Tag:Chad Morris
Posted on: March 7, 2012 6:07 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Clemson



Posted by Chip Patterson


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Clemson.

Spring Practice Starts: March 7

Spring Game: April 14

Three Things To Look For

1. Raised expectations. The hope of returning the ACC title to Clemson had driven Tigers' programs for two decades until Dabo Swinney finally delivered the crown in December. But after the 2011 team "broke through the walls," as Swinney put it several times, the expectations changed completely for 2012. Bringing back all of the primary offensive skill players but Dwayne Allen, and hiring Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables has made 2012 a BCS or bust season. No longer will Clemson fans hope to avoid a letdown, instead they expect to compete for hardware from opening day. Not even a record-setting blowout loss in South Beach could shake the confidence of a new-attitude program hungry for more titles.

2. Improving the offensive line. With Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins, and Andre Ellington all back, the Tigers are set with All-ACC talent at the skill positions. However, troubles along the offensive line prevented the unit from clicking during their late-season slide in 2011. The success of the offense relied too heavily on individuals like left tackle Phillip Price, and this spring should be an opportunity for offensive coordinator Chad Morris to get some depth and a solid rotation along the line. Price and fellow tackle Landon Walker are gone, leaving center Dalton Freeman as the only lineman with any significant game experience. Conditioning should no longer be an issue for offseason practice, either, with one full year of Morris' system under their belts.

3. Brent Venables' impact. The Tigers return just six starters on defense, and have a huge need on the defensive line to replace All-ACC graduates Brandon Thompson and Andre Branch. Former Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables enters as one of the most praised (and highest-paid) defensive coordinators in the ACC, but will have his work cut out with this young group of defenders. On one hand, it might be easier to teach a new system rather than have to un-teach Kevin Steele's complex scheme. On the other, he could end up seeing the same youthful mistakes that plagued the Tigers in 2011. Venables will have all eyes on his defense in 2012, and getting through to his unit this spring will be essential for Clemson's success in the fall.

For much more on Clemson as they go through Spring Practice, including the Top 3 Position Battles for the spring, follow Travis Sawchik's Tigers' RapidReports. For more spring previews around the ACC check out Spring Practice Home.

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 3:38 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 3:39 pm
 

Clemson assistants among highest paid nationally

Posted by Chip Patterson

Brent Venables made a very difficult decision to leave Oklahoma and accept the open defensive coordinator position at Clemson. But the school made the decision much easier, reportedly rewarding Venables with a multi-year deal that will reportedly pay nearly $800,000 per season. That figure would make Venables the No. 3 most-compensated assistant coach nationally in 2012, just behind Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.

But Venables joins a staff that includes the nation's No. 1 compensated assistant: offensive coordinator Chad Morris. In December, Morris agreed to a new deal with $1.3 million annually over six years. With Gus Malzahn accepting the head coaching position at Arkansas State, Morris moved into the top spot.

"We are getting one of the top coordinators in the nation," head coach Dabo Swinney said in regards to Venables' arrival. "I appreciate the commitment from the Clemson administration. This hire shows everyone at Clemson wants us to be the best we can possibly be."

With the No. 1 and No. 3 highest paid assistants on the staff, there will be expectations for on-field results from the school. The Tigers just won their first ACC Championship since 1991. With this kind of investment from the school, competing for conference titles are now the norm. If Clemson is not in the ACC Atlantic Division title hunt each season with this staff, the fan base will let their displeasure known. After this kind of investment, no one will accept "Clemson pulling a Clemson."

CBSSports.com's Travis Sawchik pointed out Clemson's 8-0 start as one reason for the investment in the football program. University president James Barker was impressed by the campus energy and increase in undergraduate applications during the Tigers' fast start this fall. Clemson is just another example of a school using their football program to expose the university on a national level.

For more on Brent Venables and Clemson, follow Travis Sawchik and Tigers RapidReports

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter.
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Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:01 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:03 am
 

All-ACC RB Andre Ellington returning to Clemson

Posted by Chip Patterson

Clemson running back Andre Ellington has decided to return for his senior season. CBSSports.com's Travis Sawchik reports the all-conference running back announced his decision after a team meeting on Tuesday.

"Last year's success has me excited to enter the 2012 season as a Clemson Tiger," Ellington said.

Ellington rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011, good enough for second team All-ACC honors and moving to 10th place on Clemson's all-time rushing list. The junior submitted paperwork to the NFL Draft advisory committee, but upon receiving a response has elected to put one more season on tape.

One factor that may have led to Ellington's return is the hope for a full season of health. Ellington missed four games in 2010 with a foot injury that later required surgery, then was nagged by an ankle injury during conference play in 2011. When the speedy running back is 100 percent, he is one of the most explosive running backs in the conference. But the injuries could be enough to keep NFL scouts wary if Ellington made the jump this season.

With Ellington back, 2012 will be the first time in school history the Tigers return a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard receiver and 1,000-yard rusher from the previous season. All factors contributing to Clemson's Top 15 ranking in Brett McMurphy's way-early Top 25 ranking for 2012.

Check out the rest of McMurphy's Top 25, and follow Tigers RapidReports for more updates on Clemson's outlook for 2012.

Get caught up on the early-entry announcements HERE, and all the latest rankings, mock drafts, and breaking news check out the NFL Draft Home

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 10:58 am
 

PODCAST: Previewing Sugar Bowl & Orange Bowl

Posted by Chip Patterson

The CBS Sports College Football Podcast begins to wind down the Bowl Preview Series with a close look at the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3 and Orange Bowl on Jan. 4. The ACC is sending two teams to BCS bowls for the first time in conference history, and hope Virginia Tech and Clemson can improve the league's 1-4 record in the last five BCS appearances.

Brady Hoke's impressive first year at the helm takes the Wolverines to New Orleans, and Denard Robinson will look to find the end zone against a Hokies defense that has allowed just 17.2 points per game. ACC and Big East fans are expecting fireworks in South Beach with the high-powered offenses of West Virginia and Clemson on the field, but tune in to hear what Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst think will be the difference-maker in the first BCS head coaching experience for both Dana Holgorsen and Dabo Swinney.

Remember, all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store.


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Get all the latest on both bowl games right up until kickoff at the Sugar Bowl Pregame and Orange Bowl Pregame

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Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:55 am
Edited on: December 16, 2011 10:56 am
 

PODCAST: Wrapping up the ACC and Big East

Posted by Chip Patterson

It must be the holiday season, because Adam Aizer and I are in the giving sprit and delivering two conference wrap-up podcasts for the price of one. In this edition of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, Adam and I put a bow on the regular season in the ACC and the Big East and break down the best and worst of both conferences.

Pleasant surprises, biggest disappointments, conference awards and the best games of the season. What worked well for Mike London in his second year at Virginia? What didn't work well for Todd Graham at Pittsburgh and Randy Edsall at Maryland? We run down each team in the ACC and Big East and tell you what worked and what didn't in 2011.


Your emails could be read on the next edition of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, so send them in to podcast[at]cbsinteractive [dot] com.

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Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:52 am
Edited on: December 7, 2011 11:53 am
 

Report: Chad Morris' deal worth $1.3M per season

Posted by Chip Patterson

After receiving some serious attention from other schools following Clemson's ACC title season, offensive coordinator Chad Morris has agreed to a new contract that will reportedly make him one of the highest paid assistants in college football.

Head coach Dabo Swinney announced that Morris had agreed to a new contract on Sunday, though the terms were not disclosed. TigerIllustrated.com is reporting the new deal to be worth $1.3 million per season over the next six years. CBSSports.com's Travis Sawchik points out that if those numbers are accurate, it means Morris joins Auburn's Gus Malzahn at the top of the list of highest-paid assistant coaches.

As a high school football coach, Morris studied Malzahn's fast-paced offensive scheme and has implemented many of the same ideals in his own offensive system. As a speedy offense continues to see success in today's game, the value of a coach like Malzahn or Morris has clearly been set at the highest level.

There were widespread reports that new Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer had his eyes on Morris joining him in Columbus. With Meyer's spread tendencies and quarterback Braxton Miller the heir apparent under center Buckeye fans were hoping the first-year Tigers' coordinator would jump at the opportunity to join the two-time national champion. But head coach Dabo Swinney was confident in Morris' commitment to Clemson. He told reporters the week before the Tigers' 38-10 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game that he could only see Morris leaving for a head coaching position. With the new deal in place at Clemson, it looks like he will be there until that opportunity arises.

The Tigers next challenge will be preparing to face Dana Holgorsen's West Virginia squad in the Orange Bowl Jan. 4. It will be Clemson's first return visit to the Orange Bowl since winning the national championship in 1981.

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Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:49 pm
 

Ohio State, Houston eye Clemson OC Chad Morris

Posted by Chip Patterson

Before Saturday's ACC Championship Game, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney admitted that he had been contacted by as many as five schools with interest in speaking to offensive coordinator Chad Morris. At the time Swinney said that Ohio State, with new head coach Urban Meyer, was not one of those schools. After Clemson's dominating 38-10 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game, things are heating up in the race for Morris' services in the future.

CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman reports there is "a potential bidding war" for Morris between Clemson and Ohio State. In Dabo's first comments debunking the Ohio State rumors, the Tigers' head coach added that he did not anticipate Morris leaving unless it was for a head coaching position.

That might be an option for Morris as well, who admitted after the championship game that he had been contacted by other schools. Bart Wright, of the Greenville (S.C.) News, reported that Morris was asked after the game about the possibility of the Houston job being vacant. With Kevin Sumlin rumored as a top candidate for Texas A&M, among others, the Cougars could be looking for a new head coach in the near future.

"Oh man, it's hard to talk about that with all this emotion going on," Morris replied. "Let's just say if that happened, things could get very interesting."

Morris would have the opportunity to return to the area where he rose to coaching fame in the high school ranks. His fast paced offensive style is similar in some ways to Sumlin's, and the Cougars are very familiar with Morris from his experience as an offensive coordinator at Tulsa.

Morris arrived at Clemson last offseason, after the Tigers struggled offensively during a disappointing 6-7 season. The new scheme and talented new additions like ACC Rookie of the Year Sammy Watkins have helped Clemson's offense improve into a unit that now ranks 29th nationally in total offense, and finished second in the ACC only behind Georgia Tech.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:49 pm
 

Ohio State, Houston eye Clemson OC Chad Morris

Posted by Chip Patterson

Before Saturday's ACC Championship Game, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney admitted that he had been contacted by as many as five schools with interest in speaking to offensive coordinator Chad Morris. At the time Swinney said that Ohio State, with new head coach Urban Meyer, was not one of those schools. After Clemson's dominating 38-10 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game, things are heating up in the race for Morris' services in the future.

CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman reports there is "a potential bidding war" for Morris between Clemson and Ohio State. In Dabo's first comments debunking the Ohio State rumors, the Tigers' head coach added that he did not anticipate Morris leaving unless it was for a head coaching position.

That might be an option for Morris as well, who admitted after the championship game that he had been contacted by other schools. Bart Wright, of the Greenville (S.C.) News, reported that Morris was asked after the game about the possibility of the Houston job being vacant. With Kevin Sumlin rumored as a top candidate for Texas A&M, among others, the Cougars could be looking for a new head coach in the near future.

"Oh man, it's hard to talk about that with all this emotion going on," Morris replied. "Let's just say if that happened, things could get very interesting."

Morris would have the opportunity to return to the area where he rose to coaching fame in the high school ranks. His fast paced offensive style is similar in some ways to Sumlin's, and the Cougars are very familiar with Morris from his experience as an offensive coordinator at Tulsa.

Morris arrived at Clemson last offseason, after the Tigers struggled offensively during a disappointing 6-7 season. The new scheme and talented new additions like ACC Rookie of the Year Sammy Watkins have helped Clemson's offense improve into a unit that now ranks 29th nationally in total offense, and finished second in the ACC only behind Georgia Tech.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com