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James Franklin: Adam Taliaferro A ‘Great Example Of Perseverance’

Earlier this week, fans learned that former Penn State cornerback Adam Taliaferro is returning to Happy Valley this weekend to serve as an honorary captain for the White Out.

If you don’t already know Taliaferro’s incredible story, his football career came to an abrupt end when he suffered a spinal cord injury in a game against Ohio State on September 23, 2000. Despite receiving just a 5% chance to walk again, Taliaferro made a full recovery.

Less than a year later, he famously led the Nittany Lions out onto the field at Beaver Stadium before their game against Miami. His miraculous recovery and journey were featured in a Big Ten Network documentary last November.

After practice Wednesday night, Penn State football head coach James Franklin reflected on Taliaferro’s journey and the person he’s become today.

“Adam is an awesome guy,” Franklin said. “Obviously a highly-recruited kid coming here, was very well thought of while he was here. Then, the injury happened. This community rallies behind all of our players. To see Adam battle through this, and then be able to walk back, and then going to law school, and getting his law degree, and being on the board at Penn State. He’s involved in politics now. He’s just an awesome guy.”

This won’t be the first time Taliaferro interacts with one of Franklin’s teams. He’s returned “a number of times,” which Franklin says is always a treat for his players.

“He’s come and talked to our team before,” Franklin said. “I think he’s a great example of perseverance and positive attitude. I’m a big fan of his, so it’s great to have him back.”

Moving forward, it’s safe to say Franklin wouldn’t mind bringing Taliaferro back on more of a regular basis.

“I’d like to get him back more involved at Penn State,” he said. “I think he’s a voice that needs to be heard, and he’s just been a phenomenal representation of our university for a long time.”

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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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