Franklin, 41, is familiar with Pennsylvania. Before becoming the head coach at Vanderbilt, he recruited the Pennsylvania area for the University of Maryland.
"He is a Pennsylvania boy," Chaump said. "He has a lot of connections in the state. He's recruited the state when he was at Maryland, and he did a very good job."
Franklin's routes go even deeper than just recruiting the area. He grew up in Langhorne and was a standout quarterback for Neshaminy High. The promise of his football career started very early in his life.
"In eighth grade, he was a receiver," said his middle school coach Tom Magdelinskas, who is now Neshaminy's athletic director. "Looking at his abilities, he was quickly moved to quarterback because of his competency for the game. He excelled at both. He was the kind of kid where he would excel regardless of what position we put him at. Guard, tackle, it wouldn't have mattered."
Sticking with quarterback, he made his way onto Neshaminy's varsity, and was a part of the 1988 team that went 11-0 in the regular season.
"He was a very good high school quarterback," Chaump said. "Great kid. Well behaved. He couldn't really stray very far, because his mom worked at the school. He was very well behaved."
His work ethic and skill earned him a spot on the football team at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. He shattered school records for passing, and was even named a Sports Illustrated player of the week in his 4 years as a starter.
"He had that kind of thirst for the game that, that kind of knowledge for the game," Magdelinskas said. "He was incredibly coachable. The downside of that was if you told him the wrong thing to do, he probably would have done it, because he was that kind of coachable person."
Shortly after his time at ESU, his coaching career began. In 1995, he landed his first job as a wide receivers coach for Kutztown University. He did not stay there, or anywhere, very long in the early stages of his career. He coached at five schools in 5 years, and also had a brief stint with a Danish football league.
He subsequently developed a little more staying power. He landed at Maryland as a wide receivers coach in 2000 and stayed until 2004. He also coached for Kansas State and the Green Bay Packers and also returned to Maryland as offensive coordinator before accepting the head-coaching job at Vanderbilt in 2011.
"He has a knowledge of all aspects of the game," Magdelinskas said. "You saw that with his Vanderbilt team. A team that perennially finished low in the standings, yet he was able to teach the game at all levels. Offense, defense and special teams. You could see the relationship he had with the kids there. Certainly, he is a tremendous motivator. He gets the most out of his players."
O'Brien ushered in the new era of Penn State football when he accepted the head-coaching job on Jan. 6, 2012, taking over for the fired Joe Paterno after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal. When O'Brien decided to leave for Houston, it began what could be a pivotal time in the program.
Both of Franklin's previous coaches have nothing but the utmost confidence about what he could do at Penn State.
"I see him doing an outstanding job," Magdelinskas said. "He has always been a charismatic person. I'm sure that charisma will enable him to go out and attract the best players in Pennsylvania to stay in Pennsylvania and play for Penn State. I see him continuing on that positive track."
Said Chaump: "I think it would be a perfect fit for Penn State. He is young; he relates well to young people. He has all the qualities that Penn State is looking for."
Like his former coaches, Franklin's entire alma mater is on edge waiting to see what will happen.
"The entire school is excited knowing that a Neshaminy graduate might be the head coach at Penn State University," Magdelinskas said. "People that we didn't even know liked football are glued to the Internet, glued to the TV waiting to see what it's going to be. Everybody that brushed or bumped into him in the hallway is now recalling some relationship they had with him."
No doubt, Neshaminy supporters, and all Penn State football fans, will be watching today.
On Twitter: @AndrewJAlbert01