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What makes Jeff Lebby a top candidate for Alabama’s OC position?

Oklahoma OC Jeff Lebby before 2022 matchup against UTEP.
Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports

Jeff Lebby, an offensive play-caller for Oklahoma, is one of the top candidates for the Crimson Tide per social media speculation and close sources communicating to Touchdown Alabama Magazine. What makes Lebby a potential home run hire for the Tide?

He has been successful with quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs at each coaching stop. 

RELATED: Former Alabama LB explains why Jeremy Pruitt should be the Crimson Tide’s DC

Lebby developed balanced offenses where teams could have a 3,000 to 4,000-yard passer, a 1,000+ yard rusher, and one or multiple 1,000+ yard receivers. Alabama fans crave balance and creativity, and Lebby offers both. The 39-year-old could have the Tide scoring points at will like Lane Kiffin (2014-16) and Steve Sarkisian (2019-20) did in their tenures at Tuscaloosa. 

Both assisted Saban to a College Football Playoff National Championship, and Lebby could do the same if given an opportunity.

A breakdown is below of the success of Lebby’s coaching stops. 

Baylor (2008-16) 

Lebby wore many hats on Baylor’s coaching staff, including offensive coordinator and passing game coordinator.

He arrived in 2008, but his offense took off in 2011. The Bears averaged 45.3 points per game in Lebby’s fourth season. Robert Griffin III took the nation by storm as a quarterback, totaling 4,293 passing yards, 699 rushing yards, and 47 touchdowns. 

Lebby assisted Griffin to the Heisman Memorial Trophy that year. 

Baylor averaged 44.5 points per game in 2012, and Nick Florence was the quarterback.

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Lebby’s scheme flourished with Florence as he recorded 4,309 passing yards, 588 rushing yards, and 43 total scores. Bryce Petty became the next starting quarterback for two years (2013-14), and Lebby’s offense did not miss a beat. Petty became a two-time 3,000+ yard passer, posting 61 touchdown passes in two seasons. Baylor averaged over 40 points per game from 2011 to 2015 under Lebby. He helped the Bears to 10+ win seasons in four of those five years. Baylor had Terrance Ganaway, Lache Seastrunk (twice, 2012-13), Shock Linwood (twice, 2014-15), and Terence Williams rushed for over 1,000 yards under Lebby.

Kendall Wright (2011), Terrance Williams (2012), Antwan Goodley (2013), Corey Coleman (twice, 2014-15), and KD Cannon tallied over 1,000 receiving yards in Lebby’s offense. In five seasons, Baylor consistently had marquee production at quarterback, running back, and receiver under Lebby. 

UCF (2018-19) 

Lebby got hired by the University of Central Florida in 2018 as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks’ coach. 

UCF averaged 43.2 points per game in his first year.

McKenzie Milton accounted for 34 touchdowns (nine rushing scores) as a junior quarterback, Greg McCrae had 1,182 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns, and the Knights had four receiving options to catch 20 or more passes.  UCF finished 2018 at 12-1, but it saw growth in 2019. Dillon Gabriel got the opportunity to be the starting signal-caller in Lebby’s offense.

He turned in 3,653 passing yards and 33 total touchdowns, the Knights had four running backs over 500 yards rushing, and Gabriel Davis led all receivers with 72 catches for 1,241 yards and 12 scores. UCF averaged 43.4 points per game in 2019. 

Ole Miss (2020-21) 

Lebby joined the Southeastern Conference in 2020, teaming up with Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss. 

Mississippi averaged almost 40 points (39.2) per game in 2020. Lebby mentored Matt Corral to complete 70.9 percent of his passes for 3,337 yards and 33 total touchdowns. Corral, Jerrion Ealy, and Snoop Conner excelled in the run game. 

RELATED: Signs point towards a Jeremy Pruitt and Alabama reunion as defensive coordinator

The trio had 21 rushing touchdowns, while Ealy led it with nine. Four receiving options caught at least 20 passes for the Rebels, including Elijah Moore. He led Ole Miss with 86 catches for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns. Lebby guided Mississippi to 33.7 points per game in 2021, and he decreased Corral’s interceptions. Corral had 3,349 passing yards, 31 total touchdowns, and five picks. Four players for Ole Miss had over 100 rushing attempts, and Conner led the team with 13 rushing touchdowns. Dontario Drummond had 76 receptions for 1,028 yards and eight touchdowns. Lebby propelled the Rebels to a 10-3 season in 2021. 

Oklahoma (2022-present) 

Oklahoma lost several players to the NCAA transfer portal before the 2022 season. 

It had to replace Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams. Lebby helped Brent Venables create some success with the Sooners.

Oklahoma averaged 32.8 points per game. Dillon Gabriel, who was with Lebby at UCF, came to Oklahoma as a transfer quarterback.  He had 3,168 passing yards, 31 total touchdowns, and six interceptions. The Sooners had two running backs with 100+ rushing attempts, including Eric Gray. He collected 1,366 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on 213 attempts.

Oklahoma had five receiving options to catch 20 or more passes, including Marvin Mims Jr. Mims had 54 receptions for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns. Oklahoma finished the year at 6-7, but Lebby helped it to a bowl game. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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