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The Penn State compensation committee just approved the contract of Vanderbilt's James Franklin and the school has named him its next football coach.

Meanwhile more than 500 fans have gathered outside of McGugin Center in anticipation of today's 8 a.m. Vanderbilt football team meeting.

Penn State released a statement naming Franklin the school's 16th football coach.

"I can't tell you how excited I am to come home," Franklin said in the statement. "I grew up watching Penn State football and now to be at the helm of such a storied program is a tremendous honor. It's important to me to be a part of a University that strives for excellence in everything they do. When football student-athletes come to Penn State, they have a unique opportunity to receive a premium education while playing at the highest level of competition.

"I'm incredibly excited to get to know the students, alumni, and fans who have demonstrated such loyalty to the University as a whole and to the football program in particular," Franklin added. "I've worked my way through every division of football and no other school boasts a fan base like we do. We Are...Penn State!!"

Franklin arrived and went straight inside McGugin Center without speaking to the media.

Several players have come by the fans on the way to the meeting, including quarterbacks Patton Robinette and Josh McCrary. Fans are applauding as they walk up.

Some assistant coaches showed their faces from second-floor windows and flashed the VU sign.

Gold shakers were handed out to the crowd, and there are lots of cheers breaking out. Fans are saying this never would have happened three years ago, not on a Saturday morning.

Penn State has a news conference scheduled for 3:15 p.m. today.

Former Montgomery Bell Academy standout Brad Bars, who is a Penn State football player tweeted: "I've know Coach Franklin for many years and he's going to bring the best to Penn State! #winner"

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