Sunday was mostly quiet on the Wisconsin coaching search front, but one report regarding Gary Andersen's plans at Oregon State prevented the weekend from ending on a truly dull note.
According to FootballScoop.com, Oregon State wide receivers coach Brent Brennan will remain on staff under Andersen. Brennan just finished his fourth year with the Beavers after six years at San Jose State.
Theoretically, this would increase the chances of Beatty remaining at Wisconsin. Of course, the next coach -- still likely to be Pitt's Paul Chryst -- would have to want to retain Beatty, who is in his second season at UW. Go-to receivers have been hard to come by at Wisconsin in recent years -- whether due to recruiting or development efforts is another conversation for another time -- but Beatty did oversee the solid progression of redshirt junior Alex Erickson. Taking over for Jared Abbrederis, a fifth-round NFL draft pick of the Green Bay Packers, Erickson caught 51 passes for 734 yards and three touchdowns. He had entered the season with nine career receptions for 127 yards.
For a glimpse into how vital Erickson's development was this season, take a glimpse at the chart below -- sorry, Wisconsin fans.
|2014 Wisconsin receiving stats (via CFBStats.com)|
|WR Alex Erickson||JR||51||734||14.39||3||3.9||56.5|
|TE Sam Arneson||SR||27||354||13.11||4||2.1||27.2|
|WR Kenzel Doe||SR||16||187||11.69||1||1.2||14.4|
|WR Melvin Gordon||JR||17||151||8.88||3||1.3||11.6|
Yes, Erickson more than doubled the receiving yardage total of UW's second-leading receiver and nearly did the same for receptions.
Beatty deserves a fair chunk of credit for that, and he also oversaw Abbrederis' development into one of the greatest receivers to play at Wisconsin. The former walk-on holds the school single-season record for catches in a season (78, in 2013).
Beatty has also been a strong recruiter for Wisconsin. For the 2014 class, he landed Wisconsin commitments from four-star athlete Dareian Watkins, three-star cornerback Derrick Tindal and three-star wide receivers Chris Jones, George Rushing and Natrell Jamerson, though neither Jones nor Watkins ended up playing for the Badgers. For 2015, Beatty has brought in five commits thus far: three-star outside linebacker Dominic Sheppard and three-star running back Davon Crookshank, plus three-star wide receivers T.J. Griffin, Andrew James and Marvin Robinson.
We can expect more dominoes to fall throughout the week. Chryst is scheduled to attend an Armed Forces Bowl news conference on Monday in Fort Worth, Texas. The earliest Wisconsin can offer the job to a candidate is Wednesday, so if Chryst is indeed coming back to Madison, there could potentially be an announcement made on Wednesday and the introductory news conference on Thursday. Again, nothing is set in stone.
Pitt recruits 'in the dark' about Chryst's plans
Things have also apparently settled into a holding pattern over in Pitt. Monday morning, Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Panthers recruits are "as much in the dark as anybody else," according to one verbal commit.
The Post-Gazette report quotes a few different commits; the most noteworthy seems to be tight end Nick Bowers, who had a visit with Pitt linebackers coach Chris Haering. According to the Post-Gazette, Hareing told Boweres that if Chryst had made a decision about Wisconsin, he hasn't yet told his staff at Pitt.
"Coach Haering was at my house today and he told me that if [Chryst] had made his mind up, then he would've told him by now," Bowers said. "He's not a guy that's going to do this for publicity and stuff. Once he knows his answer, he's going to get it over with."