Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin is one of the hottest potential head coaching hires on the open market, and he’s one of those college coaches who is getting an awful lot of buzz in NFL circles. Bill O’Brien was the first college coach to make the jump this offseason after being hired by the Houston Texans, but the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator has so much NFL experience that he wasn’t a true college coaching hire.
O’Brien may have been the Texans top candidate and is now their head coach as a result, but they also showed an awful lot of interest in Franklin, who has also been rumored to be a possible replacement for O’Brien at Penn State. Anyway, Franklin continues to receive plenty of NFL interest, and two teams hot on his tail are the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Vanderbilt head man has received interview requests from both the Redskins and Browns, and it will be interesting to see how much interest the Redskins, who seem to be very open to hiring a college coach, have in him. We know that the Browns would love to hire a college coach, as they showed an awful lot of interest in Chip Kelly last year and have shown interest in Franklin, Gus Malzahn, and even Bob Stoops this offseason.
The Browns appear to be high on Franklin, as CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora reported earlier this week that Malzahn, Franklin, and Josh McDaniels are essentially their top three candidates.