Jones on Franklin to Penn Sate: 'It's a formality'
James Franklin also reportedly drew interest from the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins and Houston Texans. (USA Today Images)
UPDATE: 7:25 p.m.
James Franklin is expected to accept Penn State's offer to be the school's next head coach, according to ESPN, but Vanderbilt told the Associated Press that he's still with the Commodores.
"He called to let me know the reports that he had accepted another job were inaccurate," Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams told the AP. "And I didn't ask anything more than that nor did he volunteer anything more than that. If there is something that's going to happen, I'm sure he'll be in touch with us."
On Thursday's edition of "Philly Sports Talk," CSNPhilly.com contributor David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News said Franklin's move to Penn state is a "formality."
"There's a lot of T's to cross and I's to dot at Penn State," he said. "Everything you can time with a sundial, especially after the consent decree that went down with the Jerry Sandusky case. They have to be very, very careful about everything. They're going to have to put the contract in front of, I am told, the compensation committee, which are members of the Board of Trustees, probably in a Saturday meeting. And I would not anticipate anything official to be announced until actually Saturday."
Franklin, the head coach at Vanderbilt since 2011, was targeted by Penn State after Bill O'Brien left to take the Houston Texans job.
The 41-year-old has led Vanderbilt for three years, compiling a 24-15 record with two bowl-game victories in three tries.
A native of Langhorne, Pa., Franklin attended Neshaminy High School and played quarterback for East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. He worked as a coach for Kutztown University, East Stroudsburg, James Madison, Washington State, Idaho State, Kansas State, the University of Maryland and the Green Bay Packers. Before taking the head coaching job at Vanderbilt, Franklin was the offensive coordinator for Maryland.
Gordie Jones opined last week that Franklin would be an ideal fit at Penn State (see story).
Franklin has been a hot coaching candidate around the NFL. He reportedly interviewed for the head coaching vacancy in Houston and had interviews scheduled in Washington and Cleveland. The Texans job came off the board with O'Brien, and the Redskins' vacancy closed on Thursday morning with the hiring of former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden (see story).
If he accepts the offer, Franklin would be Penn State's fourth football coach since 1950.