James Franklin Talks Penn State, Vandy on Outkick the Podcast

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Former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin has now been at Penn State for a couple of months.

Franklin talks about pretty much everything — his appreciation for everyone at Vanderbilt, the challenges of Penn State, the fact that he had nothing to do with a Penn State moving truck showing up to pick up his belongings, living at the Residence Inn in Happy Valley, Penn State’s upcoming trip to Ireland, our wikipedia marriage, and whether or not he’d be willing to play Vanderbilt down the road. 

Here are a few selected quotes, but I’d encourage y’all to listen to all thirty minutes. After all, it’s not like you’re working, right?

Franklin on attending football camp at Penn State: “My focus was to be the next Randall Cunningham,” he said. “Jim Caldwell was the quarterbacks coach, and he gave me the stiff-arm. He told me I wasn’t good enough, which I wasn’t.”

Franklin on how long it will take to win at Penn State: “To be honest with you, I think it really takes three years to figure out how to get things done,” he said. “All these places are complicated and sophisticated … It takes time. “It will take two-three years here to work things through it … It has been a sprint since the day we arrived and it will be that for two-three years.”

What was it like to be in the middle of a coaching rumor mill: “It’s two things; after you win the bowl game you get blown up. I had 178 text messages after our last win,” he said. “And that is people with all different comments. It’s a whirlwind. You can’t respond. After I got the job here, I spent from 2 in the morning to 3 in the morning returning text messages. You can’t get caught up. It took a week and a half to catch up.”

On leaving Vanderbilt: “I struggled with it and almost went back and forth and almost didn’t do it,” he said. “Whenever you leave there will be hurt feelings. Saying goodbye in front of the team was one of the hardest things I had to do emotionally.

“I had the opportunity to come back home. We discussed it as a coaching staff and a family, and we had an opportunity to come home.”

“It’s a gut punch, because you care so much,” he said. “The reason we were successful was because of the chemistry with the kids and the community. Our kids played hard for each other. Walking into that room, guys that you have had at your house, guys your daughters look at as uncles … it’s hard. I got emotional with them.”

On playing Vanderbilt: “A game in the future if it makes sense, we’d be open to talking about. Especially since it’s anytime, any place, anywhere. So we’ll look at bringing them to Happy Valley and playing here and get into some discussions, possibly.”

I’d encourage you to listen to the Outkick podcast here because I always hate just pulling quotes from a longer conversation. Everyone who reads Outkick knows I’m a fan of James Franklin, but I think lots of you will see why if you listen to the half-hour podcast.

Those of you who are already subscribed for the Outkick podcast will already have the interview sent to your phones. 



Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.