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VIDEO: Football Winter Conditioning Underway

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With signing day in the books, head coach James Franklin and the coaching staff got their first taste of an early-morning winter workout on Tuesday.

The Nittany Lions commenced their first workout with the coaching staff in attendance at 5:15 a.m. inside Holuba Hall on Tuesday.  A high-energy session from start to finish, the Lions worked through conditioning stations before battling in offense vs. defense, one-on-one competition in the "tire pull".

Take a look.

VIDEO: Franklin, Nittany Lions Celebrate Class on Signing Day

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Signing Day Central - Complete Bios, Highlights & More

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin and the Penn State staff celebrated the signing of a top-25 recruiting class with the formal announcement of all 25 signees for 2014 in the Lasch Football Building and at 'The Signature Event' in the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday.

9676242.jpeg"It was an exciting day for us, you know, the staff and the team has worked really, really hard at putting this class together, so today was really about celebrating the class and I thought we did a great job of that," said Franklin.

Braving several inches of snow, Franklin walked out of the hotel he is staying in at 5:38 a.m. ready for the signing day festivities to begin.  The entire football staff was inside the Lasch Building before 6:30 a.m. with an eye on the fax machine just outside the back door of Franklin's office.

The fax machine began to ring just after 7 a.m., and linebacker Jason Cabinda had the honor of sending the first approved national letter of intent.  Special teams coordinator and running backs coach Charles Huff emerged from behind a blue curtain, walked to a podium in the Penn State war room and announced the signing of Cabinda to a rousing cheer from more than 60 staff members and supporters.

"With the first pick, from Flemington, New Jersey, linebacker, Jason Cabinda," Huff said at the podium in the front of the war room.

Coach Franklin placed Cabinda's bio magnet on the Penn State Signing Day "Big Board", and the celebration began on an exciting day for Nittany Lion football.

As the 20 faxed letters of intent were approved on Wednesday, each signee had his own announcement.  The announcements often included the signees and their families, who called in via Skype or FaceTime and were then projected on a big screen to watch the festivities.

Franklin and the staff could not have been prouder to make the announcement of all 25 signees (including the five early enrollees already on campus).

"I know how hard this coaching staff has worked as well as the administrative staff and our players as well as hosts and things like that," Franklin said.  "These coaches have not had a day off since June when we started camp, so today is a celebration of all the hard work they have put in."

Representatives from across campus and the football staff participated in the announcement process.  Director of Athletics Dave Joyner, Michael Mauti, Brad "Spider" Caldwell, Steve Jones, the Blue Band, cheerleaders and Nittanyville were among those who made an appearance.  The excitement surrounding the signing day festivities was infectious, and everyone in the room felt like a part of the football family.

The football staff put in a year's worth of recruiting work in a small window of time.  Franklin was hired on Jan. 11, just 25 days before signing day.  His staff was in place in the days following, and the group had no time to breathe as they worked to secure the signing class of 2014.

Moving at a torrid pace across the country with virtually no sleep, the staff secured a talented class ranked in the top 25 by Rivals, Scout, 247 Sports and ESPN.  In the final week of recruiting, alone, Franklin visited New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Arizona, California, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Georgia.  His travels through the topped 8,900 miles in the final six days coaches were permitted to travel under NCAA rules.

Wake up calls on the road are typically at or before 5 a.m., and bedtime is regularly at midnight or later.

That effort is what makes signing day so gratifying for the coaches, and it is why Franklin led a celebration on Wednesday morning in the Lasch Building and with the Penn State fans during the evening inside the Bryce Jordan Center.

The staff will receive a few days off to work on moving their families and belongings to State College before getting back to the grind on Monday.

The Blue-White Game is 65 days away.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: James Franklin Signing Day Interview

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin and the Penn State program added 20 student-athlete s to the roster on National Signing Day.  With the addition of the five early enrollees already on campus, the class of 2014 finished at 25 members.

2014 Signing Class Breakdown

Offense vs. Defense
- The class includes 11 defensive players and 14 offensive players.

9672781.jpegBy Position
- Defensive Backs - 6
- Wide Receivers - 4
- Offensive Linemen - 4
- Running Backs - 3
- Defensive Linemen - 3
- Linebackers - 2
- Quarterbacks - 2
- Tight Ends - 1

By State (13 states & 1 from Canada)
- New Jersey - 4
- Pennsylvania - 3
- Virginia - 3
- Alabama - 2
- Delaware - 2
- Georgia - 2
- Maryland - 2
- California - 1
- Florida - 1
- Illinois - 1
- Massachusetts - 1
- North Carolina - 1
- Ohio - 1
- Ontario - 1

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

2014 National Signing Day Blog

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live, interactive coverage from the Lasch Football Building on National Signing Day.  Today, student-athletes from across the country will sign a national letter of intent to join the Penn State Football family.

Stay tuned with for live coverage from the war room on signing day.


Nittany Lions with Super Bowl Rings

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Former Penn State standouts Jordan Hill and Michael Robinson capped off a dominant playoff run with the Seattle Seahawks by winning Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Former Penn State players have been a part of Super Bowl winning teams in 34 of the 46 NFL Championship games.  In all, 37 different former Nittany Lions account for 54 rings.  Take a look at the complete list.

Former Penn State Players with Super Bowl Rings
9665746.jpegJack Ham (4)
Franco Harris (4)
Matt Millen (4)
Pete Kugler (3)
Chris Bahr (2)
Matt Bahr (2)
Bruce Bannon (2)
Dave Robinson (2)
Kareem McKenzie (2)
Rich Milot (2)
Jay Alford
Ralph Baker
Brad Benson
Andre Collins
Sam Gash
Jeff Hartings
Mike Hartenstine
Kim Herring
Jordan Hill
Tim Johnson
Joe Jurevicious
Jimmy Kennedy
Larry Kubin
Justin Kurpeikis
Ted Kwalick
Shawn Mayer
Sean McHugh
Bob Mrosko
Scott Paxson
Andrew Quarless
Tom Rafferty
Glenn Ressler
Marco Rivera
Michael Robinson
Jim Romano
Dave Rowe
Matt Suhey

54 rings among 37 players

Former Penn State Players on Super Bowl Winning Teams (By Year)
- Dave Robinson (Green Bay)
1968 - Dave Robinson (Green Bay)
1969 - Ralph Baker (New York Jets)
1971 - Glenn Ressler (Baltimore Colts)
1973 - Bruce Bannon (Miami Dolphins)
1974 - Bruce Bannon (Miami Dolphins)
1975 - Jack Ham & Franco Harris (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1976 - Jack Ham & Franco Harris (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1977 - Dave Rowe & Ted Kwalick (Oakland Raiders)
1978 - Tom Rafferty (Dallas Cowboys)
1979 - Jack Ham & Franco Harris (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1980 - Matt Bahr, Jack Ham & Franco Harris (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1981 - Chris Bahr & Matt Millen (Oakland Raiders)
1982 - Pete Kugler (San Francisco 49ers)
1983 - Larry Kubin & Rich Milot (Washington Redskins)
1984 - Chris Bahr, Matt Millen & Jim Romano (Los Angeles Raiders)
1986 - Mike Hartstine & Matt Suhey (Chicago Bears)
1987 - Brad Benson (New York Giants)
1988 - Rich Milot (Washington Redskins)
1989 - Pete Kugler (San Francisco 49ers)
1990 - Pete Kugler & Matt Millen (San Francisco 49ers)
1991 - Matt Bahr & Bob Mrosko (New York Giants)
1992 - Andre Collins, Tim Johnson & Matt Millen (Washington Redskins)
1997 - Marco Rivera (Green Bay Packers)
2001 - Sam Gash & Kim Herring (Baltimore Ravens)
2003 - Joe Jurevicious (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
2004 - Shawn Mayer (New England Patriots)
2005 - Justin Kurpeikis (New England Patriots)
2006 - Jeff Hartings (Pittsburgh Steelers)
2008 - Jay Alford & Kareem McKenzie (New York Giants)
2009 - Sean McHugh & Scott Paxson (Pittsburgh Steelers)
2011 - Andrew Quarless (Green Bay Packers)
2012 - Jimmy Kennedy & Kareem McKenzie (New York Giants)
2014 - Jordan Hill & Michael Robinson (Seattle Seahawks)

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: Nittany Lions Begin Winter Strength & Conditioning

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Holuba Hall and the weight room inside the Lasch Football Building have been hubs of activity as the Nittany Lions kicked off 2014 winter conditioning under Director of Performance Enhancement Dwight Galt.

The Nittany Lions are lifting in the weight room during the afternoons on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  On Tuesday and Thursday, the Lions are participating in speed and agility conditioning on the turf inside Holuba Hall at 6 a.m.

"They have made a great first impression," Galt said.  "I'm really looking forward to training these guys and getting them in great shape.  And I think there is really no limit on how they can transfer that to the field and do a great job this season."

Take an inside look at the first day of conditioning and the first lifting session.  The Blue-White Game is 73 days away on April 12.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Nittany Lion Coaching Staff Off and Running

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Photo Gallery - Assistant Coach Announcement

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin and his staff hit the ground running from the time each member arrived in Happy Valley.  With less than two weeks remaining before signing day on Feb. 5, the coaching staff has been nonstop in its quest to lock up the 2014 recruiting class.

Franklin announced his first Penn State staff on Friday morning at Beaver Stadium.  Each member of the group is thrilled to be in Happy Valley and looking forward to the future of Penn State Football.  Counting Coach Franklin, four members of the coaching staff are originally from Pennsylvania.  Additionally, eight out of the 10 coaches are from hometowns within 340 miles of State College (4 from Pa., 1 from N.J., 1 from Md., 1 from Conn., 1 from N.Y.).

"I'm really, really excited about the staff that we've been able to put together," Franklin said.  "For me, what I was looking for is really familiarity; guys that I've worked with or known for a very, very long time, guys that I trust, guys that I know how they're going to interact with the players and these young men that we're working with.  How these guys are going to be in the community, and also have a connection with Penn State from a lot of different perspectives."

"We will not have one guy on this staff that I don't feel is going to be an excellent recruiter, and that is really what we're looking for," Franklin said.

Meet the 2014 Penn State Football coaching staff.

John Donovan - Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends
9635770.jpeg"Offensively, we're personnel-oriented, pro-style offense.  So we basically, we're pro terminology.  The guys learn the system that's used at the next level.  It has answers.  We don't run dead plays.  There are reasons to run in certain spots.  If there is somebody coming free on a pass protection, we're either throwing the ball, breaking a route or the back's got to pick them up, the line's got to pick them up," Donovan said.

Donovan served as the offensive coordinator/running backs coach during three of the most productive offensive seasons in Vanderbilt history. While coaching under Franklin from 2011-13, his backfield recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard rushers for the first time in school history when Zac Stacy rushed for 1,193 yards in 2011 and 1,141 yards in 2012. Stacy earned second team All-SEC and was a fifth round selection of the St. Louis Rams in 2012. After averaging 379.7 yards of total offense per game in 2012, the Commodores averaged 366.5 yards a contest in 2013, marking the first time since 1987-88 they put together back-to-back years of more than 360 yards of total offense per game. Donovan's offensive units own three of the top four total yardage marks in school history, gaining at least 4,400 yards of total offense in each season, including a school record 4,936 yards in 2012. He led an offensive unit that averaged 30.0 points per game in 2012, marking the first time in school history they averaged 30 or more points per game, and followed that up with a school record 30.1 points per game in 2013. Donovan and Franklin spent time coaching with one another at Maryland, where Franklin was the offensive coordinator and Donovan coached the running backs for the Terps from 2008-10. He also spent time on staff at Georgia Tech (1998-2000) and Villanova (1997). Donovan earned his bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins, where he excelled as a defensive back for the Blue Jays, grabbing 12 career interceptions. He also owns a master's degree in economics from Georgia Tech.

Hometown: River Edge, N.J.
Alma Mater: Johns Hopkins
Degrees: Bachelor's, Johns Hopkins, 1997; Master's, economics, Georgia Tech
Family: wife, Stacey; son, John Patrick, and daughters, Cate and Shea

Coaching Career
2011-13 - Vanderbilt (offensive coordinator/running backs)
2008-10 - Maryland (running backs)
2006-07 - Maryland (quarterbacks)
2005 - Maryland (running backs)
2001-04 - Maryland (assistant recruiting coordinator)
1998-2000 - Georgia Tech (offensive graduate assistant)
1997 - Villanova (assistant secondary)

Josh Gattis - Offensive Recruiting Coordinator/Wide Receivers
9635740.jpeg "When Coach Franklin extended this opportunity, it was a no-brainer. Obviously I've got the most tremendous respect for Coach Franklin. As Coach Huff mentioned earlier, he's been a true father figure for a lot of us. He's been a father figure for me. He's the guy I look up to as a coach and role model, so we have a very, very personal relationship that I really value a lot. There wouldn't be another opportunity in the country that could take me from this place and I'm really excited to be here at Penn State, I'm excited to be with Coach Franklin, and I look forward to the future that we're able to build here," said Gattis.

Gattis has made an immediate impact in coaching after earning All-ACC honors as a safety at Wake Forest and spending two seasons playing with the NFL's Chicago Bears. From Durham, N.C., he is entering his fifth season in the coaching ranks and third year working with Franklin. Gattis has coached a pair of All-America wideouts, helping Western Michigan's Jordan White earn the honor in 2011 when he led the NCAA with 127 receptions for 1,646 yards in 2012. White's totals set new Western Michigan and Mid-American Conference records, while also helping him set the conference's career receiving yardage record. After spending the 2011 season with the Broncos, Gattis joined Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt in 2012 and tutored Jordan Matthews to back-to-back All-America honors in 2012 and 2013. Matthews ended his career as the SEC's career leader in receptions (257) and receiving yards (3,616), while also owning the SEC single-season record with 107 catches.  Matthews is also the only player in league history to ever record two seasons of at least 90 catches and the only player to catch over 100 passes. Gattis also spent one season at North Carolina (2010) as a graduate assistant on their offensive coaching staff.

Hometown: Durham, N.C.
Alma Mater: Wake Forest
Education: Bachelor's, sociology, Wake Forest, 2006

Coaching Experience
2012-13 - Vanderbilt (offensive recruiting coordinator/wide receivers)
2011 - Western Michigan (wide receivers)
2010 - North Carolina (0ffensive graduate assistant)

Herb Hand - Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line
9635734.jpeg "There was a huge amount of excitement because it's Penn State. Most of the places that I've worked at, I've had to do more with less, and that's not a knock on anywhere, but this is a more with more place. This place is about having the opportunity to do more with more and that's exciting you know. Now what we want to do is we want to approach it with the same regard, because when you have to do more with 'less', you have to attack things in a different way. Now we want to attack it in the same way, with more, so there's an excitement level with that," Hand said.

Hand's coaching career spans 23 years and includes stops at seven different colleges/universities. He spent the last four seasons coaching with Franklin at Vanderbilt, serving as the offensive line coach during each of those four seasons, adding run game coordinator to his duties in 2013. Last season, Hand's offensive line blocked for 34 rushing scores, including a school-record 14 by running back Jerron Seymour. Wesley Johnson earned All-SEC honors in 2012 and 2013, while Thomas Lynch was picked by New England in the 2010 NFL Draft and Ryan Seymour, who made 35 starts during his Commodore career, was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2013 NFL Draft. During his three years at Tulsa, serving as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and line coach, Hand helped guide Tulsa to consecutive GMAC Bowl appearances behind one of the NCAA's most explosive spread offenses. He also spent time at West Virginia (2001-06), Clemson (1999-2000), Concord College (1997-98), Glenville State College (1994-96) and West Virginia Wesleyan (1991-93). Hand earned his bachelor's degree from Hamilton College; where he played on the offensive line for the Continentals, and went on to earn his master's degree from West Virginia Wesleyan.

Hometown: Westmoreland, N.Y.
Alma Mater: Hamilton College
Education: Bachelor's, History, Hamilton College, 1990; Master's, Business Administration, West Virginia Wesleyan, 1993
Family: wife, Debbie, sons, Trey and Cade, daughter, Bailey

Coaching Experience
2013 - Vanderbilt (offensive line/run game coordinator)
2010-12 - Vanderbilt (offensive line)
2009 - Tulsa (assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/offensive line)
2007-08 - Tulsa (co-offensive coordinator/offensive line)
2001-06 - West Virginia (tight ends/recruiting coordinator)
1999-2000 - Clemson (offensive graduate assistant)
1997-98 - Concord College (defensive coordinator/special teams)
1994-96 - Glenville State College (defensive coordinator)
1991-93 - West Virginia Wesleyan (defensive graduate assistant)

Charles Huff - Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
9635762.jpeg"Our special teams here at Penn State will have two distinct characteristics.  One is a nekton mentality.  I'm not sure how many science teachers are in the building.  But a nekton is a living organism that can flow freely through water not affected by the current, and it's always attacking.  The most reasonable example will be a great white shark.  A great white shark will eat and eat and eat until it dies, and it won't say I'm full.  That's how we'll be on special teams.  We'll attack, and attack, and attack.

"The second characteristic will be a pre-Fontaine pace.  Steve Prefontaine was a 1970s long-distance runner who died a little before his time.  But he coined the term of 'suicide pace.'  So from the time the gun went off, he was sprinting.  From the time we come off the mat, we'll be flying around.  Any person that steps on the mat that is a special teams player here at Penn State will be flying around from the time, if we make a mistake, we're going to make it a hundred miles an hour," said Huff.

Huff was a versatile player during his time at Hampton, playing multiple positions on offense, and that has helped him in his eight-year coaching career that has spanned the collegiate and professional ranks. He spent one season at Western Michigan (2013) as the running backs coach and helped the unit nearly double their rushing yards in just one season. The Broncos ran for 1,394 yards last season after running for just 735 yards in 2012. He spent the 2012 season with the Buffalo Bills where he helped C.J. Spiller to his first career 1,000-yard rushing campaign. The Bills topped 2,000 rushing yards as a team for the first time in 13 seasons and ranked sixth in the NFL with 2,217 yards. He spent the 2011 season on Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt as the offensive quality control coach and worked with him at Maryland in 2009. He also worked at Hampton (2010) as the offensive line/running game coordinator, worked as the tight ends/special team's coach at Tennessee State (2007-08), working with NFL first round draft pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He also coached at TSU in 2006 as an offensive line coach.

Hometown: Denton, Md.
Alma Mater: Hampton
Education: Bachelors, physical education, Hampton, 2005

Coaching Experience
2013 - Western Michigan (running backs)
2012 - Buffalo Bills (assistant running backs coach)
2011 - Vanderbilt (offensive quality control)
2010 - Hampton  (offensive line, running game coordinator)
2009 - Maryland (assistant offensive line)
2007-08 - Tennessee State (tight ends/special teams coach)
2006 - Tennessee State (center and offensive guards)

Brent Pry - Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
9635727.jpeg "We are going to be fundamental based. I'm a big believer in training linebackers that will not only reach their potential, but they will be applicable to any scheme. I don't want guys that are geared towards 4-3, 3-4, 50 front; I want guys that can be plugged in anywhere. I like guys that play great defense with great foot speed and great motors. When I think about Penn State linebackers these are the type of linebackers I trained over my years. They are fundamentally sound, technically sound and it starts there, from the ground up. It's our goal to develop guys to get them to their full potential. To be able to fit them in a role in our group and our unit that allows them to be successful," Pry said.

A native of Altoona, Pa., Pry's coaching career has spanned 21 years and seven different programs. He has helped each program to new heights, including nine appearances in bowl games with FBS programs. White on Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt, Pry tutored the linebackers, while serving as the co-defensive coordinator, and moved into the assistant head-coaching role in 2013. His linebackers led the team in tackles-for-loss during each of his three seasons in Nashville and he helped Chris Marve earn All-SEC accolades in 2011. While at Georgia Southern in 2010, his defensive unit helped the Eagles to a win over No. 1 Appalachian State and an appearance in the 2010 NCAA FCA Semifinals. From 2007-09, Pry's defensive line corps featured some of the best in Conference USA and helped the Tigers to back-to-back bowl appearances. He also spent time at Louisiana-Lafayette (2002-06), helping the Ragin' Cajuns to their first Sun Belt Conference championship, Western Carolina (1998-01), Virginia Tech (1995-98), helping the Hokies to four straight bowl games and a win in the 1995 Sugar Bowl, and at East Stroudsburg (1993-94). A second-generation college football coach, Pry's father, Jim, coached at the collegiate level for over 30 years.

Hometown: Altoona, Pa.
Alma Mater: Buffalo
Education: Bachelor's, history, Buffalo, 1993
Family: wife, Amy; son, Colby, daughters, Madeline and Catherine

Coaching Career
2013 - Vanderbilt (assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2011-12 - Vanderbilt (co-defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2010 - Georgia Southern (defensive coordinator and safeties)
2007-09 - Memphis (defensive line)
2004-06 - Louisiana-Lafayette (assistant head coach, defensive coordinators and linebackers)
2002-03 - Louisiana-Lafayette (defensive coordinator and linebackers)
2000-01 - Western Carolina (defensive backs and special teams)
1998-99 - Western Carolina (defensive line)
1995-98 - Virginia Tech (graduate assistant, defensive line)
1993-94 - East Stroudsburg University (outside linebackers and defensive backs)

Ricky Rahne - Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks
9635732.jpeg "I think my players would say I work hard and be over the top prepared. I think they would say I coach with a lot of passion. I'm going to be the first one to jump on their back and high five them after they do something great but I'm going to be the first one to jump down their throats at practice when they do something wrong. I coach with a lot of heart and I believe this game is played with passion and you're only successful if you're really passionate. The other thing I think they'd say about me is that I'm going to try treat them like family," said Rahne.   

Rahne made an impression on Franklin during his time as a graduate assistant and running backs coach at Kansas State. He joined Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt in 2011 and coaches the quarterbacks during his three seasons in Nashville. His passing attacks helped wide receivers set SEC records and running backs post a pair of 1,000-yard seasons. In 2012, Jordan Rogers threw for the fourth highest yardage total in Vanderbilt history and logged the eighth most yards of total offense. A season later, Austyn Carta-Samuels moved into the top-10 in single season Vanderbilt history with 2,383 yards of total offense, even with missing three games. He also spent five seasons at Kansas State, serving as the offensive graduate assistant (2006), running backs (2007-08) and tight ends (2009-10) coach. He helped the Wildcats to the 2006 Texas Bowl and the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl. Former pupil tight end Jeron Masturd has spent the past three seasons in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders. He also spent time on the coaching staff at Cornell (2005) and Holy Cross (2004). A three time team MVP during his time as the signal caller at Cornell, Rahne left the school with a bachelor's degree in 2002 and ended his stay in Ithaca, N.Y., as the all-time leader in nearly every passing category.

Hometown: Morrison, Colo.
Alma Mater: Cornell
Education: Bachelors, industrial and labor relations, Cornell, 2002
Family: wife, Jennifer; two sons, Ryder and Jake

Coaching Career
2011-13 - Vanderbilt (quarterbacks)
2009-10 - Kansas State (tight ends)
2007-08 - Kansas State (running backs)
2006 - Kansas State (offensive graduate assistant)
2005 - Cornell (running backs)
2004 - Holy Cross (assistant defensive line)

Bob Shoop - Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
9635772.jpeg"Our identity is we're an in-your-face style of defense that's going to be fun to watch and even more fun for our players to play, I promise you that.  It is based on two premises, relentless pursuit and never‑ending pressure," said Shoop.

Shoop brings more than 25 seasons of collegiate coaching experience back to his home state at one of the most storied programs in college football. Shoop spent his last three seasons on Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach, helping the Commodores finish among the top-25 in total defense each season. His 2012 squad held opponents to just 18.7 points per game, which is the lowest by a VU squad since 1997. Cornerback Casey Heyward, who nabbed seven interceptions in 2011 and is tied for the career record with 15 interceptions, earned All-America and All-SEC honors as a senior. He is now a standout cornerback for the Green Bay Packers after being drafted in the second round by the team in 2012. Shoop also had coaching stints at Massachusetts (2006), Columbia (2003-05), Boston College (1999-2002), Army (1998), Villanova (1997), Yale (1989, 19994-96), Northeastern (1991-93) and Virginia (1990). He played his college football at Yale, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1988 after earning honorable mention All-Ivy League in 1987 as a receiver. A native of Oakmont, Pa., Shoop is a member of the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame.

Hometown: Oakmont, Pa.
Alma Mater: Yale
Education: Bachelor of Arts, economics, Yale, 1988

Family: wife, Maura; two sons, Tyler and Jay

Coaching Career
2011-13 - Vanderbilt (defensive coordinator/safeties)
2007-10 - William & Mary (defensive coordinator, secondary)
2006 - University of Massachusetts (defensive backs)
2003-05 - Columbia (head coach)
1999-2002 - Boston College (defensive secondary)
1998 - Army (defensive secondary)
1997 - Villanova (defensive coordinator)
1994-96 - Yale (defensive coordinator)
1991-93 - Northeastern (defensive backs)
1990 - Virginia (graduate assistant)
1989 - Yale (graduate assistant)

Terry Smith - Defensive Recruiting Coordinator/Defensive Backs
9635716.jpeg "When I walked into the Lasch building I almost forgot how nice it is here. It's just a great place and I've had a lot of fond memories here and hopefully look to create lot of new memories in the future.

"This is a staff that has been together for three years and I have to come in and fit into that staff. I can give them the Penn State perspective and obviously Coach Franklin is going to put the exclamation point on and have us do it his way. I think it's a great fit for the University," Smith said.

A standout wide receiver at Penn State from 1988-91, Smith returns to Happy Valley after successful coaching stops in high school and college, coupled with five seasons of professional football experience.  Still among the career receptions and receiving yards leaders at Penn State, Smith spent the 2013 campaign at Temple and helped the Owls passing game reach new heights. The Owls set a school record for passing yards (2,996) and tied the school standard with 23 receiving touchdowns in 2013. Robby Anderson's 791 receiving yards in 2013 rank him fifth for a single season, which includes a school record 249 yards vs. SMU on Oct. 26.  Smith's receiving corps posted four 100-yard receiving games, marking the first time since 2010 the Owls had a 100-yard receiver in a game. A standout high school player at Gateway (Pa.) High School, Smith also coached his alma mater from 2002-12, compiling a record of 101-30 and posting four WPIAL AAAA runner-up finishes. He was elected to the Gateway Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, after helping the Gators to the 1985 and 1986 WPIAL AAAA Championships. He also coached at Duquesne University (1997-2000) and Hempfield (Pa.) High School (1996) after completing his playing career, which spanned the National Football League, American Football League and Canadian Football League. Smith earned his bachelor's from Penn State in 1991 and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 11th round of the 1992 NFL Draft.

Hometown: Monroeville, Pa.
College: Penn State
Education: Bachelor's, business management, Penn State, 1991
Family: wife, Alison; son, Justin King, daughter, Haley

Coaching Experience
2013 - Temple (wide receivers)
2003-12 - Gateway High School (head coach and athletic director)
2002 - Gateway High School (head coach)
2001 - Gateway High School (offensive coordinator)
1997-2000 - Duquesne (passing coordinator)
1996 - Hempfield High School (assistant)

Sean Spencer - Defensive Line
9635712.jpeg "We get after it. We talk about competition, so when we talk about it, we have to instill it in practices, you have to put competitive situations together. You can't just say be competitive. We will call the kids out and make them go one-on-one in practice. We try and get the guys fired up," Spencer said.

Spencer has spent time coaching on both sides of the ball during his 18 seasons as a collegiate assistant coach, but he has been exclusively building defenses since 2001. In three years on Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt, his defensive lines helped the Commodores finish 18th in total defense during the 2011 season, 19th in 2012 and 23rd in 2013. The Commodores increased their sack totals in 2011 and 2012, collecting 28 and 31, respectively, while ending the 2013 season with 27 quarterback takedowns. Prior to arriving in Nashville, he spent two seasons at Bowling Green, where he helped Chris Jones earn All-Mid-American Conference honors and helped the Falcons to the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl, despite not returning a single starter on the defensive line. He coached two stints at Massachusetts, coaching the defensive line in 2007-08 and in 2001-03, also coordinating the special teams during his final stint with the Minutemen.  Spencer also had coaching stints at Hofstra (2006), Villanova (2005), College of Holy Cross (2004), Trinity College (1998-2000) and Shippensburg (1996-97). A three-year starter at safety at Clarion University, Spencer earned his bachelor's degree in political science.

Hometown: Hartford, Conn.
Alma Mater: Clarion
Education: Bachelor's, political science, Clarion, 1995

Family: daughter, Alysia, 7

Coaching Career
2011-13 - Vanderbilt (defensive line)
2009-10 - Bowling Green (defensive line)
2007-08 - University of Massachusetts (defensive line, special teams coordinator)
2006 - Hofstra (defensive line)
2005 - Villanova (linebackers)
2004 - College of Holy Cross (defensive line)
2001-03 - University of Massachusetts (defensive line)
1998-2000 - Trinity College (running backs, passing game coordinator, defensive line)
1996-97 - Shippensburg University (running backs)

Dwight Galt - Director of Performance Enhancement
9635737.jpeg "We are going to be extremely aggressive all year round in strength and power training. Our speed program, our agility program, our condition, our flexibility, ply metrics, our footwork drills, our position specific drills, that's what we do. That's the one thing that we take pride in. We convert the strength in the weight room to what you need in Beaver Stadium.  Our whole objective is performance in Beaver Stadium. Not in the weight room or on the practice field, but in Beaver Stadium and that's what the program is designed for. So it is extremely aggressive, dynamic and it's greedy. Anything that's going to help make them great, we're going to tackle it full force," Galt said.

In 25 years at the college level, Galt has helped produce numerous NFL prospects and currently has nearly 40 former athletes active in the National Football League. He worked with Franklin at Maryland, where he spent 22 years, before joining him at Vanderbilt in 2011. A slew of Galt-trained athletes have amazed NFL scouts, such as tight end Vernon Davis and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. Davis and Heyward- Bey rank among the Top 10 all-time performers at the combine: Davis posting the fastest 40-yard dash ever by a tight end (4.36) and Heyward-Bey running the fastest 40 (4.30) by a wide out in more than a decade. Galt worked with the ACC championship football teams in 1984 and 1985, and also was the conditioning coach for the Terps' men's basketball program that featured phenom Len Bias.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Head Coach James Franklin Quote Board

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State fans have asked about head coach James Franklin's thoughts and viewpoints on a number of topics pertaining to his coaching style, the football program, recruiting, the uniforms and more.  Below is a collection of quotes from Coach Franklin on several topics.

9624970.jpegCoaching Style
"I am a passionate, emotional, football psycho.  I wake up every single morning thinking about football.  I go to bed thinking about football.  I just really, really enjoy the game.  And that's how we coach.  We go out and have fun.  We fly around.  If guys do something good, I'm going to scream and yell.  If guys do something bad, I'm going to scream and yell.  That's just my personality."

What he Looks for in a Quarterback
"You want a great decision-maker.  You want a guy who is going to be able to manage the game.  You want a guy that's going to be able to make really good plays and get you out of bad plays.  You want a big, strong guy that can deliver the ball and spread the field.  But also, you want a guy that can pull it down when things go wrong and get you six yards.  You don't have to go 80, but if you can turn a negative-eight yard play into a plus-six yard play that makes huge strides for an offense."

What he Looks for on Defense
"We're going to be aggressive and attack in everything that we do.  We're going to play an aggressive style and try to come after the quarterback.  I think it's very, very important to be aggressive and get after the signal-caller."

Penn State Uniforms
"I love them.  They are simple.  They are classic.  They are sharp.  They put the focus on what the focus should be, the institution and the team."

Recruiting Message
"I talk about the whole package.  You can get a world-class education and play football at the very highest level.  You will have the opportunity to live in a great town that is passionate towards the team.  This is an unrivaled fan base in the country.  To me, that is special.  When you walk around this campus, the thing that just jumps out at me is the pride that people have in Penn State.

On Pennsylvania, Regional and National Recruiting
"We are going to dominate the state. That is the first thing that we're going to do. I believe in the high school coaches in this state. I know how well [players are] coached and developed. I know how talented this state is as well. I know how important football is here. I think that's very, very important. So that is the first thing we're going to do. We're going to work very, very hard and put a staff together that will help us dominate the state of Pennsylvania.

"Then obviously being able to recruit aggressively in this region as well. New Jersey, obviously Pennsylvania, New York, New England, Virginia, Delaware has been very good to Penn State traditionally. I think also we were going to take a national approach by position. We will do that as well. So everybody will have recruiting areas, everybody will be in the state. Every one of our staff members will have an area in the state. We'll also have areas in the region and the states that surround Pennsylvania.

"We'll recruit nationally as well, because I think you sell yourself short when you don't do that. We could have a Penn State alumni in California whose son always grew up wanting to go to Penn State. So having the ability to recruit nationally so that we're aware of where all the great players are in this country, I think that's important. But our team will be comprised and mainly made up of Pennsylvania young men."

Message to the Fans
"I couldn't be more proud to be the head football coach at Penn State.  We are going to work so hard to put a product on the field that everybody can take such pride in.  And not only that, but pride in how we interact in the classroom, how we interact on campus and how we interact in the community.  We are going to work very, very hard to put something on the field and in this community that everyone can take great pride in."

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: One-on-One with James Franklin - Jan. 16

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Prior to hitting the road for recruiting, Penn State head coach James Franklin sat down with for a second one-on-one interview this week.

It has been a whirlwind first five days for Franklin on the job.  Take a look at a conversation with the new leader of Penn State football on his coaching style, what he looks for in a coaching staff, recruiting message and more.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Franklin, Nittany Lions Ready to Work

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VIDEO: Player Interviews - Jan. 15 | VIDEO: One-on-One with James Franklin

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It looked and sounded like the first day of school as Nittany Lion players began filing into the locker room at Lasch Building around 6:20 p.m. on Sunday night in advance of the team's first squad meeting with new head coach James Franklin at 7 p.m.

9612733.jpegGuys were chatting, giving one another a hard time and genuinely happy to see each other.  The team walked across the hall from the locker room to the squad room shortly before 6:50 p.m., sat down in the amphitheater-style seats by position and awaited the arrival of its new head coach.

When Franklin walked in and stood at the top of the room, the players stopped talking.  Franklin spoke up and joked that while the group waited for a couple more people they could still talk.  The players chuckled and went back to conversing and shaking hands with guys they hadn't seen in three weeks during winter break.

"Everybody was really excited," cornerback Jordan Lucas said.  "When we met up in the locker room before the meeting, it was like a family reunion."

Following a brief introduction from Director of Athletics Dave Joyner, Coach Franklin walked down the stairs to the front of the room before his team at 6:56 p.m.  The players clapped and provided a warm reception before giving the new had coach their undivided attention.

Franklin's opening message was simple.  He told the group that he wants the team to be a close-knit family that is going to do everything in its power to outwork everyone.

"We're going to work extremely hard," Franklin said.  "You know, there is not going to be a program or a coach in the country that's going to outwork us."

 When the Nittany Lion players heard that statement, they were ready to get into the weight room and start working.

"He came in and had a lot of energy when we first spoke with him," Lucas said.  "He let us know his vision.  We're all excited and ready to start winter workouts."

"I love it.  He brings a lot of intensity to the program, picking up right where we left off," quarterback Christian Hackenberg said.  "I think he is the perfect guy for the job.  We're really excited to start getting him in here more once recruiting is over and start focusing on some ball."

Franklin had each player on the team stand and introduce himself so that he could put a face to a name and begin the process of creating a tight bond between everyone in the program.

"I just think he is a big relationship guy," tight end Adam Breneman said.  "He's very personable.  He's very charismatic.  I think he's going to be great in recruiting, and I think he's going to build great relationships with all of us."

Regardless of a player's position on the depth chart, he is going to have a role in Coach Franklin's program.  He made that clear in the team meeting.  He needs everyone to contribute to make the Nittany Lions a strong, cohesive unit.

"I really liked how he assigned everyone a role, whether you are a fourth-team guy or a starter," linebacker Mike Hull said.  "We need everyone to pull together in order to win."

A passionate coach in every sense of the word, Franklin set the tone for his tenure at Penn State during his introductory press conference last Saturday.  Determined to be the make Penn State the most successful program it can be, Franklin won't accept anything less than hard work and a positive attitude.

"I'm just going to coach and love these kids in this program and help them develop into the young men that they want to be," Franklin said.  "That's our focus.  Focus on the things we can control, work hard every day to develop the best student athletes we can, develop the best football program we possibly can, and be a positive part of this community."

"We knew he was a coach of determination," defensive end C.J. Olaniyan said.  "We know he is going to try and get the best out of us."

The next step for the Nittany Lion players is the start of the winter conditioning program.  The new strength and conditioning staff is expected to be in place soon, and the Lions are eager to commence preparations for 2014.

"I'm chomping at the bit right now," said Hackenberg.  "We have a lot of guys coming back.  We have a lot of young talent that played last year.  We're going to get after it in the weight room."

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony