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#pounditTuesday, September 29, 2020

USC to target James Franklin for head coach job?

Much of the speculation surrounding the coaching search that is widely believed to be coming at USC centers around Urban Meyer, but it may be a different name who ends up being the focus of the school’s efforts.

The impending hire of Mike Bohn as the school’s new athletic director suggests that the Trojans aren’t going to be prioritizing Meyer in their search, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. Meyer has a history of forging close ties with his athletic directors, and an element of trust is essential. Thamel suggests Bohn and Meyer lack those deep ties, and USC chose not to hire several candidates who had them.

The new frontrunner may be Penn State coach James Franklin, according to Thamel. That hire would require a significant payoff on USC’s part, but he appears to be the most established candidate available.

Franklin is 53-21 as Penn State’s head coach and has them sitting 8-0 in 2019. He has been linked to the USC job as recently as last year, and he was noncommittal when asked if his future was in Happy Valley. At the very least, he would be a strong candidate with a winning pedigree.

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