James Franklin is making the rounds during a Penn State publicity tour of sorts, including a stop in the nation’s capital region, as he heads into his his first season as the head coach in Happy Valley.
Franklin’s presence at Penn State presents an inherent threat to Maryland’s recruiting effort in the area, considering the fact that Franklin spent time as Maryland’s offensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting behind Ralph Friedgen.
That’s before you mention that his willingness to appear on radio and television certainly add to it.
He sat down with CSN’s Chick Hernandez for a wide-ranging interview that aired Wednesday night on SportsTalk Live, addressing most prominently his exit from Maryland. Included in that, Franklin touched on the decision by athletic director Kevin Anderson to change course in the projected head coaching succession plan.
“Everybody that comes into a leadership position, they kind of have their own plan of where they want to go and how they want to attack things and I respect him for that,” Franklin told CSN.
“That was a decision that he made. Fortunately I had some opportunities at that time and was able to go to Vanderbilt which, like always, there’s a blessing in disguise. That turned out to be an unbelievable experience for me and another opportunity to grow professionally.”
Seeing where he is now, we’re unable to say whether he would be at Penn State had he not left Maryland for Vanderbilt. During the process that took place early this year, the Terrapins could have been in the same position as the Commodores.
Maryland could have been fighting to retain Franklin as Penn State called. Regardless, Franklin says, the route he ultimately ended up taking was paved by his time at Maryland.
“Invaluable,” he said in assessing his time in College Park. “I’ll be forever grateful for my opportunity and my experience that I had starting with Ron Vanderlinden and then being kept on with Ralph. Had a great experience at the University of Maryland.”