VolQuest is reporting that Tennessee running backs coach Eddie Gran has decided to resign from Tennessee in favor of coaching running backs at Florida State.
This is mostly bad news for Tennessee. Gran, one of my personal favorites on the Chimera ever since reading this story about him and his family (link fixed -- thanks to Tomahawk Nation for the diplomatic correction), has contributed greatly to Tennessee's success in a single short year. He was largely responsible for the resurrection of the Volunteer rushing game, and his fingerprints were all over last year's recruiting class as well as the one developing for this year.
What's especially odd is Gran's decision to make a lateral move to Florida State, a move that will cost him between $50,000 to $100,000 over the next two years for breaching his contract. It's not so much the money, it's the simple fact of taking essentially the same job at a school that is an even bigger rebuilding project than Tennessee and a year behind to boot. The nagging question for me, in light of the kind of guy he is, is this: what doesn't he like about Tennessee?
Tennessee's ability to recruit Florida obviously takes a major hit. According to Rivals, Gran was the primary recruiter on four of last year's blue chips, and was a factor in landing Bryce Brown. One of this year's most important recruits -- kicker Michael Palardy -- has also said that Gran was a big part of his decision to commit to Tennessee, and while he said he's still solid to Tennessee, one must wonder what happens when a "big part" of your decision suddenly changes.
If there's any silver lining to this, it's that Gran is taking his talents to Tallahassee and not somewhere else in the SEC. Having Florida State seriously compete with both the Gators and the Hurricanes for Florida talent and for dominance in the state means a degree of dilution for our main rival in the SEC East. So go 'Noles, I guess.
In any event, best of luck to Gran. We hardly knew you, but it was nice while it lasted.