Franklin: “It’s the best tight end group I’ve ever been around.”

Sports

Mike Gesicki, Pat Freiermuth, Jesse James.

All stud tight ends that have entered Beaver Stadium and now, greener pastures in the NFL.

Penn State head coach James Franklin sees something in his current tight ends that he didn’t in any others in his coaching career.

“I’d make the argument one of the best tight end groups in the country. In fact, it’s the best tight end group I’ve ever been around in my 25 years of college football,” says Franklin.

On top of the praise, what should make the Nittany Lions more excited is the fact this group is as young as they are talented.

In fact, only one of them is of legal drinking age.

Bad for them. Good for fans.

Warwick High School product Grayson Kline is the lone wolf who can down a cold one after practice. At 6’5, 257, the redshirt junior serves as a mentor to the youthful nucleus.

Redshirt sophomore Brenton Strange comes off a 2020 campaign where he started five games and hauled in 17 receptions.

Strange is joined by sophomore Theo Johnson and freshman Tyler Warren who both measure in at 6’6 and 250 lbs.

“In other years, we’ve had some guys who are really good at receiving, who are really good at blocking, but I think this group is pretty well rounded,” says Franklin.

While the group is full of renaissance men, one of those elements means a little more to first year tight ends coach Ty Howle.

“We’re a tight end friendly offense. It’s been awesome,” says Howle.

Howle was a four-year letterwinner on the Penn State offensive line from 2009-2013.

The 2013 team captain served as an offensive analyst for the Nittany Lions in 2020, where he focused in the place he knows best – the trenches.

“From the offensive line side, obviously understanding the blocking schemes, the box camps, and all that has been able to help these guys in the run game and the protection game. We’re told to do things in all three phases,” says Howle.

The countdown is on until the tight ends will have the chance to prove Franklin right.

The season-opening game against Wisconsin comes on September 4th.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss