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James Franklin Apparently A Candidate For USC Head Coaching Job…Again

USC football has a head coaching vacancy, and you know what that means!

According to Yahoo! Sports college football reporter Pete Thamel, James Franklin is among 11 coaches named to the “early list” of possible new hires for the Trojans.

Franklin was listed among Penn State’s old friend and current Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck, and Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano, among others.

This isn’t the first time Franklin has been in the mix for the head coaching spot in Los Angeles. Back in 2019, Franklin received the third-best odds to become the leader for USC if Clay Helton didn’t return. Helton would end up returning to coach the Trojans, but he was officially fired Monday after an ugly loss to Stanford over the weekend.

Rumors also swirled about Franklin and the Trojans late in the 2018 season. Franklin didn’t pay much attention to the talk publicly but quickly addressed it at a press conference before the regular-season finale against Maryland.

“It’s that time of year when all this stuff happens,” Franklin said. “Like always, we’re completely focused on Maryland. I don’t think it’s fair or right to even talk about that job.”

Over the course of his tenure in Happy Valley, Franklin has also had reported connections to Texas A&M and Florida State. He discussed the Seminole rumors toward the end of the 2019 season.

“I think I addressed this earlier in the year. There is nobody that would want this not to be talked about more than me,” Franklin said. “I’m hoping this is going to be over very quickly. Like I told you, I love Penn State, I love our players, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. [Job rumors are] a little bit the nature of college football, but I love what we’re doing here. I don’t see that changing any time soon. Hopefully, all this conversation will be over very shortly.”

As for what Franklin has on his plate in Happy Valley at the moment, the Nittany Lions will take on No. 22 Auburn for the White Out at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday. If you can’t make it, you can catch it live on ABC.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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