In an after being hired, new Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin made a comment on 93.7's The Fan Morning Show (via CBS Pittsburgh) that he will sleep two hours a night if that's what it takes to get the program where he wants it.
So far, that doesn't seem to be an exaggeration.
Since taking over just two weeks ago, Franklin has been all over the East Coast, from New Jersey to Florida. He has his assistants covering the ground he can't get to, which isn't much.
Recently, Franklin was in Pittsburgh on a recruiting trip before driving back to State College for a Board of Trustees meeting. Following that, he drove back to Pittsburgh to speak at a coaches convention, where he reportedly received a standing ovation.
It's not clear when or where he got his two hours of sleep that day.
We will go any/everywhere to build a CHAMPIONSHIP DEFENSE! #Baltimore#LA#REDEYEBACKTOTHEBURGH..— Bob Shoop (@Coach_ShoopPSU) January 20, 2014
It seems as though Franklin is in a different state having with a different recruit every night, including buffalo prime rib with the Reeders in Delaware and a visit to what appears to be the Factory with the Tubman family in Kentucky the next night.
Recruiting isn't an easy job, but Franklin seems to enjoy it. Besides securing commitments from five recruits since taking the job, he's currently hosting California 3-star safety/linebacker Koa Farmer, per Penn State's official Twitter account; will welcome Florida 3-star defensive back Amani Oruwariye, per the player's Twitter feed; and, according to Rivals.com's Mike Farrell, 5-star offensive tackle Damian Prince in the coming days.
None of those players had Penn State on their radar before Franklin came into the picture.
New @psufootball coach James Franklin made stops today at Archbishop Wood and Imhotep Charter. He's expected to visit St. Joe's Prep next.— Rick O'Brien (@ozoneinq) January 16, 2014
Landing visits from California, Florida and a 5-star offensive lineman takes work and attitude that Penn State fans have never seen before. Don't think so? When was the last time a California prospect visited Penn State?
Franklin has stated several times that he intends to "dominate the state" when it comes to recruiting, but the Nittany Lions currently have 21 commitments from 14 different states, including Kentucky, Florida, Georgia and Ohio—all states that Penn State has struggled to recruit from in the past.
While his work on the recruiting trail has already proved fruitful, Franklin's prowess extends into the fringes of recruiting, where just a few coaches are willing to go.
QUOTE NOTE: "We will have the most aggressive recruiting staff in America." -#PennState HC James Franklin— PlaybookMark (@PlaybookMark) January 24, 2014
ESPN will be on for signing day to cover Penn State, much like Vanderbilt did when Franklin was running the show there. Among the other that will be featured are Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Texas and Ohio State. That's exactly the company Penn State needs to keep when it comes to recruiting.
It's also the exposure Franklin is looking for and the perception he hopes to create.
The evening of signing day, the new head coach is hosting Penn State Football—The Signature Event at which he will announce each new Nittany Lion, accompanied by highlights, cheerleaders and the band. Consider it a recruiting pep rally, of sorts.
James Franklin: Making Penn State recruiting fun to follow for the first time since...— JoePa's Doghouse (@RowlffDogg) January 23, 2014
Tickets to the public are $5, but students will be admitted for free. While Bill O'Brien encouraged students to fill the stadium, Franklin is embracing them and making them a part of the program, starting at the ground floor.
James Franklin doesn't have any undefeated seasons under his belt. He hasn't won a single championship and hasn't dragged the football program through its own ashes into the light of another day. His results on the field are yet to be seen, but you can rest assured that he will be putting talented players on the field every Saturday.
His recruiting ability and passion for that aspect won't allow any less.
Recruit star rankings provided by 247Sports unless otherwise noted.