Franklin off to a quick start at Penn State

Posted: January 19, 2014

It appears as though new Penn State football coach James Franklin is going to be a little too busy to follow up on one of the pledges he made at his introductory news conference one week ago.

Speaking with reporters Friday after a brief address to the university's board of trustees in State College, Franklin said, "Probably the one mistake I made" was promising to "blow up balloons at kids' birthday parties in the backyard," as he did last Saturday.

"I've had about 4,500 requests for blowing up balloons in people's backyards," Franklin said, as reported on Pennlive.com. "But the message I was trying to get across there is that we're going to do everything we possibly can to build this program and make everybody proud."

Franklin, who took recruiting trips Thursday to the Philadelphia area and Friday morning to the Pittsburgh area, returned Friday afternoon to speak with the board.

"I can't tell you how excited myself and my family are about being a part of this community," Franklin said in his remarks. "Really looking forward to getting them here as soon as we possibly can. More than anything, I want you guys to understand there is nobody that is going to work harder to make you guys all proud. That's on the field. That's off the field."

Another new assistant coach has appeared in the Penn State directory: Running backs coach Charles Huff, who had worked with Franklin, spent the 2012 season with the Buffalo Bills and coached last year at Western Michigan.

Huff joins six assistant coaches who worked with Franklin at Vanderbilt. It is believed Franklin is close to hiring coaches for the offensive line and defensive backs to complete his staff.

Franklin, who got three of his Vanderbilt recruits to switch their commitment to Penn State this week, lost a second player recruited by Bill O'Brien's staff. Defensive back Troy Vincent Jr. of Baltimore, son of the former Eagles cornerback, flipped his commitment to North Carolina State, according to multiple reports.


jjuliano@phillynews.com

@joejulesinq

Staff writer Tricia Nadolny contributed to this article.

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