Vad Lee

AP Photo/Mel Evans

Rutgers makes Drew Mehringer 28-year old offensive coordinator

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Odds are there are a bunch of 28-year old guys out there playing Madden and drawing up plays in their free time. Drew Mehringer is 28 years old and he’s drawing up plays too, except he’ll be doing so as the new offensive coordinator at Rutgers.

Mehringer will be joining the Rutgers staff under former Ohio State defensive coordinator Chris Ash after a brief stint at Houston as a wide receivers coach under former Buckeyes quarterbacks coach Tom Herman.

He’s the brightest young coach in America and is more than ready to run his own offense,” Herman said to Sports Illustrated. “Although we are extremely sad to see Drew go, especially me given our history and relationship, we know that Chris Ash and Rutgers is getting an unbelievable teacher, coach, recruiter and mentor.”

Mehringer is climbing the coaching ladder rather quickly. Following a playing career as a quarterback at Rice, Mehringer got involved in coaching as a student assistant at Rice from 2007 through 2009 and took on graduate assistant roles at Iowa State (2010-2011) and Ohio State (2012-2013). From Ohio State, Mehringer accep[ted a position at James Madison as a co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. It was there he worked with former Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee and turned him into one of the top players at the FCS level. In 2015 Mehringer reunited with Herman at Houston and took on the role of wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, as Herman also had Major Applewhite on board for offensive coordinator duties. Now Mehringer will be calling the shots at Rutgers.

Rutgers ranked eighth in the Big Ten in total offense this season but had 18 turnovers, the 10th-ranked third down success rate and eighth best red zone scoring percentage among Big Ten teams.

Ex-Georgia Tech QB Vad Lee shining at James Madison

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Often times it can be easy to lose track of players that move from the spotlight of a major power conference like the ACC to the often overlooked playing fields of the FCS. If you forgot about former Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee, then you can certainly be excused. He just started his second season at James Madison of the Colonial Athletic Association, one of the strongest or deepest conferences in the FCS on a regular basis, and he has started his 2015 season with a bang.

Lee was named the Offensive Player of the Week by the Colonial Athletic Association on Monday for his strong efforts in James Madison’s season-opening victory over Morehead State. In the win, Lee completed 18-of-25 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns before being rested in the third quarter. Lee also rushed for 105 yards on 13 rushing attempts and scored a fourth touchdown on the ground. Combined, it was the third-best single-game total yardage of Lee’s career. The highlights of the day came via a 66-yard touchdown run and a 66-yard touchdown pass to JMU receiver Ishmael Hyman.

Lee left Georgia Tech in the spring of 2014, ultimately landing with the Dukes in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It was there Lee was reunited with the coach that had previously attempted to recruit him to North Carolina, Everett Withers. The new head coach of the Dukes was quick to insert Lee into the offense in 2014. James Madison went 9-3 last season and participated in the FCS playoffs. Lee set new school records for single-game passing, completion percentage, single-seaosn touchdowns and more while also collecting some awards and recognition throughout the season. He finished fourth in the Walter Payton Award voting (Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams, now at Oregon, finished second in the voting) and he beat out Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke and Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller for the 2014 Dudley Award (top Division 1 football player in Virginia).

Lee and the Dukes have two more games to play before hitting the road for the first time this season. James Madison, ranked No. 13 in the STATS FCS Poll, will travel to SMU. The Mustangs are in their first season under head coach Chad Morris, and have already shown some offensive flair in the season-opening loss at home to Baylor. James Madison is no stranger to pulling an upset of an FBS foe. The Dukes upended Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in 2010. Can Lee lead James Madison to score a win against an FBS opponent once again? We will find out on September 26.

Lee was joined on the CAA’s first set of weekly honors by teammate Raven Greene. The safety was named the conference’s defensive player of the week after totaling eight solo and nine total tackles and one forced fumble.