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STATE COLLEGE -- The NCAA transfer portal was a big part of Penn State's offseason, as it changed the roster in several ways.
That was expected, as the new dose of freedom given to players who wanted to look for a new school meant anyone unhappy with his role might search for greener grass, and vice versa as it relates to head coach James Franklin’s team bringing in fresh faces.
There are unintended consequences with any rule change, though. Franklin, who is in his sixth season with the Lions and enters his fourth matchup opposite Pittsburgh this weekend, revealed an unexpected part of the player movement phenomena on Tuesday, specifically in regards to longtime Penn State safety John Petrishen joining the Panthers program in August.
"When that happened, we knew we were going to have to make some changes at that point," Franklin said during his weekly Tuesday news conference at Beaver Stadium. "We did it right when that was announced, but we had to change all of our signals, especially on defense and on offense as well, because he knows all of our signals.
"That was something we had to do right away."
Petrishen has yet to record a statistic with his new team, John McGonigal of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said he is not expected to play Saturday. Kickoff is set for Noon and ABC will televise the matchup.
College football programs tweak and alter their signals and anything else opponents might pick up on film all the time, so the fact that the Lions had to make this specific change before the start of the 2019 season might not be as big of a deal as it seems.
That said, Petrishen spent four years with the Lions and knew all the ins and outs, the secret tricks, and more about his old school’s systems and schemes, which should lead to PSU unveiling some brand new formations and tactics for its final non-conference game of the year.
As for when the signal change was enacted, the head coach said it was immediate, which means the team has been working with its new silent communication tools during summer camp and also in both wins so far this season.
"If we had waited to this week, it would have been problematic," Franklin said. "If you wait to deal with crowd noise until the week of a game like this, it's going to be a problem. I learned that my first year as a coordinator. You have to work crowd noise right from the beginning, and allow it to build and adjust to it.
“It’s the same way with the signals. As soon as that was announced, we had to get with out guys and come up with new signals for everything that we do, either new signals or multiple signals. That fact that we did it right away, we had plenty of time to get it done, and all of our guys are comfortable with it.”
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Source : https://www.pennlive.com/pennstatefootball/2019/09/penn-state-had-to-change-all-its-signals-on-offense-and-defense-this-offseason-heres-why.html636