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What You Missed: Stories To Catch Up On Ahead Of Penn State's Season Opener

by on August 30, 2019 1:42 PM

You could be forgiven for not paying attention to every little single bit of news that comes out of the Penn State football program during the summer (heck, even during the season.) For example, did you know Ricky Slade changed his number from 4 to 3? Journey Brown is now No.4.. Because, reasons.

But fear not, because we've rounded up a handful of stories from this offseason to get you up to speed with some of the more interesting things that took place. Not mentioned here is former backup quarterback Tommy Stevens' departure, we're just going to assume that if you're reading this you already know that.

If you didn't, well here you go: Tommy Stevens is the starting quarterback at Mississippi State. Spoilers galore.

Happy reading, and see you Saturday.



James Franklin Talks Race, Politics, Growing Up And Keeping The Door Open

“I think for me in a lot of ways it is magnified because of how I grew up,” Franklin said early Thursday morning, years, miles and millions of dollars later.“So for me it's kind of interesting because you’ve got people that grow up in White America, you’ve got people who grow up Black America and you’ve got myself, who kind of grew up in a mix of both. The Pittsburgh that I grew up with, I thought growing up that Pittsburgh was Atlanta. The area that I spent my time in Pittsburgh it was [mostly] African-American.

Number Called, Clifford Ready To Step Up

....into the meeting room he went, his teammates looking at him and then back at their phones. Everyone was digesting the news Clifford had only just learned in James Franklin’s office a few minutes earlier: quarterback Tommy Stevens was leaving the program for good, soon to be off to Mississippi State.

Clifford had a simple impromptu message for all of them that day.

“We’re going to be alright.”

McSorley Ready For Next Chapter As Rookie Camp Begins

....the result of unwavering belief in one's self. Unwavering faith in what you can do if you really believe it. The kind of faith that drives a career.

“It wasn’t just this last six months of work, it was 18 years of everything I’ve put into football.”

Design Firm Set for Lasch Building and Football Complex Renovations

The Penn State Board of Trustees' Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning approved the selection of Philadelphia design firm HOK for the renovations and upgrades for the Lasch Football Complex, Holuba Hall and adjacent practice fields on Thursday during a public session.

Franklin Not Interested In NFL Future, Calls Penn State A 'Dream Situation'

James Franklin's coaching career may not end at Penn State, but the Nittany Lions' head coach doesn't see it ending at the NFL level.

Asked by WIP host Angelo Cataldi if he would ever coaching in the NFL again, Franklin answered with the same response he has had for years, the latest confirmation of a half-decade long view.

"I've kind of been through that when I took the Penn State job," Franklin said. "I had four or five interviews in the NFL, one or two that I took, and three or so that I turned down once I took the Penn State job.

"[Penn State] is an unbelievable situation for me and my family."

Two More Sign Free Agent Deals In Philadelphia As Nittany Lions Find NFL Homes

So far...a total of four Penn State players have been tabbed by the recent Super Bowl champs with Miles Sanders and Shareef Miller drafted in the second and fourth rounds and both offensive lineman Ryan Bates and receiver DeAndre Thompkins landing free agent deals.

Nittany Lions Will Be Fine In 2019, But They'll Probably Need The Bounces

One of my favorite things about sports is the collision between meticulous preparation and the completely arbitrary moments you can't plan for.

Take, for example, Grant Haley's blocked field goal return in 2016.

The block was designed, or at least that's what everyone says after the fact. Marcus Allen getting a hand on it was part of the plan, everything else was luck. That ball could have rolled in nearly an infinite number of directions and for Penn State it just so happened to bounce in the most favorable one.

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