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Take Two: Is James Franklin open to considering other jobs?

James Franklin
James Franklin (AP Images)

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and an expert from the network of team sites or a regional analyst.

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Right after Penn State defeated Rutgers, coach James Franklin was asked to address the rumors that his name has brought up for the Florida State opening and for jobs - namely, USC - that are not even open yet.

Franklin addressed the issue and he effectively said that he wants the situation to be over quickly, that he loves Penn State and his players, he loves what is happening with the program and he doesn’t see that changing anytime soon.

A quick understanding of that statement was that Franklin is not showing any serious interest, at least publicly, that he’s entertaining other positions around the country.

According to reports, Franklin is a target at Florida State and USC if that job opens in the coming days. Both programs have rich history, a strong recruiting base and winning traditions.

But would Franklin leave Penn State for either job especially with what he’s built so far with the Nittany Lions?


“The terms of the conversation are flawed when it comes to the now-yearly James Franklin coaching carousel speculation. It's not about whether he wants to leave Penn State or stay at Penn State, or if he wants to go to Southern Cal or Florida State or anywhere else. It's simply a matter of meeting a two- or three-fold equation, wherever he is:

"First, can a national championship be won there? That covers everything under the umbrella of being able to recruit there at a juggernaut level with juggernaut consistency. It covers fan support, history, tradition, and infrastructure. If all of those elements are in place, then it meets that bottom-line requirement to even be considered as a place that he would want to coach.

“And secondly, can Franklin do it his way? Are all of the various arms of the bureaucracy of a major university on board with his vision for how to reach that level of success? What's the buy-in for football - and the way he envisions the program fitting into the health of the larger community and university? If everyone is on board with that blueprint for success, as he envisions it, that satisfies the second major requirement.

“The third is to be paid in accordance with his market value. Given that Penn State's nearly 80 percent winning percentage mark since the start of the 2016 season is top-10 nationally and seventh among Power Five programs behind Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia and Wisconsin, Franklin likely has an argument to make that his compensation should reflect those accomplishments.

“Whether or not Penn State satisfies those elements is going to be a yearly conversation, though it's an instructive way to contextualize the options that are out there for him and, in some cases, easily dismiss speculation for certain programs that wouldn't meet the criteria. But there's a second element to also keep in mind, which is that every time his name circulates as a coveted candidate nationally, it encourages an even stronger commitment and buy-in from Penn State's administration to continue to build the program and create an environment for sustained success.”


“He would consider them. He would have to listen. Those are two recruiting hotbeds and he’s a great recruiter. It’s not as easy as it looks to recruit people to State College, Pa., these days when kids can take so many visits and they’re offered by every school in the country.

“He’d listen, but I'm not sure if he’d make a move. USC would be interesting because he would own West Coast recruiting but do people really care? Franklin is a guy who really wants to be someplace where they care. Florida State is interesting because he could really compete down there in recruiting, but it’s going to be just as tough sledding to beat Clemson as it is Ohio State right now.

“There are a lot of factors but he will listen. My guess is he stays at Penn State, but we’ll see.”