Auburn wasted little time in filling a hole on its coaching staff. Just after Auburn lost offensive line coach J.B. Grimes to Cincinnati, Auburn acted quickly to add Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand to the staff. AL.com reported the move was likely to happen in the event Auburn lost Grimes to Cincinnati, and Dan Wolken of USA Today reports the two sides are heading toward a deal.
Assuming the contract details can be squared away nicely, Hand will be reunited with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. The two previously worked together at Tulsa in 2007 and 2008. Hand will also have a much better offensive line to work with than he ever had at Penn State in the past two seasons. Auburn allowed 19.0 sacks last season. Penn State allowed 10 in the first game of the season of 2015 and ended the year giving up a total of 39 sacks. There were some legitimate excuses to be made for the offensive line depth Hand had to work with, but Penn State’s offensive line struggled to show signs of improvement over the past two seasons. How much of that was Hand’s fault and how much of that was to blame on reduced scholarships and recruiting work on the offensive line?
Hand is also the second assistant coach to leave Penn State’s program in the past few days. Penn State lost defensive coordinator Bob Shoop to Tennessee over the weekend. Penn State promoted Brent Pry from the staff to fill the role of defensive coordinator. Penn State also fired offensive coordinator John Donovan after the regular season and hired Joe Moorehead from Fordham to be the new offensive coordinator. Now, it would appear, Penn State will need to add an offensive line coach to the staff.
Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand is known to take to Twitter to voice his opinions and share special moments from inside the football program and in his family. Just earlier this year James Franklin had to ask Hand to tone down some of his tweets aimed at his counterpart at Pitt. Twitter is a great resource for coaches in recruiting, but Hand uses his account for much more than just football, and he is usually willing to have a conversation with you whenever time permits. Just don’t go talking trash about his family, because Hand will come back at you.
Hand took a moment on Saturday to share a couple of pictures of his daughter, who had just returned from a mission in Haiti. It seemed innocent enough. Surely nobody would find this the appropriate moment to crack some shots at Hand’s family, right? Wrong. This is Twitter after all.
This bloke chimed in with an unpleasant comment about Hand’s daughter…
Internet muscles are amazing, but Hand didn’t hold back from flexing his own in response…
Folks, don’t make fun of other people’s children, especially offensive line coaches.
Penn State and Pittsburgh will finally resume their series on the football field in 2016 with the start of a four-game series between the instate rivals. The build-up to that renewal of the series should continue to build in recruiting battles between the coaches at both schools, but James Franklin has asked one of his assistants to cool off a little bit on Twitter.
During a live interview with ESPN on “College Football Live” Tuesday afternoon Franklin said he asked offensive line coach Herb Hand to step back from some indirect Twitter exchanges with his counterpart at Pittsburgh, John Peterson. The two offensive line coaches had exchanged in some amusing exchanges over the last week as both coaches are looking to make an impact and plant a flag in the state of Pennsylvania.
If you missed that fun, it started when Peterson shared this image on Twitter…
… and Hand responded on his own account…
It escalated a little from there with a few more tweets from each offensive line coach. Fans of both schools enjoyed the exchanges, and why not? It was done in good fun, or so it seemed. Either way, perhaps it is best to bring things under some control before things turn ugly.
Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels will miss the BBVA Compass Bowl. Head coach James Franklin confirmed Carta-Samuels suffered a torn ACL in a game against Georgia in October and underwent surgery at the end of November. Freshman Patton Robinette will take over under center for the bowl game.
“That guy made the ultimate commitment to his team,” Franklin said, according to the Associated Press. “He’s had his surgery and will be back for pro day.”
Carta-Samuels played in 10 games this season, completing 68.7 percent of his passes for 2,268 yards with 11 touchdowns. His leadership on Vanderbilt’s roster was never in doubt and he was one of the most respected players on his team.
Carta-Samuels actually returned to the team for the final three games of the year with a brace on his knee. Franklin said a discussion about holding off on the surgery until after the bowl game against Houston could be possible, but doctors informed them that would require Carta-Samuels to miss out on potential pro workouts. Looking for a more long-term solution, it was decided it would be best for Carta-Samuels to have the surgery at the end of the regular season to allow for more rehab time to be in the bets shape possible when the NFL scouts start taking looks for potential draft picks.
Vanderbilt offensive line coach Herb Hand shared a message of support for Carta-Samuels on Twitter…
Robinette appeared in nine games this season. He completed 58 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and three interceptions and 488 yards. He also rushed for 177 yards and six touchdowns, so he should be capable of giving Vanderbilt some production on offense against Houston on January 4, 2014.