With fall camps set to get underway as the calendar turns to August, we asked our panel of analysts to select the college football head coach they would most like to play for if they were current collegiate athletes. Here are their answers.
- Daniel Jeremiah NFL.com
Leach would be blast to play for
I'd love to play for Mike Leach. That might not be the first name most people think of when they consider the question that was posed, but as a former quarterback, I'd LOVE to throw the ball 70-plus times a game. I would also enjoy picking his brain on pirates. You can never know too much about pirates.
- Charles Davis NFL.com
Cutcliffe an important person in my life
There are numerous current CFB head coaches that I would want to play for if I were able to turn back time and be a player again. But, because I know this man, his character, and what he has provided me as a person, student, player and maturing adult, Duke coach David Cutcliffe more than fits the bill. Coach "Cut" was beginning his full-time coaching career when I was a player at Tennessee, but it was evident to all of us that he was special. When a player KNOWS that a coach really CARES about his overall welfare, that's when a player produces the most for that coach. Cutcliffe is that man, that coach. Added bonus? You win games! I love getting my character molded, and I love it even more when it's happening on teams that win, challenge for championships and go to bowl games, too. I'm not ashamed to say that I truly love David Cutcliffe. He's meant a great deal to me throughout my life starting at the age of 17, and it continues today. Thank you, coach!
- Gil Brandt NFL.com
Leach stands out from pack
There are about 50 college football head coaches I'd have no trouble playing for or sending my son to play for, but since I have to pick one, I'll go with Washington State's Mike Leach. He makes football fun and he's a very good coach who takes a strong interest in his players. Leach led Texas Tech to 10 straight bowl games from 2000-2009 and took Washington State to a bowl in 2013. He's controversial in how he does things, but he's an accomplished coach and communicates well with the parents of his players.
- Lance Zierlein NFL.com
Sumlin connects with players
There are several coaches I would want to play for, but the one who stands out for me is Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin. Coach Sumlin is hip enough to relate to players and what is going on in their world. He's also said to be very approachable if you need to come talk to him. He has a history of coaching NFL-caliber talent dating back to his time as an assistant and I like that he is not above pumping his team up before games and getting excited with them after games. As a player, I would also know that Sumlin tends to work on the front end of the coaching curve when it comes to being innovative.
- Chad Reuter NFL.com
A 'Cut' above the rest
If given the chance to play for one of today's top head coaches, I would undoubtedly sign with Duke's David Cutcliffe. Everyone knows the success he's had as an offensive coordinator on the college level, and the casual college football fan is starting to realize his strengths as a head coach as he turns the Duke football program into a consistent contender in the ACC. But his character and straightforward nature also make him a valued member of the college football community. I might not win a national championship playing for "Coach Cut" at Duke, but if the experiences shared by former players are any indication, I'd take away much more during my career than any trophy could provide.
- Chase Goodbread College Football 24/7
McElwain looks out for his guys
New Florida coach Jim McElwain's players at Colorado State loved him, and he's already developed a strong reputation as a players' coach in his short time at UF. There are some growing pains to come for the Gators' new coach, but he knows that and his players will embrace the journey with him. With a calmer practice demeanor than most, McElwain treats players more like men than like kids.