Penn State coach James Franklin met with media after inside Holuba Hall after the team’s practice Monday, Aug. 14.
Here are some key points from the coach’s latest media session.
‘BUMPS AND BRUISES’
Landon Tengwall’s college football career hasn’t gone to plan thus far.
Penn State’s highest-rated ‘21 signed He only played in three games during his freshman season.
Last year, he became the team’s starting left guard… until an injury he suffered during pregame warmups against Michigan ended his season less than halfway through.
With Year 3 looming, Tengwall appears poised to reclaim his job, but Franklin said Monday that the injury bug hasn’t fully stayed away from him.
“Landon’s got some bumps and bruises he’s dealing with right now,” Franklin said. “As you guys know, I don’t get into injuries.”
As of now, there’s nothing that indicates Tengwall won’t be out there against West Virginia Week 1 under the Beaver Stadium lights. But we shall see.
Sticking with the offensive line’s left side, Penn State OT Olu Fashanu doesn’t have much left to prove.
He would have almost certainly been a first-round pick in this year’s draft had he declared, and since he decided to come back to Penn State, it seems like it’d take a lot of Fashanu not to go in the top 10 next year, if not the top five or higher.
The combination of Fashanu being a proven stud, along with the fact that, like Tengwall, Fashanu struggled with injury last season and missed the team’s final five games, makes Franklin and his staff comfortable with modifying Fasnahu’s reps this August.
“You really don’t make the modifcatiaons like we’re making with Olu, unless a guy is just truly, truly, truly a proven commodity,” Franklin said.
Franklin made it clear that Fashanu is still putting in plenty of work despite these changes.
“And the reality is, although you guys saw the modifications in a live scrimmage (Saturday night) that were dramatic, the daily reps that he’s getting, I mean, he’s getting thousands of reps. So he’s still developing. He’s still getting better.”
Franklin said he feels Fashanu is a top-10 quality pick “in terms of not only just a player, but a franchise guy in how he conducts his business.
“The guy wants to be great in everything he does,” Franklin said. “He wants more reps. He’s fighting with us (the coaches) for more reps. So he’s going about it the right way and practicing his tail off.”
WHAT ABOUT THE RECEIVERS?
Franklin was asked about the progress fifth-year senior and Kent State transfer Dante Cephas is making at receiver.
So far, so good as far as Franklin is concerned.
“He’s a proven commodity,” he said. “He’s done it in games before against really good competition.”
Franklin went on to talk about the players who had been in Penn State’s program before Cephas arrived earlier in the summer, saying there are guys who “have gotten better.”
“I would say it’s one of those deals where there’s a different guy or maybe a different two guys every day that’s flashing,” Franklin said.
But Franklin doesn’t feel anybody has “separated themselves from the pack” just yet.
“I do think there’s a large group of guys that can play in games that we can win with,” he said, “but we’d like for somebody to separate themselves from the pack a little bit more.”