Thursday update: James Franklin will be Penn State's new head coach.
Penn State plans to offer to make James Franklin its next head coach, sources told FootballScoop on Tuesday.
3PM ET Update> Penn State AD Dave Joyner has released a statement saying, the search is "on schedule and I anticipate having the new head coach in place in a matter of days."
2:30PM ET Update> Vanderbilt AD David Williams has made it clear to us and to CBS Sports that he is prepared to empty the vault to keep James Franklin at Vanderbilt.
Franklin has accomplished what seemed impossible in three short years at Vanderbilt, leading the Commodores to three consecutive bowl games (and two straight wins, a first in school history) and a 24-15 overall record. Vanderbilt has finished the last two seasons ranked by both the AP and Coaches' polls, ranking 23rd and 20th in the final 2012 polls, and 24th and 23rd in the final 13 polls.
Vanderbilt holds a 16-4 mark in its final 20 games, second only to Alabama in the SEC. Simply put, the previous sentence was absolutely unimaginable until Franklin's arrival.
Franklin is a native of Langhorne, Pa., and graduated from East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University in 1995. Franklin has coached at Kutztown (Pa.) University, East Stroudsburg, and at freshly-minted Big Ten East Division rival Maryland. Simply put, a move to State College would be a return to Franklin's roots - not to mention a step up the college football totem pole.
To put in perspective what a stellar job Franklin did in Nashville - and how rare this move would be - Franklin marks the first coach to leave Vanderbilt for another head coaching job since Gerry DiNardo departed for LSU in 1995. To understand the allure of the Penn State job, here's this: in the last 40 years, three coaches have left the conference on their own accord for another college job in the last 40 years: Guy Morriss (Kentucky-to-Baylor in 2002), Dennis Franchione (Alabama-to-Texas A&M, also in 2002), and Lane Kiffin (Tennessee-to-USC in 2009). Franklin will be the fourth.
As always, we'll have more updates as they become available.