It's difficult to accurately measure the impact James Franklin has had on Vanderbilt's athletics programs. This mostly has to do with the fact that it is an incalculable number (I would know, I majored in the maths). Whether it is "simply" changing the mental state of the entire football program or getting the Board of Trust to buy in to the fact that ponying up a boatload of money would not only benefit the football team, but the entire Vanderbilt community (from students to faculty to staff), James Franklin's impact at Vanderbilt has been sizable and diverse.
The least surprising area of improvement under Coach Franklin? Football recruiting. Improvement was immediate in 2011, just months after his hiring. The 2012 haul was even better. High profile recruits have shown a willingness to listen to Coach Franklin's offer and commit early. Experts and opposing fans alike never thought they'd stand by their word all the way through signing day. They were wrong.
James Franklin is doing the unthinkable. In what was once (and maybe still is) considered the hardest job in all of college football, he's thriving. He flipped the script; the "hinderances" that everyone listed when trying to portray the inherent difficulty in the job? Yeah, those are now strengths. Those high profile recruits that stood true to their word on signing day this past February? They're attracting other, higher profile recruits. It is a snowball effect.
Example? Leon McQuay III. Put simply, if LQ3 were to commit to the Commodores, he would most likely be the most highly rated commit in school history.
James Franklin, y'all.