Jul 31, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; United States president Barack Obama (center) waves at the crowd during the Connecticut Huskies visit to the White House. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

James Franklin ‘fascinated’ and ‘impressed’ with President Barack Obama


New Penn State Nittany Lions head coach has had a whirlwind past few weeks since leaving Vanderbilt for Happy Valley which included many football-related jobs like hiring a staff and recruiting.

However, one of the more interesting things on Franklin’s calendar was attending the State of the Union address last week where he studied President Barack Obama and how he commanded the room and carried himself, according to Sports Illustrated.

“The thing that to me is so powerful is how confident and relaxed he is or at least he comes off that way,” says Franklin, who was hired last month to replace Bill O’Brien. “How he’s able to not only make his points, but also able to have some fun and humor mixed in there on the biggest stage. That was great just to see somebody in that position do it all it in a very, very genuine authentic way. It came off very, very natural. It’s impressive.”

Football coaches have often cited great generals and leaders of men for their motivational tactics and a means to draw inspiration and comporting themselves, so this isn’t all that unusual and as Franklin said, “I am attracted to great leaders and what makes them tick. I’m not political, but I love studying leadership and body language.”

The night was a success for Franklin who was the guest of Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and despite feeling guilty for forfeiting a night of recruiting so close to national signing day, Franklin admitted there is one recruit he’d love to have at Penn State.

“I’d like to have the President on the sideline with a headset on,” Franklin says, “making a third-down call.”

We have seen President Obama at a few basketball games, so why not make a crucial call on 3rd-and-7 vs. Michigan or Ohio State? I can’t be the only one curious to see what play he’d dial up.

Tags: Barack Obama James Franklin Penn State Nittany Lions State Of The Union