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It’s Time To Start Taking VU’s Franklin Seriously

After ousting Robbie Caldwell, Vanderbilt wanted a big name coach.  Unfortunately, VU officials learned that big name coaches don’t take risky jobs like Vandy’s… regardless of the size of the paycheck.

So the Commodores went to their fallback list and tabbed James Franklin as their new head coach.  He had no recruiting ties to the deep South.  He had no SEC experience.  And when Vandy started sniffing around, Maryland — where Franklin had been the coach-in-waiting — did nothing to keep him.

While those signs didn’t look to good at the outset, ‘Dore fans have to feel pretty good about things now, just a few months later.  Franklin hasn’t coached a game yet and no one knows if he can actually turn around a VU program that has been on the fritz for, oh, about a century.  But he’s certainly having success selling the idea that he can fix up the place.

On national signing day, Franklin inked quarterback Lafonte Thorougood who was thought to be heading to perennial Top 20 program Virginia Tech.  Recruitniks perked up.  And already Franklin’s lined up seven commitments for the class of 2012 with five of those players graded as three-star prospects by 

Included in that mix of commits is defensive end/linebacker prospect Josh Dawson of Tucker High in Georgia.  Dawson picked Vandy despite having scholarship offers from Georgia, Michigan State, Mississippi State, NC State, Notre Dame, Purdue, South Carolina, South Florida, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.  Yeah, that’s right.  He picked Vanderbilt over the likes of Georgia, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.

Speaking with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dawson made it clear that Franklin’s pitch is working.

“Coach Franklin is passionate about winning and the game of football.  He knows the game and he is serious about it.  He’s preaching the things that parents need to hear and the players need to hear.

People are realizing that Vanderbilt is on the rise.  Vanderbilt is serious about competing for SEC championship, so recruits are getting onboard.”

Okay, so championship talk might be a little over the top at this stage, but SEC fans should start paying attention to what’s going on in Nashville these days.  If nothing else, Franklin has some pretty good recruits — as well as the Vandy fanbase — talking about the Black and Gold in a positive way.

For a guy 99% of SEC fans knew nothing about when he was hired, that’s a darn good start.



  1. [...] Vanderbilt has received a commitment from Paris Head from Buford (Ga.) High School. Head is the eighth prospect to commit to Vanderbilt’s 2012 class. Seven of those commitments are from Georgia.“I think that’s awesome because I feel like Georgia is one of the top states in the country for football,” Head told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I think they are doing a great job of recruiting here, and I feel like Vanderbilt’s program is going in the right direction.”That appears to be the case now that Vanderbilt has landed another prospect with offers from several BCS schools. Head chose the Commodores over Boston College, Louisville and others. As John Pennington pointed out on Monday, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin is turning heads on the recruiting trail. [...]

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