Vanderbilt fans had to think that eventually, somebody was going to scoop up coach James Franklin. He has taken a program that rarely won SEC games–or any games at all–and turned it into a program that won two-thirds of its games and went to bowl games … while also scaring the dickens out of the more established SEC powerhouses.
Opposing fans and coaches are probably glad he’s gone because he was becoming a thorn in their sides. He was a proven winner on the field and in recruiting. One reaction to Franklin’s acceptance of the Penn State job is that several Vandy recruits decommitted immediately, including four-star QB K.J. Carta-Samuels, who might follow Franklin to Penn State. RB Mikale Wilbon, like Carta-Samuels, also decommitted via Twitter, while DE Lloyd Tubman, DB Trent Sherfield, OL Bailey Granier, WR Kameron Uter and OL Chance Sorrell have dropped the Commodores. Tubman and Sorrell are already on board with Franklin at Penn State.
Tubman who was one of Vandy’s top five ranked commitments, had this to say about Franklin–just hours before switching.
“I have no hurt feelings at all,” Tubman told Saturday Down South. “Call it what you want, but it is what it is. I’d tell him, ‘You got my back and I got yours’.”
Apparently, Franklin really did have Tubman’s back, offering him a scholarship with the Nittany Lions.
Carta-Samuels is easily the toughest loss for Vanderbilt: “I am opening up my recruiting. Need to figure out official visits and talk to some other schools. I will visit Vanderbilt before a decision!,” he Tweeted.
Dual-threat QB Trace McSorley is the other quarterback in the 2014 class. He’s projected as an “athlete” by some rankings and QB by others.
“K.J. has to do what is in the best interest for him and his family,” McSorley told SDS. “And I just wish Coach Franklin the best of luck and thanks for the opportunity at VU.”
Several other recruits expressed their feelings about Franklin to SDS over the weekend.
“I would say thanks for giving me this great opportunity to come to Vanderbilt,” three-star DB Tre Herndon told SDS. “I wish him the best of luck in the future and hope everything goes well with football, family, life, all that. I’m going to miss talking to him and the opportunity to play for him. I have nothing but love for the man.”
When it comes to Franklin, offensive lineman Cole Hardin has always been outspoken.
“I have a ton of respect for coach Franklin,” Hardin told SDS. “But at the same time I’m disappointed at him leaving … as well as the way he handled it. But I wish him the best, and I’m excited to see what’s to come at VU.”
In past interviews, Uter told SDS that he was worried about any change in the coaching staff, because he thought the new coach might not support his hope of participating in both football and baseball–where he is a big-time pitching prospect. He decommitted Saturday.
“Honestly there isn’t much I can say other than good luck at Penn State,” Uter texted to SDS.