James Franklin would be Penn State's top target, Patriot-News reports

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

If Bill O'Brien leaves Penn State, James Franklin would reportedly be one of the Nittany Lions' top targets.

Penn Sate is compiling a list of candidates in case Bill O'Brien leaves for the NFL, and Vanderbilt's James Franklin is at the top of the list, according to David Jones of the Patriot-News.

While O'Brien has yet to leave, several reports indicate he is the No. 1 candidate in Houston, and a deal with the Texans could be reached as soon as Tuesday. If that is the case, the Nittany Lions could turn their attention to hiring Franklin away from the Commodores. Following a successful three-year run with Vanderbilt, Franklin is rumored to be a hot commodity, with his name linked to several major openings.

Franklin was born in Pennsylvania and played college football at East Stroudsburg University. His ties to the area could make him an even more attractive candidate for the Nittany Lions. According to Jones, PSU athletic director Dave Joyner has connections to Franklin through third parties who are "very impressed with him."

The Nittany Lions may not be the only team interested in Franklin, as he has also been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Mack Brown at Texas. While Franklin may be at the top of Penn State's list of candidates, he's not the only coach rumored to be a candidate. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Nittany Lions are "ready to make a strong push" for Greg Schiano. Schiano was fired by Tampa Bay on Monday. Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak and Miami head coach Al Golden have also been mentioned as possible candidates.

Franklin has compiled a 23-15 record at Vanderbilt and is known for his engaging personality. He's done an excellent job recruiting at Vanderbilt, leading the Commodores out of the bottom of the SEC standings and to three straight bowl appearances. Vanderbilt will play in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Saturday.

More from SB Nation college football:

Bowl season TV schedule, with scores and recaps along the way

Bill O’Brien could leave Penn State for the NFL

Modern Hate: Four huge, behind-the-scenes stories on college football rivalries

College football news | Tons of five-star recruiting updates

Long CFB reads | The death of a college football player

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.