Twitter Tuesday: Vols' candidates, SEC chopping block, Clemson
Our weekly #TwitterTuesday file continues this week where you ask National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell your football questions via social media. Here are six questions we chose, including a question about on Tee Martin as a potential successor to Butch Jones.
While Tee Martin has proven to be an excellent offensive coach and is off the charts when it comes to recruiting - and would be an excellent choice if the Vols choose to hire out of the assistant coaches ranks - Tennessee will go push hard for a current head coach such as Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, Virginia Tech's Justin Fuente or someone else.
Chip Kelly would not be a fit for what the Vols want based on his past NCAA transgressions. Tennessee could also look to the defensive side of the ball for its new coach.
If the Vols whiff on some bigger names like they did before Jones, Martin would be a great selection overall. Recruiting would go through the roof.
Butch Jones will be looking for work based on what we are seeing right now interim head coach Matt Luke will probably be replaced at Ole Miss as the Rebels look for a bigger name. You could certainly argue that Bret Bielema could be gone at Arkansas, as could Kevin Sumlin if Texas A&M has its customary second-half letdown. Then there’s the Ed Orgeron question and if LSU can afford to cut bait with the Tigers coach.
There will be three new head coaches in the SEC next season with one of either Luke, Bielema or Sumlin hanging on and the other two gone along with Jones. And no, LSU will not get rid of Orgeron.
Based on what I’m seeing now, it comes down to both teams' defensive line. Specifically, which defensive line will be able to contain the opposing quarterback and string out the opposing running back. If either side can get consistent penetration and limit the running game, it puts more pressure on the quarterbacks.
Obviously, on paper, the Ohio State defensive line has the advantage here, but the fact that Trace McSorley is a better passer than J.T. Barrett and Saquon Barkley is a better running back than J.K. Dobbins could offset that.
It is in some ways, except at quarterback, where the team is lacking a guy named Deshaun Watson. Clemson's depth at wide receiver is even better than last year, the running game is more explosive with Travis Etienne on the roster and the offensive line seems to be more cohesive as a unit. Defensively, the Tigers' front four is as good as any in college football and the linebackers have stepped up in a huge way. The secondary isn’t as strong.
Overall this is not a better football team than last year’s version, but it does seem deeper at some positions.
Here is the stat that would worry me as a Florida State fan: Wake Forest finished with 18 tackles for a loss and five sacks. That’s a new program record for TFL for the Demon Deacons, a team that has been playing football since 1888. That’s right, 1888. The Seminole offensive line is that bad and when you mix in a true freshman quarterback trying to adapt to the speed of college football, that’s a recipe for disaster.
How do you fix it? I have no idea. Florida State is going to have to max protect against good defenses (e.g. Miami), play conservatively on offense and hope its defense and special teams can pick up the slack. Other than that, good luck Seminoles if the line plays like that again.
Ty Johnson is a very good running back as evidenced by his 411 yards and 8.9 yards-per-carry average so far this season. The former three-star prospect has emerged as one of the Big Ten’s best, but he’s on the outside looking in nationally when it comes to elite backs.
I’d put him, talent-wise, behind obvious choices like Saquon Barkley, Royce Freeman, Bryce Love and some others. I'd even put him behind a couple of true freshmen in J.K. Dobbins and Jonathan Taylor. But Johnson is probably in that high second tier nationally along with guys like Justice Hill, Myles Gaskin and others.
Johnson will be interesting to follow next season if he decides to return to school. Right now his NFL scouting grade would probably be mid-to-late rounds despite his home run potential. If he stays for another season and has another huge year, Johnson could move his way into the second or third round.