Despite all of the back-and-forth recently–and while I am well aware of the unofficial definition of the word I’m about to use–it’s assumed that by Saturday James Franklin is headed up north to Happy Valley to be the new leader of the Penn State Nittany Lions as he serves as their head coach.
In short, this was a brilliant move by the Penn State brass and will indeed pay dividends in the end.
I understand that he may not be the man that some of you want, but the bottom line is that Franklin is the man you need.
It’s odd to some that Franklin ultimately ended up with the gig, given that the two men he was reported to be up against were storied Penn State alums in Miami coach Al Golden and former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak.
In today’s world, however, that just doesn’t carry as much weight as it used to, and it certainly doesn’t carry weight given the circumstances that the PSU football program is still under.
Hiring Golden or Munchak, just for the simple fact that they’re “Penn State guys,” would have just been a band-aid on a wound that’s still seeping just a bit.
Franklin, on the other hand, can re-build in State College and that’s what this program really needs to seek a full recovery some day.
Any man that can immediately walk into a Vanderbilt program as he did in 2011 and turn a two-win team into a six-win, bowl bound team shows something.
But something sometimes isn’t enough, that’s why Franklin silenced all of the naysayers by winning nine-games in each of the last two seasons, including two bowl wins.
James Franklin is a man that’s taking over a Penn State team that has talent on it to win football games, that’s been proven to us. But it’s not about now, it’s about sustaining the success.
In the harsh recruiting world of today’s college football, guys like Munchak and Al Golden would have their proverbial lunch eaten by guys like Urban Meyer, Brady Hoke and Mark Dantonio.
The new coach in Franklin is the man that walks up to the bullies and punches them in the mouth for Penn State, a trend that Coach O’Brien began.
He can not only hit the hotbeds up north here on the recruiting trail, but also use his connections to scrounge some talent up from down south–and more importantly, develop them.
But let’s not also ignore the fact that Penn State fans put a lot of stock into the character of their athletes, almost just as much as they do their results on the field.
Okay, if that’s the case, then let Coach Franklin tell you about sacrifice:
Still not enough? Ok. Let Franklin tell you about passion:
Penn State, plain and simple and if all reports are indeed correct, hit a home run with bringing Franklin in to oversee one of the more recognizable brands in all of college football.
Because that’s how big Penn State football is, people. It’s its own brand, whether anyone else in America likes it or not.
Every brand needs a face, and James Franklin is exactly that.