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Penn State Football Experiencing Success On Recruiting Trail Despite Coronavirus Pandemic

Like the rest of the country, Penn State football has certainly been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The annual Blue-White game was canceled along with all of spring ball. One area that’s remained strong for James Franklin and his staff, however, is recruiting.

Franklin and Co. have gotten nine commitments to their recruiting class of 2021 over the past six weeks, all of which have come during the virtual recruiting period. On a Zoom call with the media Wednesday afternoon, Franklin explained that there has been a huge spike in overall commitments around the country.

“I read an article this morning about [recruiting],” the head coach said. “There was an article that came out this morning about the number of commitments nationally compared to over the past four years. It’s way up. Obviously, this COVID-19 pandemic that we’re going through is having an impact.”

Specifically to Penn State, Franklin explained how he and his staff are trying their best to give recruits a similar experience to what they would have had in-person over Zoom.

“We have the ability with these Zoom calls to really try to give the student-athlete and their family a similar type of experience,” Franklin said. “What I mean by that is if they have academic questions, we’ll do a Zoom call with our academic staff. If they have a lot of questions about strength and conditioning, we’ll do a Zoom call with our strength staff.”

Franklin went on to mention that the staff has even managed campus and facility tours with recruits via Zoom. These calls allow the recruits to get detailed information from each department, which Franklin has found extremely helpful.

The Nittany Lion head coach explained that he’s doing everything he can to stay active with recruits during this period.

“Recruiting calls every night,” he said. “Usually I do recruiting calls every night, about four Zoom calls.”

The technology available in this day and age is a major reason as to why the Nittany Lions have found success recruiting, which the head coach certainly acknowledges.

“We are in a situation now where there is more available information, resources, and things through the internet, through computers, through Zoom meetings, and tours that you’re able to get done and able to get a lot of information,” Franklin explained.

Franklin later mentioned that thanks to the information made available online, recruits should be doing their own homework before they visit with schools. This is something that he encourages and something he expects recruits to do.

“I always tell young men that are going through this process that they should really have done most of the homework before they visit these campuses,” Franklin said. “It’s amazing how many kids will show up to our campus and they haven’t done their homework ahead of time. When you ask the school what its graduation rate is, you should know the answer already.”

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a junior majoring in journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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