Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin has already interviewed for one NFL team’s head-coaching vacancy and has fielded requests to interview with two more teams.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Franklin interviewed two weeks ago in Houston, before the Texans hired Bill O’Brien. Franklin also has requests to interview in both Cleveland and Washington, although it’s not clear at this point whether he plans to interview for those jobs.
Franklin is one of the hottest names in coaching right now, and he is also a candidate to replace O’Brien at Penn State. He could still re-emerge as a candidate at Texas as well if the deal with Louisville’s Charlie Strong falls through.
Vanderbilt, which concludes its season today with a bowl game against Houston, has become surprisingly successful under Franklin, who took over in 2011 after Vanderbilt had gone 2-10. In Franklin’s three seasons they’ve gone 6-7, 9-4 and 8-4, with wins over much more talented teams like Missouri, North Carolina State and Auburn in 2012, Georgia and Florida in 2013, and Tennessee in both 2012 and 2013.
The 41-year-old Franklin has been primarily a college coach, but he did spend the 2005 season as the Packers’ wide receivers coach.