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James Franklin Selected To Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List

James Franklin was named as one of the top 17 coaches in college football entering the 2021 season Tuesday afternoon.

The Penn State football head coach was named to the Dodd Trophy preseason watch list. The award, which has been given to a coach at the end of the college football season since 1976, is described as “the most coveted national coaching award.”

Franklin was named among those at the top of the college football world, including Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Alabama’s Nick Saban, and Ohio State’s Ryan Day. The Langhorne, Pennsylvania native has never won the award, but he’s been named to preseason watch list ahead of the past four seasons.

Despite last year’s dismal 4-5 mark, Franklin’s found plenty of success in Happy Valley thus far. He holds a 60-28 overall record over seven seasons as Penn State’s head coach and has two New Year’s Six Bowl victories to his credit, along with a 2016 Big Ten Championship.

The Nittany Lions have some history with the Dodd Trophy, as the legendary Joe Paterno took home the award after the 1981 and 2005 seasons.

Franklin and his squad have a clear opportunity to bounce back from a strange 2020 campaign this fall. Sean Clifford returns at quarterback as a third-year starter, while weapons such as Jahan Dotson and Noah Cain will try to bring the Nittany Lions’ offense some explosiveness. On defense, the Nittany Lions return talents Tariq Castro-Fields, Jaquan Brisker, and PJ Mustipher, among others.

Penn State will open the season against Wisconsin at noon on Saturday, September 4 at the famed Camp Randall Stadium.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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