James Franklin, staff enjoying relaxed schedule during bye week

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Penn State football coach James Franklin exhorts his team during the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis December 5, 2016. The Nittany Lions received oral commitments from two recruits on Saturday.

You know it’s a bye week when James Franklin can watch the sun rise.

The coaching staff has been meeting at 9:30 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. this week, allowing coaches with children to take them to school and, apparently, watch the sun rise.

“I think that’s where we recharge,” Franklin said. “The rest of the time we’re not, really.”

While the players have two (veteran players) or three (non-travel squad) days off, the coaching staff will have a tightly packed few days of recruiting. Franklin traveled to Texas Wednesday night, and he and the coordinators will return before Sunday.

“We’re out ripping and running,” Franklin said of recruiting days. “Sometimes, with recruiting, you’re trying to maximize that day so much because you only get so many days. Sometimes it’s more grueling.”

But there’s no doubt the fourth-year head coach can make a good case to commit to the third-ranked team and defending Big Ten champs.

When the Nittany Lions (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) reconvene Sunday, they’ll shift their focus toward No. 17 Michigan (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) instead of spending time grading the previous film. The teams will face off in Beaver Stadium’s annual white out game at 7:30 p.m. next Saturday.

Instead of focusing on Michigan for the entirety of the bye week, Penn State dedicated a day to work internally, self-scouting and analyzing its own tendencies.

But sometimes, Franklin said, it’s helpful to have someone with an outside perspective do this. So members of the offense and defense did a scouting report of each other. The coach compared it to journalists glossing over a typo in an article they’ve written even though they went through it multiple times.

“Same thing with us,” Franklin said. “We’re too close to our work sometimes, so getting a fresh set of eyes in there is important.”

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