This update was written on the scene of SEC Media Days by Holly Anderson.
Live coverage from Birmingham, where SB Nation is taking in the spectacle of SEC Media Days.
James Franklin has a wealth of resources available to him at Vanderbilt University, albeit not always in line with those provided his SEC compatriots, but one thing they need to get the guy right away is a better portrait photographer. Endearingly doofy and indistinguishable from any other D-I skipper on film, Franklin is impossibly dapper in person. He looks Vanderbilt, if that makes any sense, right down to the glasses.
And he's all business. Not a hint of nerves from a freshman head coach. His opening remarks are over and done with in about twenty-five seconds, and on comes the business of selling Vanderbilt. Business, you might have heard, is good.
• On what's behind his recent highly-publicized recruiting coups: It's all about relationships. At Vanderbilt, "You can earn a degree that really matters." Everybody he recruits is bound to play early, to be part of the first consistently winning team in memory. "Don't commit to the logo on the helmet. Don't commit to the jersey. Make the decision for the right reason."
• Just for fun, we ask him how many quarterbacks he has on the roster. He dodges, and ends with comparing quarterback races to the construction of society. You guys, James Franklin's gonna be all right. (We don't think he knows how many, and we actually had to look it up to figure it out. The answer: Sevenish, only one of whom is both healthy and on scholarship.)
• And on the all-important task of getting butts in seats: "I think the most important thing we can do is put a product on the field that our fanbase can be excited about." There will be facility improvements, unnamed, to enhance the gameday experience. "We have to make sure our piece of the pie is the best-tasting, most delicious piece of pie." James Franklin looks Vanderbilt. He talks the part. Now let's see if he can coach.