Penn State Football: James Franklin Maryland Week Press Conference Recap


Penn State head coach James Franklin met the media on Tuesday afternoon for his weekly press conference inside of Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions have a big conference matchup this week as an old rivalry is renewed. The Maryland Terrapins visit Happy Valley this week. However, before focusing on the matchup with the Terrapins, Franklin made several comments about the previous loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

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"“I talked to the team on Sunday after the game that I felt a difference on our – in our team in terms of their focus and in terms of their preparation and in terms of their enthusiasm and energy and I don’t know if that was Ohio State, I don’t know if that was the whiteout, I don’t know what this was, prime time game, whatever it may be but I talked to them about we have to make sure that our approach and preparation and our attention to detail is consistent week in and week out.”"

Franklin also cleared up confusion around senior safety Ryan Keiser, saying that he did not have an infection as reported, but was recovering from a procedure to fix a bowl injury.

Below are some of the highlights of Franklin’s weekly talk with the media. A complete transcript of Franklin’s press conference can be found on

I realize that you’re on to the Maryland game but I had to ask, do you have a reaction to the Big Ten statement after the Ohio State game in which they admitted there were significant issues and an error on a couple of key plays in a game that did not go your way?

JF: We’re going to move on. Even though the conference came out and made a statement, I still don’t think it’s appropriate or wise for me to comment. We’ve moved on. I’ve never addressed it with the team. We just focus on the things that we can control. The conference came out and answered some questions.

I wanted to ask you about Ryan Keiser the player, the person that you’ve come to know this year. What were your impressions of him in that regard?

JF: I love Ryan Keiser. I love everything about him. He is one of the nicest, most kind, most thoughtful kids I’ve been around. It’s the same thing with his family. He’s an unbelievable teammate and is really coachable. He has really strong faith and spirituality and he shares that with the team. He’s a special guy. I’ve already talked to Ryan about what his interests are after he graduates. Chasing his dream to play in the NFL and I think he would like to be is a physical education teacher and possibly a coach, as well. I think so highly of him I’ve talked about trying to get him to work for us in some capacity, whether it’s player development or something else. I think he’s one of those kids that everybody in our program respects. He is the type of guy that you spend time with and he makes you want to be a better person. He makes you want to be a better coach. He’s a special, special young man. He’s in our prayers and his family is in our prayers and we can’t get him back here soon enough. 

Can you update us on Miles Dieffenbach and the possibility of him playing this week?

JF:  I wish I had a clear answer for you. We’re still determining that ourselves, and I think you guys have heard me say this before, it’s not just the physical aspect, it’s the muscle memory of the footwork and the techniques that he hasn’t done in six months. It’s also the confidence as well.

I think a lot of it is really depends on how practices go. He’s been practicing, to some degree, the last couple of weeks. Hopefully he will have a bigger role this week and that will allow us to play him in a game. I think that would be the ideal situation. How much that is, I’m not sure. We’ll see, but I think the biggest thing is we are never, ever going to put winning a game in front of what’s in the best interest of our student-athletes and their health. We want to make sure he’s prepared before we put him back on the field that’s mentally, physically, emotionally. That’s the whole package.

You talked about familiarity with a lot of the Maryland players and even though you haven’t coached them recently how much of a benefit is it having known those players and how much of an advantage is that for you guys on the field?

JF:  I don’t see it being an advantage on the field because I know their personalities but I haven’t coached them or been around them in four years. A lot of things can change. Guys get bigger, stronger, they develop and they’re in schemes that are different.

I don’t think we gain a whole lot of an advantage. There is some familiarity. I would say similar with a lot of other schools in this conference that are close. Other schools that we’ve played, we’ve recruited their guys as well. So I think the longer we’re here, you’re going to have more and more of that in the Big Ten because you’re recruiting against each other so you have a good understanding of their players and where they come from. Four years is a long time and a lot of things change in that time.

How do you feel Maryland will fit into the Big Ten?

JF: I’m not an expert by any means at this point on the Big Ten, and that would probably be a question for them, not really me. I can’t answer how their program is going to fit or would fit. I’m more comfortable talking about Penn State and where we’re at and where we’re going. 

Coach, you talked about Angelo [Mangiro] moving around on the line. Does it look like, at least at this point, that Angelo is going to be able to go back to center and Donovan [Smith] is going to be able to go this weekend?

JF: That’s to be determined. We’re anticipating that. We’re anticipating being able to have Donovan back. We liked having Wendy Laurent at center and creating flexibility with Angelo at guard, so that’s what we’re hopeful for.