I caught a little bit of his press conference. Franklin said his goal is to dominate the state and the region in recruiting. Unlike the Penn State of 15-20 years ago, he can no longer mostly depend on Pennsylvania. For many years, Pennsylvania was a Top 5 state in this country for high school football. Today, it is lucky to be a Top 10 state.
I believe Pennsylvania has been hurt in high school football by two things: the loss of population in the western part of the state and the suburbs of Philadelphia, while growing, not producing the talent it should be. The western part of the state has produced a lot of talent over the years. If there is one area of the Rust Belt that has truly been hit by the loss of population with high school football, it's in Western Pennsylvania.
That is why Franklin had to say dominate the region. He does have Northeast Ohio close by, but I think he will be looking at New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. New Jersey and Maryland, individually, have been producing more recruits than Pennsylvania. Northern Virginia has been growing in the past few decades and now you are starting to see it in their high school football.
There has been controversy for why the B1G picked Rutgers and Maryland. This has been accompanied by rumors that the B1G might expand down the Mid-Atlantic coast into Virginia and North Carolina. There is already big population along Interstate 95 from Philadelphia northward. Today, you are continuing to see big growth along Interstate 95 in Maryland, through DC, and into Virginia down into North Carolina.
Today, it is up for debate whether these are good moves. However, there might be some logic to this in the long-term for the B1G.