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Behind the Scenes at the First Two-A-Day

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions participated in their first two-a-day of training camp over the weekend. Additionally, the two practices coincided with a visit from the Big Ten Network's traveling bus and the team's first trip to Beaver Stadium during fall camp.

GoPSUsports.com takes an inside look at the production behind the Big Ten Network's preview show during its visit to Happy Valley and highlights the evening scrimmage under the lights in the stadium.






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Breaking Down the Football Roster Geographically

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions kicked off week two of training camp practice on Monday. Additionally, this week marks the final one of the second academic session of the summer. Classes during the summer session end on Friday. The fall semester begins on Aug. 25.

With two more weeks of camp to go before game week, GoPSUsports.com took a look inside the roster and its geographic breakdown. Simply put, the 2014 Penn State Football roster is one with significant geographic diversity. In all, Penn State has student-athletes from 21 states, the District of Columbia, Australia and Canada.

The 2014 roster consists of 93 players from states within a 350-mile radius of State College. Pennsylvania leads the way with 51 players hailing from in-state areas. New Jersey is second on the list with 15 players from the Garden State. There are nine players from Maryland and seven from Virginia. Florida is fifth on the list with four Nittany Lions from the Sunshine State.

Take a look at the full breakdown:

Penn State 2014 Roster Geographic Breakdown
Pennsylvania - 51

Alabama - 3

California - 2

Connecticut - 1

Delaware - 3

Florida - 4

Georgia - 2

Illinois - 3

Indiana - 1

Kansas - 1

Massachusetts - 2

Maryland - 9

Michigan - 3

North Carolina - 2

New Hampshire - 1

New Jersey - 15

New York - 3

Ohio - 2

Tennessee - 1 

Texas - 1

Virginia -  7


Washington, D.C. - 1


Australia - 1

Canada - 2




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VIDEO: Inside Training Camp - Defensive Line

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Inside Training Camp - The Secondary | Inside Training Camp - Special Teams

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State defensive line coach Sean Spencer sets the tone with his unit the moment they walk into the meeting room.

Spencer calls his group "wild dogs" because he wants them to treat pursuit of the ball on the gridiron like a group hunting in a pack. The end result is an attacking mentality from the Nittany Lion defensive linemen in every thing they do. From the meeting room to drills on the field during training camp, Spencer's unit is aggressive.

The leader of the defensive line put on a mic to give GoPSUsports.com an all access look into what goes into a day of training camp for the D-Line.






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VIDEO: Inside Training Camp - Special Teams

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Inside Training Camp - The Secondary

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The second installment of Inside Training Camp takes the fans all access with special teams coordinator Charles Huff for a look at the importance of special teams play.

The Nittany Lions devote a great deal of time to special teams to ensure that all three phases of the game are executed at the highest possible level. From the film room to the practice field, the players understand the importance of details when it comes to each aspect of special teams.

"It's consistency. You've got to evaluate consistency," Huff said. "You want to see the guys consistently performing all of the tasks that you want them to do. It's my job; it's the staff's job to look at who is consistently doing what they have to do. Are they going to make mistakes? Absolutely. But you look at who's coming out and getting better every day, who's working at mastering their technique, and those are the guys who are going to make the difference on special teams."

Huff invited GoPSUsports.com inside a special teams meeting and was mic'd up during practice to provide all access for another look inside training camp.





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VIDEO: Inside Training Camp - The Secondary

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Week one of training camp is in full swing for the Nittany Lions, and GoPSUsports.com is going to take the fans inside preparations for the 2014 season with a video series highlighting each unit on the depth chart.

We kick things off with the secondary and the importance of great communication between the cornerbacks and safeties. As assistant coaches Bob Shoop and Terry M. Smith and veterans Adrian Amos and Jordan Lucas will tell you, the communication does not start on the practice field. It starts in the meeting room with the players calling things out as they see them on film.

Take an all access look at the Penn State secondary on the practice field and in the meeting room during week one of training camp for some insight on communication.




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VIDEO: Reverse Media Day Interviews with Jordan Lucas

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com turned communications major and junior cornerback Jordan Lucas loose with a microphone on media day to flip the script on traditional interviews. The New York native made the rounds at Beaver Stadium to talk with some of the veteran reporters on the Penn State Football beat. Take a look.




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Media Day Interview - Christian Hackenberg

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com goes one-on-one with sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg for his thoughts heading into his second season at Penn State.




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Media Day Interview - James Franklin

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com talks with head coach James Franklin during media day inside Beaver Stadium.




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Nittany Lions Host Media Day as Training Camp Opens

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Media Day Press Conference Videos:

James Franklin - John Donovan - Bob Shoop - Charles Huff

Media Day Press Conference Transcript | Media Day Photo Gallery | Practice I Photo Gallery

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A crowd of more than 170 media members packed the Beaver Stadium media room on Monday for the 2014 version of Penn State football media day.

Head coach James Franklin kicked off the festivities with an entertaining press conference. Coordinators John Donovan, Charles Huff and Bob Shoop followed Franklin on the dais before the Nittany Lions arrived at the stadium for nearly 60 minutes of open media on the finely manicured sod in Beaver Stadium.

"Obviously, we are very excited," Franklin said. "It's been seven months since we arrived. We've gotten a lot of work done in a short period of time. We are excited to get going, working with these guys day in and day out...I think the staff has done a great job preparing. The players have been unbelievable."

Franklin is thrilled with the academic success the team has produced during his seven months at the helm of the program. The Nittany Lions had a strong spring semester, and the best academic summer session, collectively, in the history of the program.

"We are really looking forward to seeing all the progress the players have made since spring ball ended," Franklin said. "Not only physically, but also mentally which will allow them to play fast. You're also excited to get out and watch the new guys in the program to see which guys look like they may figure in."

MDay_blog_1.jpgPenn State took the field just before 4:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon to officially begin preparations for the 2014 season. The Nittany Lions are allotted 29 practices before the season-opener against UCF at the Croke Park Classic in Dublin.

"There is a lot of excitement and a lot of good things going on," Franklin said. "We have 26 days before we open the season against Central Florida. Last night, I addressed that with the team. It will be here before we know it for all of us. But that is the last time we are going to talk about it. We are in a time period where our focus is on Penn State and becoming the best Penn State we could possibly be."

Franklin said that there would be a point in two weeks or so into camp that the team will flip a switch into game preparation mode for UCF. For now, though, the Nittany Lions will work to maximize each day to improve in all phases of the game. Under NCAA rules, the Lions must wait five practices before putting the pads on Saturday.

"The plan going in ahead is to maximize our practices," Franklin said. "We are going to maximize the hours. We are going to do all the things that we possibly can right now. Again we have a little bit of a juggling act with the academics which is always going to be priority No. 1 for the first two weeks, so that's a challenge."

The Nittany Lions will practice each day this week in the afternoon. The season kicks off at 8:30 a.m. (ESPN) on Aug. 30.

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Notes:
- Coach Franklin joked with the standing room only crowd in the media room that there must not have been much in the way of news going on in Pennsylvania on Monday.

"We really appreciate everyone coming out today. You guys have been awesome since the day we arrived."

- Coach Franklin's family moved into State College on Friday evening. He is thrilled to have his wife and two daughters in town.

"Now what was great was yesterday we were able to have two meals with the players. They came and had lunch and dinner with us. My daughters love it. I wish I could spend more time with them but what they wanted to do, as soon as we got there to lunch and dinner, they didn't want to sit with us. Shola went and sat with one group of players. Addie went and sat with another group of players. And I love that. My wife loves it. I love it and it's awesome for our family and it's good for our football team, as well. They get to see me in a different light and I think that's important."

- Franklin on what he wants to see in terms of improvement from 2013 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Christian Hackenberg:

"That's a great question and we are looking for improvements from Hack, but I'm going to be honest with you, where our focus really is, is all the pieces of the puzzle around Hack. You know, that's going to allow him to continue to develop, making sure that we are able to protect him with our offensive line, making sure that we are able to be balanced offensively and be able to run the ball with our offensive line and tight end, having a huge impact in that, as well, and finding some wide receivers to make up for the production we lost, all these things factor into it. So obviously I want him to be more and more confident so he can make really good decisions in terms of protecting the football, get the ball out of his hand as quickly as he possibly can, and what you like to see with a quarterback I know in this system is, they get to a point where they feel like the defense can't be right. You know, that you understand the offense so well, that if you play cover two, wonderful, I'm going to attack the weakness here. If you go cover three, go here; if you go man coverage, here is my man beater. If you throw pressure, I'm either going to go hot or readjust the protection to pick it up. When you get to a point where you feel like the quarterback has all those tools at his disposal, the confidence skyrockets and they feel like the defense can't be right and that is unbelievably valuable."



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Coach Franklin Visits ESPN Campus for 'Car Wash'

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BRISTOL, Conn. - Head coach James Franklin visited the campus of ESPN on Wednesday for a trip through the "Car Wash".

Franklin participated in approximately 15 different activities during his five-hour stay in Bristol. He appeared live on "First Take", "SportsCenter" and "Numbers Never Lie", in addition to recording several interviews that will air across the ESPN family of networks.

Take a look through Coach Franklin's day in Bristol.