Penn State will interview San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman for its vacant head coaching position, according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora. The Nittany Lions are looking for a replacement for Bill O'Brien, who was hired as the head coach of the Houston Texans late last month.
Reports on Monday indicated that Penn State was focused primarily on former Titans coach (and PSU alum) Mike Munchak as well as Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin. Franklin was the frontrunner for the job on Tuesday, per CBS' Bruce Feldman, but Vanderbilt also has been working hard to keep him in Nashville. Additionally, PSU's search may have taken a disappointing turn Tuesday -- take from that what you will.
Roman had been in the mix for the job in Happy Valley before PSU elected to go with Bill O'Brien in 2011. Our Penn State blog, Black Shoe Diaries, recently estimated Roman's potential as a college coach in a few different areas:
Fund Raising / Charisma / Representative: 6/10. Wildcard. He's not going to win you over on looks, that's for certain. But you've got to give the guy credit for talking his way into an NFL job straight out of college, despite a non-existent playing career. That's salesmanship.
Recruiter: 7/10. See above. He can probably sell. But he's only had two years at the college level.
Ability to Assemble a Staff: 7/10. Given his coaching resume, you can tell other coaches like him. Dom Capers hired him in Carolina, and then took him to the Texans and made him QB/TE coach. He made friends with someone in Baltimore, and Jim Harbaugh along the way, too.
If Penn State were to seriously pursue Roman, it might have to contend with suitors from the NFL. Both the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins have shown some interest in interviewing him for their head coaching positions.