Update: StateCollege.com reached out to James Franklin and asked if there will be numbers on Penn State's helmets in 2014. Franklin emphatically said no, but that it's just a decoration in his office.
"I don't know where the helmet came from. I know the history of it because people told me that Penn State used to have numbers on the helmets," Franklin said over the phone. "Basically nothing has changed. It is sitting there in my office. It has been there since before I got the job...That's the whole story."
It's too bad, because helmets with numbers on their sides look sharp. Still, it's a nice decoration.
Earlier: Penn State freshman running back Nick Scott put something interesting on his Instagram earlier today: a picture of a Penn State helmet with a number on the side. While there hasn't been an official announcement about any uniform changes under head coach James Franklin, this picture from Scott suggests that the Nittany Lions could have numbers on the sides of their helmets, something the team hasn't done consistently since the 1970s. The Nittany Lions last wore numbers on their helmets for one game in 2012, when everyone on the team wore the number 42 on their helmets to honor linebacker Michael Mauti, who went down with a season-ending knee injury.
Of course, this may just be something Scott did while he had some spare time on his hands, and Penn State plans on keeping its classic, simple look for its helmets. However, if this is legitimate, then the potential new helmets look sharp.