There are some players that are loud and proud of the schools they played for.
When describing former Penn State All-American LaVar Arrington that’s actually the understatement of the year.
Arrington was one of the greats in college football when he played for three seasons for the Nittany Lions from 1997 to 1999. He was the second overall pick by the Washington Redskins in 2000.
All these years later what happens in Happy Valley still matters to Arrington… a lot.
He, like every Penn State alum, have had to deal with adversity over the past couple of years. Things seem to be settling down as James Franklin settles in as the coach for the Nittany Lions. It was roughly one year ago when he took over for the departed Billy O’Brien.
So far Arrington likes what Franklin is doing at his alma mater.“Well, he’s a super recruiter and we have to see if it translates into some real good seasons,” Arrington said. “I am real high on him and supportive. I am hoping for the best out of him. He seems to be a solid fellow. I am in support. Penn State needs it. I am excited to see what he can do after getting away from these sanctions and having an opportunity to develop the guys he has been recruiting."
Yes, Franklin has support from one of the greatest Nittany Lions ever in Arrington. Still, Arrington would love the chance to be more active with the program and school. In fact, he relishes the opportunity.“He [Franklin] needs to call me more,” Arrington said. “He needs to keep me in the loop a little bit more. I need to have more education on what’s going on at the school. I would like to have some more involvement just seeing what’s going on and getting some invites. I don’t recall getting an invite outside the signature invite [Signing Day 2014]. I would have liked to have given a pre-game speech or gone up and seen the guys.
”I haven’t heard anything. But it’s his first year. I am kind of joking around but I am kind of not. I love Penn State… I will always love Penn State. Any kind of involvement I can have and see the guys up there, be on campus, and have an opportunity to come back I would love that. I look forward to seeing what he’s able to do. I sure hope he can do it."
It’s not difficult to tell how much Arrington takes pride in Penn State. With that being said he understands it’s always a process. It takes time to recruit and develop players. It takes time to get your roster right. While you are in transition, it’s just that, a transition. Of all people Arrington understands what patience means to a team and program.
”I never want to take a first season and be overly critical,” Arrington said. “He still had a lot of the same challenges to overcome that [Billy] O’Brien did. Some people were disappointed with inconsistent play with some of the players on the team. Transitions are hard. That’s why you always have to be mindful of changing coaching staffs. As a Penn State community we had the luxury of not having to deal with that. Now all of a sudden we had to. I understand that. As a former Washington player I understand coaching changes better than any other player outside of the players that were with me. It’s always a difficult transition that first year. I reserve any type of feelings or judgements to a later date. He needs more time.”
Arrington is currently coaching in the Under Armour All-American Game. This is his third time doing it and he’s absolutely loving every minute of it.
”I get to do what I want to do, which is coach,” Arrington said. “But I won’t coach because of how turbulent coaching is, the environment of it. I get an opportunity to live out my coaching dream coming out here knowing I won’t get fired at the end of it."Related stories: NFL Rosters Breakdown Series
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