Grading this week's assistant coaching hires
The head coaching carousel stopped spinning quite awhile ago, but the flurry of post-National Signing Day assistant coaching moves continued over the past week, with as many as 20 major programs announcing various changes. As we did last week, we rank the biggest impact hires over the past seven days, getting views from experts at our Rivals.com team sites and National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell.
Larry Porter – North Carolina to Auburn
Local take: “Gus Malzahn needed to hire a coach with a reputation as an elite recruiter, specifically one who could give Auburn a strong presence again in South Florida. Malzahn found his man in Larry Porter. The former LSU and North Carolina assistant is a two-time Rivals.com Recruiter of the Year, and will recruit Miami and Atlanta for Auburn, which historically are two of the Tigers' most productive areas. Porter can coach. He can recruit. He's one of Malzahn's best hires at Auburn.” – Jeffrey Lee, AuburnSports.com
Farrell’s take: “Porter was our National Recruiter of the Year twice while at LSU, landing numerous five-stars and he has recruiting ties all over the place, including Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee and many other areas. This is a hire, in my opinion, that will help Auburn in a huge way.” – Farrell
Farrell’s grade: A
Bob Elliott – Notre Dame to Nebraska
Local take: “Elliott fits Mike Riley’s mantra of wanting expert coaches and recruiters on his staff perfectly. Not only is Nebraska’s new safeties coach a highly regarded football mind, but Elliott is also extremely familiar with new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and his 3-4 scheme. Elliott is also an energetic recruiter with deep connections that has recruited to the Midwest before, as well as for a program in Notre Dame that recruits nationally just as the Huskers do.” – Nate Clouse, HuskerOnline.com
Farrell’s take: “Elliott did some excellent recruiting work while at Notre Dame and works well on the recruiting trail with new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. He’s done serious work in California, which can only help the Calibraska movement.”
Farrell’s Grade: B+
Josh Henson – Arizona State to Oklahoma State
Local take: “Henson's hiring at OSU is a nice addition for the Cowboy offense both on and off the field. The former Mizzou offensive coordinator has extensive experience with the Cowboy offense, serving as an analyst in Stillwater last season and is also a highly reputable recruiter having had success at each stop in his coaching career. Oklahoma State has had a solid history of former players coaching at their alma mater and Henson looks to add his name to the list.” – Jay Fielder, OStateIllustrated.com
Farrell’s take: "After a short-lived pit stop at Arizona State, Henson is back at Oklahoma State, this time as an on-field coach after working at OSU. As a graduate of OSU, he will bring passion to the position and he not only does a good job recruiting offensive linemen, but he can recruit defensive players as well. He’ll help Oklahoma State’s recruiting efforts in the Midlands and Texas, and he was a Top 25 Rivals.com National Recruiter twice while at LSU."
Farrell’s Grade: B
Collin Klein – Northern Iowa to Kansas State
Local take: “Bringing back one of K-State's all-time greats to coach his former position is a win-win for the Wildcats. For the immediate roster, Klein's success within the system is unparalleled and is considered one of Bill Snyder's smartest pupils. Having been with the team in a different role two seasons ago, he's also already familiar with both incumbent starter Jesse Ertz and future star Skylar Thompson, meaning there won't be typical time spent building relationships or acclimating to style. On the recruiting trail is where the Wildcats may receive the biggest boost though. The youngest staff member at just 27 years old, Klein possesses the rare opportunity to enter locations where prospects may be unaware of the K-State program and instantly bring interest to the table based on his name alone. A seamless acquisition from every angle, this was a natural promotion that's been in the cards since the moment Klein expressed interest in coaching.” – Ryan Wallace, GoPowercat.com
Farrell’s take: "Klein returns to Manhattan, where he was a star quarterback and Heisman darkhorse. He not only knows Kansas State well but he’s young and can relate well to recruits having just graduated in 2012. I have a feeling he’s going to be a big addition to this staff."
Farrell’s grade: B
Marcus Arroyo – Oklahoma State to Oregon
Local take: “Marcus Arroyo to Oregon is a solid fit both as a quarterbacks coach and as a recruiter. He has a technical background at the position having played it in college, then coached it at his alma mater San Jose State, Wyoming, Cal and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He helped deliver good offensive recruiting classes at all of his university stops. This hire is another well-fitted piece to the coaching staff puzzle Willie Taggart is assembling.” – A.J. Jacobson, DuckSportsAuthority.com
Farrell’s take: “Arroyo is a great fit for Oregon because much of his recruiting success has been on the West Coast prior to a good year recruiting for Oklahoma State. The man who helped reel in Jared Goff at Cal will do well in California.”
Farrell’s grade: B