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Tuesdays With James: Franklin Talks Mike Locksley, Signature Wins, Drew Shelton

Penn State bounced back from its loss to Ohio State with a resounding 45-14 win over Indiana and is looking to go undefeated for the second week in a row.

In its penultimate home game on Saturday, Penn State will face off against a school that he is familiar with, Maryland.

Franklin had his weekly news conference on Tuesday. “Tuesdays with James” will highlight some of the key points.


Franklin coached alongside Maryland head coach Mike Locksley at Maryland from 2000-2002, when Locksley was the running backs coach and a recruiting coordinator, and Franklin was the wide receivers coach and a recruiting coordinator. They were on Ralph Friedgen’s staff when Maryland won its last conference championship in 2001. Franklin complimented him and how he built his program and the job he has done on the recruiting trail.

“I’ve known Mike Locksley for a long time; we were on the same staff at the University of Maryland for a number of years,” Franklin said. “He’s done a really nice job of improving their roster and recruiting their players.”


Penn State is in a prime position to finish with a 10-2 record and a possible New Year’s Six bowl this season. However, Penn State lost to both Ohio State and Michigan. They beat an Auburn team on the road that fired their coach. The two best teams in the Big Ten other that they faced other the “Big Two” are Purdue, who is 5-4, and Minnesota, who, like Maryland, is 6-3; however, its regular starting quarterback Tanner Morgan was not available for the game against Penn State. Franklin spoke about how it’s challenging to be a consistent program and have signature wins in college football.

“There’s value in it,” Franklin said. “It’s interesting that programs that have not been consistent but have big-time wins and programs that are consistent but don’t have a signature win, and obviously, you want both. You want the consistency week in and week out, and it’s hard to do, and having signature wins is also hard to do.”
He went on and said that trying to win the game that’s in front of you is most important.

“Most importantly, we got to be 1-0 this week, or people will be complaining about that, too.”


Franklin spoke about how the coaches had to adjust in calling the game last week with injuries to Olu Fashanu, Landon Tengwall, and Caeden Wallace, among others, and guys like Drew Shelton, JB Nelson, and Vega Ioane had to step up and start as freshmen. He talked about how he wanted to preserve redshirt status for players but not make that a priority over winning. He spoke about Tengwall will miss the rest of the season and talked about Fashanu will be week-to-week with his injury and hopes to have Wallace back for Saturday.

However, Franklin was most complimentary of Shelton, who stepped in for Fashanu and had a pretty solid day at left tackle, and Frankin saw the potential when he first saw him in the third grade.
“Drew Shelton has prepared all season; he is another one of those freshmen in this class that we have been talking about,” Franklin said. “He has been very intentional in how he has worked. He has been very mature, and from a very early point from he arrived on campus that he has a chance to be pretty good.”

Twitter: @bwalkerdadon

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