Football Penn State Media Day

Dylan Callaghan-Croley

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James Franklin starts off with a small opening statement. Quickly discussed rule changes, no two-a-days, and similar aspects of practices. He's pleased with how the offense, defense, and special teams are developing especially with Manny Diaz and Stacey Collins.
 
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Dylan Callaghan-Croley

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"The depth is not even close compared to last year" - Franklin in talking about the wide receiver room heading into this season.
 

Dylan Callaghan-Croley

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On Question marks entering the season;

"Punting is probably the biggest on special teams." Notes Barney Amor is leading in that competition.

Notes middle linebacker on the defensive side of the ball. Eldson and King battling it out for that middle linebacker spot. Notes true freshman Keon Wylie is coming along quite well.


On offense, "it's been the offensive line for a couple of years, I'm not going to pound the table and say this is the year. I'm going to take a more measured approach there and let them prove that to you."

Also notes the need this upcoming season for big plays in the running game.
 

Dylan Callaghan-Croley

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Franklin was asked why the offensive line continues to struggle year after year. Notes that it's just not one issue that leads to those struggles, it's schemes, fundamentals, coaching, recruiting, etc. But notes that the program has made coaches in philosophy, training, etc that they believe could result in some steps in the right direction.

Apologies for the lack of quotes here in the first few, had a minor mishap with the laptop.
 

Dylan Callaghan-Croley

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On changes to the defense between Brent Pry and Manny Diaz. "It's (the changes) more subtle, finding someone with a similar background, similar philosophy is helpful. You just don't want to start over again." Notes that most of the roster and staff returns this year.

"Manny has emphasized creating turnovers this offseason with the defense. Overall, "there are some subtle changes that still fit who we are."
 

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Asked about the FBS/FCS transfers...

On Mitchell Tinsley:

"Mitch has already so much production in college and he's super mature. He also understands some of the things the younger guys don't understand.... I think he's got a chance to have a really positive year."

Hunter Nourzad:

"That transition has gone well but I will say his testing numbers, he's tested extremely well. He's fast, explosive, strong, and intelligent." Notes, however that he's going to be blocking much different caliber of players compared to the Ivy Leagues. "He'll have a significant role."

Chop Robinson:

"We needed to make sure we got somebody to come in and take the next step. We've been pleased with him, the way we practice, and the type of physicality that we have at practice every single day." Notes that there is the development of going from outside linebacker to a defensive end and having his hand in the dirt every play.
 

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On USC and UCLA in the Big Ten;

"Pat gave me a call either a day or two before it was announced publically. So, that was good to have that conversation and be prepared for it. I think obviously when you're able to add two teams from California to your conference, that should allow getting into some conversations that maybe you weren't able to get into before from that region."

On recruiting impacts;

"I think you look at this recruiting class, we're recruiting more nationally. We've talked about things specific to Pennsylvania and the Northeast, and you'll have to take that approach (going nationally)."
 

Dylan Callaghan-Croley

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Franklin speaks very highly of the DB room. Notes there are a lot of players who've played a lot of football for them and notes everyone is being pushed by those from behind them. "Really good competition, gaining confidence."
 

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"There's still plenty of opportunities out there. I think you have to be careful about going back to the same donors over and over again. What this has done has really opened some opportunities and avenues for those who weren't giving to Penn State, who now are." - Franklin on NIL and maintaining relationships with donors.
 

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" I think whether it was last year or guys staying grounded and staying focused. I think that's where depth is really important ... Working extremely hard, under the current college football model it's hard to maintain your roster. We're looking at the transfer portal right now currently how schools 15-20 years ago looked at JUCO recruits.

Also notes, "You better have a stater, a backup that could win games for you."

"Part of developing that depth is playing guys. Not being led by ego." he would give the example of being up 35-0 and subbing out players to get backups in rather than trying to preserve a shutout."

"Maybe if we did that earlier in the year, we would've been prepared for when they were needed" Notes it's about snaps but also evaluating a player and if they can perform at the level needed.

I think you all can guess what he's referring to.
 

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Franklin spoke highly of OL Sal Wormley and DE Adisa Issac who both missed last season with an injury. Both players are performing well early in camp.
 
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"Barney has done a great job of what coach franklin spoke, We're early in camp but he's put days together now." - Collins on Barney Amor so far this camp at punter.
 

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When it comes to punt and kick returns, "We worked a lot of guys in the spring and we continued that to the fall. Mitch Tinsley has done a great job, Marquis Wilson is another guy." Notes there are 4 or 5 other guys who have done well in the first four practices.

Kick return, he notes Devyn Ford, Dequan Hardy, and Nick Singleton as guys that are working there among others.

They'll narrow it down over the next few weeks.
 

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"That competition has been a tight one." Collins on the placekicking competition. They'll make decisions on how to divvy up those duties later in camp.
 

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"Special teams certainly start from the top down, Coach Franklin has done an unbelievable job with that. It's a cumulative team process."

"You have to peel it back and look at the resources, from coaching staff to practice time." Notes how Franklin's model and culture for special teams has been great to work in.
 

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Collins notes he and his family love living in the State College area and Pennsylvania/East Coast in general over their first half a year in town.
 

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Diaz on the secondary..

"I am pleased with the secondary ... our top five corners are really performing well. We're only four days in but we're off to a good start."
 

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"We're gonna let those guys battle it out." Also notes, "guys are going to catch a ball, it's your response to that and your maturity level when things don't go well, how you respond to adversity, pull plays behind you."
 

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"The transfer portal for every position is always in play. With everybody that came through the portal, we didn't believe that anyone would've improved our football team."

Notes that the linebackers know they've been labeled as linebacker but says he believes that players sometimes play their best football with chips on their folder.
 

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Diaz on Mustipher..

"You feel PJ presences for who he is as a person, everyone on the football team has great respect for PJ. When the ball snaps, you see where he's had so much success, strong at the point of attack, understands blocks, and how to hold point. We're being smart with him and bringing him back."

On Hakeem Beamon...

Notes that Beamon is also returning well, "very difficult to block, great instincts, very slippery."

on Adisa Isaac...

"We felt like wen needed a little more dynamic nature off the edge, now seeing Adisa, you can see he's got his confidence back, he's got that juice off the edge." ... "We're a different animal than where we were in the spring"
 

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"We're off to a good start in training camp of hunting the ball." - Diaz on the defense. Notes that ball security is always a major issue in the first game or two of a season, the defense emphasizing turnovers in camp is helping both sides for week one, especially with the offense and their own ball security.
 

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Yurich on the quarterbacks and Drew Allar and Beau Pribula in general...

"Overall, it's been tremendous both getting to know all these guys. It's a tremendous room, they are a bunch of guys that are film rats, always in the facility, learning football on their own. In meetings, they're attentive, asking a ton of questions. Those guys have been great in those regards."

"Those guys have been really coached well, it makes my job easier at this level."

"They've grown leaps and bounds from spring to now. Really important that they got in early. A lot of growing pains early on, if there's an error now, you can understand why now."
 

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"He's got an uncanny ability to get open. We're going to lean heavily on him this year." - Yurcich on Parker Washington's development and entering the season as the No.1 wide receiver.
 

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Yurich on Nick Singleton...

"He's done a great job, he's a very gifted runner. We're sharing a lot of reps right now. I think we have a really good backfield but Nick is a special talent."
 

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"With his experience, I think he understands the scrutiny, the pressure the position holds, and just making sure I do a good job with him, taking a deep breath, moving on to the next play. Playing in the now and being present-minded, I think is a really important skill to master." - Yurich on Clifford and not always looking to make the big play.
 

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"He's a very unique tight end in what you can do with matchups. He's progressed extremely well as has the entire tight end room." - Yurcich on the tight ends.
 

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That's all from Franklin and the coordinators. We'll have more updates later after talking to players and assistant coaches on the field.