Former Maryland OC James Franklin to be hired at Penn State

Former Maryland OC James Franklin to be hired at Penn State
January 9, 2014, 11:45 am
Share This Post

Terps drop Military Bowl, still finish winning season

(Associated Press)

Three  years after leaving Maryland to take a job at Vanderbilt, James Franklin will meet the Terrapins again in conference play as he is expected to become the next head coach at Penn State, Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com is reporting.

When is the happy reunion, you ask? Maryland faces Penn State on Nov. 1 in Happy Valley.

Franklin, who was the offensive coordinator in College Park under former coach Ralph Friedgen, had his pick of suitors in the offseason after leading Vanderbilt to a 9-4 overall record and a victory in the BBVA Compass Bowl. 

[RELATED: Maryland recruiting target Damian Prince changes announcement date]

Media reports linked Franklin to a number of college and professional jobs, including with the NFL's Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Redskins, as well as college jobs including Texas and the job he is expected to take, Penn State.

He is a native of Langhorne, Pa., who played his college football at East Stroudsburg, about two and a half hours from Penn State's campus. As a coach with local ties and ties to the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region, Franklin will be competing directly--and likely prove to be a stiff challenge--for high-level recruits in the area.

Known as a charismatic leader and recruiter, he was able to find success coaching at arguably the toughest SEC school to which one can recruit.

The question now will be how he brings together the pieces left behind after Bill O'Brien's departure to Houston. Four of Penn State's 19 commitments from the Class of 2014 hail from either Maryland or Virginia. Among them is Gilman (Md.) cornerback Troy Vincent, Jr.

There was speculation that Vincent, Jr. may reopen his recruitment after O'Brien's departure.

Also included in Penn State's 2014 commitments is running back Johnathan Thomas, who flipped from Maryland to Penn State. A third player, offensive lineman Jared Cohen, decommitted from Maryland so that he could visit Penn State. He remains uncommitted.

Franklin finished 24-15 in three seasons at Vanderbilt.