Nov 23, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Vanderbilt won 14 to 10. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Report: James Franklin is Penn State's 'prime target'

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Penn State Nittany Lions’ head coach Bill O’Brien has done a fantastic job in Happy Valley. Taking over after the university was devastated by the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the firing and death of Joe Paterno, O’Brien has gone 15-9 in two seasons.

In fact, O’Brien may have done too good of a job. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Houston Texans will reach a deal to make O’Brien their next head coach within the next 24 hours.

That means Penn State will once again be searching for a coach and according to David Jones of, current Vanderbilt Commodores’ head coach James Franklin is their top target.

Atop that list is Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, according to knowledgeable sources within the program. Franklin is the young, vibrant head coach at Vanderbilt who carries strong Pennsylvania ties through his upbringing in the Philadelphia suburb of Langhorne, high school at Neshaminy and his college playing career as East Stroudsburg University’s quarterback (1991-94).

Not only are PSU’s moneymen intrigued with his resume, athletic director Dave Joyner has direct knowledge of Franklin through family members and third parties who are very impressed with him.

In three years at Vanderbilt, Franklin has compiled a 23-15 record and has appeared in a bowl in each season.

Of course, other schools, like the Texas Longhorns, could be very interested in Franklin.

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Tags: Bill O'Brien James Franklin Penn State Nittany Lions

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