In the wake of South Carolina’s decision to fire head coach Will Muschamp, football analysts have been scrambling to throw together names of possible replacements.
ESPN SEC analyst Jordan Rodgers added an interesting name to that pool on Monday evening: Penn State head coach James Franklin.
Rodgers to to Twitter to make his case for Franklin as the future Gamecocks coach.
“No one has proven the elite ability to completely rebuild a program better than [Franklin],” Rodgers wrote. “[Vanderbilt] turnaround was historic. PSU under scholarship sanctions + dark cloud, won B10 champ.”
While throwing out names that are not currently on the “media short list” for SC…
No one has proven the elite ability to completely rebuild a program better than JF. Vandy turnaround was historic. PSU under scholarship sanctions + dark cloud, won B10 champ.
— Jordan Rodgers (@JRodgers11) November 16, 2020
In his first year with Vanderbilt, Franklin and Commodores struggled with a losing record of 6-7. The next two seasons saw Vandy break into the AP top 25, go 9-4 and win a bowl game each year.
Franklins bigger accomplishment though was turning around the image of a shamed Penn State football program that was hit with years of fines and scholarship sanctions. The seventh-year coach not only transformed the Nittany Lions back into a winning team, he got recruits wanting to play with that the Penn State name across their chests again.
As an elite recruiter, talent acquisition would be Franklin’s biggest asset to offer South Carolina. With the Gamecocks losing some respect around the SEC in recent years, getting some top recruits is the first step back to relevancy.
At least for this season, it looks like some of Franklin’s magic is wearing off at PSU. The Nittany Lions are off to their worst start in years, going 0-4 through their first four games.
While it’s very unlikely the Penn State coach makes the move to South Carolina, it sure is an interesting thought to consider.