Penn State's football office goes where James Franklin goes, tagging along with the first-year coach as he zigzags and caravans his way through York, Hershey, King of Prussia, Williamsport and Wilkes-Barre, the nearby towns and cities overflowing with fans and alumni loyal to the Nittany Lions' cause. It's a three-ring binder roughly 300 pages thick, labeled with Franklin's name – in big, oversize font, as if to limit any potential cases of mistaken identity – and for his eyes only, since the contents serve as his office away from the office. For now, his physical office doubles as his home: Franklin has spent the past four months sleeping on two couches pulled nightly from the lounge area outside his office door, waiting until his family moves from Nashville in July. It's not color-coded; the only color seen within the binder's flaps come from Franklin's red pen – the same pen, because he sticks to one specific brand – as he updates, amends and corrects the various notes and entries shared by the members of his administrative, support and coaching staffs. There's a section devoted to his team's 2014 outlook, breaking down both his own personnel and the opponents on the team's upcoming schedule. With 100 days left until the opener, Franklin and his staff have already gone through the planning stages on the Nittany Lions' first four games: Central Florida, Akron, Rutgers and Massachusetts. Another section includes updates from Penn State's sports medicine department, which, among other tasks, has been asked to research the best way to battle the sluggishness that accompanies a rapid time change – a relevant topic, because PSU opens the season in Dublin before returning to State College for its home opener. One tab is devoted to notes from the strength and conditioning staff, and another dedicated to quotes and articles on leadership, one of Franklin's favorite topics. There's even a listing of potential hiring targets among assistant coaches, should Franklin have a future opening on his tight-knit staff. And, of course, a section detailing the minutiae of Penn State's recruiting efforts.
James Franklin, Penn State pore over football blueprint
USA Today | May 27