James Franklin makes two Penn State draft parties an hour away

ByKalan Hooks ESPN logo
Saturday, April 27, 2024

One of the greatest joys for a collegiate football coach is witnessing your player's names get called to play in the NFL.

For Penn State Nittany Lions coach James Franklin, he wasn't about to miss the occasion, no matter the distance.

On Thursday, Franklin began draft night with offensive tackle Olu Fashanu and his family in Waldorf, Maryland, to witness the 319-pounder's dreams come true. The New York Jets selected Fashanu with the No. 11 pick.

Fifty-seven miles away, defensive end Chop Robinson was holding his draft party. That put Franklin, who didn't want to miss either of his players getting taken in the first round, on a tight schedule.

Franklin drove an hour north to make it just in time. Eager to get there before Robinson's big moment, Franklin jogged down the block as he identified the house by the balloons outside.

The second Franklin stepped foot in the Robinson household, he greeted friends and rushed to the front of the room to find his former linebacker. The defensive end had just received the call that he was selected as the No. 21 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins. Franklin congratulated him moments later.

Day 2 of the 2024 NFL draft consisting of Rounds 2 and 3 continues Friday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

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