Well, that didn't take long: Steve Spurrier has hired Shawn Elliott from Appalachian State for the offensive line coach vacancy.
This isn't quite as splashy a hire as Eric Wolford was last year and may not be what some were hoping for, but my impression is that this is a good hire. Here's why:
- Elliott is known among coaches as a fantastic developer of talent. His lines at ASU have consistently been among the very best in the FCS ranks, and he has coached numerous FCS All-Americans.
- Elliott is familiar with and will help us continue to implement the zone read blocking scheme that Wolford had begun to put in place. This won't be a complete 180 from a schematic standpoint, so there shouldn't necessarily be an identifiable transition period in that regard. At the same time, Elliott has a spread background, so I would expect him to continue to push Spurrier to think about ways to modernize his offensive philosophy.
- Elliott's teams run the football very well. Improving the running game should continue to be a priority for our staff, and Elliott can help us do that.
- Elliot may lack the pedigree for BCS-level recruiting Wolford brought with him from Illinois, but Elliott shows every indication of potential as a recruiter. He is a young, high-energy guy, the kind recruits love. He has obviously been very successful in terms of bringing in talent within the FCS context, and has often succeeded in convincing prospects to choose ASU instead of lower-tier FBS teams, which is no small feat considering that FCS teams can't tout the same potential for exposure that FBS teams can. Elliott also has connections throughout the Carolinas. Elliott will have to get started recruiting immediately, as he will face the challenge of attempting to get into the process with Morgan Moses and keeping verbal commitment Eric Mack firm. Mack is being pushed hard by Gene Chizik's Auburn recruiting machine. It's also worth noting that Marcus Lattimore wanted to play for the sort of offense Wolford was working to implement. Lattimore will be pleased with Elliott, too.
- Elliott is a Camden native. He won't be itching to go back home like Wolford was.
- Elliott is a winner, plain and simple. ASU is the Southern Cal of the FCS ranks, without the cheating.
Welcome aboard, coach Elliott!