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James Franklin Joins Big Ten Network To Discuss Reinstatement Of Football Season

James Franklin took to the Big Ten Network Wednesday to discuss the conference’s reinstatement of the fall football season.

The head coach reiterated his comfortability with the newly restored plan, and stated that Penn State will continue to go above and beyond to keep the players and staff as safe as possible in preparation for the October 24 start date.

Franklin began the interview by backing his support for his players and their families throughout the ongoing scheduling process. Throughout the postponement saga, Franklin felt as though the decision should be placed in the hands of the players and their families, not the governing body of the conference.

“As leaders, we want to be able to provide answers,” Franklin said. “At the end of the day, I think the Big Ten deserves credit for making the decision they felt like was the right decision at the time.”

With a new, clearcut plan, Franklin and his players can now practice in a more traditional manner. The team will have adequate time to implement drills focused on contact, rather than scheme-based assignments.

“Our guys have handled it extremely well,” said Franklin. “Our practices have been good, but now I think we can take it to a whole other level.”

On top of his initial reactions, Franklin was also asked about Kirk Ciarrocca’s immediate impact within the program. Ciarrocca, a Lewisberry, Pennsylvania native, has helped install a blend of Minnesota’s quick-strike offense scheme into Penn State’s already established offensive culture.

“We have a lot of similar philosophies,” Franklin told BTN’s Dave Revise. “I know he’s excited about being at Penn State, he’s from Pennsylvania originally. I think our players are excited. Every single day I feel better about the decision of bringing Kirk Ciarocca into our program.”

Later in the interview, Franklin was joined by junior tight end Pat Freiermuth, who cleared up rumors of potentially opting out of the 2020 season in preparation for the NFL Draft.

“There were some reports out there about me opting out, but I never opted out,” Freiermuth said. “I’m just excited to play football again for Penn State and I can’t wait for the season.”

Penn State’s official schedule has not yet been released by the conference, but Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said Wednesday morning the Big Ten will likely release its nine-game schedule later this week.

“I don’t even know what the schedule looks like right now, but I am fired up and jacked up, and so are our guys,” said Franklin.

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a junior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania double majoring in journalism and business. He is a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. In his free time, Connor can be found playing golf or pick-up basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ckrause_31.

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