James Franklin

James Franklin’s first Penn State coaching staff unveiled


Since his hiring earlier this month, reports of the coaches James Franklin would be bringing with him to Penn State have slowly trickled out.

Friday morning, all of those moves were confirmed by the school.

PSU announced via a press release the nine coaches who will be a part of Franklin’s initial Nittany Lions staff.  Included in that group are the two coordinators who were rumored to be taking those jobs: Bob Shoop (defense) and John Donovan (offense).  The former will also coach safeties while the latter will handle tight ends.

Below are the remaining nine members of Franklin’s newly-minted staff:

Charles Huff, special teams coordinator/running backs coach;
Brent Pry, assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach;
Josh Gattis, offensive recruiting coordinator/wide receivers coach;
Herb Hand, run game coordinator/offensive line coach;
Ricky Rahne, passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach;
Terry Smith, defensive recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks coach;
Sean Spencer, defensive line coach.

“I am very pleased to bring to Penn State a staff of great family men, tremendous teachers and developers of talent, and the most aggressive recruiting staff in the country!” Franklin said in a statement.

Of the nine coaches, seven were on Franklin’s Vanderbilt staff the past two seasons.  Huff (Western Michigan) and Smith (Temple) are the only non-Commodores coaches brought on board by Franklin.  Smith, incidentally, played wide receiver for the Nittany Lions from 1998-91 and is still among the school’s all-time leaders in receptions and receiving yards.

The release also notes that every member of the coaching staff, including Franklin, an East Stroudsburg University alumnus, graduated from a college or university in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah