SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly leads his team onto the field before the start of their game against Army in a NCAA college football game at the Alamodome on November 12, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

ESPN thinks these three college coaches should bolt for the NFL


Several college coaches may be looking for a way out of their current situations, and according to ESPN, at least three of them are hoping the NFL comes calling to bail them out.

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg (Insider Only) examined which college coaches are generating the most interest from the NFL, and he identified three names as guys that may be desperate for NFL openings once the pro regular season comes to an end. Those three coaches: Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, UCLA's Jim Mora, and Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin.

Kelly and Mora aren't surprising names at all. Kelly has been in NFL rumors for the past several years, and Mora was an NFL coach -- head or assistant -- for nearly 25 years before he took the job at UCLA. While Kelly has done a great job at Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish have been a mess on and off the field this season, and many wonder if Kelly is the right guy to lead the program.

Related: Former five-star Notre Dame recruit facing additional charges after failed drug screening


Mora, meanwhile, has fallen a bit out of favor at UCLA after a disappointing 4-8 season. UCLA had to deal with star quarterback Josh Rosen being sidelined for most of the year, and it clearly took a toll on the team in what should have been at least a bowl-worthy season.

The biggest surprise name here is Sumlin. While there has been some discord in College Station after a couple of disappointing seasons, Sumlin's name hasn't generally been one for massive NFL talk over the years. Sumlin has never been in the NFL in his nearly 30-year coaching career, and just compared to the other two names, he's just an awkward fit.

Of course, that doesn't mean he couldn't emerge as a candidate in the future. Chip Kelly made a similar jump from Oregon a few years ago despite no NFL experience, and he at least had a couple of mildly successful years in Philadelphia before things started to go sideways.