Oct 5, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas (3) tacked the snap as offensive linesman Caleb Farris (79) and Jonathan McLaughlin (71) block in the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Grimes came in to Blacksburg last year as a part of an offensive staff makeover that also saw Scot Loeffler become offensive coordinator, Aaron Morehead become the wide receivers coach, and Grimes become Virginia Tech’s offensive line coach. Grimes did extremely well on the recruiting trail with the Hokies currently having five offensive line commits for the Class of 2014. Grimes also did a great job to help develop players like freshman left tackle Jonathan McLaughlin into quality players that can make the Hokies top contenders to win the ACC as soon as next year.
Virginia Tech would have loved to have Jeff Grimes stay on the staff but Grimes has a great reputation and connections to the SEC which had led to rumors about him leaving for the LSU Tigers. Those rumors have come true as Grimes has left the Hokies to head back to the SEC to Baton Rouge to join the staff of Les Miles and the LSU Tigers. This is a big loss for the Hokies, especially since recruit Brady Taylor; an offensive tackle from Columbus, Ohio; had been committed to the Hokies but that could change after he received an offer from Ohio State. Some offensive line commitments do seem very safe though like Tyrell Smith and Billy Ray Mitchell. Now the question is who will replace Grimes as the offensive line coach.
Baltimore Ravens Assistant Offensive Line Coach Todd Washington
Todd Washington has coached for the last few years and has had some success working with the Baltimore Ravens in the last 3 years which is obvious from the Super Bowl victory last year. Washington is a Virginia Tech alumni that has apparently already showed some interest and is open to the conversation about it as reported by CBS Sports Radio’s Kyle Bailey. Washington would give the Hokies a big pickup especially since he knows what it takes in the NFL and was drafted in the fourth round after playing for the Hokies. Washington helped in the development of young offensive lineman like Kelechi Osemele who has had a solid NFL career so far for the Ravens after being drafted in the second round out of Iowa State. Washington is from the Eastern Shore part of Virginia and could possibly help the Hokies turn the tide in the Norfolk recruiting hotbed. Washington right now seems like a potential great hire and a frontrunner for the job.
September 8, 2012; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa before a game against the Washington Huskies at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Washington 41-3. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Former LSU OL Coach Greg Studrawa
Greg Studrawa may have been fired by LSU but there is no denying that Studrawa is good at developing players after having two of his offensive lineman make the All-SEC Second Team. Studrawa had been the offensive coordinator for two years before Cam Cameron’s arrival so you have to wonder if Studrawa’s firing was really that much because of performance and more because of chemistry. Studrawa would probably see Virginia Tech as a great chance to prove himself as a great offensive line coach once again. Studrawa is also an Ohio native and that should work well recruiting in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio as he knows the recruiting turf well. This might not seem to make the most sense at first but Studrawa could be a real steal for the Hokies.
Vanderbilt OL Coach Herb Hand
The chances Herb Hand ends up at Virginia Tech all depend on whether Vanderbilt make him their next head coach but Hand would be a big risk as a head coach and Stanford’s Derek Mason seems like the frontrunner for that job. Hand would bring tons of energy to Virginia Tech and knows what it takes after helping James Franklin rebuild Vanderbilt in the toughest conference in college football. Hand knows how to coach and his energy also makes him a dangerous man on the recruiting trail. However, Hand might want to go to Penn State and join Franklin if he doesn’t get the Vanderbilt head coaching job or he might look for an offensive coordinator spot which is why Hand is unlikely.
Cincinnati OL Coach Darren Hiller
In his first year at Cincinnati, Darren Hiller proved that he can be a quality offensive line coach at a higher level and is probably looking to take the next step especially since Cincinnati is not in one of the five power conferences. Hiller’s offensive line did a great job blocking and only gave up 17 sacks on the whole season which included preventing Louisville’s Marcus Smith, the man who led the country in sacks, from getting a sack. Hiller had a great run at Arkansas State and a solid run at Nevada before going to Cincinnati and would be an under-the-radar hire. Hiller has been able to build some recruiting connections in the Rust Belt region which could be critical in keeping players like Brady Taylor. Hiller is the type of under-the-radar hire that Frank Beamer and the Hokies might end up making.
Who do you think will be the next offensive line coach for the Hokies? Give us your feedback.