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WATCH: James Franklin comments and video after PSU spring scrimmage

James Franklin spoke about a number of players and topics following Saturday’s spring scrimmage at Beaver Stadium. Here’s a look at what the coach had to say.

Opening remarks:

“I want to thank the fans for coming out. I think we announced about 7,500. After last season it felt like 75,000. It really felt good to be in their with our freshmen students and our parents.”

“Being in that stadium felt great. I can’t imagine what it will be to get back to averaging what we did the two years before the pandemic. … Whatever we have to do to get the stadium back full. That’s for our community, that’s for the state of Pennsylvania, that’s for our university and that’s for our football program.”

On the offense this spring:

“I think we’ve made great progress. Obviously there’s a bunch of things we still got to get cleaned up … but we’ve gotten a lot in.”

“It’s a great battle between our offensive and defensive personnel every day.”

“We’ve laid a really good foundation. These next three practices will be important because we’ve been heavy install these first 12 practices.”

“The thing I’ve always felt is the run game is something you’d like to leave the spring feeling good about because it’s hard to” improve on that in the summer. … “The passing game, there’s a lot of things you can work on on your own.”

“I like where we’re at, but there’s still work to be done.”

On when the next three practices will be:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

On QB Sean Clifford:

“He’s done some really good things this spring. Mike (Yurcich) has really been impressed from what I’ve seen with Sean’s approach.”

“He works really hard at it.”

On freshman CB Kalen Kling:

“He is physically ready. He’s a guy that’s come in and already physically developed from a weight standpoint and from a strength standpoint.”

“He’s also very mature. Him and his twin brother (Kobe) are very mature, they know how to work, they know how to compete.”

“On top of that, he’s got ball skills. You want to recruit guys that can play both sides of the ball. He’s got tremendous confidence in his talents, and he’s got ball skills.”

“Some guys like him, the ball just likes him. He’s gotten a couple interceptions where you just throw it to him.”

“Part of it is he’s always around the ball, and I think he’s got a pretty good understanding of what we’re trying to do.”

“What you guys saw today isn’t new. We’ve seen it all spring.”

On RB Keyvone Lee:

“Keyvone is your typical 237 (pound) power back in the Big Ten that is always running north-south. … He’s the guy that you look at the end of the game, you think he played pretty good, and he’s got 115 yards and two touchdowns.”

“He’s always falling forward.”

“He’s doing a better job of understanding who he is. There were times last year he would try to bounce things, and that’s not really who he is at this stage.”

“He’s had a nice spring.”

On O-line:

“The offensive line has really done some nice things overall this spring.”

“Pleased. I think (Phil Trautwein has) got that group really headed in the right direction, and Mike Miranda and Rasheed (Walker) have done a good job with the leadership.”

On CB Marquis Wilson moving to athlete:

“Marquis is a guy that we’ve been talking about since we recruited him the possibility of playing both ways.”

“Marquis has got great ball skills, he’s got tremendous confidence in himself and we’re looking for a few more playmakers at the wide receiver position.”

“We made the change about a week ago.”

“He’s still figuring it out right now, but he’s already shown some flashes in practice.”

“Kalen King’s development and Johnny Dixon coming in, we feel like we’ve got pretty good depth at the corner position, and that factored into it.”

On no Ja’Ayir Brown today:

Not available health-wise

On having two good bookend offensive tackles in Rasheed Walker and Caeden Wallace:

“If you’ve got two tackles you’ve got a lot of confidence in, that’s where you’d like to start and build from.”

“You’d love to have a center and two bookend tackles to maybe help some inexperienced guards.”

“You want to feel really good about your two guys on the edges.”

On if he feels like he has a backup QB:

“I think it’s hard to say that when you have guys that haven’t played significant game reps. It’s hard to say you feel that way until guys get in there.”

“Both Ta’Quan and Christian both show some really good flashes of understanding what we’re trying to do, how to operate the offense the way Mike wants it to run.”

“Ta’quan this spring has probably has as many of those wow throws as anybody.”

“But until you get that experience it’s hard to say you feel great until you know they’ve done it.”

“We’ve got some work to do there, but we feel good about our guys and we feel really good about the guy coaching them.”

On having explosive element in running game:

“That’s part of the running back, whether it’s Keyvone breaking tackles to get those explosive plays.”

“We’ve got a bunch of backs we think can provide that.”

“The explosive plays on the run game will come kind of through all those things (scheme, running backs, extending field).”

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Written By

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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