Penn State Athletics
James Franklin has a strong hand to play this season.

Penn State coach James Franklin stays on message, Alabama to make run at Micah Parsons, and more

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This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Tuesday, May 2. Let’s get started.


This is not a recording (but it could be)

There are no great surprises in the James Franklin Q&A with Tom Dienhart of BTN.

Franklin praises wide receiver Juwan Johnson for strides he made during spring practice. He talks about the rapid development of early-enrollees Mike Miranda and Lamont Wade. And he asserts that the offensive line could be a team strength.

Oh, and he said this again, too:

“We handed out the [Big Ten championship] rings at the spring game. And we aren’t talking about that ever again. That is in the past for us.”

Perhaps the only new ground that was broken was when Franklin discussed the proposed December signing period:

“I worry that there may be a lot of unforeseen consequences that come with these things. People may consider me a young coach, but I kind of have an old-school mentality. I like the system we had.”

Other than that, he stayed on message. By now the team’s fans know the drill, know that it won’t be long before they will hear, “Akron, Akron, Akron” — the point being that Franklin is concerned only with the next game the Nittany Lions play.

And that happens to be on Sept. 2, when the Zips venture into Beaver Stadium for the season opener.


More from the Micah Parsons Project

A loose end from the appearance by 5-star defensive end Micah Parsons at The Opening regional in New Jersey on Sunday, via Greg Pickel of Pennlive.com: Alabama will make a push for Parsons, now that he has de-committed from Penn State.

That always was expected — it is, after all, the lordly Crimson Tide — but now it’s clearer than ever. As Parsons told Pickel:

“[One of the coaches] said he’s gonna come down sometime next week. It was just a blessing.”

Ohio State, Michigan, Southern Californa, Florida State and Georgia are also thought to be major contenders for Parsons’ services, though the list is long.

AL.com quoted Pickel’s report and noted that the Tide are poking around another Penn State commit: 5-star quarterback Justin Fields from Kennesaw, Ga.


Tyler Yazujian goes from Lions to … Lions

At Penn State’s pro day in March, long snapper Tyler Yazujian told Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record that he wants to stick with football as long as possible, even though the two-time Academic All-American figures to have some intriguing career options.

Yazujian took a step in that direction Monday when he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Lions.

He earned an undergraduate degree in security risk analysis, and as of March was finishing his graduate degree in information sciences and technology. According to Bodani’s story, he hopes to someday join the FBI or National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

But just not yet.


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