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Franklin: 2021 recruiting class won’t be huge, but ‘going to be a really good class’

James Franklin said Penn State’s recruiting class for 2021 won’t be a big class with huge numbers, but it will end up being just fine.

“I think it’s going to be a really good class,” Franklin said during a radio interview Saturday morning on ESPN’s “Marty and McGee show.”

Penn State has only 13 commits, far below most teams in the country. Franklin has previously said the Lions “haven’t gotten it done” up to their usual standards because of drawbacks during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s been challenging,” Franklin said Saturday. “But at the end of the day, nobody wants to hear that. Nobody wants to hear what you would describe as excuses. You’ve got to get the job done.”

Franklin has discussed Penn State’s location with regards to recruiting issues lately, and he brought it up again Saturday. PSU, like most teams, is having to recruit numerous players from around the country who have never visited the campus, and the coach said some places have it better if recruits are located nearby.

“I also think it really kind of depends on where you’re located,” he said. “If you’re in a state that’s loaded with DI talent or in a city or region with a bunch of DI talent where those guys have been on campus multiple times” it can be easier.

“We’re not the easiest place to get to,” the coach noted of PSU’s rural campus.

“Once you come, it’s as special as any place in the country,” he added.

In other news

**Franklin said he spoke to former PSU star running back Saquon Barkley on Friday. Barkley is out for the season after suffering an ACL injury last week with the New York Giants.

“As you could imagine, at first it’s hard to deal with,” Franklin said of Barkley’s attitude about the injury. But he’s just such a positive guy. … He’s just been such a great example for our team and for this community. I’m super proud of him.”

Franklin also gave this bit of interesting information about Barkley:

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“I have a really good relationship with Saquon. He actually this spring was planning on coming and spending a month with us and basically kind of doing a coaching internship with us.”

That wasn’t possible, of course, because of the coronavirus.

**Asked what he’ll do today while the rest of the country is playing football:

“I’m kind of torn,” Franklin said. “There’s part of me that doesn’t want to watch it because it’s extremely strange sitting on your couch watching other people play in the fall.”

The coach then said he will end up watching football anyway.

**The team, he added, will practice today in Beaver Stadium.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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