After Charles Huff decided to join to fellow departee Joe Moorhead to Mississippi State, the Nittany Lions were without a leader of the running back core. That void is no more, as the program announced last week the hiring of David Corley as the team’s running backs coach for 2018.
The William and Mary grad began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater in 2008 as an offensive coach, guiding the running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers in a multi-purpose role. He remained with the Tribe for six seasons before taking on a similar role, minus the quarterbacks, at UCONN. He also served as the special teams coordinator with the Huskies. He coached in Storrs for three season, from 2014-2016, before heading to New York to take on a new coaching endeavor. Last year, Corley spent the season at Army, helping guide the Black Knights to a double digit wins season for the first time since 1996. In his lone season at West Point, Corley served as the Black Knights’ wide receivers coach.
Prior to Corley’s ten year coaching career, he was a four year starting quarterback at William and Mary. Corley threw for over 9,800 yards and 73 touchdowns in his collegiate career, helping the Tribe earn an A10 title and FCS (then D1AA) playoff appearance in 2001. Twice Corley was selected All-A10 second team and he won the conference rookie of the year award in 1999. After his collegiate career, Corley had a brief stint in the Canadian Football League, playing for the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Calgary Stampede. He saw action in just one season, 2003, with the Tiger Cats, throwing 32 passes, connecting on 19 of them, for 212 yards. He tossed one touchdown and one interception in that span.
Corley joins the fold as the new leader of a running back tandem that could run wild in 2018 if given the opportunity. I’ve preached patience and natural progression with a young backfield that no longer features a bell cow back such as Saquon Barkley. Corley’s success with the backs will be indicative of how he allows the young core to mature instead of forcing a sole ball carrier to become the next starter. As I’ve mentioned before, it would be logical to assume that Miles Sanders will get the first crack at the starting job after usurping transferring Andre Robinson as the primary backup to Barkley in 2017, but nothing is given. With a talented group of young runners including Journey Brown and Ricky Slade now in contention for touches, it could make for an explosive backfield in 2018. Corley’s rotation could set the tone for said success early in the season.
Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jessica Hill