Penn State head coach James Franklin was one of the hottest coaching commodities last season after three successful seasons as the head coach at Vanderbilt. Aside from showing talent as a coach by turning a program around in a short amount of time, Franklin became known as a master at recruiting. That trend has continued early in his tenure at Penn State
While at Vanderbilt, Franklin found a way to bring in talented recruits to a school with tough admission requirements and a history of being a basement-dweller in the SEC. Franklin used those players to help take the Commodores to three straight bowl games and finish the 2012 season in the top 25 of the final coaches poll for the first time since 1948. That feat was repeated in 2013.
After the 2013 season, Franklin decided to take his coaching talents to Happy Valley. Despite NCAA sanctions that make recruiting tougher, Franklin is already living up to his reputation of being a great recruiter.
Franklin entered Penn State near the end of the recruiting window for the 2014 class and did his best to hold together the already solid class that was put together by former head coach Bill O’Brien. Despite losing a top defensive line prospect in Thomas Holley, Franklin added several players to the class, including 4-star wide receiver Saeed Blacknall and 4-star defensive back Koa Farmer.
The 2015 class will be Franklin’s first full class at Penn State. Currently, the Nittany Lions have the No. 5 class according to Lions247. The class consists of 19 total commits, with 12 being rated as 4-star recruits. The latest to give a verbal to the Nittany Lions is 4-star cornerback John Reid.
Reid is yet another top recruit from Pennsylvania, helping Franklin and his coaching staff to “Dominate the State”.
The Nittany Lions have seven recruits in the class of 2015 from Pennsylvania, including Andre Robinson, Sterling Jenkins and Reid, who are three of the top recruits in the entire state.
As far as recruiting for the 2016 class, Franklin has already secured two recruits, good enough for a ranking of No. 11 among national classes. The two commitments came from 5-star defensive end Shane Simmons from Maryland and 4-star running back Miles Sanders, already rated as one of the top recruits in Pennsylvania.
Despite still having a tough situation at Penn State, Franklin has been able to convince some of the top recruits in the nation to play their college football in Happy Valley. With the way its going so far, the future seems bright for the Penn State football program under Franklin.