Franklin talks senior day, NCAA eligibility for PSU football

Nittany Nation

Penn State head coach James Franklin watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Michigan, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — In what could be defined as an unusual season of college football, Penn State is approaching its final game of the regular season against Michigan State.

Saturday’s game will also be senior day, which will have a very different setup this year. Parents will not be allowed on the field and instead will be placed in the stands, according to head coach James Franklin.

“There’s not a whole lot we can do in the stadium that a lot of these guys have waited to do,” Franklin said. He encouraged fans to do something for the seniors however they can.

Franklin said there is a good chance that senior cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields will be available on Saturday. Castro-Fields was out for the last four games.

“Each week he’s been great in meetings. Leadership has been phenomenal We think there’s a good chance that we’re gonna have Tariq this game. It’ll depend on how the week goes,” Franklin said.

Communication is starting this week regarding players returning with an NCAA waiver. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fall sport athletes in the NCAA will have an extra year of eligibility. Franklin noted that there are some conversations the team needs to have.

Assistants will start asking players about redeeming their extra year on Thursday and Friday. Fro now, seniors will be introduced and “we’ll see later what happens,” according to Franklin.


  • Offense: Michael Menet
  • Defense: Jaquan Brisker
  • Special Teams: Jake Pinegar

Looking ahead to week nine, Franklin hopes that Penn State will have an idea on the outlook after the Michigan State game. A model was created before the start of the season, but there has been talk of the Big Ten changing the model.

“We will deal with it the best we can,” Franklin said. “It hasn’t even been clearly defined by the Big Ten what that week is going to be like.”

When asked about the possibility of a bowl game, Franklin said the team is just trying to control the things they do know, noting that he didn’t think anyone visualized this and the amount of time players would be away from their families.


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