Update: Chandler has committed to Arkansas.
It can’t be easy to be Arkansas offensive coordinator Joe Craddock right now. Not only is he the offensive coordinator working under a head coach who himself is a former offensive coordinator, he’s also in charge of recruiting a certain quarterback near and dear to the head coach’s heart.
You see, when Chad Morris left SMU to become the head coach at Arkansas, the rest of the Morris family remained behind in Dallas so son Chandler could develop at Highland Park High School, the three-time defending Class 5A state champions. And develop he has: despite his 5-foot-10 stature, Chandler Morris is listed as a 4-star recruit and the No. 10 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2020, according to 247Sports. He’s the type of quarterback that attracts a lot of attention.
Which is where it gets awkward — understandably, unavoidably awkward.
That’s not to say such a situation can’t work and work well. Brent Stockstill set every Middle Tennessee school record while playing for his father Rick these past four seasons, leading the Blue Raiders to four straight bowl games and a Conference USA East Division championship as a senior.
That’s the ideal scenario. After all, if the goal is to make the starting quarterback an extension of the head coach, playing the coach’s son behind center gives you a literal, biological head start in that department.
But that doesn’t mean it will automatically work out that way.
As Heather Dinich details for ESPN, the Morrises are approaching Chandler’s recruitment like he’s Chandler Morris, 4-Star Recruit, not Chandler Morris, Chad’s Son. Like any other recruit, Dad tags along for Son’s recruiting trips, like any good dad would do, where it’s a bit like the CEO of AT&T getting a peek at Verizon’s books.
“You go in and you sit down and you get straight to the chase,” Chad Morris told ESPN. “A lot of it is roster talk more than anything. You talk about injuries and how they handle kids that get hurt, and how does that work. You deal with their trainers. It’s more, from my standpoint, how they go about the strength and conditioning, how they specialize in their quarterbacks and looking at the overall development of the coach. Is he an offensive-minded coach? Is he a defensive-minded coach? You talk strategy, you talk scheme, you talk offense with him. I don’t do a whole lot of talking. I do a lot of listening and let Chandler do a lot of the talking.”
Because Chad is attempting to remove himself from the process as much as humanly possible — while at the same time realizing that his staff recruiting his son places him squarely in the middle of the process — Craddock leads Arkansas’ official pursuit of Chandler Morris, 4-Star QB Recruit.
Though everyone puts a good face on it, it’s pretty much a no-win situation for Craddock personally, isn’t it? Land him and, Yeah, of course you did, he’s the head man’s son. Miss him and it’s, How can I employ an offensive coordinator who can’t even land my own son? What if Chandler was a 2-star and not a 4-star? How do you face your boss and tell him, Yeah, we just decided your son’s not good enough to play here. By the way, can I have a raise?
In the end, Arkansas is the favorite to land the program’s First Son, but they’re not the only dog in the hunt. In fact, the Hogs weren’t the first program to offer him. That would be Clemson, a family-first program that has become home to the sons of college football’s elite, a program that Chandler grew up in, where the head coach drove the carpool to middle school.
Can you imagine that conversation? Sorry, Dad. I just think Dabo has a better chance to win than you.
It’s a good problem to have, but it’s a problem nonetheless. Read the full story here.
— Chandler Morris (@Chandleram4) June 14, 2019