Penn State Athletics/courtesy
James Franklin appeared with his daughters at THON — i.e., Penn State's dance marathon — in February.

Penn State’s James Franklin dishes on fatherhood, Jayson Oweh set to visit and more

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This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Wednesday, July 12. Let’s get started.


James Franklin: Kids make me ‘want to be a better man’

Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record, one of the finest long-form writers on the Penn State beat, offers up a piece in which Penn State coach James Franklin discusses fatherhood — how raising two daughters with his wife Fumi has “made (him) a better man.”

Franklin told Bodani that in his estimation many folks (“especially men”) have to recalibrate when they get married — that they must become more unselfish, more conscious of others. Fatherhood changes the dynamic that much more, Franklin said.

And so it is with his daughters, 10-year-old Shola and 9-year-old Addy — the first an athlete, the second a “techie,” according to the coach. Both want his attention and his time. And as he told Bodani:

“I struggle with it, I have coach guilt. That you’re constantly trying to find time and trying to find a way to balance it. But there really is no true balance. Just the job demands are too hard.”

When Bodani spoke with Franklin a few weeks ago, he was about to embark on an RV trip with his family, one that would take the Franklins from State College to Niagara Falls, and then on to Cape Cod.

Their own journey is ongoing. And forever interesting.


Jayson Oweh to visit

Sean Fitz of Lions247 reports that Jayson Oweh, a 4-star defensive end from Blair (N.J.) Academy, will be among the uncommitted prospects visiting PSU for Saturday’s Lasch Bash, a recruiting event held in the Lasch Building, the team’s football headquarters.

Fitz writes that Penn State, Ohio State and Notre Dame are Oweh’s top pursuers, but Fitz and his 247 compadres see the Lions with the inside track.

Greg Pickel of Pennlive.com lists 13 commits who will be on hand Saturday. Other uncommitted players, such as offensive linemen P.J. Mustipher and Rasheed Walker, are also expected to visit.


Senior moment

Safety Marcus Allen, linebacker Jason Cabinda and tight end Mike Gesicki, all seniors, will accompany Franklin to Big Ten Media Days, July 24-25 in Chicago.

Conspicuous by their absence are quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley. That rankles the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein, as does the absence of Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett.

Greenstein argued that the conference is not doing itself any favors, marketing-wise, by letting the schools determine which players appear. In PSU’s case, a spokesperson told Greenstein, the Lions wanted their seniors to get the exposure.

An Ohio State spokesman told Greenstein that Barrett, who is a senior, appeared last year in Chicago, and the school wanted to give others an opportunity.

Greenstein understands, if only to a point. He directs the final line of his column to league officials:

Quit being so afraid to offend the schools — and looking so weak.


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