James Franklin served as the coach-in-waiting at Maryland to Ralph Friedgen. But Franklin is the new head coach this season at Vanderbilt, not Maryland, and Friedgen is biding his time between his homes in Charleston, S.C., and northeast Georgia. Franklin discussed on the ESPNU College Football Podcast the biggest lessons he learned from his mentor.
“Probably the thing that jumped out to me the most was his preparation,” Franklin said. “I would say to him, kid around with him, ‘You’re an offensive guru in college football.’ He would say, ‘What I’ve done, James, is I’ve outprepared people. That’s the thing I’ve probably learned the most from coach Friedgen. His toughness, his discipline, his perseverance -- he was going to dot every I and cross every T.”
In terms of his knowledge of his team, Franklin is in a no-man’s land. He coached the Commodores in the spring. But he has all the practices of August and then -- and then -- the knowledge will begin to gush forth in games.
“I think I have a really good feel,” Franklin said, complimenting Dwight Galt, the strength coach he brought with him to Vanderbilt. “But as we all know, it’s different when you go out there and the lights go on, for myself as well as the team. It’s going to be a transition for all of us … We don’t have a returning starter on our team, the way I view it. Every job is open, even (two-time All-SEC linebacker) Chris Marve. I want every player on the team to feel like they’re going to have to compete.”
I’m going to go out on a limb and say Marve wins a place in the starting lineup.