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Carson Palmer Says PSU Coach James Franklin among Front-Runners for USC Job

Penn State head coach James Franklin among the “front-runners” for the vacant job at the University of Southern California, former Trojans quarterback Carson Palmer told The Dan Patrick Show on Monday.

USC is looking to replace Clay Helton, who was fired on Sept. 13, just two games into the 2021 season. Palmer also named Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell and Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell as other potential candidates.

Franklin signed a new contract with Penn State last year that is slated to keep him with the Lions through the end of the 2025 season.

It’s unclear if Franklin has interest in the USC job, which he has been repeatedly linked to over the years. Patrick reported mutual interested between Franklin and USC in September. Franklin did not specifically deny that report, but said he has addressed it with his staff and players.

“Really no matter what you say, people aren’t happy,” he said. “So I decided I’m going to handle this internally. I talked to our team. It happens every single year. I’m not worried about distractions in the media and with the fans, I’m worried about my team

“I talked to my staff about it, I talked to the players about it, the leadership council in detail, but I think that’s the best approach.”

A Pennsylvania native and East Stroudsburg alum, Franklin has no obvious ties to USC or Los Angeles.

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