James Franklin and his staff have arguably the best running back in the entire country in Saquon Barkley.
However, as Franklin - who went 7-6 his first two years in Happy Valley before the jump to 11-3 and Big Ten champs last season, and a 4-0 start to this year - explains after being asked if there are things they don't have to be as good at now with a guy like Barkley, he answered after practice by explaining that it takes a whole lot more than one special player to win at the highest level of college football (3:04 mark of the video).
The blueprint for winning at the highest level goes beyond having a good player, or even a few, and it requires three things, Franklin explains.
"The thing that I find interesting is that recruiting matters. Good players help. You can't win at the highest level with just one. You've got to have scheme, you've got to have development, and you have to have recruiting."
"I think that's where a lot of people make mistakes. You've got guys, from an ego perspective, that are just going to out-coach you. Then you've got other guys that say, 'Well, I'm just going to out-recruit you. Then you have some people that just focus on development."
"The reality is that you have to do all three really well. The other thing that I find interesting is that people say, 'Well now you're having this much success, because you have a great player in Saquon Barkley. I could say the same thing about the top five programs in the country for the past twenty years. They've had really good players too."
"For us, as coaches, when we come in on Sunday and we grade the film, we can't just gloss over our issues because Saquon made two guys miss and went for 40-yards, you've still got to correct the issues."
"Joe [Moorhead] says it all the time, 'If you would not accept these things after a loss, you better not accept these things after a win."
Listen to more from Franklin in the clip.