Penn State coach James Franklin has a reputation for engaging in insane travel when it comes to recruiting. In the run-up to Signing Day earlier this year, he made stops in California, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Scranton, Pa., Pittsburgh and Atlanta in one 24-hour period.
But heading into the Nittany Lions' first 2014 bye this week, he seemed a bit worried about being able to visit as many stops on the recruiting trail as he possibly could from Thursday through Saturday.
After Wednesday's practice, Franklin said, You're trying to look at all the people you need to get to, when asked about his travel gameplan.
The other thing is just trying to travel out of (University Park) and be efficient with your time, he added. It's not always the easiest to get out of here unless you're driving.
By the next evening, however, it became apparent that Franklin had found a work-around to his travel concerns.
A Twitter photo said to be of Franklin landing at a game.
That's when a Twitter user posted a photo of Franklin showing up for a game between Franklin High in Reisterstown, Md., and Woodlawn High in Gwynn Oak, Md., via helicopter.
Reports of Franklin flying into multiple games around the Maryland-D.C. area continued to surface throughout the evening. PSU Class of 2015 defensive end commit Jonathan Holland of the Bullis School in Potomac, Md., was happy to see Franklin drop in on his home game with Avalon (which featured PSU 2016 target Trevon Diggs).
I'm glad he came out and it feels great to have my coach support me, Holland said.
According to a program source, Penn State rented the helicopter time. And as big a visual splash as Franklin made landing near different high school football fields, that was ancillary to the primary goal.
Franklin wants to check in on as many key prospects and commits as possible. And the helicopter allows him to easily avoid the congestion that would stall him in high-traffic areas.
Stay tuned to the FOS TAP Forum for updates on Franklin's recruiting travel destinations.