Only one former Penn State football will playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday, and that’s Philadelphia Eagle Miles Sanders.
The Eagles will take on the Kansas City Chiefs for the Lombardi Trophy.
To get to this point, Sanders has journeyed from the WPIAL and Woodland Hills to Penn State and the Big Ten and now the Eagles and the NFL. Along the way, he’s had many coaches make an impact on his game and his growth, but one stands out among the rest: Penn State coach James Franklin.
“I have to give a lot of credit to James Franklin,” Sanders said at Super Bowl media day Monday. “He’s doing a great job at Penn State bringing in the best players he can and developing boys into men. Education is really important to him and that always stood out to me. I have to give a lot credit to Penn State and James as an individual.”
Miles Sanders: “I have to give a lot of credit to #PennState, and James Franklin. He does a great job bringing the best players to campus, education is really important to him, and that always stood out to me.” #Eagles #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/g0NzoAvgrK
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) February 7, 2023
It should come as no surprise, then, that when Franklin was asked about Sanders during his press conference Tuesday, he was beyond complementary of Sanders, both as a player and person.
“Miles is very awesome,” Franklin said, “and we’re proud of him. He’s done really well, not just on the field and being an impact player for the Eagles, but really how he’s represented himself off the field as well.”
Sanders represented Franklin Penn State well during his time in Happy Valley, and that’s continued in the NFL.
“He’s been like that the whole way, all the way since we recruited him out of high school,” Franklin said. “He’s just been a phenomenal representative of Penn State and our football program.”
On the field, Sanders is a major reason the Eagles are in the big game, having rushed for a career-high 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
That doesn’t surprise Franklin.
“He really kind of fits the model of what everybody is looking for,” Franklin said, “specifically, now in the NFL. He’s a guy that not only can run a ball between the tackles, but also get the ball to the edge and also be an impact in the passing game and takes great pride in his pass protection.”
Penn State fans will be able to see Sanders take the field in his first Super Bowl Sunday at 6:20 p.m.