday’s night game in the Big House. As you’d expect, Devin Gardner was a guy that Franklin emphasized in the presser.
“He’s a big, strong, physical guy,” Franklin said. “He’s very athletic in terms of making plays with his feet. I was very impressed with his presence at the Big Ten media days.”
It is interesting to note that Franklin discussed recruits making visits to other schools after committing to a team on the same day that four-star quarterback Brandon Wimbush decommitted from Penn State. The standout recruit committed to Penn State in May, but visited Notre Dame this past weekend before flipping.
“When guys try to commit, I tell them no at first,” he said. “I tell them, ‘Make sure you know what you’re saying.'”
He added that he doesn’t want guys to commit if they plan on visiting other teams afterwards.
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With barely six weeks until the first ball is kicked for the 2020 campaign, let’s see how the Nittany Lions might line up.
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