Vandy's James Franklin on Browns' list

The Cleveland Browns will head to the college ranks for their next coaching candidate.

No, not Oklahoma. The information about Bob Stoops has been all over the board, from he’s on the inside track to he won’t ever interview and never was going to interview. The Browns would not comment on Stoops.

But the Browns did ask for permission from Vanderbilt to interview coach James Franklin, according to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter.

That interview is expected to take place this week. Franklin would be the fourth candidate known to meet with the Browns. Previously they talked with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

The Browns cannot talk to McDaniels or Quinn again until their teams are out of the playoffs.

Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase of Denver also is on the Browns' radar, but he took the admirable stance of declining interviews until Denver’s playoff run is over.

Which might help Franklin, a young, energetic guy who has had three successful seasons at Vanderbilt.

Franklin, 41, led Vanderbilt to consecutive nine-win seasons, haughty territory for the Commodores. He’s known as an exuberant, hard-working guy. He won 24 games in three seasons at Vanderbilt, and his stock may never be higher.

Franklin previously talked to the Houston Texans, is on the radar of the Washington Redskins and could be on the short list at Penn State as well.