Purdue search turns to Kent State's Hazell

Purdue doesn't look likely to land Cincinnati's Butch Jones as its next head coach and has instead moved on to Kent State's Darrell Hazell as its top target, ESPN's Brett McMurphy is reporting.

Jones interviewed at Purdue on Sunday but also went to Colorado on Monday. He is expected to choose between the Buffaloes or staying at Cincinnati instead of coming to West Lafayette.

So the Boilermakers have now zeroed in on Hazell, who was the Mid-American coach of the year after leading the Golden Flashes to an 11-2 record. Had Kent State beaten Northern Illinois in the MAC title game instead of losing in double overtime, it very well have made a BCS game as the Huskies did.

Hazell has been head coach at Kent State for two years and before that was Ohio State's receivers coach from 2005-10. He fits athletic director Morgan Burke's criteria as an offensive-minded coach given his background, though the Golden Flashes were more of a run-based team than a quarterback-driven one. And obviously, Hazell has great familiarity with the Big Ten and its recruiting area.

Hazell has become a hot coaching commodity, and this looks like it would be a good hire for Purdue if it can close the deal.