247 Horns was the first to report that current USC offensive coordinator and former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell was the leading candidate to replace Tim Beck as the Longhorns offensive coordinator.
Texas head coach Tom Herman reassigned former offensive coordinator Tim Beck within the staff. Beck was on the Ohio State staff when Herman was the offensive coordinator for the Buckeyes, and actually replaced Herman as the Ohio State offensive coordinator when Herman left to become the head coach at Houston.
Harrell played quarterback at Texas Tech under current Washington State coach Mike Leach. He was the Red Raider quarterback who threw that infamous pass to Michael Crabtree on Halloween to knock off the number one ranked Longhorns. He went on to have a four year career in the NFL.
By virtue of playing under Mike Leach, Harrell is a true air raid disciple. He became the offensive coordinator of North Texas in 2016. In 2018 Harrell’s offense was in the top thirty nationally in scoring, total yards, and passing yards.
After Kliff Kingsbury turned down the offensive coordinator job at USC to become the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, USC hired Harrell to bring the air raid to Los Angeles.
Despite the Trojans being down to their third string quarterback through parts of the year, Harrell’s offense ranked in the top twenty in total offense. At North Texas Harrell was running a true Leach-esque air raid. When he moved to USC he showed the ability to run a more balanced offensive attack with air raid principles.
A Good Fit For Texas
Harrell might be the perfect guy to take advantage of Sam Ehlinger’s skillset. If Harrell was coming straight from North Texas there woul be some more question marks. Harrell’s year at USC, though, proved he can scheme his offense to take advantage of his playmakers.
The biggest pro for Harrell is he would simplify the offense. Both USC quarterbacks JT Daniels and Kedon Slovis raved about how quarterback friendly the route concepts are in this offense. Harrell’s offense allows quarterbacks to just play.
Harrell will have other opportunities, and whether USC stays with Clay Helton or hires another head coach Harrell might elect to stay in Los Angeles. Herman should do whatever it takes to get Harrell to Austin, though. Because of Harrell’s ties to the state of Texas and his evolution as an offensive coordinator, he might be the perfect guy to get the Longhorn’s offense back on track.
Host of Double Take with Matt and Jake podcast. Writer for SB Nation and Saturday Tailgate.