WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – James Franklin, introduced as the new head coach of Penn State football on Saturday, addressed allegations of poaching recruits from Vanderbilt, his previous school, to play for him in Happy Valley, in an interview with Lavar and Dukes on 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday.
Franklin clarified in the interview, comments he made to the Dan Patrick Show earlier in the day regarding those allegations.
Here’s what Franklin told The DPShow:
“A lot of people say kids should commit to a school, not a coach, but they reality is they do,” Franklin said. “It’s about the relationship aspect. My responsibility is to do everything in my power to make sure that I put a team together than can help Penn State be successful.
Since taking the job at Penn State, Franklin has lured three verbal commits away from Vandy, according to Yahoo! Sports.
“This is how I see it. Everybody thinks kids pick schools because of the school and all those types of things, and they do. That’s a part of it,” Franklin said on 106.7 The Fan. “But this is a relationship-based business. You go into the homes, you sit down with the families, you have discussions. There’s a trust factor there.
“And a lot of these kids we’ve been recruiting for a year and a half to two years, so my job, is to do everything in my power to put the best product on the field, and in the classroom, and in the community, for Penn State. And that’s my job. And based on relationships that I’ve had for the last two years, obviously I feel strongly about certain kids that I’ve gotten to know on a very personal level, and they feel that way about us. So, my job is to do everything in my power to make Penn State football the best I possibly can.”
Franklin, who led the Commodores to a 24-15 record in his three seasons as the Vanderbilt head coach, was also asked what kind of certainty he can give that he won’t leave Penn State if a better job gets offered to him in the future.
“You’re gonna have a hard time dragging me out of here,” Franklin said. “I’m gonna be 83 years old, coaching the heck out of these guys, having fun, enjoying it. This is where I want to be. You work your whole life to get in a position like this at this type of institution, and this is what I do. I walked into the homes and I sell these kids at an opportunity to chase all their dreams at the highest level. It’s no different for us as coaches. I got coaches that are dying to come here with us, because you got a chance to develop kids, you got a chance to make sure kids get a degree – because we all know the NFL stands for ‘Not For Long’ – your body has got an expiration date. But the other thing is, you got an opportunity to play football at the highest level and win championships. So to me, this has got everything you’re looking for: fanatical fanbase, great history, great traditions, alumni, let’s go! I gotta get off the phone and get to work. I can’t waste all this time talking to you. I’ve got stuff to do.”
Franklin was polished in his interview, and left Penn State fans with plenty to be excited about for the upcoming season and beyond, but one quote in particular stood out.
“I might not have been a Penn State guy, but I grew up in the state of Pennsylvania,” Franklin said. “And I got a Penn State Heart.”