Penn State's James Franklin: 'I think I'm the right guy'
New Penn State coach James Franklin had his introductory press conference Saturday.
Penn State officially announced James Franklin as its new coach on Saturday morning and on Saturday afternoon Franklin held his introductory press conference. Franklin, who spent the previous three seasons at Vanderbilt, spoke of family and what he intends to accomplish in his new job.
"I'm excited to come home," said Franklin, who was born in Langhorne, Pa. "That's what I take most pride in. I am a Pennsylvania boy with a Penn State heart.
"I think I'm the right guy to come back and unite this state and bring this program back to what I think it can be."
Considering Franklin's deal will see him paid more than $28 million over the next six years, it's obvious that Penn State thinks he's the right guy as well. As for how Franklin plans on going about bringing the program back, recruiting was one of the things he mentioned.
"Our recruiting philosophy: we are going to dominate the state," explained Franklin. "We are going to dominate the region. We are going to unite the coaches, unite the community, and build this program to where everyone wants it to be."
Franklin also addressed any concerns that, like his predecessor, Bill O'Brien, he could one day leave for the NFL. He responded by saying he was "a college guy. I'm a relationship guy." Franklin also says he told his wife Penn State was his dream job when the two of them first started dating.
Penn State's new coach even went as far as mentioning its old coach, O'Brien, as somebody whose advice he would seek. The two of them are familiar with one another having worked together under Ralph Friedgen at Maryland for two seasons when Franklin was a wide receivers coach and O'Brien coached Maryland's running backs.
Of course, more important than anything Franklin said on Saturday will be the results on the field next fall. Penn State will move to the Big Ten's East Division alongside Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State. He'll be in a position he was already somewhat familiar with coming from the SEC East, where Vanderbilt was generally seen as nothing more than an automatic win among SEC brethren before Franklin took over the program.
Vanderbilt has been to six bowl games in its history, and Franklin was the coach for half of them, leading the Commodores to a bowl game in each of his three seasons. Vanderbilt went 24-15 in his three seasons, including an 11-13 mark in conference play. If he can accomplish that at a school with little football tradition, it's not hard to imagine he'll find success at a place with as much history as Penn State.
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