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Jay Feely says Herm Edwards would be ‘home run’ as ASU head coach

Former Walter Payton Men of the Year Jay Feely poses for photos upon arriving for the third round of the 2016 NFL football draft at Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Friday, April 29, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
LISTEN: Jay Feely, CBS College Sports Insider

As Arizona State reportedly closes in on completing the hire of head coach Herm Edwards, Jay Feely brings a unique perspective to judge an out-of-the-box candidate.

A longtime NFL kicker, Feely is now a college football analyst who has spent time with Edwards on the job. More than that, Feely is a father who is preparing to judge how he’d feel about a coach like Edwards recruiting one of his children.

“(We) had a lot of conversations about football in general, about his philosophies about being a head coach and really about his desire to have an impact on young men in their lives. That’s what he’s really about. That’s what he sees being a football coach as, is this avenue to possibly impact young men,” Feely told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station Wednesday.

“To me, it’s an absolute home run.”

Feely said the major knock on Edwards’ resume, his lack of college coaching experience, isn’t the problem critics are citing.

The former kicker sees Edwards as the face of a program, a master recruiter who isn’t just promoting fluff. He believes Edwards, who will soon turn 64, can succeed walking into the homes of high school recruits and develop them once they are in Tempe.

“You don’t have to be a great Xs and Os guys to be an excellent college football coach, and I’m not saying Herm isn’t. When I look at a guy like (Minnesota coach) P.J. Fleck, who is a hot name the last two years, he coaches zero football. None. And he’ll readily tell you that,” Feely said. “He recruits, that’s his number one philosophy … and he motivates. Those are the two things that he does.

“If Herm Edwards isn’t the best recruiter and best motivator, give me a break.”

Edwards hasn’t been an NFL coach since 2008, when he led the Kansas City Chiefs, and he has only three seasons of college experience under his belt as an assistant coach with San Jose State in the late 1980s.

Feely believes Edwards’ name still resonates despite the fact that he went 54-74 as an NFL head coach in five years with the New York Jets and three seasons in Kansas City.

“He’s been the voice of ESPN and their NFL coverage for the last 10 years. Everyone knows Herm Edwards and they listen to him,” Feely said. “And when you talk about ASU football nationally, when is the last time they’ve been relevant nationally?

“It will happen with Herm Edwards as the head coach.”

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