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June 10, 2014

Players push forward through summer

James Franklin and his assistant coaching staff are in Atlanta today for the Trent Miles Football Camp on the campus of Georgia State University.

They'll follow up their stop at Georgia State with an appearance at Stetson University's Prospect Camp on Wednesday before Franklin and a few other staffers head to the Sound Mind, Sound Body Football Academy Thursday.

Their absences, however, do not mean that Penn State football is at a standstill as a result.

Rather, with Penn State's strength and conditioning staff still in Happy Valley to help guide the Nittany Lions through their summer workouts, progress continues to be made. Asked about the status of that progress during Penn State's Senior Elite Camp on Sunday afternoon, Franklin indicated that he was pleased by the reports filtering back to his desk.

"I know talking to Coach Galt, our strength coach and his staff - and I think we've got an unbelievable staff - they're pleased," he said. "Year one, I think that first couple of weeks was still a transition because they're starting to kind of feel how we do summer workouts.

"But they've been really good from everything I've been told - feedback from players, feedback from the coaches - they're having fun, they're flying around."

Noting the fact that new NCAA rules permit programs' coaches to interact with players on a more direct basis through the summer months, Franklin identified that he and his staff have chosen not to run "morning workouts" in the vein of teaching football - without the ball.

Still, with another NCAA rule allowing football players to work as helpers during summer camps, Franklin's philosophy of more is better has taken hold even further this year.

"It's a new rule that they just put in place. Other sports have been doing it for years. We called around again to find out how people are instituting it, dealing with it and things like that," he said. "We obviously had a lot of conversations with our compliance department to make sure we're all on the same page, but it's been really good. It's been really good.

"For us, it's just another opportunity to spend some more time with them. I think it's really important as players to not only get coached and play the position, but it's also important a lot of times to step to the other side and be the coach and kind of understand why we're asking them to do certain things and the evaluation process."

Hoping to develop a sense of coaching that will pay dividends as Penn State's few upperclassmen take charge of the Nittany Lions' backloaded roster of younger players, Franklin is fostering the continuing evolution of the program.



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