Several names have been floated around in connection to Tennessee’s offensive coordinator search. Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze have been two of the most common names in the search.
Now, another name has emerged in a recent report.
According to FootballScoop.com, N.C. State offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz is “interested in the position” and is viewed as a “top candidate” along with Auburn’s Chip Lindsey.
“Sources told FootballScoop that Jeremy Pruitt’s top two candidates at this time are Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and NC State offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz,” Zach Barnett of FootballScoop writes. “We understand both are interested in the position.”
Drinkwitz has been N.C. State’s offensive coordinator the last three seasons, and he also coaches their quarterbacks. He’s been the OC and quarterbacks coach at Boise State as well, and he served as the co-offensive coordinator for a year at Arkansas State.
This past season, N.C. State’s offense ranked fourth in the ACC in points scored a game, third in total offense, and first in passing offense. But the Wolfpack were notably 13th out of 14 teams in rushing offense, and they were 12th in third down conversion rate. They were, however, fourth in the ACC in red zone scoring efficiency.
N.C. State’s quarterback, Ryan Finley, followed Drinkwitz to North Carolina from Boise State. Every year under Drinkwitz, Finley has shown progression, completing 60.4 percent of his passes in 2016, 65.1 percent in 2017, and 67.4 percent this season. Finely has thrown for 9,953 yards, 56 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions with Drinkwitz as his play-caller and quarterbacks coach.
The Wolfpack finished fourth in the ACC in scoring offense in Drinkwitz’s second year as the OC and were ninth in the conference in his first year. He took the Wolfpack’s offense from ninth in total yards per game in 2016 to fourth last season and third this year.
Chip Lindsey has consistently been brought up as a top candidate for the Vols’ offensive coordinator position, and it was reported this morning that Hugh Freeze is still a “real possibility” for Tennessee. This is the first time Drinkwitz’s name has come up as a candidate in the Vols’ search.
We will update as more information becomes available.