|D.J. Durkin could be the next domino to fall in Michigan's assistant coaching search.|
1. Jim Harbaugh, Head Coach/Quarterbacks: Signed, sealed, and delivered (LINK). Next.
2. Tim Drevno, Offensive Coordinator: Drevno, the USC offensive line coach and run game coordinator, is coming to Michigan (LINK).
3. Running backs: Buffalo Bills running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley followed head coach Doug Marrone from Syracuse to Buffalo, and now Marrone has opted out of his contract for 2015. That likely means Wheatley is at least temporarily out of a job. Marrone is expected to interview for other NFL head coaching jobs, so Wheatley could follow him if Marrone gets a head job elsewhere. Wheatley wants to move up the ladder, but I would not expect Drevno and Wheatley to split offensive coordinator duties. The hiring of Drevno seems to dim the hopes of getting Wheatley to coach running backs, but the rumors have been persistent here; also, it would improve Michigan's chances of landing 2015 tight end/defensive end Tyrone Wheatley, Jr.
Other possibilities: Fred Jackson, Roy Manning
4. Wide receivers: Rumors appeared on New Year's Eve that John Morton was expected to join Michigan's staff, although there has been nothing confirmed yet. No, this isn't the former Detroit Lions wide receiver, but San Francisco 49ers wide receiver coach Morton is out of a job. Morton grew up in Michigan and played wide receiver at Western Michigan, so he's a midwest guy and would presumably have some connections in the area. San Francisco's wide receivers weren't spectacular, but he has worked with some pretty big names in Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.
Other possibility: Erik Campbell, Ronald Curry, Jeff Hecklinski
5. Tight ends: Kentucky tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow has been rumored to be a possibility. Marrow is a big-time recruiter in Ohio, but the guys at Rivals say his actual coaching acumen might not be terribly impressive (LINK).
Other possibility: Kevin Koger
6. Offensive line: Nebraska hired Harbaugh's offensive line coach from San Francisco, Reggie Davis, so maybe Harbaugh didn't plan to bring him to Ann Arbor, anyway. Now it would seem that Cleveland Browns offensive line coach Andy Moeller would be a strong possibility. Moeller was an assistant at Michigan under Lloyd Carr, played at Michigan, and is the son of former Michigan head coach Gary Moeller. Unfortunately, Andy has a history of run-ins with the law involving alcohol, so he's not a perfect choice.
Other possibility: Todd Washington
7. Defensive coordinator: Florida defensive coordinator and interim head coach D.J. Durkin has been a popular name floating around for the past few weeks. He worked with Harbaugh at Stanford and has experience working with special teams, defensive ends, and linebackers, so he could help out in any of those areas. Brian at MGoBlog says this is a lock to happen as soon as Florida's bowl game is done this afternoon (LINK).
Other possibilities: Lance Anderson, Greg Mattison
8. Defensive line: Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery has been suggested as a possibility. Montgomery, of course, was at Michigan for the first couple years of Brady Hoke's tenure and then left for a bigger paycheck in Norman. Montgomery was only ever in charge of part of the defensive line at Michigan, so the only real reasons to move back would be another pay raise and/or control over the whole position group.
Other possibilities: D.J. Durkin, Roy Manning, Greg Mattison
9. Linebackers: Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison might be a holdover from the previous staff to this one. Mattison has family in the area, loves the University of Michigan, is a pretty good coach with NFL experience, and is a great recruiter. He also has connections to Harbaugh and potential defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin. Brian at MGoBlog says this is a lock, although Mattison can also coach defensive line (LINK).
Other possibility: Lance Anderson, Peter Hansen, Roy Manning
10. Defensive backs: San Francisco 49ers defensive backs coach Greg Jackson will be looking for a job. He is from Florida and played college football at LSU, so his potential connections in Florida and SEC country could help Michigan's recruiting efforts in difficult locations.
Other possibility: Curt Mallory, Roy Manning
11. Strength and conditioning: Stanford strength and conditioning coordinator Shannon Turley was hired by Harbaugh at San Diego, moved with him to Stanford, and has remained at Stanford while Harbaugh was with the 49ers. This might give him a chance to move up to a larger, more storied program.
Other possibility: Kevin Tolbert