Hard to believe James Franklin would leave Penn State; Charles Huff still believes in K Tyler Davis

penn state football-kicker Tyler Davis-James Franklin

Penn State football is the No. 1 topic in We are… Awake every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Nittany Lions sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Penn State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Anticipating a spin of the coaching carousel

The report was vague, the wording curious. But there it was, just the same: Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com wrote on Thursday that Penn State officials are “are preparing for Texas A&M to make a run at hiring James Franklin should Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies part ways.”

Ryan Connors of Land of 10 wonders why Franklin, who is in his fourth year as the Lions coach, would want to leave. Sam Cooper of Yahoo.com and Alex Kirshner of SB Nation arrived at the same conclusion. The Lions, after all, are coming off a Big Ten championship. They are 6-0 this season, and have won 15 of their last 16 games.

Franklin and his staff have been tireless in their recruiting efforts and, as Dodd notes, the coach signed a three-year, $19.75 million contract extension in August, which goes through 2022.

Mike Poorman of Statecollege.com also expects Franklin to stay, though Poorman did add that Franklin would not say in August whether he was definitely going to stay at PSU through the end of his deal.

Special teams coach: Tyler Davis is ‘fine’

Andrew Callahan of Lions247 quotes special teams coordinator Charles Huff as saying that struggling kicker Tyler Davis is “at about the same spot he was at last year,” despite the fact that he is 6 for 13 on field-goal attempts this season, after going 22 for 24 in 2016 (and 8 for 8 in ’15). Davis does have a new snapper (Kyle Vasey) this year and holder Billy Fessler served in that capacity in only a handful of games last season. “I do think the new operation early in the season, even if he didn’t say it, it probably mentally kind of had a little effect,” Huff said, according to Callahan. “But I think he’s fine.”

Cornering the market

Andrew Rubin of the Daily Collegian notes that the Lions’ top three cornerbacks — Grant Haley, Christian Campbell and Amani Oruwariye — are all ranked among the top 10 in the Big Ten, according to Pro Football Focus. Their play, as well as that of freshmen Tariq Castro-Fields and Lamont Wade, has helped ease the loss of the team’s top corner, John Reid, to a knee injury.

Maintaining focus

The men’s basketball team staged its media day Thursday, and Ben Jones of Statecollege.com asked senior guard Shep Garner about the hot seat supposedly occupied by coach Patrick Chambers. Garner told Jones the players are “closed off to everything,” and became adept at ignoring outside noise during their struggles in recent seasons. “So together, we’ve just got to make sure we’re getting better every day,” Garner said, per Jones. “Because this team has great potential.”

Meeting of the minds

Penn State’s official Twitter account featured a photo from 1989 of a young Franklin, then a quarterback at Neshaminy High School in suburban Philadelphia, meeting with then-Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski. (Note that Franklin is the one doing the talking.)

Also in the Land of 10

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.

The post Hard to believe James Franklin would leave Penn State; Charles Huff still believes in K Tyler Davis appeared first on Land of 10.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.