It was an eventful Thursday for Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin.
First, he posed for the awkward SEC coaches photo — he told 3HL that there was no rhyme or reason to where the coaches sat or stood — then after meeting all day with SEC coaches — he suggested that Steve Spurrier and Les Miles would make the best SEC coaching stars on reality television — he defended his program against accusations of tampering levied by Maryland coach Randy Edsell. Then, not to be outdone, that same evening word leaked out that highly touted Rivals four-star quarterback Johnathon McCrary committed to the Dores over Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Tennessee, and Georgia.
Quite a day.
Let’s unpack it all.
Maryland’s Randy Edsall is the latest coach to find himself at the center of a transfer controversy. Edsall has refused to grant the release of All-ACC quarterback Danny O’Brien, who Franklin recruited at Maryland, along with two teammates to Vanderbilt. That’s despite the fact that Vandy is in a different conference and does not play Maryland in football.
“Randy Edsall doesn’t like comparisons. When people make comparisons, they start noticing that I went 1-16 against top 25 teams at U-Conn. and never beat a school that finished the season ranked by the Associated Press. But check out my record against hats worn by my players indoors: undefeated.”
As the firestorm surrounding Maryland’s restriction of player transfers continues to grow, Franklin came on 3HL to address allegations that he’d been tampering with O’Brien.
“I don’t like innuendos and comments being made about tampering and things like that,” Franklin said.
“You guys know me,” he said, “I’m the type of guy, I’m going to have relationships with my players. I hope to have relationships with the guys that play for me for the rest of my life.
“But the fact that people would make accusations that we tampered or did this or did that, again, I’m just going to defend our program and defend our character and how we do things. But I think it’s ridiculous to think that I’m not going to have relationships with these kids after I leave places.”
“When I left K. State for Maryland I talked to Josh Freeman every week,” Franklin said. “I still talk to Josh. Josh flew in for my 40th birthday party. I’m the type of guy, I’m going to have relationships with my players.”
Just a few hours after making these statements, Franklin had a new relationship to celebrate, the number six ranked quarterback in Rivals 2013 recruiting class, four star Johnathon McCrary from Ellenwood, Georgia. McCrary picked Vanderbilt over offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Tennessee, and Georgia, among others. Granted it’s very early, but McCrary, who already looks to be a fun Twitter follow, offers further evidence that Franklin will seek to build upon the best recruiting class in school history in 2012.
Ten minutes after I tweeted about McCrary’s Vandy commit, the top recruit had already found me on Twitter and sent this message:
“Follow me @johnny_tsunami7
So. yeah, he doesn’t lack for confidence.