Report: Penn State has 'clear frontrunner' in James Franklin

Report: Penn State has 'clear frontrunner' in James Franklin
January 7, 2014, 2:00 pm
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Vinnie Duber

There's a "clear frontrunner" for the Penn State head-coaching job, according to a report.

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin is the man most likely to take over for the recently departed Bill O'Brien, per CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman.

Franklin was reported as one of the three men most targeted by Penn State to fill the void at head coach several days ago. In that time period, however, reports have indicated that both Miami's Al Golden and recently fired Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak were closely looked at for the job, as well. Golden released a statement indicating he was no longer a candidate.

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Franklin has had quite a successful run in three years as the Vanderbilt head coach, making noise with a program regarded one of the weaker in the SEC. Still, he's posted a 24-15 record and led the Commodores to bowl appearances in all three seasons, including wins in the last two.

Franklin's ties to Penn State aren't as strong as those of Golden and Munchak, who both played under Joe Paterno, but Franklin is a native of Langhorne, Pa., near Philadelphia, which could aid in recruiting.