James Franklin touts 'good plan'

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- James Franklin has labeled himself the new CEO of Penn State Nittany Lions football, and he's got a plan in place.

"I feel like we have a really good plan," said Franklin, who introduced his nine-man coaching staff Friday at Beaver Stadium. "I'm really excited about the staff we've been able to put together."

Most of the staff worked with Franklin during his three years at Vanderbilt. Eight of Penn State's 10 coaches are from within 340 miles of State College, including four from Pennsylvania.

"For me, I was looking for familiarity, guys I've worked with or known for a very, very long time. Guys that I trust and interact with the players, the community and also have a connection with Penn State from a lot of different perspectives."

Franklin, 41, also said any depth chart before fall practice will be based entirely on seniority.

"The most important thing is these kids all start with a clean slate and they have opportunity to earn starting jobs," he said.

"There are no returning starters at any position ... at any position. Every single day these guys are going to wake up and they're going to earn their job. We're going to create the most competitive experience we possibly can."

Franklin's staff will be the third set of coaches for some Penn State players, dating to Joe Paterno's final season in 2011 and Bill O'Brien's 2012 and 2013 stay.

"The players have embraced the change," Franklin said. "We want to build relationships and trust and chemistry and build stability with them. This program had stability for a very, very long time, and it's important to get back to that."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.