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Tennessee’s interest in Jeff Brohm was overblown; Dave Doeren is Vols’ focus

Jeff Brohm
David Banks/USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee’s interest in Purdue’s Jeff Brohm wasn’t as in-depth as it was made out to be, and the Vols’ focus as the school searches for a new coach is on North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren.

Much of Wednesday was spent on “Brohm to Tennessee” talk, but sources tell GN that Brohm never met with UT athletic director John Currie face-to-face and had just one phone conversation with Currie. There never was any talk of a contract, either; instead, the conversation was a feeling-out process of sorts on both sides.

Brohm, 46, is in his first season at Purdue, and he has led the Boilermakers – who won a combined nine games in the previous four seasons – to a 6-6 mark and bowl eligibility this season.

RELATED: Kiffin, Dooley, Jones: Which Tennessee coach was the worst?

As for Doeren, 45, he is in his fifth season with the Wolfpack, who are 8-4 this season and have a 3,200-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a leading receiver who is 7 yards shy of 1,000 for the season. NCSU also has an aggressive defense that features one of the nation’s best lines and one of the best ends in the nation in senior Bradley Chubb, a potential top-10 NFL draft pick.

This is the Wolfpack’s fourth consecutive winning season. Doeren spent two seasons at Northern Illinois – going 23-4 and leading NIU to the Orange Bowl – before moving to NCSU.

Doeren is 33-30 overall at NC State and 15-25 in the ACC; the Wolfpack is in the Atlantic Divison with Clemson, Florida State and Louisville.

His background is on defense – he was the defensive coordinator for Bret Bielema at Wisconsin from 2008-10 – but as a head coach, his teams have featured solid offenses with productive quarterbacks, His quarterbacks at NIU were 1,000-yard rushers Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch; his quarterbacks at NC State have been Jacoby Brissett, now in the NFL, and Ryan Finley, who has thrown for 3,000 yards in each of the past two seasons.

(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)

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