It sounds like the Penn State Nittany Lions‘ coaching search is finally coming to an end. After a few weeks of non-stop rumors and reports, it appears Penn State will hire their newest coach on Saturday. The 16th coach in Nittany Lions’ history will most likely be Vanderbilt University‘s James Franklin.
Franklin is by far the best choice for Penn State. Despite him being the best option, he certainly does come with some baggage. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, his baggage involves a rape charge. A few of his players were once involved in a rape case, and Franklin was accused of having knowledge of the situation. However, the players were swiftly kicked off the football team and eventually dismissed from the university. It appears unlikely that Franklin will be charged with anything, but it definitely is a bit of leap of faith from Penn State’s perspective.
The positives with Franklin are great. He turned Vanderbilt into a team that made bowl games in the nation’s strongest football conference, the SEC. Just a few years ago, Vanderbilt was one of the worst major conference teams in college football. Franklin clearly has the ability to rebuild teams, and in Penn State’s case they don’t necessarily need to be rebuilt; they need to be held together.
The Nittany Lions have one of the best incoming recruiting classes along with one of the nation’s top young quarterbacks in Christian Hackenberg, so the team clearly has talent. All Franklin needs to provide is stability and continue to hit the recruiting trails like Bill O’Brien had been doing.