LANCASTER, Pa. — James Franklin is ready to go home.
Of course, since January, home has been State College, Pa., for the Penn State head coach.
Of course, his wife Fumi and daughters Shola and Addy have remained in Nashville to finish the school year.
Franklin made the final stop on a speaking tour he began April 17 in Harrisburg and finished here Friday evening at the Manheim Touchdown Club. In between, he made 17 stops on the university's Coaches Caravan and at least one more in the Deep South on a recruiting trip (more on that later).
Now, the first-year Lion Leader is ready for some time off. It starts with a flight bright and early Saturday morning to Nashville.
"I must admit, I'm excited," Franklin said of his final stop. "As excited as I am to be here doing this event, I'm more excited to go see my family."
He then offered a glimpse into the program's tightly organized scheduling, outlining how the next week — and the rest of the summer — will play out for him and his staff.
"This Friday finished up our last day out [during the spring contact period], so we have different weeks throughout the summer," Franklin said. "Some are mandatory [weeks off] depending on when the players are out of school, and then what we do is other optional weeks that you can choose.
"If your kids are in school and you want to take a later vacation, then you can do that. And then maybe the young [assistant coaches] that don't have any kids, they can take it earlier in the summer because we always want to make sure we have people in the office. But this week [coming up] is a mandatory [week off] for the coaches."
A staff retreat will also be thrown into the mix (it's slated for a yet to be determined Pennsylvania city) and the summer will also be dotted with camps at University Park, Stetson University in Florida, and Georgia State.
The camps, Franklin said, mark another opportunity to meet people and build relationships. He's done plenty of that of late, though.
Now, it's about spending time with his family.
At least for a week.
"I think it was a really good plan in theory: you stay, you finish up the school year, all those kinds of things," Franklin said. "But, I know it's been really hard on me. It's not like it's a couple weeks. You're talking months.
"My wife, I think she enjoys it, to be honest with you," he added with a laugh. "I'm really looking forward to going to see them on Saturday. I desperately miss them."
Following a busy morning Feb. 5 — when Penn State inked its class of 2014 and Franklin's first as the leader of the Lions — he spoke about his hectic travel schedule leading up to Signing Day.
It included stops in California, Virginia, Georgia and multiple destinations in Pennsylvania.
One state the coach wasn't able to invade for an in-home visit with a potential recruit, however, was Alabama.
Franklin may not have made it then, but he did make it to see both prospects last Sunday. He added the staff has seen most of the other commitments while out recruiting different areas, as well.
"We got them so late I never got a chance to do that, and I think it's important that you go pay respect to the family and the hometown," Franklin said of the Alabama swing. "Two really good looking kids that we're really excited about getting; we expect all of them to be on campus and getting adjusted especially because we're going to be depending on a lot of them."
What the trip didn't help, though, was his calorie count.
"I've been trying to be really disciplined with my diet and things like that. But we went to a soul food restaurant for lunch. And then for a late lunch/early dinner we went to a barbeque joint, and I crushed it."
"I've been trying to be really disciplined with my diet and things like that,' Franklin said. "But we went to a soul food restaurant for lunch. And then for a late lunch/early dinner we went to a barbeque joint, and I crushed it."
According to court documents, four charges against Penn State offensive lineman Anthony Alosi stemming from a January incident in Centre County were held over for court during a preliminary hearing earlier this week.
Franklin announced the lineman was indefinitely suspended April 12, and asked Friday if Alosi's status with the team — or his suspension — had changed, the head coach said: "Not at this point. He's still in the same situation."
The Final Word
The final question Franklin was asked before speaking at the Manheim Touchdown Club event regarded his plan for preseason camp.
It's not the first time Franklin has said he believes his approach may be a little different than that of others. Nonetheless, he has a plan in mind for his first August camp at Penn State.
"I would rather spring ball be much more physical than camp," Franklin said. "I think camp, it's building mental toughness, but I'm not really trying to build the physical banging and that kind of stuff. You have a really short window before you start playing. It's more about repetition and building chemistry and timing and those types of things."