Report: Franklin to Vandy

Terps OC James Franklin accepts head coaching job at Vanderbilt

Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin has accepted the head coaching position at Vanderbilt, according to reports.

The news comes just days after Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn declined the school’s offer for the job. Other candidates considered included Stanford offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

What Franklin brings to the table is clear – he is a quarterback guru and a strong recruiter in talent hotbeds like Baltimore, Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C.

Franklin’s most recent quarterback project was the development of Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year Danny O’Brien. In his first nine career starts, O’Brien led the team to a 6-3 record and an appearance in the Military Bowl Dec. 29 against Conference USA foe East Carolina.

O’Brien finished the season with over 2,250 yards passing, throwing for 21 touchdowns to just six interceptions. The redshirt freshman completed nearly 57 percent of his passes.

Maryland has committed a considerable amount of top recruits from the state of Maryland, as well as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. The Terps signed three five-star recruits, two four-star recruits and were an established power in the Top 25 recruiting schools from 2003 to 2005, according to

In 2006, the team slipped to No. 27 and committed one five-star recruit. Since then, the team has plummeted anywhere from No. 28 to No. 52. There has been just one top-100 recruit since then – Kenny Tate.

Current rankings list Maryland as the No. 50 recruiting schools in the nation, behind fellow ACC teams Florida State (5), Clemson (10), North Carolina (19), Virginia (21), Virginia Tech (35), Georgia Tech (39), Boston College (41) and Duke (44).

While Franklin has been praised for his in-state recruiting, the team has failed to sign some of the top Maryland-D.C. talents. The 2011 commits still undecided include DeMatha’s Cyrus Kouandjio and Darian Cooper, Gilman’s Darius Jennings and Good Counsel’s Blake Countess. Maryland is still in the running for all of those prospects.

The pitch Franklin had previously stated he uses to attract recruits is the stability of Maryland’s head coaching positions. If not current head Ralph Friedgen, players could expect Franklin to be at the helm of the team.

Franklin spent 2000 to 2005 as the Terps wide receivers coach, and assumed recruiting coordinator responsibilities in 2003. Since 2008, he has been the team’s offensive coordinator.

In 2009, then-Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow appointed Franklin as the team’s head coach-in-waiting, and if the team decided to go in another direction come January in 2012 he would earn $1M. After an 8-4 turnaround, however, Friedgen received a one-year contract extension.

Vanderbilt’s head coaching vacancy came following Robbie Caldwell’s resignation after the team’s last game of the season. Caldwell led the Commodores to a 2-10 in his first season with the university.

Twitter: @samspiegs

TerrapinTimes Top Stories