Pay raises helped stunt overtures for assistants at Clemson and Florida State this offseason, forcing the annual traveling coaching carousel to reroute around the two campuses.
It's why both schools were not involved in Tuesday's and Wednesday's lists of the new assistant coaches fielding the toughest jobs in the ACC. That isn't to imply each staff won't have a few tough gigs as preseason camp rolls around.
Here's the assistant for Clemson and Florida State with the toughest challenges entering 2016.
Mike Reed, Clemson defensive backs coach. The Tigers have one of the country's best coaching staffs, especially on the defensive side of the ball. If there were lingering questions about their coaching chops heading into last season, they were squashed after the defense didn't slip despite replacing half of its starters. That will be the case again this fall, and Reed loses three in the backfield with a combined 71 starts. Cordrea Tankersley returns (as does reserve DB/LB Korrin Wiggins from injury), but the other three listed starters combined for only 353 snaps entering the national championship game. As Reed coaches up an inexperienced group, he might not have the benefit of a dominant pass rush, too. The defensive line loses Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd, who combined for 24.5 sacks in 2015. The secondary will also need to find its leading voice, a player able to align the backfield correctly.
Lawrence Dawsey, Florida State receivers coach. The Seminoles had a tough time replacing Rashad Greene's consistency last season, and they've yet to find a threat comparable to the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Kelvin Benjamin, who departed after 2013. Few programs have recruited the position better than the Seminoles, but a true No. 1 receiver has not emerged since Greene left. George Campbell and Auden Tate came to the Seminoles as somewhat raw products, and as sophomores the two are still young. But Florida State needs an outside threat capable of winning contested throws and hauling in red zone targets, and the 6-foot-4 Campbell and 6-5 Tate are the tallest options. Junior Ermon Lane (6-3) was the No. 2 receiver nationally in the 2014 recruiting class. Travis Rudolph, Jesus Wilson and Kermit Whitfield form a solid group, but Fisher is also seeking more consistency from them. Their effectiveness should increase with the help of a physical option like Campbell, Lane and Tate attracting coverage.