Penn State 2018 Media Day Roundup

By Matthew Filipovits on August 4, 2018 at 5:43 pm
The Penn State Nittany Lion

Adriana Lacy - Roar Lions Roar


With camp just getting started Penn State coaches and players met with the media to answer any and all questions about this upcoming seasons. We've got you covered with the highlights.

The big one

The biggest news out of media day was the reappearance of Manny Bowen on Penn State's roster. Bowen was dismissed late last season for violating team rules. Franklin said he allowed the senior linebacker to return after living up to stipulations the coaching staff put into place. Bowen's return eases a lot of worry about where the linebacker position was heading into 2018.

Brailyn Franklin no longer with the program

Another big roster move was the announcement that Brailyn Franklin is no longer with the program. It is unknown if or where he will resume his football career but we at Roar Lions Roar wish him the best of luck. It is assumed Franklin's scholarship was replaced by Manny Bowen.

Torrence brown update

After going down with a knee injury against Georgia State last season, senior defensive end Torrence Brown will not be active for the start of the season. Brown has seven starts in his career and was a key part of the defensive end rotation prior to his injury.

What they're saying

Tommy Tuddies is the offense's swiss army knife. He throws, he runs, he catches, but wearing all those hats doesn't change the way he approaches each day.

"I've been preparing pretty much the same way since I got here. As far as learning the offense, I think that's helped me a lot. If I were a receiver and trying to learn the quarterback part of it, it would be a lot more difficult Being a part of the quarterback room, learning everything thing about the offense hasn't made it too difficult for me. 

One of the most experienced players on defense is Ryan Buchholz. As the Nittany Lions look to replace three major contributors along the d-line, Buchholz had some high praise for one freshman hoping to crack the rotation.

"Last year (Fred Hansard) redshirted and stuff so he didn't get any game experience or anything like that. But in the spring we used him a lot, he was in with the ones and the twos, he was doing work with everyone. This summer he's been working hard. I know he's pretty heavy (318 lbs) and he passed the conditiong test and he's doing well in practice. He had a good move yesterday that we watched on film that we were praising him for, so I think Fred's definetly improved the most."

With no kicker on the roster having game experience, Blake Gillikin may need to step up and pull double duty this season. He said whether its kicking or punting, the approach stays the same.

"The specialist game in college is all about consistency. As a kicker obviously you have more of a set objective. Kicking it through the uprights is kind of different than punting into the open field or anything like that. Even kickoffs is almost like punting. But the mindset really doesn't change, it's be as consistent as possible and help the team win."

One of several receivers battling for that third job is junior Brandon Polk. After spending two years in Joe Moorhead's scheme, he feels just as comfortable as Ricky Rahne takes the reigns.

"I didn't feel like there was a dropoff or anything like that. The playcalling to me seems the exact same, not saying he's copying, but I don't feel like there's a huge difference. I feel great that Coach Rahne is the OC and I felt the same way when Moorhead was the OC. I really like the way that Coach Rahne has installed his stuff and the way that we go out there and practice and play. I'll say there's some different twists but I enjoy it." 

Speaking of veteran players looking to make a splash, Jan Johnson got all kinds of praise from James Franklin and Brent Pry during their press conferences. A walk-on, Johnson feels he was able to learn from a guy like Brandon Smith and can make the most of his opportunity.

"I would say I've helped fill whatever role I can. I tried to help as the backup longsnapper last year. Brandon Smith was a guy that could literally do anything you asked him to do. Every single call on the defense, what to do, what everyone else did. I think I asked B Smith the same question a million times and he never got mad or anything about me asking, he was always helpful. I can know the defense like he knew it, then I'll put myself in a good position."

After switching to safety early in the offseason, Lamont Wade knows he has a great opportunity to crack the starting lineup this fall. He talked a bit about learning the position and what makes it different from corner.

"The biggest difference I would say is the mental aspect of the game. At safety it's a little bit more thinking, between the field safety and the boundary safety there's a bit more differences than the field corner and the boundary corner. At corner you're kind of on an island, at saftey you need to know what you're doing, the other safety, the linebacker in front of you, and the corner."

You've heard it before. With replacing four starters, Penn State will have a drop off in the secondary. Just don't tell Nick Scott that.

"I don't think there's been any drop off with our confidence. Just because we have guys who have experience, game experience and things like that. We also have a tremendous amount of talent in the room right now. The competition right now is through the roof. We're excited about this offseason and bringing guys along with us to grow as athletes and players and were excited about what we can do week one.

The good tweets