It looks like it's only a matter of time until Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin is officially named as Vanderbilt's head coach. Earlier Tuesday, two sources told Eric Prisbell of the Washington Post that the deal would get done barring an unforseen snag. Now, according to CSN's Chick Hernandez, the deal is being finalized and the Maryland players have been informed.
Maryland's OC James Franklin's contract, final details being worked on right now to be next head coach at Vanderbilt. MD Players have been told its imminent.
Franklin had been the favorite for the job from the start, but Vanderbilt wanted to make a longshot offer to Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn first. Malzahn appeared to accept the job, but as it turned out, he hadn't, instead deciding to stay at Auburn. Vanderbilt then moved quickly to secure a commitment from Franklin and appear to have that.
Franklin has done a nice job since taking over as Maryland's offensive coordinator in 2008, and deserves a lot of credit for Danny O'Brien's development. However, assuming the deal doesn't fall through, this eliminates a little bit of awkwardness in the program's coaching hierarchy. Old athletic director Debbie Yow made Franklin a "head coach in waiting," guaranteeing him a $1 million roster bonus if he is not name the head coach by 2012. New athletic director Kevin Anderson never committed to such an arrangement, and current head coach Ralph Friedgen covets a long-term extension. If Franklin goes to Vanderbilt, it reaffirms Friedgen's role atop the coaching tree.