Penn State is looking for a new coach with Bill O'Brien stepping down to coach Teddy Bridgewater in Houston. The latest reports have Vanderbilt's James Franklin attached to the position. Furthermore, some have even postulated that this could be a doomsday type scenario for the State University of New Jersey. Personally, I just don't buy it.
James Franklin is, without a doubt, a fine head coach. And that's putting it lightly. With what he's done at Vanderbilt, he'll probably turn out to be a great, maybe even elite head coach. A great head coach can usually recruit well, and with his being from eastern Pennsylvania, he'll probably even steal a good share of Jersey guys during his tenure in Happy Valley. Sounds terrible, doesn't it?
Time for newsflash: Penn State has been doing that for decades. Whether it was Joe Paterno, Bill O'Brien, or whoever ends up being the next guy, the Nittany Lions will always find a way to poach some recruits from the Garden State. Guess what? It's not just Penn State. Point your browser to any B1G roster, and you'll have no trouble finding a Jersey player or two, maybe even more, on the depth chart. Honestly, the big worry shouldn't be who ends up at Penn State, because whoever it is will be going up against the master recruiter himself - Urban Meyer. He already stole Noah Brown away from the Scarlet Knights. Brady Hoke was able to grab Jabrill Peppers. If James Franklin doesn't get a commit, Meyer will be right behind him. If Meyer doesn't get him, Hoke will fall in line, along with Kirk Ferentz, Mark Dantonio, and the rest of the B1G.
I don't want to make it seem like Rutgers is some small fry, because we aren't. Far from it. Recruiting has improved by leaps and bounds since the beginning of the Schiano era, and it won't be going back to the depths anytime soon, even after a 6-6 season. Think about it - early on this season, the Scarlet Knights had verbals from many of the top Jersey kids at one point, and that was with Kyle Flood as head coach. Obviously, many have de-committed, but the fact that we are all outraged that we don't have that top-20 recruiting class anymore says quite a bit as to what Rutgers has built as far as a program.
The bottom line is this - Rutgers has always been competing with schools like Penn State, and it won't change depending on who is coach. Sure, James Franklin might come in and get some key prospects, but how is that different from other years? RU has been able to find great recruits in the past too, and it should only get better now that we are part of the B1G.
Another way to think of it is this: Penn State will most likely just continue the status quo, getting some key players from New Jersey. Rutgers, on the other hand, should only get better. Currently, we're are competing against other B1G programs with Kyle Flood at the helm. I think it's safe to say that he might not be on the banks for the long haul. Can you imagine Rutgers recruiting if the athletic department landed a James Franklin-type of coach?
How do you feel? Do you agree that the effect is overrated? Or are you legitimately worried that things will get worse? Leave a comment below!