James Franklin Traverses Maryland To Celebrate Olu Fashanu & Chop Robinson On NFL Draft Night

On Thursday night, Penn State football sent two Nittany Lions in the league when Olu Fashanu and Chop Robinson’s names were called in the 2024 NFL Draft. The pair became the first Penn State duo to be drafted in the first round since Micah Parsons and Odafe Oweh in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Neither Nittany Lion made the journey to Detroit for the draft and each celebrated in their respective homes in Maryland.

Head coach James Franklin was on the ground in Waldorf, Maryland, to be a part of Fashanu’s draft watch party and No. 11 selection to the New York Jets along with Phil Trautwein, Drew Allar, Tony Rojas, Golden Israel-Achumba, and others.

“The New York Jets just drafted a tremendous man and teammate who will be an unbelievable representative of their organization,” Franklin said of Fashanu Thursday night. “It has been an honor to have Olu and his family apart of our program… We have been extremely fortunate to have a player like Olu represent this university and we all look forward to watching him continue to grow and succeed at the next level.”

An hour an 11 minutes north of Waldorf in Gaithersburg, Maryland, though, Robinson got the call from the Miami Dolphins an hour and 12 minutes after Fashanu’s selection, and Franklin made it to Robinson’s family home just in time.

Franklin’s arrival was celebrated by friends and family while Robinson got the call from Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier.

“We are so proud of Chop for being selected by the Miami Dolphins,” Franklin said of Robinson. “Chop will be an explosive, disruptive pass rusher and run stopper in the NFL. He was determined and committed to taking his game to the next level the moment he stepped on campus… We have really enjoyed watching Chop develop as a player and man since he joined our program. I look forward to watching him at the next level and I know he has a bright future with the Dolphins.” 

It’s the 10th time in program history Penn State tallied multiple first-round picks, and Fashanu was the highest-selected player since Saquon Barkley was drafted to the New York Giants with the No. 2 pick in 2018. Fashanu and Robinson’s selections mark Franklin’s 22nd and 23rd first-round products and round out 48 total Nittany Lions selected to join the NFL under the 10-year head coach.

The 2024 NFL Draft will pick back up for the second round at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 26, and folks can tune in on ESPN, ABC, and the NFL Network.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a junior journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is Onward State's managing editor. She also talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese and Kevin Jonas. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @keeleylammm or send your best joke to her email [email protected].

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