San Francisco 49ers Jerseys Former Penn State linebacker NaVorro Bowman, a three-time Pro Bowler, swears he never doubted that James Franklin would lead the Nittany Lions to the top 10 sooner than most expected.
Despite the early criticism and the occasional “Fire Franklin!” Chant, Bowman always had faith in the Penn State coach – because Franklin was the first to have faith in him.
Back in 2004, when Bowman was a high school junior, Franklin was the first to spot his talent and offer him a scholarship while he served as Maryland’s recruiting coordinator. Bowman never forgot that.
“It’s just a crazy thing because I was really sad in letting him down because I thought of him as a great person, great guy and unfortunately, I did not like the university as much as I liked him,” said Bowman, who Is currently on injury reserve for the San Francisco 49ers.
“I’ve always been high on him. So many people Cheap nfl Jerseys doubted him and said he was going to be out of there, and he stuck in there. I spoke to him during the springtime, and I could tell he I was told that was going to get us back to where we needed to be. I could tell he was hungry to get to that spot. ”
Every week, Franklin’s Nittany Lions seem to be setting a different precedent. On Tuesday night, they reached No. 10 in the College Football Playoff rankings – the first time they cracked the top 10 in any poll since the end of the 2009 season.
Former center A.Q. Shipley, who now plays for the Arizona Cardinals, played in 2008 during the run-up to the Rose Bowl.
Unlike Bowman, this is not the kind of season Shipley imagined.
“At 2-2, coming off a loss like they did to Michigan, I do not think anyone expected this,” said Shipley, whose 2008 team finished the year at No. 8. “A lot of the media, former players and Fans were counting them out, but they did a heck of a job cutting out the outside noise, sticking together and coming back stronger than ever. That’s a testament to those guys and those coaches.
Shipley said he has not missed a Penn State game yet this season. On Saturdays, he’ll go through a final walk-through, attend some team meetings – and then it’s either back home or to a hotel room to watch college football .
The 2008 Rimington Trophy winner said it’s been frustrating to watch the last few seven-win seasons. After all, a lot of Big Ten alumni remain in the NFL, so friendly wagers tended to culminate in Shipley having to wear opposing team apparel – like Michigan earlier this season.
“You can end up having a year that’s going to Cheap jersey wholesale turn around the program. You go 10-2, you get a lot of people looking in terms of recruits because the atmosphere speaks.” For themselves. They’re heading in the right direction – probably a little faster than most anyone’s expected of them. ”
Count former Penn State wideout Derek Moye among those who did not expect this kind of season. What would he have said in August if someone told him the Lions would be No. 10 this late in the season?
“Oh man, I would’ve laughed at them,” said Moye, who was the Lions’ leading receiver in 2009. “I never predicted this in a million years and, just to have it happen, it’s great for the program and great For the university. ”
Most former players from the 2008 and 2009 teams shared Moye’s sentiment. Bowman was an exception. It’s not that they did not believe in Franklin or that they doubted their alma mater; they just did not expect such a quick turnaround.
They anticipated a steady progression, not a sudden rise.
On Oct. 22, Penn State upset then-No. 2 Ohio State to beat its first top-two team in 26 years. On Oct. 23, it cracked the top 25 for the first time in 250 weeks. And, on Tuesday, It reached the top 10 for the first time in 2,496 days.
“It’s amazing to do what they’re doing,” said former wideout Graham Zug, who started alongside Moye in 2009. “It’s awesome. It’s impressive. Coach Franklin is doing a heck of a job.”
But, unlike Zug, Bowman still refuses to use words like “surprised” or “amazed.” The former third-round NFL draft pick, one of the faces of Linebacker U, says this is what he always expected.
When he attended Penn State’s spring game in April, he talked with players and saw determination staring back at him. Brandon Bell reminded him a little of himself, with the way he asked questions. Saquon Barkley came across as an unselfish player with superstar potential. Bowman This team was poised for great things – but he said that that does not make him feel any less proud to see what it’s accomplished.
“It just means a lot, man,” Bowman said. “Eventually, we were going to get back to Penn State football. We just needed a person to come in and pointing discipline and order and understand what came before them, understand what we .
“And they’ve done a great job understanding that and doing what they had to do to get back to this level. I always had faith.”