Franklin, staff hitting recruiting trail
UNIVERSITY PARK — With just the graduate assistants and non-travel players left to practice Thursday afternoon on campus, James Franklin and his coaching staff are busy traversing the country, hitting the recruiting trail hard.
After Wednesday night’s non-travel player scrimmage, Franklin was immediately off to Texas to maximize the fews days allotted in the bye week for coaches to meet recruits in person. Franklin expected to arrive in Texas sometime shortly after midnight.
“We’ll be all over the place, Franklin said. “Most of the staff except for the coordinators will be out all of those days. I think Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, be out at games on Saturday. They don’t get back here until 12 or 1 Saturday night. I think the coordinators will be back at some point Friday to clean up some of the game plan and get more of a head start.”
Franklin added that the recruiting trip has become more difficult now due to a shift away from just having the entire staff cover a single state to now visiting individual prospects all over the nation.
Prior to the coaches hitting the road, Franklin did cut his staff some slack this week, moving the daily staff meetings from 7 a.m. to 9:30, allowing for coaches to take their kids to school.
“You see this thing called the Sun that comes up in the morning,” Franklin said. “It’s amazing. That’s where we recharge.”
As the coaches zone in on individual recruits, veteran players are off from Thursday to Sunday morning. Despite the break from football, no slack is cut for the athletes when it comes to their academics.
“The hard part is just because we have a bye week from football doesn’t mean we have a bye week from school,” Franklin said. “They all start coming up with excuses that they need to leave on Friday and miss class, but we don’t do that around here. Just because we’re out of football, (players) still have to finish their academics strong.”
Players who live close enough are permitted to go home for the weekend, recharge their batteries, and get a jump on watching Michigan tape so that they return to practice Sunday with questions for coaches.
Make no mistake. Just because Franklin and his staff aren’t seen on campus preparing the Nittany Lions for their toughest test this season against the Wolverines, the coaches are far from taking it easy.
“We are out ripping and running,” Franklin said. “I would even make the argument that sometimes recruiting, you’re trying to maximize that day so much, sometimes it’s more grueling. We’ll get our time off after signing day.”