Penn State hires James Franklin

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- After a nine-day search, the Penn State Nittany Lions are set to introduce James Franklin as their new head football coach at a Saturday afternoon news conference.

Franklin, who coached at Vanderbilt the last three seasons, entertained overtures this offseason from the NFL's Houston Texans, Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns before agreeing to a deal with the Nittany Lions. He'll earn up to $4.5 million a year in total compensation, a source told ESPN's Brett McMurphy.

"I can't tell you how excited I am to come home," Franklin said in a statement Saturday. "I grew up watching Penn State football and now to be at the helm of such a storied program is a tremendous honor. It's important to me to be a part of a university that strives for excellence in everything they do.

"When football student-athletes come to Penn State, they have a unique opportunity to receive a premium education while playing at the highest level of competition."

Franklin, a Pennsylvania native, becomes Penn State's 16th head football coach and follows in the footsteps of current Texans' coach Bill O'Brien, who left for the NFL after two seasons. O'Brien guided PSU through unprecedented sanctions, levied by the NCAA in response to the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, and finished with records of 8-4 and 7-5.

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