Athletes Inspired By ESU Grad’s Possible Opportunity

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EAST STROUDSBURG -- James Franklin is a Pennsylvania native.  He's also a former quarterback at East Stroudsburg University. And even though no decision on his Penn State future has been made, athletes at his Alma Mater say they couldn't be prouder of him.

Inside East Stroudsburg University's Koehler Fieldhouse, track and field athletes are back from winter break practicing for the upcoming season.

Junior Damien Boham is the captain of ESU's track and field team. He has a lot of passion for his school, and was excited when he heard that ESU alumnus James Franklin could possibly be named the new head football coach for Penn State.

“It's pretty cool to see someone from East Stroudsburg reach heights like that,” Boham said.

Boham couldn't be more proud, especially because Franklin's story is one that inspires him as well.

“I want to be a coach, maybe, when I get out of school. And seeing someone from ESU going all the way to the Division One level to a school like Penn State is pretty awesome.  Maybe I can get that far one day."

The inspirational feeling is contagious. Just ask Michael Mammarella Smith who's also on the track and field team. He too is rooting for James Franklin as head football coach of Penn State.

"Maybe that could be one of us at a big time college one day. Who knows?"

Although he's a freshman at ESU, Ronnie D'Eliseo couldn't help show off some Penn State pride for fellow ESU alumnus Franklin as he wears a Penn State windbreaker to practice.

"It gives people who ever want to be a coach in the years after they graduate, it gives them hope, because they can do it. He did it, anyone who came from here can do it, too."

Although James Franklin hasn't officially been named head football coach for Penn State, his fellow ESU athletes are rooting for their fellow Warrior who is inspiring this generation of athletes.