Penn State installed James Franklin as their new head football coach over the weekend, and the former Vanderbilt coach has wasted little time getting his hands dirty in the recruiting wars. Trouble is, some of the players in question were previously recruited by Franklin to play for Vanderbilt, with the Tennessean’s Jeff Lockridge reporting that of the Commodores’ 20 scholarship commitments, 17 have already bailed.
Two Vanderbilt commitments now say they are going to Penn State, and Franklin has offered scholarships to at least six others.
“I’ve never seen it in this volume, quite this fast, of someone trying to pillage their own commitment class for their new job,” said Jesse Johnson of Rivals recruiting site VandySports.com.
“Normally, you’re going to have staffs take some kids. But I don’t think I’ve seen many cases where it seems like the entire class is trying to be taken to the next job.”
“Basically, they’re left with three guys that I would consider really firm commitments,” said Chris Smith of Vanderbilt.247Sports.com. “A lot of them have mixed emotions. All the recruits, they all love Franklin, they all seemed to want to come to Vanderbilt because of Franklin.
It was less than two years ago that Franklin stood before a signing-day crowd supporters at Vanderbilt’s Student Life Center and said players who decommitted from his program were not “men of honor” and “men of integrity.”