Penn State's James Franklin will attend Obama's speech


There will be at least one big-name football coach at Tuesday night's State of the Union address by President Barack Obama.

New Penn State coach James Franklin will be the guest of U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., who is a Penn State alum.

"The State of the Union offers us the chance to reflect upon the previous year and provides us with a preview of the challenges and opportunities that we face together," Thompson said in a statement released by his office. "Given these sentiments, it's an honor to have Coach Franklin as my guest for this occasion."

As you'd expect, Franklin is happy with the invitation. In the statement released by Thompson's office, Franklin said, "I look forward to hearing the President's vision for 2014 and beyond."

You also can expect Franklin and his staff to use the coach's attendance at the State of the Union address as a last-minute recruiting tool, as we are just eight days from National Signing Day.

Imagine you're a recruit and you get a call from Franklin on Tuesday night: "Hey, important recruit. Guess where I am? I'm at the U.S. Capitol, hanging out with the President and a bunch of other politicians. Do you really want to play for a coach who doesn't hang out with the President and a bunch of other politicians?"

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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