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James Franklin Rocks Dreads With Jonathan Sutherland

What James Franklin would like with hair has long been a topic of interest among Onward State writers. We’ve pictured him with a flat top, afro, and Justin Timberlake-frosted-tips. But he sported a new ‘do Saturday night following his team’s dramatic 17-12 over Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.

On the team plane, Franklin wore a dreadlock wig alongside safety Jonathan Sutherland, whose hair was the focus of a racist letter from one alumnus earlier this week.

The simple, yet fun and supportive, gesture was the latest showing by the Nittany Lions in support of Sutherland. Plenty of players and fans shared their disapproval of the letter on social media, and some players even wore shirts reading “Chains, Tattoos, Dreads, and We Are” during warmups last night before they were forced to take them off due to NCAA compliance concerns.

The day after the letter spread across social media, Franklin provided a candid statement defending Sutherland and reminding everyone that football is intended to bring people of different backgrounds together.

“Penn State football, Penn State University, and Happy Valley provide the same opportunities to embrace one another 12 Saturdays each fall,” he said. “PSU football brings people together like very few things on this planet. 110,000 fans from all different backgrounds throughout our region from all different parts of the state are hugging, high-fiving, and singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ together. This is my football.”

Say what you want about James Franklin as a play-caller or game manager. This is why he’s known as a player’s coach.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected]. All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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