While Penn State has always been coined ‘Linebacker U’, the program has transitioned somewhat over the last decade, and has frankly been more of a tight end factory over the past few years.
That distinction regarding the success of Nittany Lion tight ends could now apply to its coaching staff as well, with tight ends coach Tyler Bowen departing for the Jacksonville Jaguars following last season.
But the next man in line, former Nittany Lion player and captain Ty Howle, met with the media on Tuesday, and discussed what he plans on bringing to the program next season and for years to come.
And while Howle was on James Franklin’s staff last year as an offensive analyst, he spoke on just how ready he is to get started in a bigger role on the staff this year.
“Obviously the job coach Franklin and his staff was doing from 2014 on, they did an unbelievable job of really bringing in Penn State back to national prominence,” Howle said. “It was fun to watch from afar and now obviously fun to be a part of what's going on.
“I'm excited for the future.”
While Howle is now tasked with grooming a young tight end room with plenty of potential talent, he plans on changing very little regarding the culture surrounding the group.
As the environment that Bowen created was an ideal one, that involves preparation and trust among other qualities aligning with Franklin.
“I learned a ton from [Bowen] and obviously worked really closely with him last season,” Howle said. “Tyler is a great relationship guy, and I think he'll take that down to Jacksonville where he gets guys to believe in and buy into what he's teaching, and obviously that starts with knowing what he's talking about.”
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In addition to his strong sense for the position, Howle is also looking to emulate the little things from Bowen as well, such as his communication skills and genuine personality.
“It’s caring about people off the field, developing that relationship and trust with guys,” Howle said. “So I think that'll carry over with him, and it’s something that I'll be doing as well.”
Adding on to his care for players both on and off the field, Howle discussed what his biggest goals are in his new position.
While he is aware that wins and losses are of course the most crucial aspect of any new coaching role, he says that ensuring his tight ends go on to be successful humans is one of his main priorities in the new role.
“I measure success by the type of men that we will produce here from Penn State, and that was something, when I was a player, that was always talked about,” Howle said. “Obviously, we're measured by wins and losses, and you’ve got to produce on Saturdays, but I also still want to see the guys that are in the tight end room 10 years from now still producing as a father.
“I do believe it’s my job as a coach to help those guys reach their goals and dreams, whether it's athletically, academically, socially, and take those guys where they can't take themselves.”
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