Thursday, January 1, 2015

Tim Drevno, Wolverine

Tim Drevno
USC offensive line coach and run game coordinator is headed to Michigan to be the offensive coordinator.

Drevno went to high school in California and then played offensive line at Cal State Fullerton. He then ended up as a graduate assistant there, moved to Montana State as the tight ends coach, coached running backs for a while at Montana State and UNLV, and then settled in as an offensive line coach once he got to San Jose State in 1999. After spending a year with the Spartans, he became Idaho's offensive line coach before becoming the University of San Diego's offensive coordinator/offensive line coach from 2003-2006 under Jim Harbaugh. Drevno followed Harbaugh to Stanford to coach tight ends (2007-2008) and the offensive line (2009-2010). He followed Harbaugh once again to the San Francisco 49ers for the 2011-2013 seasons, finally leaving Harbaugh's side for the job at USC this past year.

Drevno helped produce some studs on the offensive line at Stanford and San Francisco. Center Chase Beeler was a First Team All-American in 2010 at Stanford, and the offensive line was #2 in sacks allowed in both 2009 and 2010. Then in 2012 at San Francisco, all five of the 49ers' offensive linemen were picked for the Pro Bowl. The 2013 season saw left tackle Joe Staley and offensive guard Mike Iupati get picked for the Pro Bowl. Meanwhile, running back Frank Gore had at least 1,128 yards and 8 touchdowns in each of Drevno's three seasons in San Fran. Kendall Hunter also had some pretty decent numbers as Gore's backup, although Gore carried the load each year.

This season USC is #68 in the country with 160 yards/game on the ground, and they're #87 with 3.99 yards/carry. Those numbers are not particularly impressive, but starter Javorius Allen had 1,489 yards, 5.4 yards/carry, and 11 touchdowns, while backup Justin Davis averaged 4.6 yards/carry and scored 4 times. That overall rushing number was dragged down significantly by USC allowing 32 sacks, which was #101 in the nation. The Trojans had the 36th-most pass attempts (460) and a quarterback who's not particularly mobile (Cody Kessler), so those things factor in, but the numbers still aren't great.

On the recruiting end, Drevno had reeled in a couple offensive linemen for USC that had not been offered by Michigan. Another commit is none other than Powder Springs (GA) McEachern offensive tackle Chuma Edoga, who expressed strong interest in Michigan but was never offered. Otherwise, Michigan and USC didn't cross paths very often in the 2015 class. Michigan could use another offensive lineman in this class, and Edoga might be a sensible option.

I think this is a pretty good hire for Michigan. Harbaugh and Drevno know each other well, and they've had success together previously. Drevno can point to his time and accomplishments in the NFL, and he can also use his west coast connections in recruiting. This would seem to eliminate Harbaugh's offensive coordinator in San Francisco, Greg Roman, from contention for a job at Michigan. Roman has been mentioned as an interview candidate for a couple of the open jobs in the NFL.


  1. I believe he had three freshman starters for much of last season at USC, so I'm cutting him a bunch of slack there. I'm really liking the previous O.C. experience with Harbaugh regardless of the level.

    I really do wish we were hearing Campbell's name over Morton, as in talking about it with a friend of mine last night, it was decided that for the most part, all of the great Michigan receivers under Campbell added solid downfield blocking to Michigan's running game, but what do we know?

    1. Yes, I like Campbell as well. Would be good to have him back.

    2. I would agree, I think his offensive line performed better with three freshmen than ours did in Borges last year.

  2. I agree good hire. Will we still have a OL coach since Coach Harbaugh will be spending a lot of time coaching the entire Offense, in a semi OC role? Drevno then it would seem could spend time coaching the OL which clearly is his forte.
    Also, do you think there is any chance Wheatley comes home to coach the RB's? He could lock down Michigan/ Detroit area recruiting for us as well. I think everyone agrees Jackson needs to step aside, move on into retirement.

    1. Drevno might be OC/OL, which is fine with me. Harbaugh is very hands-on, so he'll be calling plays as well.

      Whetley's name keeps coming up. He's a legend in so many ways, especially in SE Michigan, so if he decides to come back as a RB coach with some OC responsibility, it'd be a home run. TW could replace Harbaugh one day.

  3. I can't begin to understand all the pros and cons of various people, but I'm grateful for the work provided here on TTB.

    As for Harbaugh and Michigan ... optimism prevails in my heart, but not the wild optimism I read elsewhere. I'd love to see a 12-0 season, but I don't expect it. What I really crave is improvement in the fundamentals. Wins will come from that.

    A question to ponder ... imagine we're four games into the 2015 season. Other than wins (an obvious metric), what football stat would you like to see that will tell you we've turned a corner? Three things come to my mind -- first down production, third down conversion rate, and turnover margin. Of those three, first down production might be the one thing I look for first. It seems bad things happen when a team is facing 2nd and long a lot.

    Here's to 2015!

    1. Turnover margin is pretty random (i.e., not sustainable). We were great at it in 2011 and it certainly didn't mean we 'turned the corner' as a program. Turns out we were just lucky.

      I'm not sure there's any stat I'd see during the season's early games that would change my mind about Harbaugh and the direction of the program. 1st down - sure, 3rd down - sure, 2nd down - why not?

      If it is a 'stat' - it probably has to do with head-to-head recruiting over the next month on prospects also pursued by Ohio State. Let's win that category to start turning the tide.