James Franklin has become notorious for focusing on the next step, never looking too far in advance or living too much in the past. It was that mentality that helped Penn State claim a B1G title last year, despite a 2-2 start.
But, after the program’s first conference title since 2008, you’d think Franklin might be somewhat satisfied with the improvement the Nittany Lions have made in his three short years. That doesn’t seem to be the case, though.
Throughout stops on Penn State’s Coaches Caravan, Franklin made it clear that he’s focused on getting better and setting a higher bar of success moving forward. According to Land of 10, here’s what Franklin had to say about the future of the program:
Whatever we did last year isn’t good enough this year moving forward. It’s always going to be that approach.
Our biggest challenge that we have this year is how do we learn from our experiences last year? Going to the B1G championship, Going to the Rose Bowl. How do we learn from those experiences and grow from them but not change who we are?
That quote perfectly sums up Franklin’s coaching mentality. While he enjoys the wins and the success – at least for a short period of time – he never dwells on the past.
It was evident a few weeks ago, when the Nittany Lions passed out their B1G title rings. When asked about it, Franklin had this response:
We handed out the rings at the spring game. And we aren’t talking about that ever again. that is in the past for us.
Penn State is entering a year where expectations are sky-high, with the return of RB Saquon Barkley and QB Trace McSorley. And apparently, Franklin isn’t backing down from that expectation.
But he’s only going to be focused on one week at a time.