Penn State received even more preseason hype for the upcoming football season on Wednesday morning when head coach James Franklin was named to the Dodd Trophy preseason watch list along with 18 other FBS coaches.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) July 19, 2017
Every year, the award is given to the best college football coach of the year based on his team’s performances on and off the field. The nominating committee of the trophy consists of all surviving previous winners of the award, select members of the media, college football hall of famers, and an immediate family member of Bobby Dodd, the legendary Georgia Tech coach who the award is named after.
Franklin’s nomination comes on the heels of Penn State’s well-documented Big Ten Championship run and Rose Bowl appearance. The fourth year coach was also recognized after 51 of his players earned a 3.0-or-higher GPA in the 2016 fall semester. Additionally, Penn State football’s work in the State College community, including hospital visits and events such as Lift for Life, are paramount parts of his tenure in Happy Valley.
Joining Franklin on the watch list are a trio of Big Ten rivals, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, and Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst. Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno is one of only two coaches to win the award twice, after receiving it in 1982 and 2005.
The Dodd Trophy winner is announced each year at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which Franklin could potentially coach in if the Nittany Lions don’t make the College Football Playoff.