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University of Louisiana at Lafayette head football coach Mark Hudspeth watches his team on the field at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Thursday, December 19, 2013. ULL will play Tulane at the 2013 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday. (Photo by Chris Granger, Nola.com | The Times-Picayune)

The official word on the reported James Franklin/Penn State story isn't even out yet.

Reports have the Vanderbilt coach headed to State College as the Nittany Lions' head coach and while we await the official word from Nashville and Penn State, let's look at four candidates who might replace Franklin:

Bob Shoop: The Vandy defensive coordinator is a great in-house fit for the job and has been by FootballScoop.com. The architect of Franklins' defenses on back-to-back 9-4 teams, Shoop has the background (a Yale graduate and former Columbia head coach) to fit in at the school and has enjoyed on-field success under Franklin.

Herb Hand: Another in-house candidate mentioned in Football Scoop's report, the offensive line coach/run game coordinator is another possible hire off Franklin's staff.

Derek Mason: The Stanford defensive coordinator is one of the rising stars among college football assistant coaches. And his experience at Stanford will have him ready to coach at a private university with high academic standards.

Mark Hudspeth: The has led the Ragin' Cajuns to three straight New Orleans Bowl wins, unprecedented success for what had been a perennial loser in the Sun Belt Conference. He's from the SEC footprint (Louisville, Miss.) and coached on Dan Mullen's Mississippi State staff before going to ULL, so SEC knowledge is there. What jumps out about Hudspeth is he did for ULL exactly what Franklin did for Vandy.

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