James Franklin has been rumored as a target for both the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins, and he might even have interviews set up with them. The question is, is Franklin worthy of these considerations?
Over the years, how many times has a first time college football head coach jumped straight to the NFL?
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano took this route (and look what happened), but besides that I'm not sure if it has ever occured.
We all know James Franklin is a hell of a coach, but the NFL already?
Over James Franklin's career, he has coached in the NFL one year -- with the Green Bay Packers in 2005 as the wide receivers coach -- and in that year they had their worst record in 15 years going 4-12.
Following that season, Franklin headed to Kansas State to be their offensive coordinator for two years until he was granted the Maryland offensive coordinator position, en route to Vanderbilt.
Coaches and NFL GM's rave about his offensive schemes and his player development skills -- specifically at the wide receiver position (i.e. Jordan Matthews) -- and certainly those are huge contributing factors to the possibility that he could be a successful NFL coach one day.
But this early?
Franklin has had an immeasurable amount of success at Vanderbilt over the last few years winning 2 bowl games and appearing in 3. Not only has he won big games (against the likes of Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, etc.), but Franklin has also recruited amazing resulting in two far fetched recruiting classes over the last two years. And although Franklin has been rumored for multiple jobs, recruits are still sticking with Vanderbilt as the 'Dores currently have the 26th best class for next year.
Fortunately, Vanderbilt has already dodged a bullet with Texas passing on Franklin. Unfortunately, it seems inevitable that Franklin will be moving on whether it's to Penn State, Miami (If Al Golden leaves), or even the NFL.
I guess we'll see how this all plays out, but if Franklin leaves, we need to remember him for what he's done for the Vanderbilt program because it truly has been remarkable.