Chad Morris Updates and Weekend Visitors

Just love this man. - Tyler Smith

First let me address something here before it explodes even more--hopefully the announcement hasn't been made yet. Chad Morris is going to be a head coach somewhere (shocker I know, but some Clemson fans seem to think that he needs to be our offensive coordinator for forever and is being disloyal if he jumps ship). It may be today with Vanderbilt or next season with some other program but it is going to happen eventually (and I will cry myself to sleep).

Chad plays it as good as anyone by saying he is going to be here a long time and he is not moving until his daughter leaves high school (and those are small pulls to stay put) but that is all coach speak. When he didn't get the Texas Tech or NC State jobs last year he quickly was not at all interested in those positions and humming and hawing. Of course that is what he did, it is what you are supposed to do, but lets set the record straight. Chad was out the door last year but State and Tech didn't want to pony up the money and commit the resources that Chad wanted. Morris is no slouch and he knows that he needs competitive salaries for a coaching staff, a commitment to building facilities, and support staff. He has a vision and those schools took a cheaper route but Morris was ready to leave.

I think Chad felt a little burned after not getting a real shot at the Louisville job and that might be fueling some drive to get to the next phase in his career. Morris wanted the Texas OC position and interviewed for it (also remember that agents and search firms do most of the 'talking' these days so ask a coach anything and he hasn't heard a thing. again standard practice). Information is coming out that he asked to get the buyout reduced and Clemson rightly stuck to their guns. Both were business decisions and no one needs to be hurt or offended by it. I don't particularly care for the lateral move but the guy is from Texas, give it a rest with the self righteous indignation.

Morris was in Atlanta on the recruiting trail just yesterday but so were the Vandy search committee type people. He wants the Vanderbilt job and the two leading candidates are Stanford Defensive Coordinator Derek Mason and The Chad. Chad will leave if he is offered the job. If he does take the job we should all shout his praises and get real depressed inside because most likely Jeff Scott will take over as Offensive Coordinator (not only would this hurt recruiting but I am nowhere near ready to hand the keys over to Jeff just yet, especially with no QB coach and three new players at the position). I still think that the job will go to Mason because he is the known favorite of AD David Williams and Mason has been camped out in Nashville. But the buzz towards the end has been all about Morris from fans and even players and he interviewed well with the admin. I think it will be Mason ultimately but since Chad is the sexy pick I could see them grabbing him (especially after missing on Malzahn, that has to be in the back of their minds).

When I read some of the things written about Chad when people *gasp* hear he wants to be a head coach I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Do people not remember Napier and Dabo together? 6-7 with a defense studded with NFL talent? Make no mistake about it, Morris changed the tempo of practices and wanted more toughness and accountability. Morris brought so much to this team. Dabo gets the credit for the hire but Chad changed the culture of this team and Dabo to his credit learned how to help facilitate the change. Good offensive coordinators have every right to go and be head coaches and if you can't become a head coach as an OC/DC at Clemson then we have a problem.

So quit whining about Chad leaving for a better job he deserves--it reflects poorly on the rest of us.

This was supposed to be the big recruiting weekend where we brought all the remaining prospects on campus but with Featherston going to Florida State and no big fish jumping in the pan just yet--this weekend will be much quieter. We have coming to campus NC WR Trevion Thompson (6'2/3, 190) and Tennessee commitment and AL (McCalla) native Cory Thomas (6'5/6, 270).

Thompson we have long described and I have debated with myself whether or not I would take him but if the decision is between the Davis twins and Thompson then give me Trevion. The staff remains in communication with LSU commit WR Trey Quinn but there just is too great an in-state pull I'm afraid. Trevion is a slightly more explosive Quinshad Davis, so you have to weigh giving that player to NC State. Thompson would primarily be a possession receiver but could develop down the road. After his strong all-star performances I would bring him on board.

Thomas is an intriguing prospect. He is a high three star player but I like him because he is a versatile project. Most project him to end up along the interior of the defensive line and don't see him sticking at DE. If you are going to slightly reach on a player it is always good to have options. Jabril Robinson is either going to play DT or most likely be done. Thomas has the frame and quick enough feet to play DT, possibly DE and certainly on the offensive line. Many think he may end up there. Thomas possess that versatility. He is visiting Mississippi State on the 24th so Clemson has some competition if he jumps from Tennessee (and everyone believes that he will--Tenn is up to 34 commitments at my last count, Thigpen is resurrecting that program by himself). If Clemson does, indeed, decide to go all out then they believe they have a very good chance of landing him.

Coach Hobby was at the banquet of DE Andrew Williams before he goes on his official visit to Auburn this weekend. Coach Elliott saw Hyatt and Clemson coaches were in to McEachern High School to see 2015 5* RB Taj Griffin and 2015 teammate 4* OT Chuma Edoga (one of my top 5 Oline targets for 2015). Griffin is a Georgia lean, although I don't understand how he really fits into the offense, and Edoga is rumored to want to go with Griffin to the same school.

Some rumblings that we will pursue 2014 4* NC DT Lamont Gaillard after he reached out with his position coach and DC leaving but I'm not sure this materializes. Gaillard appeared out of shape for the all-star games and didn't perform well. I like Poona Ford a tad more personally because of Ford's wingspan. No visit date scheduled.

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