Big Ten media days got under way on Monday and James Franklin took his turn in front of swarm of media members in Chicago.
Franklin’s opening statement, which The Athletic’s Audrey Snyder clocked at 5:54, was among the longest of all head coaches though if you’ve heard one James Franklin presser, you’ve heard ‘em all.
The fifth-year head coach discussed some of the Nittany Lions strengths heading into the 2018 season, including quarterback Trace McSorley, a deep wide receiver group, an experienced offensive line unit and an emerging groups of talented, young defensive ends.
Franklin also touched on some points of uncertainty for the Penn State coaching staff, mainly discussing question marks at defensive tackle and MIKE linebacker.
One thing to note was the name of true freshman Ricky Slade, who Franklin said will be a part of the running back rotation.
Franklin mentions freshman RB Ricky Slade "factoring in" to the RB picture this year behind Miles Sanders and the other backs.— Audrey Snyder (@audsnyder4) July 23, 2018
The first question Franklin took was about McSorley. The senior enters the season as the only unanimous B1G preseason honoree and a Heisman Trophy conteder.
Franklin said that McSorley’s approach to all facets of the game has remained consistent in his time on campus and that it’s part of what sets him apart. He also said that McSorley will have a lot latitude when determining the way the offense attacks opposing defenses in the coming season.
When asked about Connor McGovern’s NFL prospects, Franklin deflected a bit but did discuss some of the things that set the junior center apart. He also pointed out that McGovern’s father is a superintendent and that the family has placed a lot of emphasis on education.
In closing, Franklin touched on how the program needs to becoming strong in all facets in order to become a top five or 10 program and also pointed out that while he likes the College Football Playoff system, he feels there’s still room for improvement.
McSorley, Nick Scott and Amani Oruwariye will all meet with media Monday afternoon.