Arkansas State has had coaches in the past two year that had the "It" factor.
The Red Wolves are coming off back to back conference championships and is looking for third head coach in three years.
Finding the right coach, and someone who wants to establish roots at Arkansas State could be important, and won't hurt if that candidate is a proven winner as well and possesses the IT Factor.
One coach that fits this profile is Florida State's Associate Head Football Coach Eddie Gran.
Gran, a 26 year college coach and long time assistant, is looking for that one opportunity to build his own program.
Gran is known as a man of character and has been recognized as one of the top recruiters in the nation, earning several recruiter of the year awards by various recruiting services. He is known for the recruiting pipelines that he has built in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, during his stints at Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee and Florida State.
Under Gran's direction, Florida State boasted the nation's second-best special teams unit in 2011 based on the Football Outsiders Efficiency Ratings. Shawn Powell became FSU's first consensus All-American punter and the school's all-time leader in multiple punting categories as a three-year starter. Powell led the Football Bowl Subdivision with a 47-yard overall average and the Seminoles ranked second nationally in net punting (41.3). Kicker Dustin Hopkins was named one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award.
Gran's return game features some of the most electrifying players in Greg Reid. Lamarcus Joyner and Karlos Williams. Reid is one of the nation's most dangerous punt return specialists who heads into his 2012 needing just 312 yards to break Deion Sanders' career mark for punt return yards. While 2011 was a breakout season for his special teams, Gran's running back corps played behind a banged up offensive line bringing down the group's production from the 2010 season. However, Gran still produced one of the top freshman running backs in FSU history as Devonta Freeman ran for 579 yards - the fifth best single season total by an FSU freshmen. Freeman also led the team with eight rushing touchdowns.
Gran helped develop Florida State's running game into one of the strongest in the ACC in his first season in Tallahassee in 2009. The Seminoles averaged nearly 5.0 yards per carry and ranked third in the league in rushing touchdowns with 27. The Seminoles ranked fourth in the league in scoring as compared to sixth the year before Gran's arrival. In 2010, three Seminole running backs gained more than 400 yards rushing on the ground led by FSU's leading rusher Chris Thompson, who gained 845 yards. It was only the sixth time in FSU history that a trio gained more than 400 yards in a season.
FSU ran for more than 200 yards five times as a team including a 298-yard performance against in-state rival Miami which capped off a string of four consecutive 200-yard rushing games - BYU (278), Wake Forest (201), Virginia (256) and Miami (298). FSU ran for 218 yards in the Chick-fil-A bowl win over SEC East Champion South Carolina.
Gran spent 15 seasons as a running backs coach and special teams coordinator in the SEC, including 10 years at Auburn, followed by a stop at Tennessee before coming to Florida State in 2010.
Gran has a strong record for developing backfield talent. During his 14 seasons as the assistant to Tommy Tuberville at Ole Miss and Auburn, he sent eight running backs to the NFL, including former Tigers Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Brandon Jacobs, Heath Evans and Kenny Irons. They were preceded by former Rebels Deuce McCallister and John Avery.
Gran's tenure as a special teams coach included oversight of Auburn kicker John Vaughn, who was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2006. With his hands-on approach in all facets of special teams play, Gran is widely regarded as one of the most meticulous in tutoring the game's critical "third phase."
Beyond the playing field, Gran has established himself as one of the nation's top recruiters. He has spent the better part of two decades recruiting Miami and greater South Florida as his primary territory, where he first crossed paths with Jimbo Fisher. The fertile ground has remained his primary recruiting area with the Seminoles and he helped the Seminoles attract the nation's No. 1 recruiting class in 2011. He and fellow assistant coach Lawrence Dawsey were named two of ESPN.com's Top 25 Recruiters of the Year in 2011.
Gran and his wife, Rosemary, are deeply involved in the community for a cause that has changed their lives and continues to impact others. The Sydney Gran Foundation is a charity designed to support children's hospitals and other families whose children are facing serious illness. Sydney, the third of the Gran's four daughters, was born with the rare disease called Holoprosnecephaly. She passed away just shy of her sixth birthday in 2005. Additional information is available at www.sydneygranfoundation.org.
WHY WOULD GRAN BE A PERFECT FIT AT ARKANSAS STATE: Gran is looking for his first opportunity to run is own program, appears not to be just interested in using his first stop as a stepping stone. but building a program. The fact that his wife is from the State of Arkansas and has family in the Natural State is a plus.
WHY ASU COULD LAND GRAN: Gran wants more than anything to run his own program and become a head coach. It appears that he feels this program would be that perfect opportunity.
POSITIVES ABOUT HIRING GRAN: The fact that he is a great recruiter and could open up new recruiting pipelines for the Red Wolves. He is known as a special team's guru and the fact that he was David Oku's running back coach at Tennessee, he is known for developing great backs and a strong running game, while running a spread style attack.
WHY GRAN MAY NOT HAPPEN AT ASU: The fact that he has never been an offensive coordinator might be a hard obstacle to overcome. But with 26 years of college coaching experience he has met several coaches along the way. It's thought that Gran will run an Oregon Style Spread attack if given the opportunity.
CHANCES OF LANDING GRAN 40%