Michigan Penn State football James Franklin

Final press conference for the regular season. more than “obvious”.

James Franklin met with the media on Tuesday – I’m a day late in delivering on all the highlights. Click here to read the full text or read below for the important notes.

opening statement

Franklin highlighted his team’s supplemental football, the three non-offensive touchdowns (the first since Joe Paterno’s 300 hit in 1998 against Bowling Green), and the stellar play of several individuals. There were also some notes about Michigan State and some of its players to watch.

Injury update

Franklin confirmed what he thought was true late last week: Parker Washington’s season is over. There were not many details and Franklin did not respond to a follow up on whether Washington would return for another year of eligibility. Meanwhile, Olu Fashanu and Joey Porter Jr. are hoping to get back and play this year, according to James.

in Clifford

There was some back-and-forth banter between James and the reporters about their favorite Thanksgiving foods. Feel free to check out the full version for those details. But back to football, Franklin spent some time talking about the tenacity of Shaun Clifford as he prepared for his final home game.

Spreads positivity

Franklin was asked about a tweet from Alan Zemaitis about the palpable energy in the Lasch Building in the final days of the regular season. James noted that there was still tough training ahead, but the leadership group and coaches did a good job of keeping the players motivated and feeling positive throughout the entire year.

snapper love

Franklin was asked about Chris Stoll – and he said all the things you’d expect from a player who went on tour and has since been on a scholarship. Franklin said Stoll was “Mr. Consistent” and that he had a bright future ahead of him.

No training for Sean

Franklin was asked whether or not he could envision Shaun Clifford on the sidelines at Penn State as an assistant coach. James replied that Sean was more of a businessman than a coach, while noting that fewer and fewer players were willing to dedicate themselves to coaching due to working hours.

Wide receiver development

When asked about the development of wide receivers (such as, but not limited to, Omari Evans and Harrison Wallace), Franklin said he’s excited to see how these players develop and perform in the final games of the season and moving into the next season.

special category

Franklin was asked to remember this great class that had gone by so much in the past four, five, or six years. Franklin spent a lot of time talking about the relationships he developed with not only the players, but their families. He said how good it was to have a home game fall on Thanksgiving weekend which would then coincide with Senior Day. Allows for some extra time and partying for the group.

Sutherland’s big man

Stoll had a similar response with Jonathan Sutherland – Franklin took time to focus on his commitment to take care of his body and to stay in the facility the entire time. Franklin added that he believed Sutherland would be well prepared for the rest of his life and that Penn State and its football program helped in that.

Dealing with feelings

Franklin was asked how Senior Day’s emotions affected his team’s 1-0 mentality. Not much here, but he noted that it would be a special time and that they would know it would be the last time the team was together at Beaver Stadium before moving into the centerpiece of the game.

Quarterback and coach connection

Franklin talked about the relationship between the head coach and the quarterback—two positions with a lot of pressure in a major college football program. Then consider some of his relationship with both Trace McSorley and Clifford.

Happy Valley

Franklin was asked about his general mood this year and how he feels about the programme. James has hinted at his admiration for the university’s “alignment” and its relationship with the football program. He again noted the excitement and energy that Pat Craft brought to the athletic department.

Diaz Talk

Nothing dramatic here, but Franklin did praise Manny Diaz and his contributions to the show. This seems like a repeat of questions from previous weeks, but I think it’s noteworthy since Diaz was named a finalist for the Broyles Award – given to college football’s top assistant.

Focus on a faster start

Referencing something mentioned earlier in the press conference, Franklin was asked how his team could get off to a faster start–something he didn’t do in the win against Rutgers. Franklin spent some time talking about the value and importance of the attack’s opening impulse.

Obviously count – 9 (obvious number – 4)

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