According to Ken Murray of the Baltimore Sun, James Franklin, Maryland's assistant head coach and offensive coordinator, has been named as the eventual successor to Ralph Friedgen as head coach of the Maryland football program.
Franklin was hired by Maryland for the 2008 season after two years as offensive coordinator of Kansas State. He was the Terps wide receivers coach from 2000-2004 and is currently in charge of recruiting in certain Maryland locations, including the important Prince Georges County area.
This is becoming somewhat of a popular action by some college football programs, naming a head coach in waiting to the current one. Notables include Florida State, Texas, Virginia Tech, Oregon, and Kentucky. Maryland adds themselves to that list with the naming of Franklin as successor.
But my question is, why? What has Franklin done to deserve such an honor? He has only been a coordinator here for the last season, and it is not like Maryland's offense was anything special. In fact, one might say it was not living up to its potential. His playcalling often left Chris Turner in trouble and Darrius Heyward-Bey was never what he could have been here. He has done well during certain games, but like a lot of things Maryland, he seems very inconsistent. Will sponsors be happy about this? I'm not sure they will be.
He has spent just three years combined as a coordinator and he is not a Maryland graduate. I really don't understand why this has occured. Had Franklin had more experience or was a hands down great coach, then I would have no problem with this. But nothing about him makes me believe he deserves to be a head coach in waiting. Congratulations to James Franklin, though I really don't know why Maryland gave you the honor.
(Photo credit: Maryland athletics)