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Big Ten Media Days 2014: James Franklin, Penn State confident heading into year one

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James Franklin brings energy to Happy Valley. Will it translate to wins?

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

James Franklin is as advertised. Confident, polished. If anything, no one will be able to sell Penn State as well as Franklin. In fact, few will be able to sell whatever it is they're selling better than Franklin. The next part comes with the on the field product, however.

One of the interesting aspects of Penn State's early season is a trip to Ireland to face UCF. Franklin was asked specifically about that:

"That's an interesting challenge. We're excited. It's a unique deal to open the season against Central Florida against a tremendous football coach and a great football program, but there's a lot of things that go into it. We've reached out to programs and organizations that have played in this game in the past. Navy and Notre Dame have been a resource."

In a unintentionally comedic moment not longer after, Franklin was asked if he thought Christian Hackenberg was the most talented quarterback in the entire country.

"*Laughs* I think Christian has a lot of tools. There's no doubt about it." Franklin said. He added that Hackenberg is a better athlete than even some may have thought pointing out him being underrated as a runner.

"He's humble, he's hungry, and he's open to learning," Franklin added, giving praise to Bill O'Brien for helping Hackenberg's earliest (and arguably most important) development as a first year starter.

Something else that put Franklin and his staff on the radar this past summer was satellite camps they were running at Georgia State, which allowed their coaches to be up close and personal with talent from an important hot bed in the country. Some SEC coaches took exception however, going as far to call it a "competitive disadvantage."

"Well, you know, the thing that's interesting is I'm not really sure why it got all the attention that it did. People have been doing these for a long time," Franklin said.

"We're a program that believes in best practices. We get on the internet every single morning and study what others are doing. It's our job to do everything within the rules to give Penn State a competitive advantage. Whatever that may be. Whether it's a satellite camp, we're going to look into all of those things."

With challenges from NCAA sanctions still looming for the Lions, every creative solution they can get to better the end product on the field could ultimately prove worth it.