The NCAA announced Friday the future addition of a 10th full-time assistant coach — and Penn State coach James Franklin has a plan for filling that spot.
Franklin didn’t share whom he has in mind after Wednesday night’s practice, but offered a look into what he wants.
“In a perfect world, I’d like it to be a guy that has an emphasis on special teams,” Franklin said a few days before the Blue-White Game. “Right now I feel really good about Coach (Charles) Huff; he’s done an awesome job for us and we made a big jump in that area this past year. But long-term, I think you’d love to have a guy and that was his deal.”
As it stands, the NCAA allows 14 staff members — the head coach, nine full-time assistants and four graduate assistants. Ideally for Franklin, this 10th full-timer would also have a background on defense, evening out the current staff to five people on each side of the ball.
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Now, it’s just a matter of finding that right person.
“You know with me, we like to have a plan. It’s not like we don’t already have a plan,” Franklin said. “The coaches make fun of me because we’ll go to a convention and I’ll have lunch with 10 different offensive line coaches, and coach (Matt) Limegrover will look at me like, ‘What’s up?’ Coach Limegrover is perfectly fine, but I’m always going to have a plan. I’m always going to be developing relationships and knowing who those guys are down the road.”
The additional coach wasn’t the only new rule change introduced on Friday. The NCAA also announced an early signing period for recruits and the elimination of two-a-day practices.
Franklin likes the early signing period, but isn’t a fan of no longer having two-a-days. From his perspective, it makes the season a week longer for the players — and cuts down on the already-limited time for his coaches to take vacation.
“There are just concerns,” Franklin said, reflecting on all the rule changes. “There’s pluses and minuses to it, but there’s a part of me that likes the world I’ve been living in the last 23 years. I know what to anticipate and what to expect.”