Practice Report: Georgia State Week

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State head coach James Franklin and safety Nick Scott met with members of the media Wednesday evening following practice to preview Saturday's upcoming Georgia State matchup. 

The Nittany Lions and the Panthers are set for a primetime matchup on Big Ten Network with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. in Beaver Stadium. Catch up on a few updates from week three practice. 

Earning Their Stripes
Franklin shared that the Nittany Lions closed out the post-practice huddle with a stripe presentation, a new tradition that he has been thinking about since arriving on campus. All true freshmen, with the exception of the early enrollees entered camp without stripes on their helmets, something that they'd have to earn. 

Inspired by the book "Legacy," Franklin originally wanted to begin the tradition in his first season, but opted to hold off for just the right time, having also sought input from the leadership council.

"It's something I've wanted to do since year one so we finally came up with something that we were all comfortable with that's just all new players in the program," Franklin said. 

Earning a stripe goes further than just what a newcomer is showing on the field, taking into account meeting conduct, respect, catchability and class attendance.

"It's everything," Franklin said. "It's basically, the veteran leadership players that we have are saying, you're doing a really good job and I'm comfortable with the direction you're headed in terms of how we do things around here at Penn State. It's something that each position and each position coach are handling on their own." 

As one of those veteran leadership players, Scott also talked through the process to earn a stripe. 

"It's by position so true freshmen when they come in, they don't have a stripe on their practice helmet, of course they have one in the game," Scott said. "You decide as a position group with your coaches."

Scott named true freshman safety Jonathan Sutherland as a Nittany Lion who has already earned his stripe, right at the end of camp to be exact. 

"We felt that he came in and he was real physical and he picked up the defense pretty fast and has just been playing fast with a lot of confidence so we gave him his stripe," Scott said.

Effort vs. Result
For Scott, the biggest thing he has learned from special teams coordinator Charles Huff all comes down to the difference between effort and result. 

"I came in and I was a huge effort guy," Scott said. "I liked to run down the field and throw my body around but I wasn't always making the play. Basically, that can be ineffective, so we want a bunch of guys who give a lot of effort but at the same time they stay in their lanes, play under control and make plays."

Quick Look at the Georgia State Receivers
In his Tuesday press conference, Franklin made specific note of Georgia State's wide receivers. Solid athletes, no different than the typical high caliber athletes the Nittany Lions generally see, Scott noted that practicing against Penn State's receivers is perfect preparation. 

"We have a lot of athletic guys and a lot of guys with a lot of speed like [Brandon] Polk and DeAndre [Thompkins]," Scott said. "Just being cognizant of that, as DBs we respect every opponent."

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