FSU hires Tennessees Jay Graham as offensive assistant
11 a.m. update: Tennessee coach Butch Jones has confirmed that Graham will be leaving Tennessee. He released a statement on his twitter account:
"Jay Graham has informed us of his decision to accept a position at another institution. The process of adding a new coach to our staff is underway, and we will hire the best person possible as we continue to build our program."
Florida State hired Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham as an offensive assistant, Warchant.com has learned.
A source tells Warchant.com that it has not been determined which of Florida State's two open coaching positions Graham will fill, and it may not be determined until FSU fills its final coaching vacancy.
A former standout running back at Tennessee who spent six seasons as a player in the NFL, Graham coached running backs at Tennessee in 2012. In his one season in Knoxville, Graham helped the Vols' run game production improve from 70.4 yards per game in 2011 to 160.3 yards per game in 2012, which ranked 61st nationally.
Prior to his stint at Tennessee, Graham spent three seasons (2009-11) as a running backs and tight ends coach at South Carolina.
His most notable coaching accomplishment came in 2010 when he was South Carolina's primary recruiter for five-star running back Marcus Lattimore. He also worked as Lattimore's position coach in 2010 and 2011 when he combined to run for 2,015 yards and 27 touchdowns in 20 combined games.
Graham fills one of two vacancies on Florida State's offensive staff. Former FSU assistant Billy Napier spent 22 days as the Seminoles' recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach before leaving to become the wide receivers coach at Alabama last week. Prior to that, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach James Coley left FSU to take the offensive coordinator job at Miami, where he would become the primary play caller.
With Graham on board, that leaves one vacancy. Counting Napier, Florida State has had to replace seven assistant coaches this offseason.
Graham has proved himself as a strong recruiter in his five seasons in the SEC. In 2013 Graham was the primary recruiter for three of the five four-star recruits the Vols landed on signing day. Graham has had stints recruiting South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and North Florida while at South Carolina and Tennessee.
Graham was a decorated running back at Tennessee from 1993-96, rushing for 2,609 yards, which ranks him seventh at Tennessee on the all-time rushing list. He was picked in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens in 1997 and spent six NFL seasons with Baltimore, Seattle and Green Bay.
Jay Graham Coaching Experience
2012: Tennessee, running backs
2009-11: South Carolina, running backs, tight ends
2008: Miami (Ohio), offensive assistant
2007: UT-Martin, running backs, recruiting coordinator
2007: San Diego, running backs, co-special teams coordinator
2006: UT Chattanooga, running backs
2005: Tennessee, Graduate assistant