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June 8, 2014

Franklin says camps provide opportunity to build program

James Franklin doesn't mind the hullabaloo.

For as much national publicity generated from his decision to take the Penn State coaching staff to work as guest instructors at football camps in Georgia and Florida, the result was an awareness and interest among prospects that otherwise might not have existed.

"I know people are excited and I love the fact that it's made national headlines because that just helps us," Franklin said Sunday afternoon at Holuba Hall, midway through hosting his first summer camp as Penn State's head coach.

"We're excited and we're anticipating good numbers, but to be honest with you… if we find one kid that ends up coming to Penn State and becomes an All-Big Ten player that we might not have gotten without it, it's a win. Even if it's just one."

This, of course, coming after the Southeastern Conference's media days at the end of May in which a handful of coaches complained about a perceived uneven playing field in recruiting due to the NCAA's rules not being uniform across the power conferences.

Anticipating the questions in his first media appearance since returning from a two-week vacation with his wife and daughters in Florida, Franklin was fully prepared to again explain his reasoning behind the trips for his coaching staff.

"There's rules in place and we're going to follow the rules. If you look, there's teams around this country that have been doing this for maybe close to 10 years, and for whatever reason, we do it this year and it's made national headlines. I don't know why," he said. "As you guys know, we're going to do everything in our power to build this program to where everybody wants it to be. We take great pride in that and we're going to follow the rules, but we're going to use the rules as well.

"The Big Ten and NCAA allows you to go do these camps. We learned about it from other universities doing it. We called, we researched, we found out how they did it and we're going to take part in it. For us, it's about creating opportunities. As you guys know, we're going to treat six hours from campus as in-state for us. I think that makes it fairly reasonable for kids within six hours to get to our campus, but there's a lot of families in this country that can't afford to come to Penn State, so if we have the opportunity to take Penn State to them, awesome."

In addition to his full staff's appearance at the Georgia State and Stetson University camps, Franklin and a few of his staff will also be making an appearance at the Sound Mind, Sound Body Football Academy being held near Detroit this Thursday.

According to Franklin, their participation in the 10th annual event offers yet another opportunity to spread the message of Penn State football.

"There's a lot of college coaches that are involved in it, so we got a call about doing it," he said. "As you guys know, I'm not going to turn down too many opportunities to get out and sell this program and build this program."

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