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Freiermuth staying put, says there’s no ‘culture’ issue within PSU program

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Pat Freiermuth

Tight end Pat Freiermuth confirmed his commitment to Penn State for the entire season despite the slow start, and he said there is not a culture problem on the team.

“I’m committed to Penn State till I decide my time’s up here,” the All-American said Tuesday morning. “Like I said before, I love this university, I love this this this program, I love the coaches, I love the players in it. And I’m with them in the good times and the bad times.

“I just can’t, that’s not my personality to just walk away when we’re down and the program’s down. I’m gonna get up and fight back and try and get out get us our first win this season and do anything I can to make this program go in the next step. So, yeah, I haven’t even thought that, it never crossed my mind to opt out after our slow start.”

Wide receiver Jahan Dotson made some alarming comments after Saturday’s 35-19 loss to Maryland about players needing to buy in, trust each other, keep putting in the work and not putting individual needs first.

“I completely agree with him,” Freiermuth said.

The fact that those words came from such a quiet member of the team as Dotson made them carry extra weight.

“Obviously a quiet kid like Jahan doesn’t really voice his opinion, just kind of comes in and does his thing,” Freiermuth said. “And he tries to do anything you can to help the team win. But him speaking out vocally, obviously, it really hits different because like you said he’s quiet and doesn’t really talk much.

“All the stuff he said was true,” Freiermuth added. “And with him being so quiet and kind of not really voicing his opinion, it means a lot more coming from him because when we were all thinking it and we’re all trying to get that point across.”

Freiermuth also was asked if there’s a culture issue within the program, in light of what Dotson spoke of Saturday.

“Absolutely not,” Freiermuth said.

“I don’t think it’s a coaching thing at all. I think Coach Franklin, like you said, built great culture in this program. The culture just doesn’t go away that quickly from from last year to this year. And I think it’s just going back to just buying in. I mean, I think that there’s certain players on the team that need to buy in and continue to trust the coaches.

“We just can’t go out on game days and try and make individual plays and play outside of the framework of the defense, offensive, special teams. (We) need to do what we’re told to do. If everyone does their job, then you’re gonna be able to make plays. You can’t just go out and go rogue, go outside of the framework and try and make plays yourselves. The defense is built for a specific reason. The office is built for specific reason, including special teams. And we need to go out and execute that, and the plays will come.

“Within the with with team success comes individual success, and we just got to make sure that we’re all bought into that mentality and we just keep looking out for each other.”

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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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