10. He says all of the right things. From the start of his first official Penn State press conference, James Franklin said all of the right things. “We’re going to dominate the State.” “I’m a Pennsylvania boy with a Penn State heart.” “I plan on being here for a long time.” He said all of the things that Penn Staters desperately wanted to hear. Things that we NEEDED to hear. You see, while most of us understand Bill O’Brien’s reasons for leaving, we were still a little hurt. James Franklin eased our pain. He assured us that everything would be ok.
9. He put together a kick-ass (am I allowed to say that?) staff! Let’s face it, James Franklin keeps good company. Bob Shoop. Sean “Chaos” Spencer. Herb Hand. John Donovan. Ricky Rahne. These are well known guys in the world of college football. In his opening press conference, Franklin said that Penn State is going to, “dominate the state,” in recruiting. He has put together the perfect team to do just that. They aren’t going to stop in Pennsylvania. I have every confidence that Franklin and friends are going to dominate the national recruiting scene.
8. James Franklin is not afraid to speak of the past. As much as certain BOT members want to pretend it didn’t happen, Joe Paterno was Penn State’s head football coach for 45 years. Under Coach Paterno, Penn State won two National Championships. He did more for Penn State than anyone could ever thank him for. He will ALWAYS be part of this University and Coach Franklin is cool with that. He respects and admires it, even going so far as to honor JoePa on the two-year anniversary of his death. Thanks for understanding, Coach Franklin, that JoePa will always be important to us.
7. He is incredibly charismatic and energetic. Like I said before, this guy is all over the place. He has been seen shaking hands with customers at the downtown State College Starbucks. Franklin is taking “selfies” with everyone, including the whole of the student section at Pegula. He even offered to blow up balloons at birthday parties. Hey Coach, you don’t have to blow up balloons at my birthday party but I would love to have my picture taken with you!
6. He is social media savvy. Love it or hate it, Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools and James Franklin knows exactly what he is doing in the world of Twitbookstagram. Just some food for thought if you’re not a social media believer… ALL, that’s right ALL of Penn State’s recruits use some form of social media. It will pay off when it comes to recruiting for Penn State’s coaching staff to be with the times. Oh yeah, and it generates a heck of a lot of excitement! #PSUnrivaled #107kstrong #dominatethestate “Hashtag,” get what I mean?
5. He flips recruits like pancakes. Four-star wideout Saeed Blacknall flipped his commitment from Rutgers to Penn State on January 26th. 6’2”, 207 pound and all-around brilliant athlete Koa Farmer flipped his verbal commitment from Cal Berkley to Penn State on January 25th. I don’t want to say too much more for fear of jinxing something, but as it stands, Penn State will be singing 23 incredible athletes from 15 states around the country. Be excited Nittany Nation, great things are coming our way!
4. His sense of loyalty. Coach Franklin has said that he is a “fiercely” loyal individual. He loves college football and Penn State is where he wants to be; his dream job. Some of you may think I’m jumping the gun, but I have a sneaky feeling that James Franklin will be Penn State’s football coach for a long time.
3. The new and exciting feeling the “Franklin Era” has created. From the minute he touched down in State College, everything surrounding the football program felt different. During his first press conference, Franklin made the bold statement that all 107,000 seats in Beaver Stadium will be filled for every game this fall. I for one plan to attend EVERY game in Happy Valley and there is no doubt in my mind that Franklin will generate enough excitement to bring 106,999 more people into the stadium. Recently it was announced that Penn State would host “The Signature Event” to celebrate National Signing Day for new Penn State football recruits. This would have been completely unheard of in the past.
2. Franklin is happy to be a public figure. When you commit to a high-profile coaching job like Penn State, expect to be seen as one of the heads of the University. I am not saying that this is right or wrong, it is what it is and Franklin is embracing it. He is happy to have it as part of his job. He is a Penn State man.
1. He is out in the community. It has been phenomenal over the past couple of weeks to see Coach Franklin actively out in State College. Last Saturday, while running through town, I saw Coach Franklin walking along College Avenue. Needless to say my jaw dropped because I wasn’t expecting to see Penn State’s new high-profile coach out and about. Shortly after I passed him, I turned around to see where he was headed and saw that he walked into Lions Pride. I quickly ran back to discover that he wanted to thank everyone for the welcome banner outside. WOW! If that doesn’t scream, “I am THRILLED to be part of your community,” I don’t know what does. Sadly I didn’t get my picture with Franklin last Saturday but love that there is a good chance at some point I will.