New Penn State football coach Franklin makes strong first impression
College Football Videos
Other than what any other fan or interested observer had seen and read, Mike Hull didn't have too much in the form of preconceived insights on the man who became his new coach.
“I just knew he was doing a really good job down at Vanderbilt,” the Penn State linebacker said of James Franklin.
That's all that mattered to Hull and many of his teammates. Still, it didn't hurt Franklin's cause that he gave a rousing in-person introduction during his first team meeting Sunday night.
“My first impression of him was he seems like he really knows what he's doing and seems like he's a great leader,” Hull said Tuesday. “He gave everyone a role, and it seems like everything is going to be running smoothly this spring.”
Franklin immediately established himself as a high-energy, player-friendly coach, four players who were made available to the media said Tuesday. Hull said Franklin had yet to meet individually with any Nittany Lions players outside of quarterback Christian Hackenberg — “He's kind of busy with a lot of obligations right now,” but that hasn't meant he didn't already endear himself to his new players.
“We're on board with him already,” cornerback Jordan Lucas said. “It doesn't take long.
“We see his vision and are going to work very hard to make that happen.”
Franklin drove home some key themes during his first full-squad address, which came a day after he was introduced to the public at a Beaver Stadium news conference.
Franklin talked about how honored he was to be Penn State's 16th head coach. He mentioned how he considers himself to be a players' coach. He stressed toughness and came across as energetic and confident.
“The message that he gave us was that we were going to out-work everybody,” Lucas said.
Some of Penn State's players had preexisting relationships with Franklin, most from when he was an assistant at Maryland and often locked in recruiting battles with Penn State. Redshirt freshman receiver Geno Lewis, who is from Wilkes-Barre, was recruited by Franklin as a high school underclassman.
“I was actually getting excited when (Franklin's) name came up about getting the job,” Lewis said. “He's a really good guy. He's somebody you can talk to, and he makes you feel comfortable when you're around him. He's definitely somebody you'd like to play for, and I'm glad he got the opportunity.”
In the immediate 72 hours after being named as coach, Franklin was ubiquitous around campus — doing publicity photos and interviews, showing up at wrestling matches and basketball and hockey games.
Players picked up on that and noted that being the public face of the program is something at which Franklin excels.
“You can tell he really is big into the community and supporting the other athletic programs,” Hull said, “and I think he really enjoys that part of his job. That's a little different than (former coach Bill O'Brien) was, and I think that's what Penn State needs right now.”
Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Pirates must land Lester
- PixController of Murrysville honored by Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania for camera trained on Pittsburgh eagle nest
- Steelers hold high hopes for pass defense
- Fallowfield Township increases road crew
- Beloved teacher at 3 Western Pa. schools hears from students across nation
- After years of lobbying, Big Ben has Steelers running the no-huddle
- Antiques appraiser shares expertise with Mon Valley crowd
- Fire causes Blairsville bar to collapse, flames spread to neighboring building
- Joe Greene only 2nd player in Steelers history to get number retired
- Pirates notebook: Trade rumors for Red Sox pitcher Lester still swirling
- Steelers notebook: Brown calls Sanders’ comments about Roethlisberger ‘terrible’