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Penn State Football: Franklin Says Darkwa Still Adjusting To Everything

by on August 08, 2019 2:30 PM

Everything is different for Penn State freshman Joseph Darkwa.

For example, he's from Essen, Germany, which is a 10-hour flight from New York City. And being so far from home means learning all sorts of things about life, like traffic patterns, social cues and most importantly for the Nittany Lions, practice schedules.

"Literally steps off the plane and we hand him equipment and he's on the field. He's been impressive. What I've tried to talk to the staff about, is that we can't take anything for granted with him," coach James Franklin said after practice on Wednesday. "You can't assume anything, we found out this week he has never practiced more than two days in a row on a game week."

At 6-foot-5, 272 pounds Darkwa certainly came to campus with plenty of size for a defensive tackle, but he might not have to get thrown into the fire right away. With Robert Windsor and Antonio Shelton, more natural choices to the starting jobs this should allow Darkwa a bit of breathing room to get his feet under him. Of course on a Nittany Lion defensive front that is constantly rotating, the faster Darkwa adjusts the better off everyone will be.

"We want to be all over him to help his transition," Franklin added. "It's hard for our guys to transfer from New Jersey, or Oregon, to come from Germany, everything is different. But he seems to be handling it very well, but we want to be there with him every step of the way to help his transition."

Penn State's current roster has at least three countries represented on it with Jonathan Sutherland, Jesse Luketa and Daniel Jospeh all hailing from Canada to round out the collation.

Not long ago it would have been four countries as former punter Daniel Pasquariello called Australia home, winning the contest for the farthest commute to campus for the holidays.

Wherever a player might be from one thing holds true, the first few months of freshmen year can be a challenge, and the faster you adjust, the better off that year can be.

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