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Ask Farrell: Which coordinator hire will reap the most rewards?

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As is the case every offseason, there are a bunch of intriguing offensive and defensive coordinator changes around the country, and a handful of the top-end programs nationally made some big changes in the last few months.

Oklahoma made it back to the College Football Playoff last season, but the Sooners’ defense continues to be an issue. To fix that problem, coach Lincoln Riley brought in Alex Grinch to run the defense after one season at Ohio State and an impressive run at Washington State.

A high rate of coaching turnover continues at Alabama, but the Crimson Tide brought in Steve Sarkisian, who returns to Alabama after running the offense for the Atlanta Falcons.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said during a press conference this week to expect “more tempo” out of the Wolverines’ offense with Josh Gattis now as offensive coordinator. Gattis comes to Ann Arbor after a quick stop at Alabama and many years in the James Franklin coaching tree at Penn State and Vanderbilt.

USC had a topsy-turvy offseason of hiring an offensive coordinator after Kliff Kingsbury came to town for about a week - giving all Trojans’ fans a whole lot of hope - before leaving for the Arizona Cardinals head coaching job. Graham Harrell is the new OC at USC, and he had an impressive resume running North Texas’ offense so things could be looking up for the Trojans.

At Florida State, Kendal Briles has been hired as offensive coordinator, and he said in a recent interview with that coach Willie Taggart wants the offense to be spread, to be fast and that Briles is confident he can deliver that.

We ask National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell which high-profile coordinator hire could be the most impactful this coming season?


“I’m looking at Gattis at Michigan because I’m curious if Jim Harbaugh will let him do his thing. If he does I think the Michigan offense can be much more potent and dangerous than last year. Briles also intrigues me at Florida State because the Seminoles really need a shot in the arm on offense and he can deliver it. Those are the two that have me the most interested, and I think Grinch has the biggest challenge ahead of him at Oklahoma.”