Marcus Freeman only has one full year under his belt, and all things considered, it went well. Things could’ve gotten out of hand for Notre Dame football last year, but the coach righted the ship and made things work. Who he hires as his first big offensive hire to replace Tommy Rees could determine his future.
Coach brought in Al Golden on the defensive side of the football as a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach with head coaching experience. While the defense wasn’t great last year, they were a solid unit. It’s much easier to pin success or failure on an assistant when they’re as experienced as Golden. However, given some of the names we’ve seen floating around, coach Freeman seems to be shooting some calculated but risky shots.
The most recent name, and so far the one with the most noise, was Kansas State offensive coordinator Collin Klein. As stated, coach Freeman thinks highly of Klein and his recruiting and coaching abilities. That said, putting all your eggs in the basket of a coach that’s 33 years old with 1 year of play-calling experience could’ve ended poorly for Freeman.
While I think most of the fan base would’ve been happy, or at least content, with Klein, it could bode well for the head guy to find a more experienced coordinator. Someone with multiple years of play-calling experience in an established system whose ideals align should be the priority. Even if it’s a slight change in what we’re used to seeing from Notre Dame football, they have the weapons to expand the offense.
Names I’ve heard thrown about publicly are Byron Leftwich, Andy Ludwig, Collin Klein, Gerad Parker, and others. Of course, there are positives and negatives when dissecting each individual prospective coordinator. In the case of Leftwich, one of my favorites for the position, it seems the staff could’ve been worried about recruiting and his lack of experience. Rightfully so, but the championship rings, and working with the greatest quarterback ever, speaks for itself.
There are plenty of names to research and discuss, but it could be someone fans haven’t heard discussed. One thing about this coaching staff is that they seem to keep things relatively quiet, which you certainly can’t blame them for. Whoever Freeman hires, it needs to be a slam dunk.