"I've always considered the University of Maryland to be one of the premier programs in the country," Franklin said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach Ralph Friedgen and what he's been able to accomplish throughout his career."
Franklin was hired by Ron Prince two years ago and has served as the Wildcats' offensive coordinator and coach of the quarterbacks.
"James Franklin is definitely the person who fits what I have been looking for," Friedgen said. "His knowledge of our program, his experience as a coordinator and his ability to recruit definitely strengthen us as a coaching staff and football program."
Franklin was Maryland's wide receivers coach from 2000 through 2004. He is taking the place of Ray Rychleski, who is leaving Maryland to take a job as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at South Carolina.
Now the question is whether Wichita Northwest High School quarterback Chris Harper will keep to the verbal commitment that he made to the Wildcats last week.
A 4-Star recruit, Harper said of Franklin's departure, "Yeah, I talked to him and (head coach Ron) Prince. I'm unsure on my commitment (because) Franklin was the biggest reason." Harper has reportedly opened up his recruitment with Illinois, Oregon, Notre Dame and Missouri.
"I don't know what to think about it," Harper said. "I'm going to try to figure out what my options are. I'm not going to rush into anything and just de-commit before I weigh all of my options. I'm just really unsure of my decision right now."
Harper rushed and threw for 1,550-plus yards and 19 touchdowns in his senior season at Wichita Northwest.