Report: Auburn close to hiring Penn State O-line coach Herb Hand
Auburn appears to have moved quickly in finding its top target to replace offensive line coach J.B. Grimes, as Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand is reportedly interested in landing with the Tigers.
If Hand does indeed leave Penn State, he would be the second long-time assistant to leave James Franklin's staff this weekend, joining defensive coordinator Bob Shoop who agreed to become Tennessee's new coordinator over the weekend.
Hand has SEC experience, as he served under Franklin at Vanderbilt before heading to Penn State. The offensive line coach is a close friend to Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn:
Hand's offensive lines at Penn State certainly left much to be desired during his tenure. The Nittany Lions ranked No. 120 in rushing in 2014 and only slightly improved to No. 106 in 2015. The team also surrendered 39 sacks, which ranked them at No. 113 in sacks allowed in 2015 and allowed 44, good for No. 124 ranking in 2014.
Penn State's issues on the offensive line in recent seasons are often linked to issues with NCAA scholarship sanctions. Perhaps with better depth to work with, Hand will have get better results from the Tigers. Hand is also noted as an excellent recruiter, which always goes a long way on staff at a SEC school.