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Hurricane Watch: Leading Candidates To Replace Jethro Franklin

The loss of Jethro Franklin was a surprise to some, but not to all. Who could replace him is what could come as a shocker.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

They always said "There's no place like home". Well, Jethro Franklin took his chance to go home in a big way, by accepting an offer from the Oakland Raiders to be their defensive line coach; the same position he held with the Hurricanes since 2011.

Franklin's tenure in Miami was marred by harsh criticism, fitting for a defensive unit that finished 120th in YAPG in 2012, and 90th in 2013. In 2014, the Hurricanes saw a vast improvement defensively, ranking 14th overall, a far cry from the previous two years, but finished in the middle of the pack at 61st in sacks.

Outside of coaching the defensive line, Franklin's duties were to recruit in California, and the western United States. Franklin more recently got involved in recruiting in the Palm Beach County area, closer to campus. Franklin left the Hurricanes just days after landing key defensive line recruits, namely Kendrick Norton and Scott Patchan, two of the more prominent signees for the not-so-memorable 2015 class.

Franklin released a statement announcing his departure from the University, saying amongst other things -

"I’m extremely excited about the progress that we’ve made at Miami," . . ."The players that we’ve brought in on the defensive line are extremely talented and are going to move this program forward."

Two names immediately emerged as premiere candidates to replace Franklin. Former Hurricane great Kevin Patrick, who was an All-American during his tenure from 1989-1993, and graduate assistant, and fellow former 'cane Kareem Brown.

Kevin Patrick

Patrick's résumé as of right now is a bit more accomplished than Brown's. Patrick was a coach on the USF staff that saw former defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul become a first round pick and a multi-time Pro Bowler in the NFL.

The Bulls also finished Top-20 in the Nation three different times under Patrick's tutelage from 2005-2011. Patrick has since left the USF program and spent last year at North Texas, who also saw an improvement defensively under his watch.

Kareem Brown Brown, in this particular situation, seems to be the clear player's choice, as multiple canes have outwardly expressed their opinions on social media. Brown played for Miami from 2002-2005, claiming second-team All-ACC honors in 2005.

Brown spent four seasons in the NFL, making two 53-man rosters in New England and New York for the Jets. Brown returned to Miami in 2013, after spending a season in 2012 with Florida International.

Randy Melvin

The more things change, the more they stay the same. . .

Melvin is Florida International's current defensive line coach, but served under Golden in the same capacity at Temple in 2009, and 247Sports recently reported he was an emerging candidate (247Sports VIP subscription required) to land the open defensive line coach position due to his previous ties with Golden.

Melvin has an impressive résumé spanning nearly 30 years. After playing for Eastern Illinois for four seasons as a defensive lineman, Melvin had coaching stops at Wyoming and Purdue before taking a position under Bill Belicheck in New England in 2000.

Melvin spent time between major college programs and the NFL over the course of the last 12 years, with stops at Rutgers, the Cleveland Browns, and Temple, in 2009 where his relationship with Al Golden was born. Whomever is selected to replace the parting Franklin will have their work cut out for them. There's no star defensive lineman on this Hurricanes team that's looking to carry the load, and the incoming Freshman class doesn't have a future All-American ready to start from day one.

Golden has proven before that he's more comfortable with who he knows rather than what he knows. Al, we know something you might not, and it's that you can't screw this one up.

Follow Chris on Twitter for all the latest Miami Hurricanes recruiting news and analysis @warontheweekend