The James Franklin rumors reached an all-time high on Wednesday night, as reports suggested that the third-year Vandy coach had been offered the reins at Penn State following Bill O'Brien's departure. Franklin is expected to choose between Vanderbilt and PSU on Thursday.
THIS JUST IN: Penn State has offered head coach job to Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. A decision is expected Thursday. (via @timestribune)— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 9, 2014
That news follows a report that Franklin will no longer interview with the Washington Redskins for their head coaching vacancy. The 41-year old was slated to meet with owner Dan Synder on Friday.
If nothing else, Thursday should bring some stability to a Commodore fanbase that has had to deal with Franklin rumors for the past week. The rising head coach has been linked to no fewer than four different positions since last Thursday. Despite the distractions, Franklin was able to lead Vanderbilt to a 41-24 BBVA Compass Bowl victory over Houston.
The PSU offer has gotten Commodore fans talking throughout Twitter. That includes PGA Tour professional and Vandy alum Brandt Snedeker.
Vandy nation, need to let @jamesfranklinvu know how much we want him to stay.. #franklinfever— Brandt Snedeker (@BrandtSnedeker) January 9, 2014
Snedeker also offered Franklin free golf lessons for life if he stays with the 'Dores. By tomorrow, we'll know if the head coach will be getting some top notch pointers out at the driving range this summer.
UPDATE: Centre Daily Times (State College) beat reporter Travis Johnson refutes the Scranton paper's claim (11:57 CST):
Told of the report Franklin's been offered, a high-ranking PSU official told the CDT that no one has been offered the PSU job yet. FWIW.
— Travis Johnson (@bytravisjohnson) January 9, 2014
UPDATE 2: WGAL - Susquehanna Valley's number one news team on Twitter - editor Julie Loeper suggests that Franklin and Penn State drew up a contract in their meeting tonight. She did not mention any specifics, but later noted that the news broke on the station's 11pm broadcast.
WGAL is reporting Penn State and Vandy's James Franklin finalized a contract tonight. Announcement expected by noon Thursday.— Julie Loeper (@JulieLoeper) January 9, 2014
UPDATE 3: ESPN's Joe Schad backs up Travis Johnson's report this morning.
While James Franklin is still clear leading candidate for Penn State job, school source still adament formal offer has not been made— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 9, 2014
UPDATE 4: Bruce Feldman says Franklin is leaving.
BREAKING #Vandy coach James Franklin is expected to be the next head coach at #PennState, per source— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) January 9, 2014
UPDATE 5: Caleb Azubike says "not so fast."
No Decision Has Been Made! First Hand Knowledge.— Caleb Azubike (@VandyKid_55) January 9, 2014
UPDATE 6: David Williams also denies reports that Franklin has made a decision to leave.
#Vanderbilt AD says James Franklin is still the Commodores' coach and has informed him he has not accepted another job offer.— Andrew Stockey (@astockeyWTAE) January 9, 2014