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VIDEO: Training Camp Update - August 12

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Training Camp Central 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions practiced for the seventh time during training camp on Wednesday afternoon.

Following a full-padded practice session, head coach James Franklin and assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Pry talked with the media to provide an update on how the first week of the pre-season period has gone.

Generally speaking, Coach Franklin indicated that the team has made good progress since camp opened on Aug. 6. The Nittany Lions have been able to design practices a little differently than last year because of increased depth across all positions. That has allowed the team to compete with more physicality and hold more live periods. Franklin indicated that the team would hold its first situational scrimmage on Saturday.

For more from Franklin and Pry, take a look here.


James Franklin



Brent Pry






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Inside Training Camp: Quarterbacks

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg enters the 2015 season as one of just eight Penn State quarterbacks to amass 5,000 career passing yards.

On the heels of a superb outing in the Pinstripe Bowl and a strong offseason, the two-time team captain is the leader of the Penn State offense for the third-straight season.

"He's on a mission to do well," said offensive coordinator John Donovan. "Ultimately, it's about this year. He's got the right frame of mind going in and trying to control the things we can control. If we do that, we will make the strides necessary."

Behind Hackenberg, sophomore Trace McSorley, redshirt freshman Billy Fessler and true freshman Tommy Stevens give the Nittany Lions depth under center. All four quarterbacks are guys who have taken steps forward since the end of spring ball. And with it being year two of the offensive scheme, all four quarterbacks see 2015 as a prime opportunity for the offense's growth.

Training camp continues with single practices each day this week. The Nittany Lions will finish off the summer academic season on Friday with exams.

Spend some time with the quarterbacks during the first training camp practice in full pads.




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Inside Training Camp: Defensive Line

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Behind the duo of Austin Johnson and Anthony Zettel, the Nittany Lion defensive line is shaping up to be one of the team's strengths in 2015.

Johnson and Zettel combined for 23.0 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks in 2014. But while the duo in the middle of the line headlines the group, the defensive line's depth separates this unit from others.

"One of the reasons I think they will be improved this year is because guys like Parker Cothren and Tarow Barney have taken the next step, and we will probably play them more snaps, which can keep Austin and Zettel fresher," defensive coordinator Bob Shoop said.

Training camp continues with single practices each day this week. The Nittany Lions will reach the end of the acclimation period during the middle of this week, as well. That will enable the team to practice in full pads.

Spend some time with defensive line coach Sean Spencer and the unit he calls the "Wild Dogs".




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VIDEO: Training Camp Practice One

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Take an inside look at the first practice of training camp.





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Football Media Day LIVE Video Interviews

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11236414.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com hosted a 90-minute live video stream from Beaver Stadium during media day festivities. Media Day LIVE featured wall-to-wall interviews with players and coaches. If you missed the stream live, take a look through the interviews from the set on the field in Beaver Stadium.

Coaches
James Franklin
Charles Huff
John Donovan
Bob Shoop

Players
Christian Hackenberg
Angelo Mangiro
DaeSean Hamilton
Austin Johnson
Nyeem Wartman-White
Akeel Lynch
Jason Cabinda
Mike Gesicki
Marcus Allen
Brendan Mahon
Kyle Carter




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Training Camp: Lynch Relishing Opportunity as Leader

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11236364.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Akeel Lynch has patiently waited for the opportunity that he has in front of him right now.

When training camp opened on Thursday, he wasn't standing in line behind two veteran running backs during individual drills. He wasn't listening to older players speak first in the meeting room.

The Toronto native was busy setting the tone for the peers around him.

He's the same well-spoken, enthusiastic guy that he has always been, but Lynch walked and talked with an air of confidence during the media day festivities his teammates and coaches haven't seen before.

With every opportunity comes added responsibility.

Lynch knows that.

And he's not only up for the task of being the guy to lead the Penn State running backs in 2015, he's embracing it with open arms.

"I have to prove myself each and every day throughout camp and during the season," Lynch said. "Being an older guy, I definitely have the advantage with experience over the young guys, so my role is to help these guys and pick them up. When you have iron with iron, that's when you get a lot of competition and bring the best out of yourself. I need to bring these guys up with me. Competing with me will bring the best out of all of us."

Lynch took the reins of the backfield during the latter stages of 2014. He finished the season playing the best ball of his career. Logging seven straight games with 12 or more carries, including back-to-back 130-yard plus outings in November, Lynch scored touchdowns in three of the final four games and tallied 75 yards on 17 carries in the Pinstripe Bowl.

"I can't wait to see him play this year. I cannot wait," said offensive coordinator John Donovan. "From the little that we're allowed to be around them right now, he seems very focused and locked in, very determined. He ended the year last year on a great note."

The 42nd Penn State player to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards, Lynch is the type of dynamic back head coach James Franklin likes to mentor.

"He's kind of the guys that I like to coach in terms of he may not have one specific special trait, but he's got a lot of really good traits," said Franklin. "He's not an undersized back, but I wouldn't say he's a huge back. He's got good speed. He's got the strength and power to break tackles. He's got the ability to make people miss and catch out of the backfield, which we'd like for him to have a bigger role in those things for this year, and he does all those things well, and guys that do a lot of things well, it usually continues to translate and grow."

His evolution as a player is a byproduct of the foundation he laid during his first three seasons. Lynch is an improved blocker and a better runner than he was when he walked on to campus because of the tireless work he has put in on and off the field. And thanks to an offensive line that returns four starters, Lynch is primed to start 2015 the way he finished 2014.

"He's done an awesome job not only leading the running back room, but leading the team," said special teams coordinator and running backs coach Charles Huff. "His daily preparation is what I always point out to the younger guys."

"He's probably been as consistent and as hard working as anybody in our program, and just done a great job," said Franklin. "He's been patient and kind of waited for his time, and he's prepared that when that time comes, he's going to be ready."

The opportunity has arrived, and Lynch is ready to run with it.


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Nittany Lions Host Media Day as 2015 Training Camp Opens

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Media Day LIVE Interviews
: John Donovan | Charles Huff
Bob ShoopChristian Hackenberg

Press Conference Transcripts: 
James Franklin | Coordinators | Christian Hackenberg

Photo Gallery: Media Day | Practice One


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A crowd of more than 150 media members filled the Beaver Stadium media room on Thursday for the 2015 version of Penn State football media day.

Head coach James Franklin kicked off the festivities with a 30-minute press conference. Coordinators John Donovan, Charles Huff and Bob Shoop, along with quarterback Christian Hackenberg, followed Franklin on the dais before the team arrived at the stadium for nearly 60 minutes of open media on the immaculate sod in Beaver Stadium.

"Everybody is really excited to get going," Franklin said. "I'm excited to get going on football. Football. Talking football, coaching football, being out on the field and smelling the fresh cut grass, you know, looking at that beautiful blue and white sky and Mount Nittany in the background. Not talking about recruiting, not talking about fundraising and facilities, not talking about the NFL and where people are going to get drafted, to talk football. And I think our team is, as well."

CLvH2CSWcAAa2mH.jpgFranklin is thrilled with the way the team handled itself in the classroom coming off two very strong academic semesters, including a spring where 51 student-athletes earned a GPA of 3.0 or better. Additionally, the team accounted for more than 2,000 hours of community service during the 2014-15 year.

The squad also announced on Thursday that seniors Jordan Lucas, Angelo Mangiro, Von Walker and Anthony Zettel and junior Christian Hackenberg were voted captains for the 2015 season.

On the field, the team enters pre-season practice with the mindset that it has something to prove.

"I think at lot of us have a chip on our shoulder," Franklin said. "We've got a lot of work to do, and I think everybody is ready. You guys have heard me say in the offseason, I think I have a much better understanding of Penn State now. I have a much better understanding of the Big Ten and most importantly I have a much better understanding of our players, and I think it's the same way in the other direction. I think our players understand our coaching staff better. Our entire staff is back, so there's going to be no learning curve in terms of scheme or drills or things like that. There's always going to be new wrinkles, but I'm excited."

11235437.jpegPenn State took the field at approximately 5 p.m. on Monday afternoon to officially begin preparations for the 2015 season. The Nittany Lions are allotted 29 practices before the season-opener at Temple in Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 5. Under NCAA rules, the Lions must wait five practices before putting the pads on during the middle of next week.

"I think there are so many positive things falling into place for Penn State right now, and we've got momentum, and we have to capitalize on that momentum," said Franklin. "I don't think there's any doubt. You think about, again, last year there were so many unknowns sitting in this press conference talking to you guys. We weren't able to go to a bowl game last year when the season started. We got that opportunity back. We weren't able to have a full 85 scholarships. I think we were limited to 65. We have the opportunity now to get as close to 85 as we can. You know, we go and play in the bowl game, we play well. We retain our entire staff. We go out and battle in recruiting and do some good things there. We have a great off season in terms of academics, community service, and development. So yeah, there are just a lot of positive things."

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 Temple. For now, though, the Nittany Lions will work to maximize each day to improve in all phases of the game.

"I think you just spend so much in the offseason focused on areas that you think you should be stronger in and areas that you need to improve that I think it just kind of it gnaws at you after a while, and then there comes a point you just want to get out on the field and start playing, and after a couple weeks at camp we'll get to the point where we're ready to play an opponent," said Franklin.

The Nittany Lions will practice in the afternoon on Friday and Saturday. The season kicks off at 3:30 p.m. (ESPN) on Sept. 5.


Notes:
- Coach Franklin opened his press conference with a brief statement on longtime voice of Penn State Football Fran Fisher, who has been a regular at press conferences for years. Fisher passed away on May 14 at age 91.

"I'm sad to see my man is not in the back of the room, but it's great to see the rest of the family; miss your dad."

- Coach Franklin on the growth of Akeel Lynch and running back depth of the Nittany Lions:

"Akeel Lynch, you know, I'd love for him from day one until the end of the season to make it clearly obvious that we've got one big time back that we're going to be able to hang our hat on while we're developing those other guys, and according to Coach Galt and his staff and according to our players, Akeel has done that. He's been a tremendous leader with the young running backs and the young players. He's probably been as consistent and as hard working as anybody in our program, and just done a great job. He's been patient and kind of waited for his time, and he's prepared that when that time comes, he's going to be ready."

- Franklin on the offensive line and taking ownership of the task at hand:

"Their approach this off season, taking ownership of their position and their responsibility and their role, taking ownership of the success of the offense, having a chip on their shoulder. You know, the guys that redshirted now truly being able to compete for jobs, the new freshmen just showing up on campus as well as having Paris as a transfer and being able to have a spring ball experience, and now having an opportunity to compete."

- Penn State practiced in helmets, shorts and practice jerseys on day one of training camp.



Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Coach Franklin Participates in ESPN Car Wash

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

Franklin participated in approximately 10 different activities during his four-hour stay in Bristol. He appeared live on SportsCenter and His & Hers, in addition to recording interviews that will air across the ESPN family of networks.

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

📷 time with @espn_images. #ESPNCarWash

A photo posted by Penn State Football (@pennstatefball) on


Coach Franklin Headed to ESPN Campus for 'Car Wash'

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ESPN_CFP_blog.jpgUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin will travel to Bristol on Tuesday to spend a day on the ESPN campus going through a "car wash".

Franklin will participate in a wide range of ESPN activities during his stop, including television interviews on SportsCenter, College Football Live and His & Hers.  Franklin will spend nearly four hours talking on or participating in approximately eight ESPN platforms, including two live hits on SportsCenter.


Coach Franklin ESPN "Car Wash" Events

Show/Interview

Platform/Channel

The Championship Drive Football Podcast

ESPN Radio

SportsCenter

ESPN

Freddie Coleman Radio

ESPN Radio

Digital Media

ESPN Images

His & Hers

ESPN2

ESPNU College Football Blitz

ESPNU

College Football Live

ESPN

Ian Fitzsimmons Radio

ESPN Radio



Not all of the interviews will be conducted live (more information on the schedule to be announced at a time closer to air time), but fans are encouraged to stay tuned to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 throughout the day on Tuesday for coverage of Franklin during his trip to the ESPN campus.

2015 Big Ten Media Day - Photo Blog

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CHICAGO - Coach James Franklin and seniors Jordan Lucas, Angelo Mangiro and Anthony Zettel unofficially kicked off the 2015 season at Big Ten Media Day on Friday, July 31 inside the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place downtown Chicago. Here are some photos from the days events.

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