News, Notes & Quotes - Jan. 12

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday January 12, 2017

- The dead period is over today, and everyone is on the road recruiting.

This is the final stretch grind up to Signing Day on Feb. 1. Some teams will mostly look to sure up their commitments and flip some guys, others still need to build a big part of the class, and some new head coaches will go see their school’s committed players in their homes for the first time.

Here are the current top-10 classes, along with some other notable class rankings

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Georgia
4. Michigan
5. Florida State
6. Oklahoma
7. LSU
8. Auburn
9. Texas A&M
10. Tennessee
17. Maryland
30. Texas
45. Ole Miss
66. Houston (a sharp drop since Tom Herman left)
92. Baylor (8 commitments, up from 1 when Matt Rhule took over)

- Auburn has an offensive coordinator opening. Does Gus Malzahn have someone in mind?

Rhett Lashlee will go to UConn as offensive coordinator and take a pay cut after a long history with Malzahn. Who could replace him? Arizona State offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey could be a possibility after previously working there, but is Malzahn going to take over the offense?

There’s been speculation about Art Briles for months. Would Malzahn take a risk like that and the negative publicity that comes with it and hire his close friend? What about Kendal Briles? Auburn Undercover also lists Brandon Streeter and Eliah Drinkwitz as possibilities, the latter having deep ties to Malzahn.

- Half of the NFL head coaching openings are filled.

Doug Marrone was promoted in Jacksonville, and on Tuesday, the Broncos hired Vance Joseph and the Bills hired Sean McDermott.

All three hires are somewhat surprising, not considered leading candidates when the job opened.

The Chargers, Rams and 49ers jobs are still open. All in California, and the Chargers are reportedly joining the Rams in LA. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is reportedly the leader for the 49ers job right now.

Keep track of NFL head coaching news and interviews here.

- Of all the statements the AFCA made on Wednesday, the most interesting was the redshirt proposal.

Under this proposal, any players who plays fewer than 4 games can redshirt, no matter when they played in the year and even without injury. It would essentially get rid of the medical redshirt.

It could allow a team to play more guys in an early-season blowout, or create more depth later in the season when injuries are racked up and coaches don’t want to burn redshirts. The oversight committee may look at it next week. The reaction nationwide to this proposal has been positive.

- Iowa is overhauling the offensive staff.

Not long ago, Kirk Ferentz said he expected offensive coordinator Greg Davis to return. Then Davis retired, offensive line coach Brian Ferentz was promoted to OC, and Kirk Ferentz wouldn’t commit when asked if more changes were coming.

Now wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy and running backs coach / special teams coordinator Chris White won’t return, meaning there are three jobs open on the offensive staff: quarterbacks, running backs and receivers.

The Iowa offense has struggled for a long time. It’s hard to know if there will be any stylistic changes when Brian Ferentz is the OC, but it’s clear Kirk Ferentz wants change. The Hawkeyes haven’t had a top-50 scoring offense since 2010, when they were No. 50.

- On the other side of the rivalry, Nebraska is making big defensive changes.

Defensive coordinator Mark Banker has been dismissed, and safeties coach Brian Stewart has left for the Rice defensive coordinator job. CoachingSearch was told it was possible Stewart could leave when Donté Williams was hired as cornerbacks coach.

The Huskers improved from No. 75 in scoring D last year to No. 33 this year, but after October, they gave up 62 points to Ohio State, 40 to Iowa and 38 to Tennessee.

- Clemson’s video team updated a great recruiting video, adding the path to the national title. You can bet this was sent to every recruit (again). The original video is from 2015.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to