Franklin On Lettermen Rallying Behind Lions

How guys named Goon and LaVar are pitching in to get former players to return for Penn State's big game with Michigan State.

Penn State coach James Franklin called on the program's lettermen to return en masse for the No. 8 Nittany Lions' regular-season finale vs. Michigan State at Beaver Stadium Saturday.

PSU is still alive in the fight for a spot in the Big Ten championship game, a New Year's Six bowl bid and even a (possible) spot in the College Football Playoff, and Franklin wants former players to be a part of it all. The Lions enter this weekend's action at 9-2 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten, having already far exceeded nearly every expectation for them. http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1719381-follow-your-surgin...

At his Tuesday press conference, the third-year coach talked about the challenges of connecting with lettermen who had seen Joe Paterno coaching at the school for more than four decades, only to be followed by the turmoil of the Sandusky scandal and then the rapid turnover from Bill O'Brien to Franklin.

"The challenge is when you had the same group of men here as coaches for 30 to 50 years … there was a sense of family,” Franklin said. "Guys could come back forever. Whenever you have that much change in that short of time, it's difficult. I think the ones that have come back and got around our staff and our team and see how we're doing things have been great. I think we're slowly getting more and more of those guys back. So that's been helpful."

Spearheading the effort to get even more lettermen back this week have been former players Keith "Goon" Conlin and LaVar Arrington. Conlin, an FOS contributor who was an All-Big Ten tackle on the unbeaten 1994 team, still lives in State College and is heavily involved in the PSU Football Letterman's Club. Arrington, a two-time All-American linebacker in the late 1990s, lives in California but — after being challenged by Franklin to return for this week's game — has used his massive social media following to rally other former players to join him in returning to Happy Valley.

"As we all know, it doesn't take a whole lot to get LaVar going,” Franklin said with a smile. "He's very passionate about this place and this community, and has been very supportive of me and our staff."

See everything Franklin had to say on this topic in the video above.

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Penn State coach James Franklin called on the program's lettermen to return en masse for the No. 8 Nittany Lions' regular-season finale vs. Michigan State at Beaver Stadium Saturday.

PSU is still alive in the fight for a spot in the Big Ten championship game, a New Year's Six bowl bid and even a (possible) spot in the College Football Playoff, and Franklin wants former players to be a part of it all. The Lions enter this weekend's action at 9-2 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten, having already far exceeded nearly every expectation for them. http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1719381-follow-your-surgin...

At his Tuesday press conference, the third-year coach talked about the challenges of connecting with lettermen who had seen Joe Paterno coaching at the school for more than four decades, only to be followed by the turmoil of the Sandusky scandal and then the rapid turnover from Bill O'Brien to Franklin.

\"The challenge is when you had the same group of men here as coaches for 30 to 50 years … there was a sense of family,” Franklin said. \"Guys could come back forever. Whenever you have that much change in that short of time, it's difficult. I think the ones that have come back and got around our staff and our team and see how we're doing things have been great. I think we're slowly getting more and more of those guys back. So that's been helpful.\"

Spearheading the effort to get even more lettermen back this week have been former players Keith \"Goon\" Conlin and LaVar Arrington. Conlin, an FOS contributor who was an All-Big Ten tackle on the unbeaten 1994 team, still lives in State College and is heavily involved in the PSU Football Letterman's Club. Arrington, a two-time All-American linebacker in the late 1990s, lives in California but — after being challenged by Franklin to return for this week's game — has used his massive social media following to rally other former players to join him in returning to Happy Valley.

\"As we all know, it doesn't take a whole lot to get LaVar going,” Franklin said with a smile. \"He's very passionate about this place and this community, and has been very supportive of me and our staff.\"

See everything Franklin had to say on this topic in the video above.

This content is offered as free material for all Penn State fans.

After enjoying it, we'd ask that you please take a minute to share on social media and/or take a look at the subscription options that will allow you to become a FightOnState.com member (so you can really enjoy our premium content and unmatched premium forum).

Please view the subscription options here

Already a member? Thank you!

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