On Tuesday night Josh Pate of CBS Sports held his weekly show Late Kick Live. In this episode around the 26-minute mark, Pate is joined by Penn State Football head coach James Franklin.
You can listen to the full interview here.
If you have never listened to Pate before and you are a fan of college football, this is a show I strongly recommend. He covers college football on the national level, and this week he was visiting State College. This is a member of the media that is becoming the face of college football, in my opinion.
The two go on to have a very engaging conversation about the current state of the Penn State football program, life as a head coach, the transfer portal, NIL, and more.
There are a few quotes from Coach Franklin I wanted to focus on today.
Pate asked Franklin: “How do you know when to have patience vs when to be aggressive and go after altering something about the program”?
Franklin responded: “… one of the things I have been talking about since coming to Penn State is alignment. I think for the first time since I’ve been here we have true alignment from the chair of the board to the university president, and the athletic director, and that’s exciting for me. Because the reality is, all those little yeses that you get in the offseason add up, just like all those little noes add up as well. Right now, we are getting more yesses than I can remember.”
If you want your favorite college football team to compete at the highest level, you need buy-in from all facets of the school. It’s challenging to make a suggestion or to have a new plan of attack to bring in the best recruits, but there is always someone saying no. From how Franklin described it in the interview, they are getting a lot more yesses, which should lead to great changes in State College.
I do think a lot of that has to do with athletic director Patrick Kraft. His energy and enthusiasm about Penn State athletics and Penn State football allow Coach Franklin to have an AD that will back his ideas.
Later in the interview, the concept of worrying about your players at night and the decisions that they make is brought up.
Pate asked Franklin: “Is there ever just random nervousness when you wake up in the morning? Even though you have confidence in guys, they’re still human.”
Franklin’s response: “…being at a place like Penn State helps, Penn State attracts a certain type of kid from a certain type of family, and I think that helps. On top of that, I tell coaches all the time, let’s not get intoxicated by talent and talent alone. We should be recruiting the whole package here…”
This is one of the big reasons I feel Coach Franklin is the best person for the job. At the end of the day, he’s a family man, he knows how to hold people accountable, and he expects a certain level of discipline when players step on campus.
It’s due to this logic that Penn State doesn’t have to worry about these players as much as players at different schools. It’s not only the talent they are bringing to the team, it’s how they will represent Penn State once they are here that is a key factor in recruiting.
The overall message I got from this interview is Penn State football is in a great place with the current roster and staff, administration, and on the recruiting front. Coach Franklin and the Nittany Lions want to use that momentum from winning the Rose Bowl and attack this season on and off the field.
My only question for you…is it football season yet?