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JEFF ALLEN: POSSIBLE IMPACT FIRST YEAR COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES

JEFF ALLEN: POSSIBLE IMPACT FIRST YEAR COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES

SCOTT FROST: Central Florida

Yes this is the Scott Frost that spanked Peyton Manning and the Tennessee Volunteers 42-17 in the Orange Bowl to give Nebraska a piece of the 1997 National Championship. He played six years in the NFL with the Jets, Browns, Pack and Tampa Bay. His resume is golden having been coached by Tom Osborne, Bill Walsh, Bill Parcells, Bill Belechick and mentored as an assistant under Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich at Oregon. Strangely enough, Frost was
somewhat of a defensive guru at Northern Iowa when the Panthers were FCS bigshots. He takes over a train wreck that was 0-12 last year but returns 17 starters including 10 on the offense that can only benefit with him at the controls. Frost will get plenty of time to right the ship and will, probably sooner than later.

LOVIE SMITH: Illinois

We did a piece on Lovie Smith about two weeks ago expressing what a great hire we think this is. The new Illinois AD, a 38 year-old legacy TE for the Illini, made the move to sign Smith to a long term big money contract in his first 48 hours on the job demonstrating his belief in Smith and his demonstrating his commitment to turn the program around. Smith has brought in the right people with him, Bobby Petrino’s OC and long time gumba Hardy Nickerson who was a four-time all NFL linebacker under Smith and has followed as an assistant once his playing days were over. Smith will also be able to recruit the Midwest with success having been a big name commodity as a long time coach of the Bears. Smith has a 5th year QB this year and while some improvement will be seen immediately, this is a long term rebuild that will take some
time.

D.J. DURKIN: Maryland

Just 38 years old, Durkin in another young turk with an impressive resume. Durkin was a three-year starter at Bowling Green where he played DE/LB registering 28 career sack. He was a grad assistant with Urban Meyer at his alma mater before joining Ty Willingham. After returning to Bowling Green for a couple of years, he returned to Stanford on the Jim Harbaugh staff coaching defensive linemen and special teams. In 2010, he reunited with Urban Meyer at Florida and took over as DC from current Falcon HC Dan Quinn in 2013. Durkin stayed on with Will Muschamps and was the interim HC of the Gators when they beat East Carolina 28-20 in the Birmingham Bowl. Durkin was DC with Harbaugh at Michigan last year before taking over the Terps. The Turtle will be fine defensively but it remains to be seen how this bunch will score points. It might be worth following the total of Maryland games
looking to play the Under in spots.

BARRY ODOM: Missouri

Barry Odom is another legacy hire as he was a linebacker for the Tigers between 1996-1999. After coaching in high school for four years, Odom returned to Mizzou as the Director of Recruiting and later Director of Football Operations under Gary Pinkel. In 2012, Odom left to become DC of the Memphis Tigers, a program on the come. Odom returned to Missouri as DC last year when Pinkel was discovered to have health issues and took over the head post after Pinkel retired at the end of the year. Odom has a daunting task with the Tigers residing in the SEC. That said, Mizzou has a history of tough defenses and they return eight starters from last year. Josh Heupel is the OC and Missouri will live and die on how quickly he’ll be able to establish some type of representative
offense.

SCOTTIE MONTGOMERY: East Carolina

Another 38-year-old with a great pedigree. Montgomery played wide out at Duke snaring 171 career catches and was the Blue Devil MVP in 1998-1999. Montgomery was drafted by Carolina before playing three years with Denver and a year in Oakland. He also played in the Arena League with the Georgia Force. Montgomery coached wide outs with Duke before moving on to the Pittsburgh Steelers where he coached WRs from 2010-2013 and included Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown and Jerricho Cotchery. He returned to Duke during that team’s resurgence under David Cutcliffe. Montgomery has work to do with just 11 returning starters and new schemes which includes changing the Pirate offense from a Texas Tech like spread to a more traditional NFL pro set. ECU has a tough schedule and they just don’t figure to get Bowl eligible in Montgomery’s first season. That said, we like this hire and the Pirates figure to improve after a season of growing pains.

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