Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday. Here’s our query of the day:
Is Charles Huff ready for a big-time, Power Five head-coaching job?
Some media outlets seem to believe so.
Although Marshall University’s Huff is only 11 games into his first season as a major-college football head coach at the age of 38, both the Washington Post newspaper and a 247 Sports correspondent are touting Huff for a recently vacated big-time job.
Just how big-time?
There’s no doubt that is a marquee job. Washington Post sports writer Adam Kilgore believes Hokie athletic director Whit Babcock should offer the job to Huff.
“Babcock’s first call should be to Marshall’s Charles Huff, a coach who possesses an ideal mix of regional ties and national pedigree,” wrote Kilgore recently. “Babcock said he wanted a CEO-style coach who can recruit Virginia Tech’s footprint. That’s Huff.
“Huff, 38, grew up on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and played center at Hampton in the early 2000s. He became a team captain in 2005, the same year Marcus Vick — Michael’s brother — led the Hokies to an 11-2 record and a Gator Bowl victory on the other side of the state.
“Huff owns only one season of head coaching experience, currently sitting at 7-4 with the Thundering Herd. But that would be a dismally narrow appraisal. Huff has worked in the past decade for P.J. Fleck (now at Minnesota), James Franklin (Penn State) and Nick Saban, for whom he served two seasons as Alabama’s running backs and associate head coach.
“He recruited and coached Saquon Barkley at Penn State. The recruiting service 247 Sports named Huff its national recruiter of the year in February for his work beating out programs such as Ohio State and LSU for five-star prospects. Huff knows how to build a program and connect with players, and he has proved he can procure talent at the highest level.”
High praise indeed for a first-year, first-time, rookie FBS head coach.
Yet it was echoed again by Evan Watkins of VTScoop on the 247 Sports Network.
“Personally, I like Charles Huff,” Watkins said on a podcast. “I know he doesn’t have much head coaching experience. He’s only been at Marshall for, you know, half of a season or almost three-quarters of a season.
“But the schools he’s been at, the coaches he’s coached under, the way he recruits and what Virginia Tech says they want — you know, a guy that can be a CEO-type, not a micromanager, can win over the state, can win over the fans, can win over the media and can be you know, an energetic guy to come in, you know, rejuvenate Virginia Tech football. I really like that guy.”
Wait a minute. Not a micromanager? Obviously, Watkins knows very little about Huff.
“It would definitely be dependent on putting together a staff because (Huff) is very green,” Watkins said. “But I think if it were me calling the shots, that might be the way that I go. Maybe [Babcock] goes with a safer option, somebody that’s a bit more seasoned. But me, I’d go high-risk, high-reward. I’d go after Charles Huff.”
Ah, the impetuousness of youth.
Yet, the question lingers. Just exactly how did a first-year coach such as Huff get his name mentioned for the Virginia Tech job?
Methinks there are an agent’s fingerprints all over these mentions.