Who is the future coach from each Top 25 team? Jun 14, 2017
What kind of player makes the best coach: the star, the role player or the coach’s son? We found a variety of candidates on the teams in Mark Schlabach’s post-spring Top 25.
Joe Burrow, who might be the next big name at quarterback after J.T. Barrett’s final season, is the son of Jimmy Burrow, the defensive coordinator and associate head coach at Ohio, so the pedigree is there. He might have a longer career in football after college, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Burrow on a sideline donning a headset once he’s done playing, given his father’s position. — Tom VanHaaren
There aren’t many players in the ACC more experienced, instinctive and intellectual than Seminoles DB Nate Andrews. As a true freshman, he was a revelation, picking off a team-high four passes as Florida State won a national title. In the years since, he has dealt with ups and downs on the field, but Andrews has distinguished himself as a true student of the game, playing every position in the secondary and stepping up as a leader in the locker room. Now, entering his fifth season, he is a foundation of what could be one of the best defensive backfields in the country. — David M. Hale
Jabrill Peppers set a do-everything standard during his career at Michigan. Which player on each Top 25 team can provide a similar brand of versatility?
Even the top 25 teams need a player like Alabama’s Rashaan Evans who can provide comic relief during a long season. Find out who the funny men are on college football’s best teams.
The home stadiums for the Top 25 teams offer a little bit of everything, including a pirate ship, a train horn and an eagle flying over the field. Discover the features and history that make each location stand out.
There’s a reason Jalen Hurts was able to have so much success as a true freshman last season, and it wasn’t just because of his incredible athleticism. His demeanor — calm to the point of stoicism — is a reflection of his upbringing as the son of a high school football coach. Learning closely under the wing of Nick Saban, Hurts will leave college with a master’s in football studies. — Alex Scarborough
The Trojans might not have a guy who loves being around the game as much as safety Chris Hawkins. To become a coach, that’s important. But Hawkins also has the personality to recruit and motivate, which makes him a good coaching candidate. — Kyle Bonagura
Nittany Lions wide receiver Tyler Shoop’s bio on the team’s website says he would like to be a football coach someday, and he already has a good pedigree through his father, Tennessee defensive coordinator Bob Shoop. — VanHaaren
Right tackle Zachary Crabtree, who has more career starts than any other returning Big 12 offensive lineman, holds aspirations of one day being a coach. His wealth of playing experience in college should serve him well, should he pursue that endeavor. — Jake Trotter
Hunter Renfrow was a one-time walk-on who has emerged as one of the most popular and clutch players on Clemson’s roster, and though that’s in part because of talent that was largely unrecognized by other coaches during the recruiting process, Renfrow also is one of the smartest players in the ACC. In last year’s overtime win over NC State, for example, Renfrow noticed a weakness by one of the Wolfpack’s DBs, passed along the info to the coaching staff and suggested that if teammate Artavis Scott ran a specific route, he’d be wide open. Sure enough, Clemson ran the play, and Deshaun Watson hit Scott for a critical touchdown in a 24-17 win. — Hale
Walk-on fullback Joe Castiglione Jr. is the son of Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione. Previously a student assistant under Sooners linebackers coach Tim Kish before joining the team, Castiglione Jr. has coaching in his blood — and possibly in his future. — Trotter
In two years as the Huskies’ starting quarterback, Jake Browning has been one of the primary reasons for the team’s rapid ascension. That he was able to come in and start as a true freshman speaks to his understanding of the game. As a bonus, he is already fluent in coach-speak. — Bonagura
Tray Matthews has come a long way since his dismissal by Georgia. In fact, since he landed at Auburn, he has become one of the most reliable players on defense, as well as a valuable teacher for young teammates still learning the different alignments and concepts. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele went as far as to call him the “CEO of running things.” — Scarborough
David Edwards gets the nod from a few people at Wisconsin. The current offensive lineman was recruited as a tight end and played quarterback and defensive end in high school. He has had to adapt to different positions, which could help him understand the game as a head coach and figure out his own roster. — VanHaaren
Famed LSU strength coach Tommy Moffitt has molded football players for years in Baton Rouge. Now his son, Aaron, is a defensive end on the roster. Although it’s too soon to say whether Aaron could one day wear a headset and call plays, it isn’t a stretch to see him as part of a coaching staff in some form down the road. — Scarborough
Offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn already has everything it takes to be a coach. He is one of the team’s top leaders, and he knows just about all of the ins and outs of how to run the Bulldogs’ offense. He can play every position on Georgia’s offensive line, which has made it easy for him to become a teacher of sorts in Athens. Oh, and if you’ve ever heard him talk, he has coach-speak nailed down. — Edward Aschoff
Running back Chris Evans is already the coach of a youth flag football team. You have to start somewhere, and Evans is starting early. The sophomore-to-be comes from a talent-rich high school in Indianapolis, where he received excellent coaching and is now at Michigan learning from coaches with a wide range of experience. — VanHaaren
Kc McDermott has a firm grasp of the playbook and techniques needed to play offensive line, but more than that, he takes a great deal of pride in passing all of his knowledge and understanding to the younger players. This past spring, the rising senior took incoming freshman Navaughn Donaldson under his wing to help him make the transition from high school to college. — Andrea Adelson
QB Keller Chryst’s father, Geep Chryst, is an assistant for the Chicago Bears and recently served as the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. His uncle, Paul Chryst, is the head coach at Wisconsin, and his grandfather, George Chryst, was also a college coach. It’s in his blood. — Bonagura
RB Reggie Bonnafon is the most versatile player on the team and one of its sharpest. Not only has Bonnafon had to learn multiple positions during his time there, but he also had a great role model growing up. His late dad coached him, so Bonnafon has a good idea about what it takes to get the job done. — Adelson
K-State linebacker Trent Tanking played his high school ball for a former K-State linebacker-turned-coach (Brooks Barta). According to teammates, Tanking already has coaching tendencies on the field. — Trotter
LB Auggie Sanchez is going into his fourth year as the “quarterback of the defense,” providing vocal leadership to everyone around him. Known as a film study junkie around the USF facility, Sanchez is a team captain and backs up all his knowledge with tangible results. Last season, he finished with 120 tackles, second in school history. — Adelson
Will Grier has yet to play a down at quarterback for the Mountaineers, and already he is respected among teammates and coaches as a student of the game. The Florida transfer and son of a high school coach erased lingering doubts in the spring about his readiness to take over at WVU, showing the form that earned him five starts with the Gators in 2015. — Mitch Sherman
Naturally, it would have to be quarterback Luke Del Rio. His father is none other than Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio. Luke Del Rio has been around NFL coaches just about all of his life, and whether he was on or off the field for the Gators last year, he maintained a leadership role in Florida’s locker room. — Aschoff
Josh Jackson hasn’t officially earned the starting QB job for the Hokies, but he has earned the distinction as one of the most cerebral players on the team. It’s in his blood, after all. Jackson’s father, Fred, coached for 23 seasons at Michigan. “He’s been around it his whole life,” head coach Justin Fuente said. “He’s smart, and he loves the game.” — Hale
A versatile and heady defensive back, junior P.J. Locke III appears in line to take a big leap with the Longhorns after emerging as a vocal leader. Locke started nine games at nickelback last season. He skipped a redshirt year in 2015 and graduated magna cum laude from Central High School in Beaumont, Texas. — Sherman
Cornerback DeAndre Pierce’s dad, Antonio Pierce, is the head coach at California high school power Long Beach Poly and spent nine years in the NFL. DeAndre Pierce arrived in Boise last year, and coaches praised his ability to quickly pick up a solid understanding of the defensive scheme. — Bonagura
The son of a football coach and a known motivator, linebacker Peyton Pelluer has the pedigree to transition into a successful career in coaching. He is currently responsible for making on-field calls and adjustments for the WSU defense. — Bonagura
Who is the future coach from each Top 25 team?