The first thing is tempo, that will be one thing I think he will preach at the press conference is that they want to go as fast as possible and want to wear down opposing defenses, and that was something he did really well at Clemson and everywhere he goes, he goes with a purpose, even if it’s between meetings or between drills. I remember the first time he was at Clemson for a Clemson practice, he brought Red Bull out with him and was the first player/coach on the field, more times than not that’s the case, he’s always energetic, very excitable, always has a clear direction of what he wants to do, so on offense it’s tempo and they want to establish the run then build off that, use the mobility of the quarterback position if its there and he’s a guy that will take 2-3 shots per quarter throwing the ball deep, so he poses a lot of problems long term for teams, I think he’s got a great chance to do some big things at SMU.
Describe's Morris Offense
Watson came to Clemson as the number one duel threat quarterback in the country, to be honest I have seen a lot of quarterbacks come in and out of this school, and in and out of this state, I’ve never seen one as good as Deshaun, he inherited some pretty good talent here with Deshaun and with Tajh Boyd, but one thing with the quarterback position, even while he was at Tulsa and with Lake Travis, is he has coached a lot of winners, so if SMU has any type of talent at that position, he’s going to take that to the next level, it’s just what he does, he’s coached so many quarterbacks at the high school level, and then many college quarterbacks at this level, G.J Kinne at Tulsa, Tajh Boyd and Deshaun Watson at Clemson, so its in his DNA to do that, I have no doubt he will up the ante at SMU, no doubt whatsoever.
Fresh off working with Deshaun Watson, do you think there are any quarterbacks on the SMU roster he would be able to have success with early on?
He’s energetic, he’s upbeat, I think he always looks at things with a glass half full mentality, I think he grew up at Clemson as a playcaller, I think he understands a lot better how to navigate his way through pressure packed situations and big time games, he helped lead Clemson to its first conference championship in his first season here, he’s also orchestrated 10 win seasons in his first three seasons here and he’s got a chance to do that, get to 10 and a bowl game this year, so four straight years he’s been one of the main reasons Clemson has been as good as it’s been, now that includes wins over Ohio State, Georgia, LSU and Florida State and some of the top teams in the country, he’s going to fit well there in Dallas, he’s got West Texas recruiting ties, he’s wanted to get back to Texas, not necessarily when he got here but I think long-term that was always his goal and very close to getting the Texas Tech job two years ago and probably should have gotten it in all honesty, I think this move makes sense from a lot of different perspectives, I think you want to get back to Texas, timing wise I think it makes a lot of sense, he’s ready to be a head coach, he’s learned the CEO process under Dabo Swinney and as a playcaller I think he’s up there with any coach in the country, so this was his time, and I think SMU hit an absolute homerun with this hire because I always figured he’d go to a Power-5 conference, the fact that SMU is able to lock him up and pay him the dollars that they are shows that they are committed to making SMU a big time player once again.
What type of guy is Chad Morris?
Well that’s the key, he was a high school coach at one of their top programs in the lone star state for many many years,won many state championships, developed elite level talent and sent it off to colleges, he’s got a lot of those of ties still in place, so you know it’s just kind of a bonus hire from the SMU perspective because he comes in and doesn’t have to introduce himself to half the state of Texas, everyone already knows him. Right out of the gate, you will see an immediate impact in SMU’s recruiting, that’s what make this a grand slam hire if you will because not only do you get a good coach, and not only is he a hot name but he’s also a guy that has all his ties filled in from his 20+ year career in Texas.
How do you think he will do recruiting wise?
He’s a quarterback developer, he’s the primary reason that Clemson signed Deshaun Watson, when the staff was there, Deshaun Watson was committed there for more than two years, I think this was the best of Chad Morris. He’s a quarterback developer so if the quarterback position is lacking there in Dallas, I think he’ll look to upgrade that and he’ll probably personally handle that recruitment because he understands he’s got to have a quarterback to run the offense and understand what the heck is going on so I’d expect him to target a quarterback. He’s also a dynamic position coordinator there so I’d expect him to thrive right out of the gate
Where do you think he has thrived as a recruiter?
It’s not a power 5 conference so I think any coach wants to compete at the highest level, that’s not to suggest that SMU couldn’t win a national championship, if he were to go 10-2 in his first couple years, while I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen, I think it would then be on SMU to be able to keep him, I think you could see a high level school come looking for him. For the last couple of years he has been here, there have been a lot of big schools that have come trying to get him and I think he has been looking to move to Texas but I certainly think he would look if a bigger school came calling. Keep him as long as you can, if he gets a better job somewhere else, I think SMU will be more attractive for someone else after what he has done at the school.
Is this a long term job or a stepping stone for him?
Well that’s where things get interesting here, there are a number of coaches on Clemson’s staff that are very good recruiters, that are younger guys, Jeff Scott is a position coach but if he is not offered the offensive coordinator job, he could look at following Morris, but I think Clemson will look very hard at Jeff Scott and probably give him a trial run at least for the bowl game. I think he has a lot of old buddies at Tulsa, and then he could also look at Guz Malzahn’s staff that could be looking to maybe find a bigger position, but there is not going to be a shortage of options for him to look for whether it be some of his old buddies at Tulsa, some of the coaches he knows in Texas, he will put a good staff together.
What sort of staff do you think he could put together?