If You Want to Know That James Franklin Has the Penn State Nittany Lions Back, Just Spend Some Time Watching the 2024 NFL Draft.

It was 2013 when James Franklin found himself facing the hardest decision of his coaching career. In three seasons, he had led Vanderbilt to a 24–12 record and three consecutive Bowl Games.

Now, he could finish what Bill O’Brien had started just two years earlier at Penn State. He had the chance to lead one of the most traditionally significant football programs in Pennsylvania and in the nation.


The task would be momentous for a historic football program that started its first eleven seasons since its inception in 1881 without a coach.


Before O’Brien took over as Head Coach in 2012 and subsequently left for the NFL, the Program lost its legendary Head Coach, Joe Paterno. The NCAA sanctioned the program for a sex scandal that many thought would never see the program recover.

It was an unthinkable program with as much history as Penn State; James Franklin knew about the controversy. 

PHOTO: Wiki Commons

At Vanderbilt, he testified in a case involving a sexual assault by several players on the football team. Franklin did accept the job and the challenge at Penn State.

By 2016, Franklin had the Nittany Lions in the Rose Bowl. In 2017, they won the Fiesta Bowl, and in 2019, the Cotton Bowl. In 2022, Penn State would win the Rose Bowl.

However, any great college program is also ranked by a higher metric.

This weekend, eight PSU players were selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Offensive tackle Olu Fashanu, Defensive End Chop Robinson, Offensive tackle Caedan Wallace, Defensive End Adisa Isaac, Tight End Theo Johnson, Center Hunter Nourzad, Cornerback Daequan Hardy, and Cornerback Kalen King.


Both Fashanu and Chop Robinson were first-round NFL Draft selections in Detroit this weekend.

In two Draft parties this weekend, there was James Franklin smiling and dispensing hugs.


Ultimately, Penn State would pay $1.5 Million to Vanderbilt to get James Franklin to Happy Valley. Nittany Lions fans everywhere know that he made the right decision.
Everyone watching the NFL Draft knows it, too.

PHOTO: Wiki Commons

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