PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



James Franklin Elaborates On Recruiting Plan With Signing Day Drawing Near

With National Signing Day a week and a half away, James Franklin elaborated on his recruiting plan as he and his fellow recruiters enter the home stretch. The Nittany Lions still have a few high-ranking targets they’re pursuing in linebacker Ellis Brooks and cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields but the class Franklin’s compiled will likely retain most commits save for a few defectors once all is said done on Feb. 1.

In his end-of-year press conference, Franklin touched on how he’ll approach the next week and a half — especially given the fact his program doesn’t have many scholarships to offer as it is. While it seems Penn State will remain rather conservative in its recruiting efforts before Signing Day, Franklin’s larger concern is about other programs swooping in at the final hour to sway Nittany Lion commitments to their respective programs.

He neglected to name any programs by name, but his pointed comment suggests he’ll be spending plenty of time fighting off other programs in an effort to keep his class intact — especially after losing talented four-star linebacker Dylan Rivers earlier on Sunday. “I think you look around the country right now at some programs that are basically offering prospects that are committed to every school in the country and they’re trying to pluck them away,” Franklin said. “That’s how some people approach this time of year. We’ve got a couple guys that are still entertaining conversations with other schools, and we’ve got to keep those guys on board with us.”

One of those players Franklin may have alluded to is wide receiver Mac Hippenhammer who’s a top priority for Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. The Fort Wayne native has remained in contact with the Fighting Irish for quite some time and received a scholarship on Jan. 15. He’ll be visiting South Bend mere days before National Signing Day — putting the electrifying three-star atop Franklin’s list of players he needs to convince to remain with Penn State.

Though this retention period is cruicial to the program, Franklin admittedly isn’t a fan of players bouncing between commitments. “I prefer you get in a situation where guys commit and it’s over, but that’s not always the case,” Franklin said. Guys are going to still entertain conversations or entertain visits. We’d prefer it not to be that way.”

Overall, Franklin believes his class — which currently ranks No. 14 ahead of Miami, Stanford, and Washington  — is stout in its current standing, and that he’s confident in the group his staff compiled. “If signing day is today, we’ve got a pretty good class,” Franklin said. “If we can get a few more pieces of the puzzle, we feel good about it.”

Franklin made an interesting comparison between recruiting and the NFL draft in terms of evaluation. Coaches can be sure of players, but they’re always going to have to get lucky on a few. Franklin mentioned New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his decision to draft Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft — specifically how the Patriots had no idea the type of player they were getting in Brady.

“You’d love to get a guy late in the process that commits to you that was a zero-star or one-star or two-star and goes on and is a college football Hall of Famer and a pro football player,” Franklin said. “That would be great.”

We’ll keep you updated on Penn State’s recruiting push as National Signing Day approaches. Hopefully, a few of Franklin’s current commits exceed expectations — even if his comparison may seem a bit lofty.

About the Author

David Abruzzese

David is a senior from Rochester, NY, nestled right in beautiful Western New York. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and as an avid sports fan, he passionately supports the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He is the first Penn Stater from his family, and couldn’t be prouder to represent Penn State University. In his free time, he likes to alpine ski, and play golf. You can follow him on Twitter @abruz11, and can contact him via email at [email protected]


More by David

So Long, And Goodnight: David Abruzzese’s Senior Column

It’s been a hell of a ride, folks. Senior staffer David Abruzzese rides off into the sunset with his senior column.

Saquon Barkley Mum On NFL Future; Relishes Fiesta Bowl Opportunity

DOTD: Nittany Lion Catches Pass At Fiesta Bowl


Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions won’t play a single home match in September, electing to test themselves against teams like Stanford and Oregon early in the season.

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Penn State Hockey Commit Evan Bell Wins Clark Cup With USHL’s Fargo Force

Center Ludvig Larsson Transfers To Penn State Hockey From Merrimack

Student Life

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Predicting Penn State’s 2018 Kickoff Times

As the Nittany Lions have ascended back into college football’s elite, they’ve taken the field at night more often in the past few years and avoided the dreaded early kickoff.

As Disciplinary Hearing Opens, Expert Says Baldwin Failed To Properly Represent Ex-Penn State Administrators

A Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board hearing began on Tuesday in Pittsburgh for former Penn State general counsel Cynthia Baldwin, who is accused of violating rules of professional conduct in her representation of former university administrators during the Jerry Sandusky investigation.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend