The Marshall Plan

Leaving Hershey

For Marshall Lefferts, cancer is a detour, not a roadblock. The story of the Nittany Lion football player you never got a chance to know.

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Five days a week, Marshall Lefferts repeats an offseason routine that is unique among college football players. He starts each day with a strenuous morning workout. In the afternoon, he goes for chemotherapy.

The workouts are voluntary, a statement of resilience from a young man refusing to see his dream derailed. As for the chemo, well, he doesn’t have much choice.

Lefferts is the sort of player Penn State fans would love to root for, if only they’d had the chance. Continue reading

Snapshots From Signing Day

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It’s all a bit meta, this Signing Day business.

That’s James Franklin, above, seen in the reflection of a computer monitor while dialing up a FaceTime call on his phone. On the other end of the line was Garrett Taylor (seen below on Franklin’s iPhone), one of the 25 future Nittany Lions who made their college choice official on Wednesday morning. Continue reading

The Road to No. 1

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You can’t miss that finger. In his five months on the job, James Franklin’s raised index finger—the universal sign for “We’re No. 1″—has become something of a trademark. Should you find yourself posing for a photo with Franklin anytime soon, the odds are good that he—and you, whether you planned on it or not—will be pointing a finger toward the sky. Continue reading

Letter Perfect

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The quality of the photo—shot on an iPhone in a dimly lit hotel conference room—doesn’t do justice to the quality of the moment.

The moment came Thursday night in Pittsburgh, on the final stop of the first full week of the Penn State Coaches Caravan. Continue reading

Best in the Booth

Photo by Steve Manuel

Photo by Steve Manuel

Good friends and consummate pros, Steve Jones and Jack Ham bring insight, history, and a commitment to excellence to their roles as the voices of Penn State football. By John Patishnock ’05

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Walk through an open gate on the west side of Beaver Stadium, stroll under a canopy, and step into a nearby service elevator. Push the button for the second floor, exit and take a dozen or so steps to the left. Arrive at door No. 210, marked “Penn State Sports Network.”

If you want to reach the broadcast booth that Steve Jones ’80 and Jack Ham ’71 have occupied together since 2000, this is the route you take. Continue reading