One of the most publicized and arduous coaching searches (at least reported on here, anyway) in college football has come to an end.
Well, so it would appear.
Minnesota hasn’t made it official yet, but sources close to Gophers Insider.com have reported that Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill will be named the team’s next head coach as of tomorrow. Not to be outdone in the fast-paced world of breaking news, ESPN’s Joe Schad has also chimed in that his own sources had confirmed the change.
According to the report from GI.com, Kill will fly to Minneapolis tonight and officially be introduced by UM athletic director Joel Maturi.
Since firing Tim Brewster in October, Minnesota has seemingly spanned the entire U.S. searching for their next coach, leaving no stone unturned. Everyone from San Diego State’s Brady Hoke, to Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo has, at least briefly, been linked to being a finalist for the position. There were also rumors/pipe dreams that either Chris Petersen, Mike Leach, Phillip Fulmer or Randy Shannon could potentially find their way to the Twin Cities, although we’re not sure why anyone exactly wanted Shannon to begin with.
Kill led Northern Illinois to a 10-3 regular season record (with one of those wins coming over Minnesota), before falling to Miami University in Friday night’s MAC Championship.
UPDATED 12:30 a.m ET: Confirmed Kill (see what we did there?): Minnesota AD confirms Jerry Kill as new head coach.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah