Terps' Franklin spent Monday recruiting in Baltimore

December 13, 2010|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin remained in Baltimore recruiting for the Terps on Monday as reports circulated that he was a top candidate for Vanderbilt's head coaching vacancy.

He spent the day recruiting at a number of Baltimore high schools, including City, Poly and Dunbar.

A source told The Baltimore Sun that Franklin remained at a Baltimore high school into the evening. That was hours after ESPN.com reported that Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn had opted to remain at Auburn rather than become Vanderbilt's new head coach. With Malzahn out, ESPN.com said Franklin is now "thought to be the front-runner for the Vanderbilt head job."

Neither Franklin — who was designated in 2009 to succeed Ralph Friedgen as Maryland head coach — nor Vanderbilt would confirm that he is a finalist at the Tennessee school. Reached by The Sun, Franklin declined to comment on whether he might be heading to Vanderbilt at a later date for negotiations or a job announcement.

Franklin is known for his recruiting prowess. Among his Maryland success stories is Kenny Tate, an All-ACC safety recruited as a receiver. In recruiting him, Franklin showed Tate a PowerPoint presentation on how the Terps could be expected to spread the ball around to a variety of receivers. The presentation helped persuade Tate to choose Maryland over Penn State, Illinois and other schools.

Among Maryland's recruiting targets this year is Gilman quarterback and Baltimore Sun offensive football player of the year Darius Jennings, who has played a variety of positions. Franklin has said he likes to recruit mobile quarterbacks.

Maryland was eager to keep Franklin. In February 2009, Franklin was promised $1 million by Maryland if not named to succeed Friedgen by Jan. 2, 2012. He has to remain at the school for the deal to remain in effect. Kevin Anderson, who became Maryland athletic director on Oct. 1, has told The Sun he is not a fan of "coach-in-waiting" agreements.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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