SEC Network's Jordan Rodgers says to keep an eye on current Big Ten coach for South Carolina opening
Several names have come up for the vacant South Carolina head coach position, among them Liberty’s Hugh Freeze, Louisiana’s Billy Napier and Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell.
Napier is a former Nick Saban assistant at Alabama and Freeze, of course, led Ole Miss for several years. But could a second former SEC head coach be making his way back to the conference after several years away? It looks like SEC Network analyst Jordan Rodgers is campaigning for a name he knows very well to be added to the list: James Franklin, his former coach at Vanderbilt.
In a tweet on Monday, Rodgers mentioned that the current Penn State head man may not be on the Gamecocks’ “media short list,” but certainly deserves a look.
While throwing out names that are not currently on the “media short list” for SC…
No one has proven the elite ability to completely rebuild a program better than JF. Vandy turnaround was historic. PSU under scholarship sanctions + dark cloud, won B10 champ.
— Jordan Rodgers (@JRodgers11) November 16, 2020
Before Franklin arrived in Nashville in 2011, the Commodores had struggled to back-to-back 2-10 seasons. In his 3 seasons, they went 24-15—winning 11 SEC games in that span—while recording victories in the Music City Bowl in 2012 and the BBVA Compass Bowl in 2013. Thus far at Penn State, despite an 0-4 start to 2020, he has gone 56-27, including 34-22 in the Big Ten and won a conference championship in 2016, as the program recovered from sanctions placed upon it in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The question is if Franklin will want to depart State College, where he is in the midst of a contract that will pay him $35.4 million through 2025, for a Gamecocks program looking to recapture the dominance it enjoyed in the early 2010s. Still, it’s an interesting name to consider.