Head coach James Franklin and seniors Cam Brown (Burtonsville, Md.), Blake Gillikin (Smyrna, Ga.) and John Reid (Mount Laurel, N.J.) will represent Penn State at the 48th Annual Big Ten Kickoff in Chicago July 18-19. Penn State will participate in events Friday, July 19.
The 48th annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon begins at 10 a.m. (CT) on Friday, July 19 with an autograph session. Around 10:50 a.m. (CT), fans can get group pictures of the current coaches and students in attendance.
The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. (CT) and will be hosted by ESPN’s Rece Davis, who will sit down with the coaches in small groups to discuss the upcoming season. The luncheon will feature speeches by Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and Tournament of Roses president Laura Farber. The event will also feature highlight videos, additional student interviews by ESPN’s Laura Rutledge and much more, including door prizes highlighted by a free trip to the 2019 Big Ten Football Championship Game and the 2020 Rose Bowl Game.
Franklin has guided the Nittany Lions to three-straight Top 15 finishes in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings, making Penn State one of six teams in the country to do so. The 2018 squad finished No. 12 in the CFP rankings and No. 15 in the Associated Press (AP) and Amway Coaches polls. Penn State enters the 2019 season having been ranked in the AP Top 25 for the last 40 weeks, which is the longest streak since 1993-2000. The defense guided the way for the Lions last season, ranking in the top 20 in FBS in team sacks (1st), tackles for loss (4th), passing efficiency (8th), red zone defense (11th), passing yards allowed (15th) and third down conversion defense (19th). On the offensive side of the ball, Penn State posted its highest rushing average (204.9) since 2008 (205.8).
Under Franklin’s tutelage, the Nittany Lions made back-to-back New Year’s Six bowl game appearances for the first time since 1985 and 1986 with bids to the 2017 Rose Bowl and 2017 Fiesta Bowl. Franklin has seen six players selected in the NFL Draft each of the last two seasons, marking the first time since 1992 (9 draft picks) and 1993 (8) the Nittany Lions had back-to-back drafts with six or more selections.
For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and reserving new season tickets for the 2019 Penn State Football season presented by PSECU, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.