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One-on-One With James Franklin

K.C. Kantz sits down with the Nittany Lions head football coach.
HE'S BEEN GOING NON STOP SINCE BEING NAMED PENN STATE'S 16TH HEAD FOOTBALL COACH ALL TIME BACK IN JANUARY.

AND DESPITE NOT EVEN COACHING A REGULAR SEASON GAME YET, JAMES FRANKLIN SAYS DOWN TIME OVER THE PAST 5 MONTHS OR SO HAS BEEN HARD TO COME BY.

"It's stuff with the media, it's stuff with our players, recruiting...we usually always have somebody visiting campus from a recruiting perspective.  Talking to the staff about where we're going, getting plans for camps and things like that, so there's always something on our plate."

WHAT IS YOUR DAILY ROUTINE COACH?

"this takes some time...i don't just wake up and look like this. Shaving cream from here to here..every morning... takes me about 35 minutes to shave my nugget, and then usually I get on the computer and find out what's going in the world, what other people are doing."

FRANKLIN, WAS BORN IN LANGHORNE, PA..PLAYING HIS COLLEGE FOOTBALL AT EAST STROUDSBURG. HE'S SAID SINCE DAY 1 THAT HE'S ALWAYS BEEN A PENN STATE FOOTBALL FAN...AND THAT IT STILL REALLY HASN'T SUNK IN YET THAT HE'S NOW THE HEAD COACH OF THE TEAM HE GREW UP ROOTING FOR.

"it's really still to this point surreal. Penn State was never really a job that I felt would be attainable for me.  I thought always it would be a job that I would look at from a distance and be in awe of.  So to think that I have a chance to come home and be the head coach is important.  I tell people all the time, this is not a job for me, this is not a career..this is a personal thing to me.  I take tremendous pride. It's still surreal. I'm so busy, I don't have a lot of time..unless people like yourself ask me."

DO YOU THINK THAT YOU BRING THAT STABILITY HERE TO HAPPY VALLEY?

"think about this, the red shirt seniors...I'm their 4th head coach in 5 years.  Which is unheard of at this place.  I love the fact that in this industry typically the coach is supposed to stay 7 years. They either get rid of you or you leave.  I love that Penn State the mentality is that you come and you're supposed to stay 80 years.  I'm awesome with that.  I think that's great.  Especially in a place like this.  That's special..ya that's what I'd like to be able to bring.  I'd like to be a part of the healing and to bring our community back together..like a family, like it's always been."

AS FAR AS PUTTING HIS STAMP ON ASSEMBLING THE BEST TEAM POSSIBLE AT PENN STATE, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE SCHOLARSHIP REDUCTIONS, FRANKLIN OF COURSE COINED THE NOW WELL-KNOWN PHRASE REGARDING HIS RECRUITING PHILOSOPHY DURING HIS INTRODUCTORY NEWS CONFERENCE BACK IN EARLY JANUARY.

((FILE : FRANKLIN "we're going to dominate the state!"))

"It's amazing..the person is important and the coach is important, but it's amazing the logo on the shirt...carries a lot of weight...you're at Penn State. It makes it a little bit different.  I recruited against Penn State for a long time..I've recruited this state for most of my career...it's helps in a lot of ways, and helps with my staff."

AND WITH THE LATEST "MITCHELL REPORT" EXPECTED TO COME OUT LATER THIS SUMMER, I ALSO ASKED COACH IF HE ANTICIPATED ANY FURTHER REDUCTION TO THE SANCTIONS...HE TOLD ME THAT HE DOESN'T FOCUS ON THINGS HE CAN'T CONTROL..."IF SOMETHING CHANGES, THEN WONDERFUL...IT'S ICING ON THE CAKE..IT'S A BONUS."

FRANKLIN ALSO MADE IT CLEAR A NUMBER OF TIMES DURING OUR CONVERSATION THAT THE NITTANY LIONS FOCUS DOES NOT AND WILL NOT GO BEYOND THE SEASON OPENER AUGUST 30TH AGAINST CENTRAL FLORIDA...THAT INCLUDES PUTTING TOO MUCH FOCUS ON WHERE THAT GAME WILL BE PLAYED...OF COURSE IN DUBLIN, IRELAND.

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