The Nittany Lions donned full pads on Wednesday evening for their fifth practice of fall camp. An enthusiastic James Franklin met with media members following the practice and answered a handful of questions about his impressions of his teams’ start and players.
“Overall, I’m pleased,” Franklin said. “I knew we were fast. I knew we were athletic. I think our execution has been really good. I thought our coaches and our players did a really good job – we had a better plan of how to use the two hours in the summer so we were able to get ahead on the installs.”
Franklin said strength and conditioning coach Dwight Galt has worked to make the team bigger and stronger, and their testing results were impressive.
Penn State freshmen running backs Noah Cain and Devyn Ford have opened camp with strong showings. Ideally, Franklin would like to stagger the position to preserve Cain’s and Ford’s eligibility. Thanks to the NCAA’s four-game redshirt rule, he just might be able to do that.
“Noah’s going to show up when it’s live,” Franklin said. He’s the guy who’s going to get four yards on a consistent basis… and you’re going to look down at the stats and he’s going to have 100 yards.”
Ford’s explosiveness and maturity has stood out to Franklin during the first week.
“He can run,” Franklin said. “He’s proved that in summer and he’s proved that on the field. We’re pleased with those things.”
Lackawanna College transfer, safety Jaquan Brisker, appears to be ahead of schedule and will contend for a spot at the position. Through five practices, Franklin’s encouraged by his development.
“He’s a details guy,” Franklin said. “I see him doing to the little things probably earlier than I would have anticipated. The ball’s on the ground, he’s scooping and scoring. He’s got positive energy with his teammates. I’ve been impressed with him.”
Earlier in the week, Franklin said he took advantage of the rain and practiced outside in the conditions to better familiarize his team with playing in those situations.
ELTON HAYES covers Penn State sports for CNHI. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EHDC12.