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Penn State Football: Evaluation The Key Following Conclusion Of The Spring

by on April 13, 2014 3:10 PM

With 15 practices in the book, Penn State coach James Franklin and his staff will have the summer to digest and analyze what their team has to offer and what it has left to work on. It's not rocket science, but it's an important part of the process. As Franklin has said a handful of times before, he doesn't set goals for his team at this juncture, it's simply a matter of process.

The next step in that process: Evaluation.

"What we'll do is on Monday, we will come in as a staff. We will grade the tape in detail. We'll watch it as a staff as well, so we will grade as position coaches and then we will watch it offense and defense and then I will get a chance to watch it with the coordinators," Franklin said on Saturday following the Blue White game. "Then the coaches will go through and they will do an evaluation of each player and that evaluation is them on the field."

From there the evaluations go to the classroom and the very structure and areas of emphasis that the coaching staff and program members are responsible for. It's the constant optimization of the process. It's never too fine tuned and it can always be perfected.

"The academic counselors have evaluated what (players) have done academically. The staff, everyone has input." Franklin said. "Then, I will sit down and go through each area of responsibility, areas that they need to improve, and I'm going to give them my feedback as well (things that I want them to work on, where we're going, and goals for the offseason)."

After that, it's a three week long period of individual meetings. Exit interviews of sorts that will help establish where each player is heading into the summer. What they can work on, what they're doing well at, all of the little things that keep coach and player on the same page moving into the next stage of the process.

"So I'll meet with every single player on the team," Franklin said. "It might take two weeks; it might take three weeks, whatever it is. But we will schedule them from six in the morning until 11 at night. About a 20 minute meeting with each kid."

That kind of thing is crucial for Penn State as the program enters yet another year of scholarship restrictions and NCAA sanctions. Being able to get the most out of everyone in the program is not only necessary, but mandatory to keep the program afloat amid unusual obstacles.

To follow all of that? Keeping the recruiting momentum going as Penn State currently boasts the best recruiting class in the nation according to multiple recruiting outs. That means plenty of trips across the state and across the region as Franklin and his staff look to continue to "dominate".

"And then obviously the coaches will be on the road," Franklin said. "So after that Monday, we will start having coaches hit the road. Obviously we are going to hit the state really hard, because as you guys know, we are going to dominate the state.

"And then after that, we are going to work on dominating the states (with an S) and getting out wherever we have to go first regionally, then nationally so that we can find as many really, really good football players and people and students that can come here and make a positive impact on this community and this program."

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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