James Franklin is leading candidate

While Vanderbilt's James Franklin remains the leading candidate to become coach at Penn State, he has not received a formal offer, a Penn State source told ESPN's Joe Schad on Thursday.

Because Penn State is following a very deliberate hiring process in the wake of recommendations following the Jerry Sandusky scandal, a resolution to the search, including an announcement and news conference, may not come until this weekend, possibly Saturday, the source said.

Penn State has targeted Franklin because of his track record of success at a respected academic institution, the source said.

The Scranton Times-Tribune, meanwhile, reported Thursday that Penn State made a formal offer Wednesday after a long meeting with the search committee in Florida and that Franklin, 41, was expected to decide Thursday.

Franklin, a Pennsylvania native, has become one of the hottest coaching names from his success with the Commodores, winning 24 games over the past three seasons. He has led Vanderbilt to bowl games in all three of his seasons and posted back-to-back bowl victories, both firsts in program history.