Penn State’s light touch appeals to OT Christian Armstrong, James Franklin addresses Board and more

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Penn State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Monday, Feb. 27. Let’s get started.

Recruit sees the light(s) at PSU

It is probably safe to say that 2018 prospect Christian Armstrong, a 4-star offensive tackle from Georgia, found his appearance at Penn State’s Junior Day on Saturday an illuminating experience.

In a way, anyway.

Armstrong has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Georgia, but he was impressed by what he saw of PSU – particularly a locker room that was, as he told’s Patrick Loney, “really different from other locker rooms I’ve seen.”

He went on to explain:

“I’ve visited Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Florida State, South Carolina, Clemson, Alabama and Tennessee. Penn State’s locker room is cool — the blue LED lights and the fact that the design of the locker room had a deeper meaning as a family/team.”

Armstrong was one of many prospects to visit Happy Valley. Another in the 2018 cycle is Kwantel Raines, a 4-star safety from Aliquippa, Pa., who told another reporter, Ed O’Brien, that it was an “impactful” trip and added:

“Penn State gets more and more impressive every time I come.”

Yet another scribe, Brian Dohn, wrote about younger prospects being on hand as well. Particularly notable were 2019 offensive tackle Caeden Wallace and 2020 tight end Bryan Bresee, both of whom were offered.

Franklin’s address

James Franklin became the third coach in school history to address the PSU Board of Trustees on Friday, according to’s Mike Poorman, and the first who did not admonish that body.

While the late Joe Paterno and Bill O’Brien shared concerns with the Board in 1983 and 2013, respectively, Franklin spoke more reassuringly, according to Poorman, saying that his team’s Big Ten championship had been a collective effort involving not only the players and coaches but the entire Penn State community.

And, Franklin added:

“I wanted to assure you our mission at Penn State has not changed and will not change. Forge strong relationships with the players, the university, our community. Create tremendous academic experience. Our job is not to send these guys to the NFL, which stands for ‘not for long.’ Our job is to make sure our guys leave as educated men and prepared for life.”

Lady Lions finish strong

Kaliyah Mitchell hit a tie-breaking free throw with 5.8 seconds left as Penn State upset No. 25 Michigan, 76-75, in its regular-season finale Sunday afternoon in the Jordan Center.

Teniya Page scored 19 points to lead the Lady Lions (19-9), who erased an eight-point deficit in the final 7:25.

Michigan fell to 22-8.

PSU knotted the score at 75-all on a 3-pointer by Amari Carter with 32.9 seconds left. Michigan’s Nicole Munger then missed a layup, and Hallie Thome fouled Mitchell on the rebound. She made the first of two foul shots to put Penn State ahead.

The Lady Lions open the Big Ten Tournament against Minnesota on Thursday in Indianapolis.

Also in the Land of 10