Penn State coach James Franklin used the term “coach crush” during his weekly presser Tuesday.
That’s not something you hear often.
“Man crush?” Sure. “Woman crush?” The phrase has been used before.
But “coach crush?” That’s a little less common.
Then again, Ohio State week isn’t a normal week. Throughout his presser, Franklin complimented players such as WR Marvin Harrison Jr. (“tremendous, tremendous player) and TE Cade Stover (“probably the guy that I don’t think is getting enough attention and enough love.”)
But the only player Franklin used the term “coach crush” for was linebacker Tommy Eichenberg.
Eichenberg was an All-American last season and a semifinalist for the Butkus Award presented to the country’s top linebacker.
He’s in his fifth season at Ohio State and has played in a lot of big games, some of them against Penn State. Franklin is familiar with Eichenberg, and likes what he sees.
“A guy that I’ve got like a coach crush on, is No. 35, Tommy Eichenberg,” Franklin said. “Just a really good football player. He’s fun to watch. Physically he can make the plays. He’s obviously the quarterback of the defense. Everything goes through him. You pick up a lot of stuff off tape watching him as well as TV copies. Just a really smart, instinctive, athletic linebacker who we have a ton of respect for.”
Eichenberg had 15 tackles in Ohio State’s win at Penn State. He’s had big stats like that in games this season, too, posting 13 tackles against Maryland Oct. 6.