James Franklin to accept Penn State head coach job, according to reports

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State may have offered their head coaching job to James Franklin. We break down what this means for Greg Roman. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Fooch's Update: Bruce Feldman and others are reporting Franklin is expected to accept the Penn State job. Vanderbilt hired Franklin over Roman a couple years ago, so it is entirely possible they approach Roman now.

On Wednesday, we learned that 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman interviewed with Penn State on Monday for their head coaching position. Now, the plot is thickening with regard to another candidate. Late last night, the Times-Tribune broke the news that Penn State had officially made an offer to Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin. He is expected to make a decision on Thursday.

Franklin has been the hot college name due to his success at Vanderbilt. He was reportedly in the mix for the Washington head coaching job, but Adam Schefter reported an interview was not likely to happen. Schefter felt like it was going to be either Vanderbilt or Penn State for Franklin.

Vanderbilt has been making an effort to convince Franklin to stay, but it appears we'll find out Thursday if it's enough for at least one more year. Vanderbilt is an SEC school, but it's a different type of SEC than your Alabama, Auburn and South Carolina schools. They can put more money into the program, but it will be some time, if at all, before they can be considered anywhere close to the kind of football powerhouses see with the big boys of the SEC.

As for Roman, this is not his only shot at a job. There are also NFL opportunities potentially out there with Minnesota and Washington. Both reportedly have inquired about interviewing with Roman, but there has been no word on when that would happen. If they don't interview him by the start of the divisional round, they have to wait until the 49ers season concludes. If they interview him before the weekend's games start, they can get a follow-up interview with him during the Super Bowl bye week if the 49ers are still alive. Any NFL interview this week would have to take place in Santa Clara.

It is worth noting, Washington is reportedly making progress toward a deal with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden for him to become head coach. That's another bit of news we'll want to track in the coming days.

For now, we wait for word from Penn State and James Franklin. It is worth noting that any reports about college football head coaching jobs do need to be taken with some measure of a grain of salt. The rumor mill is wildly complicated. The Times-Tribune says they have two sources telling them this information, which I suppose is better than one. But it doesn't mean Penn State has in fact offered Franklin a job. We'll find out more of something at some point today.

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