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Penn State Football: For Franklin Camping In Georgia All About Opportunity

by on May 07, 2014 9:00 AM

Penn State football will co-host a football camp this summer.

That's not all that surprising, but what is a little unexpected is the location: Atlanta, Georgia.

James Franklin and his staff will work as guest coaches for the Trent Miles Football Camp at Georgia State on June 10 and the arrangement is an interesting work around for both programs. Franklin talked to StateCollege.com about the opportunity on Tuesday during a stop in York on the Coaches Caravan.  

“The way the rules are set up, you’re not allowed to have any camp outside of your state, unless you’re on the border and within a 50-mile radius. And a lot of people recruit in Atlanta,” Miles said earlier this week. “But you can legally work somebody else’s camp."

The result is really a win-win for both programs. Georgia State will attract attention from local and regional prospects, and Franklin and his staff will get a chance to work with kids who may never get the chance to see Penn State in person. It may not result in immediate recruiting gains, but it's the continued quest to grow the national perception of the program.

It's unlikely the two schools would be chasing the same prospects -- Sun Belt member Georgia State rarely crosses paths with the likes of Penn State on the recruiting trail.

"For us to get to where we want to go as a program we have to do a great job recruiting this state and this region, but we’re also going to have to recruit out nationally as well. Sometimes kids just can’t afford to get to your place. So if the conference and the NCAA will allow you to go to them, why not?" James Franklin said on Tuesday.

"You know, that’s kind of how this whole thing started. We’re going to be aggressive. The only thing it’s really costing us is a plane flight and some energy and maybe a few hours that we’ll lose of sleep. I think the thing you know from us is we’re going to work really, really hard to build something that everything will be proud of. That’s really what drives us. I want to make you guys proud. I want to make this campus here in York proud. I want to make everybody in the state proud.

"I want everyone that feels strong and passionately about Penn State, that’s what we’re doing. We’re here to serve the players and we’re here to serve the fans and the community as well and give everybody what they want.”

While Penn State continues to recruit in and around the state, tapping into Franklin's staff's ties to the south could be an added asset for the program.

Former head coach Bill O'Brien had begun to open those pipelines in the early stages of his tenure in Happy Valley. Considering the recruiting efforts Franklin has already put forward, it's hard to imagine it'll be too long before he can put a small crack in the shields of the SEC's stranglehold on southern recruiting.

Franklin won't start beating out Alabama and Miami for many Southern players in the near future. But this unexpected presence from the Northeast could lead to some recruiting victories down the road.

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