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Penn State Ready to Kick-Off 2018

STATE COLLEGE, Centre County:  Twenty eight days till Penn State football season kicks off and the Nittany Lions are getting some love preseason, with a number nine ranking in the coaches poll. That isn’t the focus, though, as the blue and white host their annual media day Saturday. There are a lot more important things to discuss.

Here`s the cliff notes version for media day.  Senior linebacker Manny Bowen is back on the team,  his role yet to be determined.  The offense is loaded with talent led by all conference quarterback Trace Mcsorley.
The defense is confident they can step up to fill the vacancies created by graduation and in an unrelated development,  we found out Coach Franklin either bruises easily or was unfairly targeted at the team`s paintball outing.

"I put my gun up to run off the field and literally, the entire team just sprayed me. "

Franklin continued, "I`m not kidding, I`m probably going to do something I shouldn`t, Kris will tell me you probably shouldn`t do this but do you guys all see this? That`s one ... This is the best one .. (as he showed the back of his leg with a reacting crowd)"

Despite his evidence to the contrary,  Franklin is thrilled with the overall health of the team.

"We just had more players available to train and develop all summer and I think you can see that. Same thing with camp, we just have more guys that are full go in camp than we`ve had since we`ve been here."

The Lions increased size is the first thing you notice when the guys walk onto the field.

"I got here at about 185 pounds, I`m about 240 today so, I`ve grown a little bit height wise too since I got there. It`s really been beneficial to me, I needed it," said Tommy Stevens.

"Our training staff is unbelievable, the weight room is crazy. Competition, everybody competing, on the field, off the field, school wise, everything," added Harrisburg native Damion Barber.

The Nittany Lions have lost all kinds of production, including the entire starting secondary but safety Garret Taylor isn't worried the blue and white are not worried.

"We`re reloading, not rebuilding. We have a lot of depth and a lot of talent in the secondary. I think we`re all just excited to finally show everyone what we got."

Remember those days, for the Lions?

Perhaps the biggest advantage the 2018 lions have is this Beaver Stadium.  Penn State`s last setback here was in 2015.  This year`s home schedule includes visits from Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State.