STATE COLLEGE, P.a. (WHTM) — More than any formation, scheme or play design, Penn State players are drilled on the program’s four core values. That attention to detail has Penn State playing their most complete football in years.

For the Nittany Lions, it all starts with a positive attitude.

“Their attitude, we talk about the first core value, positive attitude, coming out with the right mindset and the right attitude from the beginning,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said.

“Being injured last year that’s something that I had to deal with having a positive attitude,” junior defensive end Zuriah Fisher said. “I couldn’t really walk around here with a bad attitude I just had to deal with it, just keep getting my knee right every day.”

A positive attitude allows players to build a strong work ethic… either at practice or in the classroom. Once that second core value is established, they can compete at Penn State’s standard — the third core value.

“The competition has been excellent,” Franklin said. “Starting practice with the good on good stuff has been really good.”

“Just like track you only get better by running fast and racing,” senior cornerback Johnny Dixon said. “I feel like you only get better by going out and being at your best and someone trying to beat you at their best.”

“Our D-line room in total and us going against them iron sharpens iron, good competition every day,” sophomore offensive lineman Drew Shelton said.

All of this buy in only works if players are willing to put aside their own goals for the team’s ultimate goal: winning. This brings us to the fourth and final core value — sacrifice.

“Guys sacrificing during the week so that they can be successful academically and so that they can be successful on Saturdays,” Franklin said.

Positive attitude, work ethic, compete, and sacrifice — The four keys to Penn State football’s buy in this season and why the Nittany Lions are off to a perfect start.