CHICAGO – Penn State has introduced a new feature – speed – to its 2019 team, and head coach James Franklin calls it “as fast of a team as I’ve been around.”
Speaking at his general session with reporters Friday during the Big Ten’s football media days, Franklin said he didn’t have the specific 40-yard times for the players but noted that “we had a bunch of eye-popping numbers in terms of guys that have run extremely fast, 4.3 or better, more so than any place I’ve been.”
The most phenomenal report is a 4.33-second clocking by 258-pound redshirt freshman defensive end Jayson Oweh, who disclosed his time on Twitter during the spring. Other reported times were 4.35 seconds by redshirt sophomore running back Journey Brown, a former Pennsylvania high school 100-meter champion, and 4.32 seconds by cornerback Donovan Johnson, another redshirt sophomore.
“I don’t believe 4.3 guys really exist, but we’ve got a lot of them that a lot of clocks had them running really fast times,” said Franklin, who is in his sixth season as head coach of the Nittany Lions.
“We’re fast, and it’s not just at the typical positions like running back where you recruit a guy like Journey Brown, who broke the all-time 100-meter record in the state of Pennsylvania. It’s at positions like D-end, that guys are typically fast, but not the numbers that we’re talking about.
“So it’ll be interesting. A lot of our guys are guys that are new to football, like Jayson Oweh’s an example of that. His numbers are freakish in a lot of ways, but he’s also a pretty inexperienced football player.”