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I'm heading to the news conference to announce James Franklin as coach Ralph Friedgen's eventual successor.

My early take on this is that Maryland is ...

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1) ...concerned that Franklin is a hot property -- particularly as a recruiter -- and they don't want to let him get away.

2) ...concerned that Ralph's age -- he'll be 62 in April -- and rumors of his retirement could eventually affect recruiting if there isn't a clear succession plan.

3) ....adopting an increasingly popular business model of naming successors in advance. The University of Texas has named a successor to Mack Brown, and Florida State has named a successor to Bobby Bowden.

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