James Franklin, Destroying the Vanderbilt Recruiting Class

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It didn’t take long for James Franklin to feel right at home at Penn State as their new head coach and beginning his plundering of his recruiting class for Vanderbilt, leaving the Commodores with hardly any of what was considered a top 25 class heading into 2014.

When Franklin announced he was leaving Vanderbilt to become the new head coach of Penn State, it was quite obvious that it will change the picture in terms of the recruiting class, especially with Vanderbilt still not hiring a new head coach. However, there were 20 firm commitments before Franklin left, and right now, according to recruiting websites, there are only three firm commitments for Vanderbilt to count on.

According to Jesse Johnson of Rivals recruiting site VandySports.comI’ve never seen it in this volume, quite this fast, of someone trying to pillage their own commitment class for their new job. Normally, you’re going to have staffs take some kids. But I don’t think I’ve seen many cases where it seems like the entire class is trying to be taken to the next job.

According to Chris Smith of Vanderbilt.247Sports.comBasically, they’re left with three guys that I would consider really firm commitments. A lot of them have mixed emotions. All the recruits, they all love Franklin, they all seemed to want to come to Vanderbilt because of Franklin. In the end, depending on how the new coaching staff is, they may be able to pull some of these guys back into the class. But it’s going to be open season for Vanderbilt recruiting the next three weeks.

But it’s not just player de-committing from Vanderbilt – many of them are now going to Penn State. Four-star defensive end Lloyd Tubman and three-star offensive tackle Chance Sorrell both decommitted from Vanderbilt and committed to Penn State just 14 hours after James Franklin was officially named Penn State’s head coach. He’s offered scholarships to at least six more Vanderbilt-committed players, three weeks before signing day.

A new head coach might be able to turn the tide a little bit, but not by much. In comparison, Louisville haven’t seen much of a chance in their class since Charlie Strong took the Texas job, and the two that have decided to decommitt haven’t chosen Texas as their new home.

And what does this tell us about Franklin? This excerpt from the Tennessean might shed some light on the hypocrisy preached by college football head coaches.

It was less than two years ago that Franklin stood before a signing-day crowd supporters at Vanderbilt’s Student Life Center and said players who decommitted from his program were not “men of honor” and “men of integrity.” Of course, Franklin had signed a quarterback who had decommitted from North Carolina — current starter Patton Robinette.

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