For months, five-star quarterback Justin Fields has been the prominent face of Penn State’s football recruiting class of 2018. Then on Tuesday night he backed away from the table, reopening his recruitment and leaving some Penn State fans feeling burned in the process.
The question is whether Penn State head coach James Franklin was one of those people who felt burned, perhaps to the degree that he subtweeted a teenager.
At 11 p.m. Tuesday evening, just hours after Fields backed out of his commitment, Franklin released the following tweet:
The Ghandi message is generic enough to be interpreted as a general motivator, yet Franklin’s personal message is more pointed. Note the use of our “staff, players, commits & community.”
On the one hand, Franklin can be applauded for backing his team and his entire program. On the other, being interpreted as undercutting a top prospect who said he would still consider attending Penn State is a questionable strategy, at best.
It’s not like there was a lot of gray area interpreting Franklin’s tweet; he was openly declaring that Penn State football is bigger than any one man, shortly after Fields re-questioned whether he truly was a “Penn State man.”
Now everyone gets to see if Fields eventually comes back into the fold or whether a change of heart and Franklin’s reaction is enough to drive him away.