College football staff picks: Ex-stars who should follow in coaching footsteps of Deion Sanders, Eddie George


The college football world got a treat this week when Tennessee State announced that ex-Ohio State legend and 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George has taken over as the program’s new head coach. This comes one year after ex-Florida State dual-sport star Deion Sanders moved to Mississippi to take over the Jackson State program.

Sanders’ first season at the helm was a bit of a roller coaster. The Tigers got off to a 3-0 start before dropping three straight and having a game against Alcorn State wiped out. They’ll finish off the season next week vs. Prairie View A&M.

So, this begs the question: who’s next? The CBS Sports staff got together for this week’s edition of staff picks to choose which college football star of the past should take over a college football program at some point in the future.

David Cobb: Robert Griffin III

There was no one cooler in college football a decade ago than Robert Griffin III. He even made the cover of “NCAA Football 13,” which is the pinnacle of collegiate stardom — at least in my mind. His NFL playing career hasn’t panned quite according to plan, but he is a Heisman Trophy winner with a name that would carry serious weight on the recruiting trail. As the child of a military family, Griffin may already have the built-in discipline needed to run a college operation, and the mere thought of him patrolling a Big 12 sideline with a play sheet in hand should excite anyone who enjoyed watching him shine at Baylor. My only stipulation is that he avoid hiring his former college coach, Art Briles, onto the staff.

Chip Patterson: Danny Kanell 

As the only college football podcast with a coaching tree, we at the Cover 3 Podcast are quite concerned that top programs across the country are going to be eyeing the Florida State great and former ACC Player of the Year as a coaching candidate. While I would hate to lose another co-host to the coaching ranks following the departure of Barton Simmons who was named general manager at Vanderbilt, Danny would be fantastic as a motivator for players and coaches in the building and as someone who can engage the local community. It’s a little bold for me to declare, but people are saying the Cover 3 Podcast is becoming the new cradle of coaches. 

Tom Fornelli: Peyton Manning

More and more in football, at both the college and NFL levels, we’ve seen the young, offensive gurus become the most successful head coaches. The minds that can out-scheme hapless defensive coordinators who are forced to play by a different set of rules. Guys who not only know what play to call, but know how to design a play that gets their best player the ball in a sea of open space. Well which former player would be better equipped to do that than Peyton Manning? Manning is one of the greatest QBs of all time because he was able to outsmart so many opponents and knew what they were going to do to him before they did. He could bring that kind of knowledge to a team, and he could also bring the recruiting panache that being Peyton Manning would as well.

Barrett Sallee: Tim Tebow

This one is easy. Who wouldn’t want a brilliant offensive mind like Tebow, who remains close to his former coach Urban Meyer and former offensive coordinator Dan Mullen? The one thing that can’t be argued about either of those coaches is that they are well-versed on modern offenses and, more importantly, are willing to adapt their styles to fit their quarterbacks; Tebow saw that first-hand when he split time with Chris Leak during the national championship season of 2006. There’s no doubt that Tebow will be able to make his program desirable to high-profile high school recruits. Not only would he be a great developer of talent, he’s is a great developer of young players off the field. 



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