|by David Hood|
Let me start off with Chad Morris and his interviewing at N.C. State. I have a colleague and friend who covers the Wolfpack fairly closely, and he told me from the beginning that Morris would be a target. However, as we all know, there are a certain number of interviews that have to be completed even though a certain candidate may have been targeted from the beginning.
In other words, you may know who you are going to hire, but under the rules and regulations of the state, a certain number of interviews have to be conducted. I think that Chad helped fill that quota, and he got the experience of interviewing for a head coaching job.
N.C. State, in my opinion, is the type of school that can win consistently in football – great facilities, passionate fan base and a recruiting area that produces a lot of top-notch talent each season. The feeling was that they were going to go and get a guy that had already done the job somewhere else and had success and that guy was Sonny Dykes.
The good news for Clemson fans is that I think Morris sticks around – his name will continue to come up, but he really wants to let his daughter finish Daniel High School and he thinks that Clemson is building something special. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t bolt if N.C. State offered – that’s an opportunity that might be too good to pass up – but he needs a little more seasoning before a big-time program turns over the keys to him.
I’ve spoken to several football folks, and they’ve all come up with some solid reasons why Morris stays, and they bring up some valid points. The biggest, to me, is that Morris has just three years on the collegiate level, and they believe he would have some trouble building a staff right off the bat. If you haven’t made a ton of contacts and coached with a lot of different people, it’s kind of hard to build up enough loyalty to entice good coaches to leave their current positions.
And, if you’re a school like N.C. State and you are fighting that Tobacco Road fight against Duke and North Carolina bias, you want the guy that has already proven he can win as a head coach. As of right now, Morris has proven he is a good coach, and has three quality years as a coordinator under his belt. He will, in my opinion, be a great head coach for somebody. It’s just not right now.
The source then told me that Morris has withdrawn his name from consideration – now many Clemson fans can back away from the cliff.
*I have spoken with several people close to the situation of Tramel Terry, and I now believe Clemson has a better shot at landing him than I thought a week ago. The Georgia coaches are telling him he will play running back for the Bulldogs, and Terry can see that they already have Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley and Ken Malcome, who all had over 50 carries for the Bulldogs this season. Breaking into that rotation over the next couple of years would be tough.
With that in mind, Clemson’s coaches have gone in and told him that he has a skill set that the Tigers don’t have right now, and he could play both receiver and running back. He’s strong – he benches over 300 pounds – and he already weighs more (190) than any other running back on Clemson’s roster. If he decides to be a Tiger, he could make an impact right away.
*I spoke with Montravius Adams on the sidelines before the game Saturday night, and he looked genuinely happy to be back in Clemson. Clemson commit Ryan Jenkins was doing a solid recruiting job on Adams, Carl Lawson and Ebenezer Ogundeko, and Jenkins told me he thinks the Tigers have a shot at all three.
Adams said he made the trip to Clemson by himself, and he was taking in the atmosphere and looked like a kid in a candy store. He told me he likes coming up to Clemson and just being around the coaches and players. He wouldn’t divulge anything as far as his favorites or where Clemson stands, but two trips up in three weeks isn’t a bad thing.
*I also spoke with former Georgia commit Demarre Kitt at the game, and he told me one of the reasons he likes Clemson is because of Morris and what he can do in the offense. He said Morris has told him of the different ways the Tigers would use him, and that is a big factor in his decision. The Tigers definitely have a shot.
*As for Milton Jennings –I expect a decision from head coach Brad Brownell by Friday afternoon. The Clemson media will have availability with Brownell and certain players Friday afternoon to preview this weekend’s game against South Carolina, and it just makes sense that whatever Brownell decides would be released before we meet with him. I honestly don’t know which way he’s leaning, and he avoided all questions during the postgame press conference Wednesday. However, Devin Booker told the media he felt like Jennings let the team down and he was disappointed in his fellow senior.
David Hood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org