PSU Coach James Franklin's Postseason Press Conference

See everything the Nittany Lion coach had to say during his final media availability for the 2016-17 season.

To say Penn State coach James Franklin spent the past few weeks reflecting on the Nittany Lions' unexpected 11-3 2016-17 season would not be entirely fair. Because he also crammed plenty of other stuff into that space — things like attending the AFCA coaches convention, hitting the road recruiting and beginning preliminary preparations for the 2017-18 season. http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1745379-penn-state-countdo...

But Saturday marked the first time since PSU's high-scoring Rose Bowl loss to USC that Franklin had the chance to sit down with the media to lend some perspective to the season that was and look ahead to the future. He held a morning press conference at Beaver Stadium to handle the task.

In the video above, you can see everything he had to say.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Courtesy ASAP Sports

JAMES FRANKLIN: Obviously got a bunch of notes here and stats with accomplishments by offense, defense, special teams, awards by each player. I think you guys have most of that information. You know, this press conference, obviously, the season is over, and very appreciative and very excited about all the hard work and things that we were able to get done this year, and I think our guys really handled a lot of things well.

I think the way the season ended, I think the Rose Bowl, how our guys handled themselves academically, how our guys handled themselves socially, you know, right now I think we're in a position that we're going to be able to retain most if not all of the staff, which is great. We've got graduate assistants that are graduating with masters degrees and really good grades and are leaving for full-time job opportunities, which is really, really good. I'm really happy for those guys. That's what it's all about.

And now finishing up recruiting and getting ready for morning workouts and spring ball. So it's kind of started all over again.

Very pleased with how our guys handled the NFL decision-making process, whether to come back to school or leave early. Obviously we have two guys that have decided to leave early and move on, and I think overall it's not just those two guys, it's the other five guys that were considering leaving or coming back, how they went through the process, how their families went through the process, the communication and the services that we provide I thought was pretty good.

I think you can always get better. We'll go back and look at that like we do everything after the fact and say what did we do well, what can we do better, what are other people doing across the country to make great decisions because that's what we want our guys to do; we want them to make educated decisions as have as much information as possible.

Feel really good about all those things, and just a lot of positives. Kind of a busy time.

I appreciate you guys getting with us this morning. We have, I think, about 20 recruits on campus and families, mostly committed guys, so we just got done having a staff meeting this morning, about ready to have breakfast, had a social for the parents last night at my house, which was awesome, and then finished the weekend out.

You know, as you guys know, it's not just about the acquisition and recruitment of talent, but it's also about making sure that these guys are great fits here academically and they're great fits here socially, and most of these guys we've been recruiting for multiple years, which gives us the best opportunity to make great decisions.

Just trying to cover a bunch of different things that I think are probably important to you guys. Again, I appreciate you guys being here, and I'll open it up to questions.

Q. How many scholarship players do you have right now as far as you can figure it?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Total scholarship players on our team? I have no idea. I mean, I didn't come prepared with that number. I know there's been a lot of discussion out there with -- I guess what you're really asking me is there's been some walk-ons put on scholarship, which is great, and we're excited those guys have kind of earned opportunities and things like that.

But none of those things kind of affect the things that we're moving forward, and most importantly, we want to make sure that we're at 85 or as close to 85 as we possibly can for next fall. But we think we're going to be able to take 20 or 21 guys in this class, if that's what you're really asking. We have 20 to 21 scholarships we think that we'll be able to bring in in this class.

Q. A lot of national publications, media, whatever, outlets, have kind of put you guys in the top five or ten for next season, and I was wondering, coming off the Rose Bowl, do you expect your team to be hungrier because of what happened at the end of the game, or are there concerns about them being satisfied with what they accomplished last year?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think we've discussed this before. I think handling success with young people in general is a challenge. You know, are we going to be as driven? Are we going to be as motivated as we were this year? That's going to be the secret. Are we going to work as hard for our chemistry? Are we going to be able to work as hard for our culture? Are we going to be able to work as hard collectively and individually to get where we want to be?

Last year's success, although it factors into how people rank you for the next year, has no effect. That ranking means little to nothing. End-of-the-year rankings are what matter. I do think we had some experiences last year that are going to be motivating factors for us moving forward. Certain games where we didn't play as well as we should have played, having conversations about whether we made -- would be in the playoffs or not, being that close and not getting in is a motivator. How the bowl game ended is a motivator. So there's things out there, and there's only really one team that's happy at the end of the season.

You know, I went around all over the country -- last week one day I was in Alabama, one day I was in California, yesterday I was in Michigan. You know, and I got everybody coming up to me saying, wow, Coach, best bowl game I've ever seen. Unbelievable. I said, it wasn't that darned good. You know, I understand from an entertainment standpoint it was awesome, but we didn't win the game.

We have things that we should be very proud of, and our guys, they should be confidence-building experiences, but we also have things that I think should be motivating, that, again, the way I look at it, there's one happy team at the end of the year, and that's Clemson and my boy Dabo. Everybody else is salty and angry and ready to get back to work again. And we've got a lot of work that we still need to do in every area possible. I can guarantee you with the leadership on our team and the coaches on our team, we'll have a long discussion about that as soon as recruiting is over, and who we want to be and where we want to go and what sacrifices are we willing to do to get there.

Q. You mentioned limited number of scholarships to give at this point outside of the guys who have already committed. What is the focus in the last week or so heading up to signing day? Is it securing the kids that you have committed? Are you looking ahead to next season? What is the focus in this last week or so?

JAMES FRANKLIN: I think it's both. I think you look around the country right now at some programs that are basically offering prospects that are committed to every school in the country and they're trying to pluck them away. That's how some people approach this time of year. And then you're trying to finish your classes out, whether you're trying to finish your classes out with getting kids that are uncommitted or kids that are committed to other schools. We've got a couple guys that are still entertaining conversations with other schools, and we've got to keep those guys on board with us.

I prefer you get in a situation where guys commit and it's over, but that's not always the case. Guys are going to still entertain conversations or entertain visits. We'd prefer it not to be that way.

So that's one part of our focus, and then the other focus is like I say, we've got two spots left. We've got a handful of guys that we're still recruiting for those last few spots to try to finish this thing -- to try to close this thing out on a real positive note.

I think either way, if signing day is today, we've got a pretty good class. If we can get a few more pieces of the puzzle, you know, there's no perfect class, but if we can get a few more pieces of the puzzle, we feel good about it, and kind of the way I always looked at the recruiting process is a lot like the draft, in terms of what I mean by that is if the guys that we recruit can turn out the way that we thought they would, kind of through our evaluation, all those kind of things, and then if you can get lucky on a few -- Tom Brady. I mean, I was driving around -- I don't listen to sports radio on my own, but some of the coaches, so I was in the car with Tim Banks driving around and he had sports radio on and they were going on and on talking about Belichick or Tom Brady, who's been more of kind of the catalyst to their success, and I think it's both of them. Taking Tom Brady in the sixth round may be the best draft choice in the history of the NFL.

And let's be honest, they didn't know. They didn't know that Tom Brady -- or they wouldn't have took him in the sixth round, they'd have taken him in the first round. So what you want to do is you want to do a great job through your evaluation process, but then you'd love to get lucky on a few. You'd love to get a guy late in the process that commits to you that was a zero-star or one-star or two-star and goes on and is a college football Hall of Famer and a pro football player. That would be great.

I think there's also a lot of discussion with me and my staff and kind of what's going on, we want our guys to have an opportunity to play the game of football as long as they possibly can in terms of the NFL, but really, most important for us is we want our guys to leave as educated men and prepare them for life. We're not really trying to break the record of the most guys drafted. We're trying to graduate our players and go out and recruit the best college players we possibly can. If those guys end up turning into great NFL players, awesome. That's wonderful, as well.

You know, I think there's a lot of discussions about really how you want your team built and what are you really trying to do. And for us, what we're trying to do is we're trying to recruit guys that we think are great fits to this community, that are great fits academically, that are going to be really, really good college players, that will leave here with degrees, and then hopefully can continue playing the game of football as long as they possibly can in the NFL, but it's really in that order. We're not really building this thing to be a feeder system to the NFL.

That's a byproduct to all the other things hopefully that are happening right in the program, if that makes sense.

Q. When you were here, just about everyone that could declare for the NFL did, and everything is situational and case by case, but is there added value when you have guys that could have gone to the NFL that decide for whatever reason to come back?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I guess I don't view it that way. I think you said earlier, all the guys that could declare did in the past --

Q. Not 100 percent --

JAMES FRANKLIN: There was a lot of guys that came back, basically anybody with three years of eligibility after high school can declare, Zettel, there's a bunch of guys. So I don't know if I necessarily agree with your first point there.

But yeah, I think there's always value in guys coming back. You know, I'm a huge believer that you don't leave early for the NFL unless you're going to be a first-rounder. You can make arguments about leaving early if you're a second-rounder. Anything after that, in my opinion, you really shouldn't. The agents are going to tell them otherwise, but I think if you look at what the statistics say, I think I saw yesterday, I think there's been 103 players declare early this year. I think there's like 275 draft choices total or something like that, some number like that. I mean, there's only so many spots. I think you're going to see a record number of guys come out early, and you're going to see a record number of guys that don't get drafted, and that's not what you want.

If you take all the pieces of information, you take how many draft choices you are, how many draft choices there are, and then what happens is you say to yourself, okay, well, I'm the fifth best middle linebacker in the draft. Okay, well, middle linebackers typically don't get drafted. So it's not about where you rank at your position. It's where you rank overall in the draft and what the needs are, and then also how many players, is it a strong draft class at your position. You take all that information, and you also say the average NFL career is three years, three and a half years is what I think it is now. So what everybody needs to be doing is what can we do to maximize that first contract because the percentages say you're never going to make it to the second contract.

And then I think the guaranteed money for a first-round draft choice is like $11 million. I think the second round I think it drops all the way to like $3 million. And then if you can imagine, all the way to the seventh round, the guaranteed money keeps dropping, and it's dramatic drop-offs. So you have to do everything you possibly can to maximize that first contract, because the averages say you won't make it to the second contract.

So what I'm saying is if you can come back to school and jump from the fourth round to the third round, or from the fourth round to the second round or from the third round to the first round, and there's been a lot of examples of guys that have done that, I think you've got to do that as much as you possibly can.

And then obviously having your degree factors into that, as well.

You know, so obviously it's not that simplistic. There's a lot of factors that go into it. Young men's home situations, that factors into it; whether they've completed their degree already factors into it. I'm not sitting here and saying that this is a really simple decision. There's so many factors that go into it. But if you just take the basic information that we just discussed, I still go back to the point where you really shouldn't leave early unless you're going to be a first- or second-rounder for all the reasons that we just discussed.

I do think back to your initial point, there is great value for Penn State in getting older players to come back and contribute, but I also think there's great value for that individual being able to improve their draft status and be able to put reps on tape that show that they are a high-level player and going to be able to perform those things consistently.

And we all have weaknesses, so we identify those weaknesses and say these are the things we're going to work on all off-season, and that's where I think we're going to do a better job moving forward this year is saying what's our plan from a nutrition standpoint, what's our plan from a strength-and-conditioning perspective, what's our plan from a media training perspective, what's our plan from a treatment and rehab perspective, and really putting all these things, an academic plan, that these guys are leaving giving themselves the best chance for success on and off the field.

That was a long answer. I apologize.

Q. Antoine White said he plans to transfer. Are there any other guys you're not expecting to be here for spring ball?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, there's ongoing discussions with a number of guys. What I mean by that, I'm talking about the whole program, so there's some walk-on guys that are going to decide whether they're going to come back for their last year or going to move on for internships or student teaching and those types of things.

For the scholarship guys, we pretty much had anticipated -- I think that's why the first question was about the number of scholarships. I think a lot of times you guys try to kind of predict how many we're going to sign based on what you see on the roster, but there's 15 conversations that are going on with parents and kids about transferring.

I think these guys that have decided to move on, we wish them all the success in the world. I think a lot of it deals with they look at the roster, they look at what's returning, they look at what their role is going to be next year, and are they going to be happy with that role or do they want a more significant role or whatever it may be, but there's a lot of conversations going on behind the scenes that we're aware of that allow us to make some of these decisions about how many we're going to be able to take, because you guys know it's fluid. What guys do you think are going to be able to leave early and guys are going to make that decision. Like I said, we're probably in conversation with about seven different guys in our program, and we're trying to anticipate who we think is going to come out based off of all the information that we have and what's going to come back.

It about came out what we thought, that we'd probably lose two. I thought maybe there was a chance of four, but it ended up being two, and I'm pleased for that.

Q. Going back to some of the young talent that you have, with the benefit of hindsight, what do you think this year did for Cam Brown? How did you see him develop this season?

JAMES FRANKLIN: I think that's one of the more difficult things to do now is you make a decision to play a guy, and everybody stays healthy, how much time do they get? How much time on special teams? How much time do they get on offense? How much time do they get on defense? I think you're going to have guys at the end of the year -- every year you say to yourself, we should have played this guy and we redshirted him, or we should have redshirted this guy and we ended up playing him, or vice versa.

You know, you're always going to have one or two guys like that that you kind of go back and forth on how it played out, but it's hard to predict whether you're going to stay healthy at a position or not.

I think in the long run, Cam is going to be a much better player next year based on the experiences that he had this year, and then the other part hard that you guys know that we've all discussed is you end up redshirting a guy saying he's going to be more valuable to our program and going to be a better player for himself as a fifth-year redshirt senior. But if you redshirt a guy and then he doesn't come back for his redshirt senior year and he could have played 60 reps as a true freshman, you obviously didn't make the right decision, because you want to be able to have guys play for four years.

So that's the hard part, and it's really difficult to kind of predict those things. That's what you're trying to do, and the problem is you don't have hindsight. You don't have hindsight. But that's the constant struggle that I go through and assistant coaches go through with making these decisions.

Q. With the early enrollees, how critical is it to get them in early, get them in the program and have them kind of established, and then specifically with Lamont Wade, is he a guy you think could make an impact as a true freshman?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think the early enrollees are great. I read something the other day, I think Clemson a few years ago had 16 early enrollees, guys that played in this National Championship game. So I don't think there's any doubt that there's value, that there's value in these guys being on campus, taking college credits, getting adjusted academically, getting adjusted socially, and then legitimately having a chance to compete for a starting job in camp.

If you're just showing up on campus for the first time, it takes a pretty special guy to say you're going to play as a true freshman or earn a starting job when you've only been on campus for four to six weeks and you're competing with guys who have been on campus four, three, two years. I think it helps, but it's not for everybody. Some guys aren't ready. You basically go from being a high school student on a Wednesday to being a college student on a Monday, and a lot of guys aren't ready for that.

On the same hand, as we all know, for the student-athletes that typically are ready to leave at mid-semester, academically, athletically, socially, the whole deal, let's be honest, a lot of times the second half of a senior year in high school, you can make the argument there's more value in starting and taking college classes, and you see some guys are doing that in high school. They're going to the local community college and taking college classes anyway. So we're talking about guys that are academically ready to go to college. You're talking about guys that are socially ready to go to college. But it's not for everybody. We don't ever try to talk guys into doing it because I also think there's value in saying I'm going to go to my prom; I am going to play my senior year of basketball. There's value in that, as well, being with my buddies for six more months and kind of going through that process, being able to go away for vacation with my mom and dad after I graduate for a week, those types of things. I'd probably prefer that they don't go to senior week because that always seems like a week of concern for me all over the country, senior week. I remember my senior week.

So you don't ever try to convince guys that this is what they should do, but if it's something that they want to do and they're ready to do it, then I do think there's tremendous benefits in it.

Q. What do you think Noah Beh took away from his season last year, and do you expect him to contribute moving forward?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, we'll see. We'll see how these things play out. I think every guy's situation is different, and how they handle those situations, you know, I think -- what we want is we want all these situations that happened for our guys to be opportunities for growth, and I think as coaches, if we handle that way and the players handle it that way, then they learn from it, they grow, they move forward, they move on, and they're better for it and we're better for it, all of us.

To me that's up to all of us. That's up to me as the head coach to handle that way, to look at anything that happens in life as an opportunity to grow and learn from, and it's up to these young people to do the same thing. The most important thing is are we looking back four to five years from now, are we looking back 15 to 20 years from now when we have the anniversary of the Big Ten Championship game and these guys all come back, and we're laughing about some of the bumps in the roads and the hiccups that they had as freshmen and sophomores and things like that.

You know, where are they now? And as we all know, we're where we are today because of every experience that we have along the way growing up. That's kind of how we look at all these things.

Q. Is DaeSean a guy that you're expecting back next year?

JAMES FRANKLIN: DaeSean Hamilton?

Q. Yeah.

JAMES FRANKLIN: I think to be honest with you, all these guys that we're looking for the most part now have decided to be back. So yeah, we're anticipating DaeSean to be back and we're anticipating him to have a big role for us. But yeah, these guys -- we're at a point now where these guys are all registered for classes, they're going to classes, they've started workouts and all those types of things. So we're pretty clear at this point of who we have coming back and who we don't, and like I said, there will be some conversations with some guys, and there will probably be a little bit of wiggle room between now and the start of camp. But I think for the most part, our roster is pretty much set now.

Q. Speaking of anniversaries, tomorrow marks the five-year passing of Joe Paterno. From a personal standpoint and also from a guy who works in the office that he did, what's his legacy these days?

JAMES FRANKLIN: You know, first of all, I am impressed with your numbers. You are a numbers guy. Anniversary dates, numbers, days that we've been on campus, all those types of things.

I think one of the things that we kind of look at and that I've been able to kind of experience, that I've been able to kind of see, that I've learned since being on campus, is the impact on people, the positive impact on people when it comes to graduation rates, when it comes to the amount of successful people that have gone on and are doing wonderful things as fathers or doing wonderful things as businessmen and as husbands. I've just met so many people. We've got lettermen here this week, their sons that we're recruiting.

And to me that's what it's about. It's not about the wins and the losses, it's about how many people did you have a positive impact on, and all the players that came through here he was able to have a positive impact on. And I think that's what it's about. I think the championships are important and the wins and losses are important. I think you guys heard me talk about this after the Rose Bowl Game. There's a greater purpose to this.

The education is what I think everybody focuses on, but the education is really talking about the impact that Penn State can have on the rest of their life, and it's not just what they learn in the classroom but it's all the people that you come in contact with that had a positive impact on you and made a difference.

To me, that's where I hope 20 years from now that it's not about the wins, it's about how many people have gone on and done wonderful things as fathers and husbands and as businessmen and feel like that Penn State and our coaching staff and me had a positive impact on them. I think that's really his legacy is the individual conversations that I've had with former players that feel very, very strongly about the impact that he had on his life and his teammates. That's what I can speak on.

Q. You had mentioned numbers and conversations and those kinds of things. Gray-shirting, that's a phrase we've kind of heard about, talked about. Is that something you anticipate doing with any of the '17 guys?

JAMES FRANKLIN: At this point -- I've done gray-shirting in the past. We have not done it yet here at Penn State. I do think it happens at places like Penn State because you're going to have some young guys that say to themselves, I want to be at Penn State, and I'm willing to turn down some other opportunities to take a gray-shirt opportunity at Penn State.

I think where that really comes in is it's hard to get to the 85 scholarships, and it creates a little bit of flexibility, because again, you don't truly know what your numbers are until the last minute, before camp starts. So it creates a little bit of flexibility, and it's a conversation that happens between a high school coach and a young man and his family. So we haven't done it yet, but it's been a conversation about the possibility of it. We don't have any of those conversations going on right now, but it could come up at some point.

Q. Knowing Trace a lot better than we do, how do you think the Rose Bowl will impact him between now and during his preparation for next season?

JAMES FRANKLIN: You guys have heard me talk about Trace a couple different ways. Number one, he's a winner, and I think we've all seen that. He's also a guy that doesn't get too high and doesn't get too low. I mean, obviously starting out the game with a couple interceptions and things like that, obviously he wasn't happy with that, but again, there wasn't one person on the sideline or watching the game that would say that kid's not handling this adversity well. He handles things really well. He handles success well, and he handles challenges well.

I think he'll do the same thing. I'd also describe him as someone who's very aware. He's aware of his strengths, he's aware of his weaknesses, he's aware of the games he played well, he's aware of the games he thinks he could have played better, and he'll go back and attack and study those things and say, why did I play well in this game, why did I play well on this drive, why did I not play as well on this drive, and what can I do to limit those experiences next year, because there's going to be times next year where he plays really well and there's going to be times where he struggles.

What we're going to do between now and next year is how can we take the amount of times that he maybe made decisions that he would prefer to make differently in the future and how can we limit them. Say 12 percent of the time last year he made decisions that he would have, now looking back at it, made differently; how can we take that and reduce it to maybe 8 percent or 6 percent next year, and kind of keep heading in that direction.

I think it's kind of interesting, you look at the Green Bay Packers, and I always kind of follow them a little bit differently because of my time there and we drafted Aaron Rodgers, but I think about some of the conversations that were going on early in the season with the Packers and specifically Aaron Rodgers and now. Now they're talking about maybe the greatest guy to ever play the position, and I think early in the season there was a different conversation going on, that they were struggling and this and that.

I think that's what you just want to constantly be doing as players and as coaches and as programs is evolving and growing and not letting small setbacks and moments of time affect your overall development, if that makes sense. And I think Trace has really got a good feel and maturity and foundation to be able to do those types of things.

Q. You mentioned a little bit earlier about early enrollees and the benefit of having them here. What's Lamont Wade's acclimation period been like so far and how do you plan on easing him in since you have the time?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, and now that you've asked that question, I probably didn't answer the question about his impact, and I apologize. I don't really like to kind of go that route. These guys have enough pressure on them from a lot of different perspectives, based on how highly they were recruited and those types of things. As we know, once they show up on campus, all those things go away. It's not like because you're a five-star or four-star or three-star guy you're going to get more playing time because of it or you're going to get higher grades because of it. You're going to have to come and you're going to have to earn everything you get.

I do think from the feedback I've gotten from the players, as well as the strength staff, is they seem to be doing well, the academic staff. But again, I've been gone. I haven't seen Addy Shola until Friday. I leave Sunday and I come back Friday each week.

I've got a meeting with the mid-semester guys today just to check in on them and see how they're doing. I've texted them and called them and things like that, but I haven't seen them. So I'm going to have a meeting with all four of those guys today and just sit down and just make sure they are doing well and they're adjusting well, but the feedback I get from Todd Kulka, our academic advisor, they seem to be doing really well. The feedback that I get from Dwight Galt, the strength staff, they seem to be doing well. Tim Bream and his staff, Will Flaherty, who runs our player development, is very hands-on with our guys in the adjustment process, they seem to be doing well.

I also think that's the reason why you see football staffs being as big as they are is because, like I said, there's times of year where we're gone, and there needs to be people in place to support these guys.

Q. If and when they go to another signing date or an early signing date, how will that change -- I'm sure you've planned for that. How will that change the way you operate? And also, are you in favor of the scholarship becoming a four-year contract, which a lot of people have talked about?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, you know, let me give you two different -- let me answer both your questions, but I guess two different ways. The first thing about the four-year scholarship compared to the one-year scholarship, I don't think it matters. I don't think it ever mattered. All the places that I've ever been, scholarships are renewable every single year, and it's never been based on ability. If a guy is handling his business academically and he doesn't have any social problems in the community, they're renewed every year.

If you sign a guy to a four-year scholarship and he doesn't handle his business academically or he has some social problems, they have the ability to lose their scholarship. So whether it's a one-year scholarship or a four-year scholarship, to me there's really never been any difference because they're only not getting renewed if a guy isn't handling his business in those two areas, if that makes sense. So I don't really think it matters.

I think like most things in life, rules are put in place for the 5 percent, not the 95 percent that have been doing it the right way the whole time anyway. Does that make sense?

And then the first part of your question was what again?

Q. If there's an early signing period.

JAMES FRANKLIN: To be honest with you, it's been something we've been talking about for 10 years as coaches, as administrators, the NCAA. We've never been able to come up with a model that everybody can agree with. I think it's probably going to happen this time from all the feedback that I'm getting and the vote that we had as coaches at the AFCA. So I think it's going to happen.

So yeah, we have an idea, but to be honest with you, it's been something that's been talked about for 10 years. Our model will be put in place once it's finalized, and we understand all the specifics and all the details. I do think it's going to make signing day, the first Wednesday in February, a little less sexy than it's been in the past. But we'll have an approach in how we handle it that makes the most sense for Penn State moving forward, you know, because ultimately that's what it comes down to. Here's the model that the NCAA comes up with, this is the model that all the schools kind of agree to, working together with the NCAA, and now we come up with a plan that's most beneficial for Penn State and allows us to maximize the rules that makes the most sense for us.

Our model is probably going to be very different than what Florida State's model is compared to what USC's model is compared to different schools in different regions around the country. I think you're going to see different models for the very same reason why we have a difficult time making any decisions because most people as coaches and as athletic administration at the schools, as well as conferences, we all vote for what's in our best interest, you know, and what we're trying to do right now, and I think the AFCA as well as the NCAA and as well as commissioners, administrators, what we're all trying to do right now is say what's in the best interest of the game of football, what's in the best interest of student-athletes, and let's make that, because what I always thought was funny is you'll see a coach at school X adamant about how he votes for a proposal, and then the very next year he's at a different school, and he is as adamant as he was on a completely different philosophy than he was three months earlier. And that's just human nature. That's the nature of the beast.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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To say Penn State coach James Franklin spent the past few weeks reflecting on the Nittany Lions' unexpected 11-3 2016-17 season would not be entirely fair. Because he also crammed plenty of other stuff into that space — things like attending the AFCA coaches convention, hitting the road recruiting and beginning preliminary preparations for the 2017-18 season. http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1745379-penn-state-countdo...

But Saturday marked the first time since PSU's high-scoring Rose Bowl loss to USC that Franklin had the chance to sit down with the media to lend some perspective to the season that was and look ahead to the future. He held a morning press conference at Beaver Stadium to handle the task.

In the video above, you can see everything he had to say.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Courtesy ASAP Sports

JAMES FRANKLIN: Obviously got a bunch of notes here and stats with accomplishments by offense, defense, special teams, awards by each player. I think you guys have most of that information. You know, this press conference, obviously, the season is over, and very appreciative and very excited about all the hard work and things that we were able to get done this year, and I think our guys really handled a lot of things well.

I think the way the season ended, I think the Rose Bowl, how our guys handled themselves academically, how our guys handled themselves socially, you know, right now I think we're in a position that we're going to be able to retain most if not all of the staff, which is great. We've got graduate assistants that are graduating with masters degrees and really good grades and are leaving for full-time job opportunities, which is really, really good. I'm really happy for those guys. That's what it's all about.

And now finishing up recruiting and getting ready for morning workouts and spring ball. So it's kind of started all over again.

Very pleased with how our guys handled the NFL decision-making process, whether to come back to school or leave early. Obviously we have two guys that have decided to leave early and move on, and I think overall it's not just those two guys, it's the other five guys that were considering leaving or coming back, how they went through the process, how their families went through the process, the communication and the services that we provide I thought was pretty good.

I think you can always get better. We'll go back and look at that like we do everything after the fact and say what did we do well, what can we do better, what are other people doing across the country to make great decisions because that's what we want our guys to do; we want them to make educated decisions as have as much information as possible.

Feel really good about all those things, and just a lot of positives. Kind of a busy time.

I appreciate you guys getting with us this morning. We have, I think, about 20 recruits on campus and families, mostly committed guys, so we just got done having a staff meeting this morning, about ready to have breakfast, had a social for the parents last night at my house, which was awesome, and then finished the weekend out.

You know, as you guys know, it's not just about the acquisition and recruitment of talent, but it's also about making sure that these guys are great fits here academically and they're great fits here socially, and most of these guys we've been recruiting for multiple years, which gives us the best opportunity to make great decisions.

Just trying to cover a bunch of different things that I think are probably important to you guys. Again, I appreciate you guys being here, and I'll open it up to questions.

Q. How many scholarship players do you have right now as far as you can figure it?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Total scholarship players on our team? I have no idea. I mean, I didn't come prepared with that number. I know there's been a lot of discussion out there with -- I guess what you're really asking me is there's been some walk-ons put on scholarship, which is great, and we're excited those guys have kind of earned opportunities and things like that.

But none of those things kind of affect the things that we're moving forward, and most importantly, we want to make sure that we're at 85 or as close to 85 as we possibly can for next fall. But we think we're going to be able to take 20 or 21 guys in this class, if that's what you're really asking. We have 20 to 21 scholarships we think that we'll be able to bring in in this class.

Q. A lot of national publications, media, whatever, outlets, have kind of put you guys in the top five or ten for next season, and I was wondering, coming off the Rose Bowl, do you expect your team to be hungrier because of what happened at the end of the game, or are there concerns about them being satisfied with what they accomplished last year?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think we've discussed this before. I think handling success with young people in general is a challenge. You know, are we going to be as driven? Are we going to be as motivated as we were this year? That's going to be the secret. Are we going to work as hard for our chemistry? Are we going to be able to work as hard for our culture? Are we going to be able to work as hard collectively and individually to get where we want to be?

Last year's success, although it factors into how people rank you for the next year, has no effect. That ranking means little to nothing. End-of-the-year rankings are what matter. I do think we had some experiences last year that are going to be motivating factors for us moving forward. Certain games where we didn't play as well as we should have played, having conversations about whether we made -- would be in the playoffs or not, being that close and not getting in is a motivator. How the bowl game ended is a motivator. So there's things out there, and there's only really one team that's happy at the end of the season.

You know, I went around all over the country -- last week one day I was in Alabama, one day I was in California, yesterday I was in Michigan. You know, and I got everybody coming up to me saying, wow, Coach, best bowl game I've ever seen. Unbelievable. I said, it wasn't that darned good. You know, I understand from an entertainment standpoint it was awesome, but we didn't win the game.

We have things that we should be very proud of, and our guys, they should be confidence-building experiences, but we also have things that I think should be motivating, that, again, the way I look at it, there's one happy team at the end of the year, and that's Clemson and my boy Dabo. Everybody else is salty and angry and ready to get back to work again. And we've got a lot of work that we still need to do in every area possible. I can guarantee you with the leadership on our team and the coaches on our team, we'll have a long discussion about that as soon as recruiting is over, and who we want to be and where we want to go and what sacrifices are we willing to do to get there.

Q. You mentioned limited number of scholarships to give at this point outside of the guys who have already committed. What is the focus in the last week or so heading up to signing day? Is it securing the kids that you have committed? Are you looking ahead to next season? What is the focus in this last week or so?

JAMES FRANKLIN: I think it's both. I think you look around the country right now at some programs that are basically offering prospects that are committed to every school in the country and they're trying to pluck them away. That's how some people approach this time of year. And then you're trying to finish your classes out, whether you're trying to finish your classes out with getting kids that are uncommitted or kids that are committed to other schools. We've got a couple guys that are still entertaining conversations with other schools, and we've got to keep those guys on board with us.

I prefer you get in a situation where guys commit and it's over, but that's not always the case. Guys are going to still entertain conversations or entertain visits. We'd prefer it not to be that way.

So that's one part of our focus, and then the other focus is like I say, we've got two spots left. We've got a handful of guys that we're still recruiting for those last few spots to try to finish this thing -- to try to close this thing out on a real positive note.

I think either way, if signing day is today, we've got a pretty good class. If we can get a few more pieces of the puzzle, you know, there's no perfect class, but if we can get a few more pieces of the puzzle, we feel good about it, and kind of the way I always looked at the recruiting process is a lot like the draft, in terms of what I mean by that is if the guys that we recruit can turn out the way that we thought they would, kind of through our evaluation, all those kind of things, and then if you can get lucky on a few -- Tom Brady. I mean, I was driving around -- I don't listen to sports radio on my own, but some of the coaches, so I was in the car with Tim Banks driving around and he had sports radio on and they were going on and on talking about Belichick or Tom Brady, who's been more of kind of the catalyst to their success, and I think it's both of them. Taking Tom Brady in the sixth round may be the best draft choice in the history of the NFL.

And let's be honest, they didn't know. They didn't know that Tom Brady -- or they wouldn't have took him in the sixth round, they'd have taken him in the first round. So what you want to do is you want to do a great job through your evaluation process, but then you'd love to get lucky on a few. You'd love to get a guy late in the process that commits to you that was a zero-star or one-star or two-star and goes on and is a college football Hall of Famer and a pro football player. That would be great.

I think there's also a lot of discussion with me and my staff and kind of what's going on, we want our guys to have an opportunity to play the game of football as long as they possibly can in terms of the NFL, but really, most important for us is we want our guys to leave as educated men and prepare them for life. We're not really trying to break the record of the most guys drafted. We're trying to graduate our players and go out and recruit the best college players we possibly can. If those guys end up turning into great NFL players, awesome. That's wonderful, as well.

You know, I think there's a lot of discussions about really how you want your team built and what are you really trying to do. And for us, what we're trying to do is we're trying to recruit guys that we think are great fits to this community, that are great fits academically, that are going to be really, really good college players, that will leave here with degrees, and then hopefully can continue playing the game of football as long as they possibly can in the NFL, but it's really in that order. We're not really building this thing to be a feeder system to the NFL.

That's a byproduct to all the other things hopefully that are happening right in the program, if that makes sense.

Q. When you were here, just about everyone that could declare for the NFL did, and everything is situational and case by case, but is there added value when you have guys that could have gone to the NFL that decide for whatever reason to come back?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I guess I don't view it that way. I think you said earlier, all the guys that could declare did in the past --

Q. Not 100 percent --

JAMES FRANKLIN: There was a lot of guys that came back, basically anybody with three years of eligibility after high school can declare, Zettel, there's a bunch of guys. So I don't know if I necessarily agree with your first point there.

But yeah, I think there's always value in guys coming back. You know, I'm a huge believer that you don't leave early for the NFL unless you're going to be a first-rounder. You can make arguments about leaving early if you're a second-rounder. Anything after that, in my opinion, you really shouldn't. The agents are going to tell them otherwise, but I think if you look at what the statistics say, I think I saw yesterday, I think there's been 103 players declare early this year. I think there's like 275 draft choices total or something like that, some number like that. I mean, there's only so many spots. I think you're going to see a record number of guys come out early, and you're going to see a record number of guys that don't get drafted, and that's not what you want.

If you take all the pieces of information, you take how many draft choices you are, how many draft choices there are, and then what happens is you say to yourself, okay, well, I'm the fifth best middle linebacker in the draft. Okay, well, middle linebackers typically don't get drafted. So it's not about where you rank at your position. It's where you rank overall in the draft and what the needs are, and then also how many players, is it a strong draft class at your position. You take all that information, and you also say the average NFL career is three years, three and a half years is what I think it is now. So what everybody needs to be doing is what can we do to maximize that first contract because the percentages say you're never going to make it to the second contract.

And then I think the guaranteed money for a first-round draft choice is like $11 million. I think the second round I think it drops all the way to like $3 million. And then if you can imagine, all the way to the seventh round, the guaranteed money keeps dropping, and it's dramatic drop-offs. So you have to do everything you possibly can to maximize that first contract, because the averages say you won't make it to the second contract.

So what I'm saying is if you can come back to school and jump from the fourth round to the third round, or from the fourth round to the second round or from the third round to the first round, and there's been a lot of examples of guys that have done that, I think you've got to do that as much as you possibly can.

And then obviously having your degree factors into that, as well.

You know, so obviously it's not that simplistic. There's a lot of factors that go into it. Young men's home situations, that factors into it; whether they've completed their degree already factors into it. I'm not sitting here and saying that this is a really simple decision. There's so many factors that go into it. But if you just take the basic information that we just discussed, I still go back to the point where you really shouldn't leave early unless you're going to be a first- or second-rounder for all the reasons that we just discussed.

I do think back to your initial point, there is great value for Penn State in getting older players to come back and contribute, but I also think there's great value for that individual being able to improve their draft status and be able to put reps on tape that show that they are a high-level player and going to be able to perform those things consistently.

And we all have weaknesses, so we identify those weaknesses and say these are the things we're going to work on all off-season, and that's where I think we're going to do a better job moving forward this year is saying what's our plan from a nutrition standpoint, what's our plan from a strength-and-conditioning perspective, what's our plan from a media training perspective, what's our plan from a treatment and rehab perspective, and really putting all these things, an academic plan, that these guys are leaving giving themselves the best chance for success on and off the field.

That was a long answer. I apologize.

Q. Antoine White said he plans to transfer. Are there any other guys you're not expecting to be here for spring ball?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, there's ongoing discussions with a number of guys. What I mean by that, I'm talking about the whole program, so there's some walk-on guys that are going to decide whether they're going to come back for their last year or going to move on for internships or student teaching and those types of things.

For the scholarship guys, we pretty much had anticipated -- I think that's why the first question was about the number of scholarships. I think a lot of times you guys try to kind of predict how many we're going to sign based on what you see on the roster, but there's 15 conversations that are going on with parents and kids about transferring.

I think these guys that have decided to move on, we wish them all the success in the world. I think a lot of it deals with they look at the roster, they look at what's returning, they look at what their role is going to be next year, and are they going to be happy with that role or do they want a more significant role or whatever it may be, but there's a lot of conversations going on behind the scenes that we're aware of that allow us to make some of these decisions about how many we're going to be able to take, because you guys know it's fluid. What guys do you think are going to be able to leave early and guys are going to make that decision. Like I said, we're probably in conversation with about seven different guys in our program, and we're trying to anticipate who we think is going to come out based off of all the information that we have and what's going to come back.

It about came out what we thought, that we'd probably lose two. I thought maybe there was a chance of four, but it ended up being two, and I'm pleased for that.

Q. Going back to some of the young talent that you have, with the benefit of hindsight, what do you think this year did for Cam Brown? How did you see him develop this season?

JAMES FRANKLIN: I think that's one of the more difficult things to do now is you make a decision to play a guy, and everybody stays healthy, how much time do they get? How much time on special teams? How much time do they get on offense? How much time do they get on defense? I think you're going to have guys at the end of the year -- every year you say to yourself, we should have played this guy and we redshirted him, or we should have redshirted this guy and we ended up playing him, or vice versa.

You know, you're always going to have one or two guys like that that you kind of go back and forth on how it played out, but it's hard to predict whether you're going to stay healthy at a position or not.

I think in the long run, Cam is going to be a much better player next year based on the experiences that he had this year, and then the other part hard that you guys know that we've all discussed is you end up redshirting a guy saying he's going to be more valuable to our program and going to be a better player for himself as a fifth-year redshirt senior. But if you redshirt a guy and then he doesn't come back for his redshirt senior year and he could have played 60 reps as a true freshman, you obviously didn't make the right decision, because you want to be able to have guys play for four years.

So that's the hard part, and it's really difficult to kind of predict those things. That's what you're trying to do, and the problem is you don't have hindsight. You don't have hindsight. But that's the constant struggle that I go through and assistant coaches go through with making these decisions.

Q. With the early enrollees, how critical is it to get them in early, get them in the program and have them kind of established, and then specifically with Lamont Wade, is he a guy you think could make an impact as a true freshman?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think the early enrollees are great. I read something the other day, I think Clemson a few years ago had 16 early enrollees, guys that played in this National Championship game. So I don't think there's any doubt that there's value, that there's value in these guys being on campus, taking college credits, getting adjusted academically, getting adjusted socially, and then legitimately having a chance to compete for a starting job in camp.

If you're just showing up on campus for the first time, it takes a pretty special guy to say you're going to play as a true freshman or earn a starting job when you've only been on campus for four to six weeks and you're competing with guys who have been on campus four, three, two years. I think it helps, but it's not for everybody. Some guys aren't ready. You basically go from being a high school student on a Wednesday to being a college student on a Monday, and a lot of guys aren't ready for that.

On the same hand, as we all know, for the student-athletes that typically are ready to leave at mid-semester, academically, athletically, socially, the whole deal, let's be honest, a lot of times the second half of a senior year in high school, you can make the argument there's more value in starting and taking college classes, and you see some guys are doing that in high school. They're going to the local community college and taking college classes anyway. So we're talking about guys that are academically ready to go to college. You're talking about guys that are socially ready to go to college. But it's not for everybody. We don't ever try to talk guys into doing it because I also think there's value in saying I'm going to go to my prom; I am going to play my senior year of basketball. There's value in that, as well, being with my buddies for six more months and kind of going through that process, being able to go away for vacation with my mom and dad after I graduate for a week, those types of things. I'd probably prefer that they don't go to senior week because that always seems like a week of concern for me all over the country, senior week. I remember my senior week.

So you don't ever try to convince guys that this is what they should do, but if it's something that they want to do and they're ready to do it, then I do think there's tremendous benefits in it.

Q. What do you think Noah Beh took away from his season last year, and do you expect him to contribute moving forward?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, we'll see. We'll see how these things play out. I think every guy's situation is different, and how they handle those situations, you know, I think -- what we want is we want all these situations that happened for our guys to be opportunities for growth, and I think as coaches, if we handle that way and the players handle it that way, then they learn from it, they grow, they move forward, they move on, and they're better for it and we're better for it, all of us.

To me that's up to all of us. That's up to me as the head coach to handle that way, to look at anything that happens in life as an opportunity to grow and learn from, and it's up to these young people to do the same thing. The most important thing is are we looking back four to five years from now, are we looking back 15 to 20 years from now when we have the anniversary of the Big Ten Championship game and these guys all come back, and we're laughing about some of the bumps in the roads and the hiccups that they had as freshmen and sophomores and things like that.

You know, where are they now? And as we all know, we're where we are today because of every experience that we have along the way growing up. That's kind of how we look at all these things.

Q. Is DaeSean a guy that you're expecting back next year?

JAMES FRANKLIN: DaeSean Hamilton?

Q. Yeah.

JAMES FRANKLIN: I think to be honest with you, all these guys that we're looking for the most part now have decided to be back. So yeah, we're anticipating DaeSean to be back and we're anticipating him to have a big role for us. But yeah, these guys -- we're at a point now where these guys are all registered for classes, they're going to classes, they've started workouts and all those types of things. So we're pretty clear at this point of who we have coming back and who we don't, and like I said, there will be some conversations with some guys, and there will probably be a little bit of wiggle room between now and the start of camp. But I think for the most part, our roster is pretty much set now.

Q. Speaking of anniversaries, tomorrow marks the five-year passing of Joe Paterno. From a personal standpoint and also from a guy who works in the office that he did, what's his legacy these days?

JAMES FRANKLIN: You know, first of all, I am impressed with your numbers. You are a numbers guy. Anniversary dates, numbers, days that we've been on campus, all those types of things.

I think one of the things that we kind of look at and that I've been able to kind of experience, that I've been able to kind of see, that I've learned since being on campus, is the impact on people, the positive impact on people when it comes to graduation rates, when it comes to the amount of successful people that have gone on and are doing wonderful things as fathers or doing wonderful things as businessmen and as husbands. I've just met so many people. We've got lettermen here this week, their sons that we're recruiting.

And to me that's what it's about. It's not about the wins and the losses, it's about how many people did you have a positive impact on, and all the players that came through here he was able to have a positive impact on. And I think that's what it's about. I think the championships are important and the wins and losses are important. I think you guys heard me talk about this after the Rose Bowl Game. There's a greater purpose to this.

The education is what I think everybody focuses on, but the education is really talking about the impact that Penn State can have on the rest of their life, and it's not just what they learn in the classroom but it's all the people that you come in contact with that had a positive impact on you and made a difference.

To me, that's where I hope 20 years from now that it's not about the wins, it's about how many people have gone on and done wonderful things as fathers and husbands and as businessmen and feel like that Penn State and our coaching staff and me had a positive impact on them. I think that's really his legacy is the individual conversations that I've had with former players that feel very, very strongly about the impact that he had on his life and his teammates. That's what I can speak on.

Q. You had mentioned numbers and conversations and those kinds of things. Gray-shirting, that's a phrase we've kind of heard about, talked about. Is that something you anticipate doing with any of the '17 guys?

JAMES FRANKLIN: At this point -- I've done gray-shirting in the past. We have not done it yet here at Penn State. I do think it happens at places like Penn State because you're going to have some young guys that say to themselves, I want to be at Penn State, and I'm willing to turn down some other opportunities to take a gray-shirt opportunity at Penn State.

I think where that really comes in is it's hard to get to the 85 scholarships, and it creates a little bit of flexibility, because again, you don't truly know what your numbers are until the last minute, before camp starts. So it creates a little bit of flexibility, and it's a conversation that happens between a high school coach and a young man and his family. So we haven't done it yet, but it's been a conversation about the possibility of it. We don't have any of those conversations going on right now, but it could come up at some point.

Q. Knowing Trace a lot better than we do, how do you think the Rose Bowl will impact him between now and during his preparation for next season?

JAMES FRANKLIN: You guys have heard me talk about Trace a couple different ways. Number one, he's a winner, and I think we've all seen that. He's also a guy that doesn't get too high and doesn't get too low. I mean, obviously starting out the game with a couple interceptions and things like that, obviously he wasn't happy with that, but again, there wasn't one person on the sideline or watching the game that would say that kid's not handling this adversity well. He handles things really well. He handles success well, and he handles challenges well.

I think he'll do the same thing. I'd also describe him as someone who's very aware. He's aware of his strengths, he's aware of his weaknesses, he's aware of the games he played well, he's aware of the games he thinks he could have played better, and he'll go back and attack and study those things and say, why did I play well in this game, why did I play well on this drive, why did I not play as well on this drive, and what can I do to limit those experiences next year, because there's going to be times next year where he plays really well and there's going to be times where he struggles.

What we're going to do between now and next year is how can we take the amount of times that he maybe made decisions that he would prefer to make differently in the future and how can we limit them. Say 12 percent of the time last year he made decisions that he would have, now looking back at it, made differently; how can we take that and reduce it to maybe 8 percent or 6 percent next year, and kind of keep heading in that direction.

I think it's kind of interesting, you look at the Green Bay Packers, and I always kind of follow them a little bit differently because of my time there and we drafted Aaron Rodgers, but I think about some of the conversations that were going on early in the season with the Packers and specifically Aaron Rodgers and now. Now they're talking about maybe the greatest guy to ever play the position, and I think early in the season there was a different conversation going on, that they were struggling and this and that.

I think that's what you just want to constantly be doing as players and as coaches and as programs is evolving and growing and not letting small setbacks and moments of time affect your overall development, if that makes sense. And I think Trace has really got a good feel and maturity and foundation to be able to do those types of things.

Q. You mentioned a little bit earlier about early enrollees and the benefit of having them here. What's Lamont Wade's acclimation period been like so far and how do you plan on easing him in since you have the time?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, and now that you've asked that question, I probably didn't answer the question about his impact, and I apologize. I don't really like to kind of go that route. These guys have enough pressure on them from a lot of different perspectives, based on how highly they were recruited and those types of things. As we know, once they show up on campus, all those things go away. It's not like because you're a five-star or four-star or three-star guy you're going to get more playing time because of it or you're going to get higher grades because of it. You're going to have to come and you're going to have to earn everything you get.

I do think from the feedback I've gotten from the players, as well as the strength staff, is they seem to be doing well, the academic staff. But again, I've been gone. I haven't seen Addy Shola until Friday. I leave Sunday and I come back Friday each week.

I've got a meeting with the mid-semester guys today just to check in on them and see how they're doing. I've texted them and called them and things like that, but I haven't seen them. So I'm going to have a meeting with all four of those guys today and just sit down and just make sure they are doing well and they're adjusting well, but the feedback I get from Todd Kulka, our academic advisor, they seem to be doing really well. The feedback that I get from Dwight Galt, the strength staff, they seem to be doing well. Tim Bream and his staff, Will Flaherty, who runs our player development, is very hands-on with our guys in the adjustment process, they seem to be doing well.

I also think that's the reason why you see football staffs being as big as they are is because, like I said, there's times of year where we're gone, and there needs to be people in place to support these guys.

Q. If and when they go to another signing date or an early signing date, how will that change -- I'm sure you've planned for that. How will that change the way you operate? And also, are you in favor of the scholarship becoming a four-year contract, which a lot of people have talked about?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, you know, let me give you two different -- let me answer both your questions, but I guess two different ways. The first thing about the four-year scholarship compared to the one-year scholarship, I don't think it matters. I don't think it ever mattered. All the places that I've ever been, scholarships are renewable every single year, and it's never been based on ability. If a guy is handling his business academically and he doesn't have any social problems in the community, they're renewed every year.

If you sign a guy to a four-year scholarship and he doesn't handle his business academically or he has some social problems, they have the ability to lose their scholarship. So whether it's a one-year scholarship or a four-year scholarship, to me there's really never been any difference because they're only not getting renewed if a guy isn't handling his business in those two areas, if that makes sense. So I don't really think it matters.

I think like most things in life, rules are put in place for the 5 percent, not the 95 percent that have been doing it the right way the whole time anyway. Does that make sense?

And then the first part of your question was what again?

Q. If there's an early signing period.

JAMES FRANKLIN: To be honest with you, it's been something we've been talking about for 10 years as coaches, as administrators, the NCAA. We've never been able to come up with a model that everybody can agree with. I think it's probably going to happen this time from all the feedback that I'm getting and the vote that we had as coaches at the AFCA. So I think it's going to happen.

So yeah, we have an idea, but to be honest with you, it's been something that's been talked about for 10 years. Our model will be put in place once it's finalized, and we understand all the specifics and all the details. I do think it's going to make signing day, the first Wednesday in February, a little less sexy than it's been in the past. But we'll have an approach in how we handle it that makes the most sense for Penn State moving forward, you know, because ultimately that's what it comes down to. Here's the model that the NCAA comes up with, this is the model that all the schools kind of agree to, working together with the NCAA, and now we come up with a plan that's most beneficial for Penn State and allows us to maximize the rules that makes the most sense for us.

Our model is probably going to be very different than what Florida State's model is compared to what USC's model is compared to different schools in different regions around the country. I think you're going to see different models for the very same reason why we have a difficult time making any decisions because most people as coaches and as athletic administration at the schools, as well as conferences, we all vote for what's in our best interest, you know, and what we're trying to do right now, and I think the AFCA as well as the NCAA and as well as commissioners, administrators, what we're all trying to do right now is say what's in the best interest of the game of football, what's in the best interest of student-athletes, and let's make that, because what I always thought was funny is you'll see a coach at school X adamant about how he votes for a proposal, and then the very next year he's at a different school, and he is as adamant as he was on a completely different philosophy than he was three months earlier. And that's just human nature. That's the nature of the beast.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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