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James Franklin and Penn State called 'national contenders'; watch Manny Diaz in action at practice: Newsstand

Greg Pickelby:Greg Pickel08/17/22


Penn State football news, notes, and updates for Aug. 17 include a new set of rankings from ESPN plus a glimpse of Manny Diaz in action.

It’s time to dive into Wednesday’s top tweets and headlines about the Nittany Lions and college athletics.

Penn State tweets of the day

We start with coach rankings from ESPN.

The outlet’s national college football reporter, Adam Rittenberg, split college football leaders into four categories: National contenders, up next, overachievers, and fast risers. James Franklin came in at No. 9 in the national title contenders category, as the Penn State coach checked in among the group of “Coaches who lead teams pegged to regularly compete for the College Football Playoff or to do so in the near future.”

“If this were 2020, Franklin could appear higher,” Rittenberg writes. “He had guided Penn State to 40 wins and three AP top-9 finishes in the previous four seasons. The past two years have hurt his stock a bit, as Penn State has split 22 games and gone 8-10 in Big Ten play.

“But Franklin has shown he can break through, winning the conference in 2016 and nearly getting to the CFP. His work at Vanderbilt — 24-15 overall with three bowl appearances and two AP Top 25 finishes — looks even more remarkable as the years go by.”

In other news, the official Penn State football account shared a video of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz mic’d up during practice. You can see how active he is during drills. And, he never misses a coaching opportunity.

Highlights from the video found below include praise for Abdul Carter, a look at the program’s clear focus on turnovers this fall, Adisa Isaac in action, and more.

Finally, Penn State back Nick Singleton was picked as an On3 preseason true freshmen All-American on Tuesday. He continues to receive significant praise during his first fall camp.

Headlines of the day

Two Key Returning Players Who Will Impact Penn State: Wogenrich, SI

KeAndre Lambert-Smith, eying opportunity, taking next step: Bauer, BWI

Minnesota and Ohio State Games Pace Secondary Market Prices for PSU home games: Jones,

Hakeem Beamon is aiming to stay healthy, and regain respect, as part of the Penn State defense in 2022: Pickel, BWI

Former Penn State football defensive back Troy Apke released by Washington Commanders: Daily Collegian

Penn State was ‘resourceful’ to land Jaxon Smolik, a quarterback with top-tier arm talent, Charles Power says: Pickel, BWI

The whole class is great.’ Meet some of the Penn State football newcomer standouts: CDT

Penn State portal sting factor: How bad are the losses of Ken Talley and Caziah Holmes?: Carr, BWI

PSU Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2022: Athlon Sports

Quote of the day

“With KeAndre, you’re talking about a guy who has elite speed and athleticism. And you see it on the field.

“He’s going to be a guy that can vertically stretch the defense. He seems to have taken another step in his game and so we’re just looking forward to him just being a consistent contributor every snap.”

–PSU corners coach Terry Smith on receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith.

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