Early last week, I endorsed Mike Munchak as the best candidate for the head coaching vacancy at Penn State.
I had my reasons. After the two year tenure by Bill O'Brien, I thought the search committee wanted stability when searching for the program's 16th head coach.
Munchak fit that bill along with plenty of experience from the NFL coaching ranks to help a team that has used a pro-style offense the last two years. Being a Penn State grad also helped as well.
In the case of James Franklin, I should have went with my heart than my head.
Franklin obviously was the best candidate to lead the Nittany Lions over the next several years. With the numerous NFL teams that wanted to interview him, I didn't think he would be leading Penn State out of the south end zone three years from now.
One quote he said in Saturday's press conference changed everything.
"I’m excited to come home. That is probably the thing that I take the most pride in is coming home. I'm a Pennsylvania boy with a Penn State heart, and so excited to be here."
Besides his accolades, that statement solidified the search committee got it right with the hiring of Franklin.
Franklin is the one who can lead Penn State back to the upper echelon of the Big Ten. He already has made an impact on recruiting, with two Vanderbilt recruits switching verbal commitments from the commodores to the Nittany Lions.
Franklin has also reportedly offered three other Vanderbilt commits to join him at Penn State. In addition, many of Bill O'Brien's commits are staying with the program as well, mostly four-star QB Michael OÇonnor.
Also, it's worth mentioning that Franklin and his staff went 24-15 with two bowl wins with Vanderbilt, a school that had just two bowl wins in program history prior to his arrival.
Franklin made Vanderbilt relevant in arguably the toughest conference in the country (yes, the SEC). Imagine what he could do with Penn State in the Big Ten.
Just ask Ohio State the immediate impact the program had with Urban Meyer, another SEC coach that went to the Big Ten.
James Franklin was the best hire Penn State could have made. Give credit to Dave Joyner, Rodney Erickson and the search committee for making it happen.