It is no secret that Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is a man on the rise in the coaching ranks. He already was in hot demand last season for several head-coaching jobs but ultimately decided to stay with the Tigers.
For how long?
ESPN Insider Travis Haney believes Morris and Alabama assistant Kirby Smart are the top assistants as next-in-line head-coaching candidates.
No brainer right there.
Haney ponders what it would take for Morris to leave Death Valley:
The Texas Tech job would have been ideal if Kliff Kingsbury were not available or interested. So, let's say Texas goes after Art Briles or Gary Patterson when Mack Brown retires, whenever that happens. Baylor or TCU -- or the like -- would be pretty logical spots for Morris, a native Texan.
Two more ACC assistants make the list:
No. 7 Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State defensive coordinator
No. 8 Brent Venables, Clemson defensive coordinator
Pruitt just arrived in Tallahassee, but his track record at Alabama speaks for itself. If he puts in a few years with the Noles with the same type of success, he will find himself in hot demand. Just look at where former Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops landed after a solid job performance.
Venables is more interesting. Haney writes one of the big reasons Venables wanted to leave Oklahoma was so he would not be pigeon-holed as a life-long assistant. His defense has plenty to prove this season. The hope is this group will continue on with the strides it made toward the end of last season. Venables has a good résumé and knows how to recruit. If the Tigers are as good as anticipated, perhaps Dabo Swinney has to worry about losing both of his coordinators.