CLEMSON — One question looming over the Clemson football program is how long it will be able to keep offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who has become an attractive head coaching candidate due to the record-breaking performances of the Tigers’ offense.
Multiple reports have Morris among the candidates at N.C. State, which fired coach Tom O’Brien over the weekend.
N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow said she is not necessarily seeking a coach with head coaching experience at the college level. She is seeking a coach who can deliver “Alabama-type” talent.
Perhaps the biggest knock against Morris is he lacks a lengthy recruiting track record.
The other question is if the N.C. State position, a difficult place to win, would be of interest to Morris.
There are also four head coaching vacancies in the SEC — Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee. While Morris may or may not be a coach of interest to those programs, the head-coaching carousel could lead to a trickle-down effect of openings at other schools.
Morris signed a six-year, $7.8 million dollar contract extension last year. He faces no penalty to leave Clemson for a head coaching job. To leave for another assistant position, his buyout would be the remaining dollars left on his contract.
While five-star defensive end Robert Nkemdiche has decommitted from Clemson, another five-star defensive end visited Clemson for the South Carolina game and saw the Tigers have an immediate need along its defensive front.
Georgia five-star rated end Carl Lawson is an Auburn commitment, but the school’s firing of Gene Chizik and the team’s performance this season could have him looking elsewhere.
Lawson told recruiting expert Phil Kornbult he has only visited Clemson and is unsure about taking other official visits.
“I liked the campus and the facilities,” Lawson said. “It was just good as a whole. We were there for several hours. (Clemson coaches) just said they want me to come to Clemson.”