Top College Coaches to the #NFL?
Ever since Steve Spurrier and other college coaches broke into the NFL (and mostly flamed out quicker than anything), the NFL will continue to poach coaches instead of looking to assistants on their own staff or on other teams.
Here are some college coaches who could go pro (per Bleacher Report, which actually surprised me with some decent reporting for once):
- David Shaw, Stanford
- Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
- Art Briles, Baylor
- James Franklin, Vanderbilt
Bleacher Report put Boise State’s Chris Peterson as number 4, but I feel he’d stay in Boise for as long as he would like and he hasn’t budged for any top college job. I feel it’s safe to say Peterson won’t be headed to the NFL anytime soon.
David Shaw could follow his former boss John Harbaugh to the NFL, but he seems to like coaching at Stanford. Considering how his pro-style offense prepped Andrew Luck, I have no doubt NFL owners will be calling him to try to convince him to jump ship to the big leagues and a bigger paycheck. He did sign an extension recently, but he could leave if he really wanted to. Stanford is back to their glory days, but will their coach stick around?
Kevin Sumlin has led Texas A&M to greener pastures in the SEC. Now that his elusive QB Johnny “Football” Manziel is probably headed to the pros, why won’t he? He would have to rebuild his A&M defense and offense at the same time. He made Manziel a household name. Plus, NFL owners have been rumored to covet him when the season ends. Why not move onto bigger and hopefully better things?
Any Notre Dame head coach that wins will have his name in NFL coaching rumors. Brian Kelly is no different. Considering how his pro-style offense have worked at his previous stops at Cincinnati and Notre Dame, why not jump to the NFL? He hasn’t stayed very long at any of his college stops, so this would not surprise me. Plus, he made the championship game with an overachieving Notre Dame defense led by Manti Te’o, who was a second-round pick to the San Diego Chargers. He knows how to coach. However, he doesn’t produce top NFL talent like Alabama, with Seattle Seahawks WR Golden Tate and Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd being the most noteworthy as of late.
Art Briles’ innovative offense, where the wide receivers literally line up WIDE and force DB’s to blitz early or run yards to get to the quarterback, has people drooling at his potential in the NFL. He developed Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon, Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright and Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams. He somehow also built a decent defense out in Waco for the Baylor Bears, which hasn’t happened for some time. Yes, he signed a recent extension, but has that stopped anyone from jumping to the NFL?
James Franklin and Vanderbilt football. He was Maryland’s defensive coordinator and heir-apparent when he bolted for Vanderbilt in the SEC and never looked back (and is something I regret to this very day as a Maryland Terps fan). He has developed Vandy into a SEC East powerhouse with a 22-15 overall record. Vandy has not been this relevant in decades! His bold, passionate demeanor is only outdone by his coaching, where he has done a fantastic job with what he has. He even coached Aaron Rodgers’ younger brother Jordan this year. His teams have held their own, even if it is the second-rate school in Tennessee. NFL owners love intensity and he brings that day in and day out. Look out for his name in the NFL soon.