PSU's Franklin One Happy Camper

The Nittany Lion coach and his staff will be taking their show on the road this summer, with camp stops in Georgia and Florida.

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. -- Visiting Penn State is not exactly easy for prospects from football-rich states like Georgia and Florida. So the Nittany Lion football program will be visiting them, in a way, this summer.

First-year coach James Franklin and members of his staff will be working camps at Georgia State (in Atlanta) and Stetson (near Orlando).

Asked about that unique approach during the PSU Coaches Caravan stop here Tuesday evening, Franklin joked, “It hasn't been announced. You guys will probably hear it next week. We will be holding a camp in every state this summer. We're going to do 50 states.”

So why is the staff really working camps in the South?

“Our thought was the Big Ten and NCAA rules allow you to do these things,” Franklin explained. “We want to not only have camps on our campus -- which we're gonna have a bunch of them -- but also be able to take the Penn State brand to a part of the country where young men and their families wouldn't be able to make it to our place, (and) take it to them.”

"We want to … be able to take the Penn State brand to a part of the country where young men and their families wouldn't be able to make it to our place, (and) take it to them."

Franklin has been working camps in different areas of the country for years. As an assistant at Idaho State, he recalled traveling to Alaska to work with young football players there.

“I'm not sure if we'll be doing that one this summer,” he quipped.

Since arriving at PSU, Franklin's mantra has been that his staff must “dominate the state” when it comes to recruiting. He has since expanded the boundaries of the area he would like to dominate.

“We're going to treat New Jersey as in-state in our approach, in terms of the manpower and the resources we're going to put in to the state -- as well as Delaware, Maryland, (Washington) D.C. and northern Virginia,” he said.

He added, “If you look at when Penn State (football) was rolling, they were able to keep the best players in state home, and (from) surrounding states.”

That said, he realizes that there will be years when there are not enough top players in that footprint to build a top-ranked recruiting class. Hence the decision to recruit -- and work camps -- in other areas of the country.

“Like I sad from Day One, we were going to recruiting regionally and take a lot of pride in it,” Franklin said. “We're also gonna have a presence nationally. We're gonna go wherever we have to go to find players.”

As for any assistant coaches who would rather spend time with their families this summer than grinding away at out-of-state camps, Franklin suggested they double-dip.

“Our trip to Georgia, that should be a family vacation,” he said with a smile. “We should all go down, bring our families, do the camp and enjoy Atlanta. That's why we're doing the one in Orlando -- you can go to Disney World.”


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