The Florida Gators are out searching for a head coach and after four years of mediocre football the Gators are in need of a big hire that will draw attention back to the program.
Getting the attention of the fans with this hire is nice and all, but right now the Gators need to get to get the attention of prospects around the country to let them that the Florida Gators are back to where they belong and that’s as a top program in the country that competes for national championships year in and year out.
Everyone has their opinion on coaches and I’m one of them so here are five candidates that would get heads turning among recruits if they heard his named in Jeremy Foley’s opening press conference.
Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly
Why it would get attention: Kelly is known as being one of the top offensive minds in football and he recruited with the best of them at Oregon when he coached college football. If Kelly was to land in Gainesville can you imagine how fast his offense would be with Florida athletes running it? Florida would instantly become a hot bed for recruits and serious contender in the SEC and in the country.
Chances of landing him: In my opinion chances of landing Kelly are very low because he’s still figuring out whether or not the NFL is for him plus the timetable seems off as the Florida Gators would probably have to wait until at least January to hire him.
Nick’s take: If Chip Kelly, for some currently unknown reason, decides to leave the NFL, the University of Florida is a dream landing spot for him. Kelly was able to run one of the fastest offenses and assemble the fastest teams in the country at Oregon. The last coach to come to Florida with that philosophy didn’t do too bad.
Kelly would instantly clean up in recruiting. The state of Florida has arguably the fastest recruits in the country and Kelly wouldn’t have to go very far to bring in top classes every year.
The recruiting impact alone would be enough to put Florida back in contention on a yearly basis in the SEC.
Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn
Why it would get attention: Malzahn has one of the best offenses in the country and his rushing attack has been at the top of the SEC the last few years. Malzahn already has good success recruiting the state of Florida but now he would have even better success as guy from South Florida wouldn’t have to hop on a plane to play for him. Malzahn could do wonders with the athletes in Jacksonville, Tampa and South Florida.
Chances of landing him: Malzahn just like Kelly is a long shot but a man can dream can’t he? I think that Malzahn would listen to Jeremy Foley if he was to call him but he has it made at Auburn as Tigers fan love and adore him and his style of play.
Nick’s take: Will the Gus bus roll in to Gainesville? I think it’s unlikely but like Kelly, and as Andrew stated above, Malzahn could dominate the state recruiting wise. His offense has been proven at Auburn and could run effectively at Florida.
Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops
Why it would get attention: Stoops has that calm demeanor about him that draws kids to him and they know Oklahoma as being a top program that has produced Adrian Peterson among others. Stoops runs the spread offense that is focused on stretching the field with stretch runs and screens which once again would fit great with Florida athletes running it.
Chances of landing him: Jeremy Foley will give Bob Stoops a call to at least feel out his interest in the job and this may be the one time that Stoops decides he’s ready to return home to Florida. Stoops is having a difficult time at Oklahoma as his recruiting hot bed in Texas is now full from A&M, Baylor and TCU becoming larger programs. Out of this list I think Stoops is the most likely guy but again he has turned Florida down in the past .
Nick’s take: Could the third time be the charm for a Stoops return to Gainesville? That remains to be seen but it is becoming harder for Stoops to recruit in Texas with the emergence of the aforementioned programs. Florida’s last recruiting class may have given Stoops enough offensive players to work his spread with. Kelvin Taylor and Brandon Powell could shine in his offense and players like Demarcus Robinson are waiting to get an opportunity to show how good they truly are. With three losses already on the year, the Sooners won’t be contending for a conference championship and their regular season ends on December 5. That timeline could work with Florida’s.
Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney
Why it would get attention: Clemson has had one of the best passing game offenses in the last few years and they have littered the NFL with top-notch playmakers like Sammy Watkins and C.J. Spiller. Swinney has also done really well with recruiting in the state of Florida and consistently taken top names out of the state each year. Recruits around the country love Swinney’s attitude and passion for the game.
Chances of landing him: I think if Florida decides to go this route than they would have a shot but there are higher profile names out there. I’ve been told that Swinney would like to get back into the SEC and if Florida calls him that he would listen to Jeremy Foley.
Nick’s take: The state of Florida has too much talent for the big three schools to take every year and Dabo has taken advantage of that. Spiller and Watkins were both products of the sunshine state as is standout freshman Artavis Scott and eight other players from the state of Florida. He would be a great recruiter but the most important thing he has done is surround himself with talented coordinators. Swinney knows that in order to win he needs to surround himself with the best and he’s done that at Clemson.
Penn State Head Coach James Franklin
Why it would get attention: Franklin is just a normal guy that players love playing for and are drawn too. Franklin has become one of the top recruiters in the country and was able to do solid job at Vanderbilt before moving on.
Chances of landing him: Not very high at all because this is his first year at Penn State plus he has had some issues with the NCAA and off the field problems that Jeremy Foley wouldn’t like. I doubt Franklin is even on the list but he’s certainly someone that would grab attention.
Nick’s take: Franklin was able to land big-time recruits at Vanderbilt. The potential he has at Florida is endless. I agree with Andrew that some of the off the field issues that he had at Vanderbilt with his team as well as the general thought that he isn’t the cleanest recruiter could scare Foley away. Ultimately, I don’t see Franklin bolting from Penn State this year.
INSIDERS TAKE: When everything is settled I think Bob Stoops is the most likely guy and while he hasn’t recruited Florida much in the past I think he’s someone that can get prospects excited about Florida again. Stoops is a winner and he produced a lot of good players and that’s something prospects look at.