James Franklin is at Penn State now, but he’s not going to forget Vanderbilt — the school he used to propel himself into every national coaching search — any time soon. He took out the above advertisement in the Tennessean today, expressing his gratitude toward the fans and school.
“Thank You Vanderbilt, It was a wonderful experience. I am forever grateful. Anchor Down,” the ad reads, with his signature. Vanderbilt was also the first thing Franklin mentioned during his introductory press conference last week.
The new coach has come under fire from Vanderbilt fans recently, in part because he left, but largely because he is poaching their recruits. A top-25 class that once had 20 commitments is now down to only three, as several players have followed Franklin to Penn State.
“Basically, they’re left with three guys that I would consider really firm commitments,” said Chris Smith of Vanderbilt.247. “A lot of them have mixed emotions. All the recruits, they all love Franklin, they all seemed to want to come to Vanderbilt because of Franklin.”
In any case, I think it’s a genuine gesture from Franklin to a fanbase that is obviously hurting. And, anyways, we never got a CDT ad from Bill O’Brien.