James Franklin plays name game, takes shot at Nick Saban

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 4:57pm

In his first season, after a postgame scuffle with Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin vowed that the Commodores wouldn’t back down from anybody.

Apparently, Franklin isn’t afraid to pick fights with anyone either.

Speaking at Macon Central (Ga.) High School, Vanderbilt’s third-year coach took a jab at Alabama coach Nick Saban, referring to him as "Nicky Satan." And Macon news station WMAZ-13 caught it on tape.

“There is this guy at Alabama. I think his name is Nicky Satan,” Franklin said. “You guys have probably heard of him before. I am going to outwork him. I am going to outwork him and that is kind of our plan every single day.”

The Commodores were thumped by Alabama 34-0 in 2011, Franklin’s first year. Vanderbilt did not play the Crimson Tide last year and the two-time defending national champions aren’t on the 2013 schedule.

Franklin was a special guest at a fall sports banquet earlier this week at the high school. Macon Central senior linebacker and Vanderbilt commit Nigel Bowden endorsed Franklin, describing him as a passionate coach.

“This man right here has so much passion in what he do,” Bowden said. “I believe this is a man I can look up to for four years.”

Franklin was not made available for comment as national signing day looms next Wednesday.

Rivals.com has the 22-member recruiting class ranked 20th in the country. But Franklin and the Commodores recently lost prized recruit Johnathan Ford out of New Hope, Ala. The four-star running back de-committed from Vanderbilt on Monday after he took a weekend visit to Auburn.

The Commodores are in the running for three-star running back Matt Dayes. After narrowing his choices down to North Carolina State and Vanderbilt, the Weston, Fla., native was expected to make his decision on Wednesday morning. But as of late afternoon he still didn’t have an answer, writing on his Twitter account, “Not committed as yet. Just confused right now.”

12 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 1/31/13 at 6:01

"Nicky Satan", how absolutely silly is that statement? While possibly getting a few
local applauds, my suspicion is that it certainly won't help with any recruiting, but
may get the publicity seeking coach a bit of discussion in the always controversy
seeking sports media.

By: kevin47881 on 1/31/13 at 8:23

This comment shows the difference between a professional and a want to be. One day Franklin may be 10% as successful as Saban but I won't be holding my breath awaiting that day.

By: JRM on 1/31/13 at 8:44

As a huge SEC spots fan I have been impressed with Franklin's teams and how hard they've played. He's got solid players coming in and a lot of mementum. Then he goes and does a low rent thing like this - it's just plain silly to try to take a jab a guy like Saben. It's not like there's any built in rivalry or anything. And it's not like he's responding to something from Saben. I can assure you James is the last thing on Saben's mind. I think it makes Franklin look pathetic. Why can't he show class as his program improves? Take a note or two from Hugh Freeze on how to get it done without this crazy stuff.

By: joe41 on 1/31/13 at 9:27

Go Coach Franklin. I am behind you all the way!


By: tomba1 on 1/31/13 at 9:27

Another example of Franklin doing what he does best - publicity stunts. I wonder why, when he has committed recruits defecting to other schools, Franklin insists on promoting himself? It's ALL about Franklin, period. At least it didn't take too long for the powers that be to come down on him and put him in his place leading to his apology.

By: JohnGalt on 1/31/13 at 9:33

Franklin may be one gifted coach but sometimes he needs a muzzle.

By: puddycat on 1/31/13 at 9:38

“This man right here has so much passion in what he do,” Well said from another grammatically challenged Vanderbilt recruit.

By: wiseguy1 on 1/31/13 at 10:17

Just like most of the comments here, best to let it go. Of course, Franklin, probably just said what many coaches are thinking. How else can a program maintain success for so long other tahn selling his soul.

By: chumlem on 1/31/13 at 10:54

Calling the kettle black. All of you jokers are coming onto a message forum "anonymously," calling him out. Hypocrites.

By: chumlem on 1/31/13 at 10:56

I agree with wiseguy.. He said what 90 percent of the college football world thinks of him.

By: TITAN1 on 1/31/13 at 12:08

It was all in fun, but he apologized for it in case it ruffled someone's feathers.

By: courier37027 on 2/1/13 at 5:49

For someone who is as focused and intense as Franklin--the same man who preaches not looking beyond the next game--please focus on beating Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Those three teams stand between you and the SEC East title. Then you can address Saban on barely equal terms.