Once in a while during a rigorous practice regimen, coaches like to loosen things up a bit. Penn State head coach James Franklin did just that for his players by holding a punt catch competition with some unusual competitors.
Running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs are the usual candidates to return punts, but Franklin gave some linemen, some assistants and even the team trainer a chance to receive some punts.
Some, like 6-foot-5, 322-pound junior tackle Donovan Smith, show soft hands and make the catch with no problem. Others have a bit more trouble.
Franklin is obviously building trust with a team that has had three (four if you include Tom Bradley) head coaches in the past four seasons.
“I want us to celebrate, and I want us to have as much fun as anybody in the country, but we’re going to do it the right way,” Franklin said.
He’s been working them hard, but he wants the team to have fun at the same time.
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