Penn State’s James Franklin the Nation’s No. 18 Coach; Psu Aims to Continue Western Pa Recruiting Dominance, and More

Today’s Penn State football news headlines feature a look at the Lions’ recruiting efforts in Western Pennsylvania and where James Franklin ranks among the nation’s top head coaches.

Franklin has backed away from his “Dominate the state” mantra, but he reiterated at a Coaches Caravan stop in Pittsburgh that the goal is still very much on the table. One of the program’s big goals is to continue “keep all the best players” in the state, he told John McGonigal of the Centre Daily Times during his time in Pittsburgh.

“But for us to go where we want to go, we feel like we’ve got to keep all the best players of the state and this region at home,” Franklin told the CDT. “To me, home, that’s Penn State. That’s the Land Grant state school.”

CBS Sports wrapped up a two-part series of national coach rankings with Nos. 1-25 and pegged Franklin as the No. 18 head coach in the country, up 23 spots from No. 41 a year ago. He was one of the biggest gainers on the list following the Lions’ 11-3 season and Big Ten title, but he was still ranked behind Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer.

Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports wrote:

James Franklin (41): If not for Mike MacIntyre’s meteoric rise in this year’s rankings, Franklin would have made the largest leap. And it’s not difficult to see why. After a couple of very mediocre seasons at Penn State, the Nittany Lions went 11-3 under Franklin last year, went to the Rose Bowl, and had a legitimate case for a playoff berth.

In other Penn State football news, Lamont Wade catches the attention of a national analyst. Brendan Mahon and Andrew Nelson make the 2017 “All-Comeback Team,” and Pitt and Penn State both fare well in the NCAA’s latest APR results.

PennLive’s Bob Flounders, Greg Pickel and Dustin Hockensmith also talk Penn State football on the Keystone Sports Network. Check out audio from their latest podcast below.

Those headlines and more highlight today’s Penn State football news roundup:

Ranking the top 25 Power Five college football coaches entering the 2017 season: Fornelli [CBS Sports]

Top 50 college football players for 2017: Nos. 21-30: Reuter []

8 true freshmen who flashed during the spring: Simmons [247Sports]

The 2017 College All-Comeback Team: Brown [Sports On Earth]

James Franklin aiming to continue recruiting dominance in Western Pennsylvania: McGonigal [Centre Daily Times]

Pitt’s Narduzzi, Penn State’s Franklin weigh in on early football signing period: DiPaola [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

NCAA APR results released; Pitt, Penn State fare well: Meyer [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Penn State AD Sandy Barbour discusses future of PSU-Pitt: Klinger [PennLive]

Will Penn State OL Andrew Nelson be a factor in 2017? James Franklin says he’s ‘got a bright future’: Pickel [PennLive]

Dynamic Penn State DE target Jayson Oweh emerges as TE talent, draws comparison to first-round NFL draft pick: Donohue [Land of 10]

Penn State recruiting: Florida athlete reacts to early offer, 5-star QB commit Justin Fields will work with coaching legends: Donohue [Land of 10]

Penn State AD Sandy Barbour gets mixed reactions to Beaver Stadium renderings, empathizes: Klinger [PennLive]

Early outlook: The 5 most dangerous players Penn State will face in 2017: Polak [Roar Lions Roar]

James Franklin shares a story about when ‘more’ didn’t work: Klinger [PennLive]

What description does Penn State’s James Franklin take some offense to?: Pickel [PennLive]

Penn State’s James Franklin talks balancing work and family: Van Arsdall [CBS Philly]

Penn State’s 2018 recruiting class up to No. 2 in some rankings: Wieder [Victory Bell Rings]

Tommy Stevens could be used in other ways: Wieder [Victory Bell Rings]

Premium articles ($):

Penn State hoping to make a move with Notre Dame decommit: Fitz [Lions 247]

OT Rasheed Walker talks recruiting, Penn State: Fitz [Lions 247]