Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin Denies Tampering With Maryland QB Danny O'Brien

By Ryan Wooden

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin had to deny allegations of tampering recently in regards to Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien.

Prior to accepting his current position at Vanderbilt, Franklin was the offensive coordinator at Maryland where he coached O’Brien. Now, with news that O’Brien will transfer, Vanderbilt has been pegged as a potential destination, but Maryland head coach Randy Edsall and the university have excluded Vanderbilt from the list of schools where O’Brien could accept aid immediately.

In a CBS Sports report by Chip Patterson, Franklin denied allegations of “tampering”. However, Franklin did relent that he does and will continue to maintain relationships with his former players, presumably acknowledging the fact that he has had conversations with Danny O’Brien while at Vanderbilt.

Franklin led Vanderbilt to a bowl game in his very first year at the helm in Nashville, and now Vanderbilt is coming off their highest-ranked recruiting class in the era. Many have credited that fact to Franklin’s unorthodox and energetic demeanor.

Danny O’Brien will graduate from Maryland in the spring, making him immediately eligible after transfer, provided he enrolls at a school that offers a graduate program not available at Maryland. The situation is similar to that of Russell Wilson, who transferred to Wisconsin after graduating from North Carolina State. However, unlike Wilson, O’Brien still has two full season of eligibility.

O’Brien will appeal Maryland’s ruling on Vanderbilt, and he could very well wind up with the Commodores if he wins that appeal. However, if O’Brien winds up in Nashville, it could warrant an investigation into the extent of Franklin’s contact with the quarterback leading up to his decision to transfer.

For now, Franklin is adamant that he isn’t guilty of any violations.

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