Media Gets First Look At Revamped Penn State

Story posted August 4, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Brandon Pelter

For the first time in the 2016 campaign, the Penn State football coaching staff met with members of the media to talk about the upcoming season. Head coach James Franklin, new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, new defensive coordinator Brent Pry and special teams coach Charles Huff all spoke on media day, August 4.

With the season just weeks away, here are some of the storylines to look out for.

Quarterback situation:

Trace McSorley seems like the obvious choice after a strong Blue & White performance and solid finish to spring practice. While coach Franklin is reluctant to say so, he did indicate that McSorley has the advantage.

“I think Trace (McSorley), like I mentioned before, has done some really nice things,” Franklin said. “But I think Tommy (Stevens) also has shown a tremendous ability as well. Mentally, Trace was a little bit ahead of Tommy during spring, but Tommy has had the opportunity to close that gap.”

Franklin said he hopes to make a decision in the coming weeks.

“I think we’ll get in a situation where maybe by week two (of training camp) or game week that we’ll make the announcement,” Franklin added. “I just don’t know. The decision hopefully will be clear to everybody and it won’t be much of a decision that we have to make as a coaching staff. It will be clear to everybody.”

New Coaches In Town:

Before the TaxSlayer Bowl, Franklin named Joe Moorhead, former Fordham head coach, the new Nittany Lion offensive coordinator. Later, former linebacker coach and co-defensive coordinator Brent Pry was promoted to the defensive coordinator spot with the departure of Bob Shoop.

With two new coordinators, it will be interesting to see the differences in the offense and defense of the Nittany Lions.

“I think our philosophical beliefs in offensive football are definitely on the same page,” Moorhead said. “Throughout the interview process, James talked to me a lot about his vision of where he wanted the offense to go and it was compatible with what we did before at my prior stops, so I think it’s gone very well throughout spring and during the summer in our installation meetings prior to camp and heading into practice today. So I think we’re one-hundred percent on the same page.”

Many players lobbied for the promotion of Pry when former coordinator Shoop announced his departure.

“I tried to not just be the linebacker coach,” Pry said. “I tried to have relationships with all the guys, not just on defense, and I think that’s important to their overall experience in the program. So I’m flattered that those guys felt that way.”

Among other notes there was chatter from both Franklin and special teams coach Charles Huff about Saquon Barkley returning kicks and punts. Additionally, all coaches mentioned they were still on the lookout to expand the depth at each position on the team.

Penn State kicks off their 2016 campaign against Kent State at 3:30 p.m. on home grass at Beaver Stadium.

Brandon Pelter is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and marketing. To contact him, email brandon.pelter@gmail.com.