This article is the fourth installment in a five-part series previewing FSU's new assistant coaches.
The final two coaches I am previewing are ones that I believe are rising stars in the college football coaching world. The first, finishing off the offensive side of the ball, is Dameyune Craig. Coach Craig will be serving as our new quarterback coach since Jimbo has ascended to the role of head coach.
Don't let this alarm you FSU fans, because Jimbo will still continue to work with the QBs. But even if he wasn't, Dameyune Craig is a pretty darn good coach in his own right.
While coach Craig is fairly young and has only coached for six years, he had arguably the best all-around mentor in Jimbo Fisher. Coach Craig and Fisher began their relationship when Craig was a quarterback for Auburn, and Jimbo was his position coach and offensive coordinator.
After backing up Patrick Nix for two years, Craig claimed the starting QB job for Auburn, and proceeded to shatter most of Auburn's passing records, including completions and passing yards in a season.
After Craig guided Auburn to two bowl games and an appearance in the SEC championship, he then went on to star in NFL Europe. He also happens to hold the record for most passing yards in a pro football game with 611.
After Craig's playing days were over, he and Fisher reunited in 2004 when Craig was asked to be a graduate assistant on LSU's staff where he helped develop the QBs with Fisher.
After a yearlong stint in the NFL, he returned to the college ranks at Tuskegee where he served as QB coach and helped lead them to a 22-2 in two season, which included a pair of SIAC championships. He was then called by Joey Jones to help start a football program at South Alabama, where he coached wide receivers and helped the Jaguars win all of its games in its seven game inaugural season, and help put the program on track to become an FBS program.
He also helped South Alabama average 45.9 points and 439 yards of total offense in the 2009 season.
I can't say enough how this was such a smart hire by Coach Fisher. For starters, Dameyune knows Fisher's offensive system inside and out, with the greatest positive being that he has played in this system.
He also knows the high expectations that Fisher places on his quarterbacks, and he won't settle for anything less from the QBs. The passion he has for football is evidenced by his coaching, and that will have a positive impact on the players.
What makes him the perfect fit for the quarterbacks we have now is that they were just like him when he was playing: Smart intelligent quarterbacks with a superb arm and good mobility. The techniques he could teach them that made him a successful QB, statistic-wise, will only make our offense more explosive and statistically prolific.
My predictions with Coach Craig is that he will primarily work with the younger quarterbacks like Manuel, Trickett, and Secord. He will still work with Christian Ponder, but since Christian is the starting QB, Fisher will be doing most of his QB work with him.
I believe Manuel will especially benefit from being coached by Coach Craig, being that they are cut from the same cloth as quarterbacks. I also predict that he will be one of the best QB coaches that FSU has had since Mark Richt.
Fisher himself has done such a marvelous job with the quarterbacks since his tenure began at Florida State and I can only see it continuing with Coach Craig. He knows that Coach Fisher has high expectations from his assistant coaches, and I don't believe he is going to disappoint his former coach.
In my final installment, I will be looking at our new defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot. You won't want to miss this article on a guy who was recommended to Fisher by Will Muschamp himself.
Before I go, I want to thank all the people who have been reading, editing, and commenting on my articles. This is only making me a better writer and I thank you for that.
Until next time, and Fear the Spear!!!!