Randy Shannon has eyes on job in the desert?


More than a few people were, to say the least, mildly surprised that Randy Shannon “failed” to land another job after being fired by Miami late last year.  Sure, he was linked to several openings — including head-coaching vacancies at Minnesota and Vanderbilt; interviewing for the defensive coordinator openings at UCLA and Texas; and was reportedly offered, but turned down, the same job at Maryland — but nothing on the 2011 job front ever actually came to fruition.

While part of the reason could very well be monetary — he’s receiving a healthy sum to not coach the ‘Canes in 2011 — there could be another, currently occupied job he has his sights set on.

In a little blurb that appears at the end of a Sunday notes-style piece, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that “[f]riends said [Shannon] would love the Arizona head job if it comes open.”  Well, that’s certainly an interesting little tidbit to toss out there.

Of course, and despite the unfortunate choice of words by Jackson that would’ve had Beavis and/or Butthead doubled-over in cackling laughter back in their heyday, Mike Stoops has held the Wildcats’ “head job” since 2004.  He’s come under increasing fire of late, however, for his record during those seven seasons.  Stoops is just 40-45 overall — 27-35 in Pac-10 play — during his time with the Wildcats, and has just one bowl win — the Las Vegas Bowl in 2008 — in three attempts.  The only time a Stoops-led team has finished above fifth place in the conference was a 6-3 mark that was good for a three-way tie for second in 2009.

It would certainly make sense that Shannon would be interested in just about any job at a BcS-level school that comes open later this year or early next as he’s made it perfectly clear that he wants to return to coaching.  Shannon, though, doesn’t seem to be the type of person who would — anonymously or otherwise — toss his name into the mix for a job that’s not yet vacant.  Especially when you consider the fact that he and Stoops share the same agent.

Be that as it may, and considering we are in a major lull in college football news, the rumor tossed out there by the Herald is definitely something to chew on for a little while and then filed away for future reference if/when talk of Stoops and his future at Arizona heats up.

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa (thumb) returns to practice

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In the end, it appears to be much ado about (mostly) nothing.

Tuesday, after the reigning national champions had put the finishing touches on its first practice of the spring, Nick Saban confirmed that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had suffered an unspecified injury to the thumb on his left (throwing) hand. It was expected that the quarterback would travel to Birmingham for further evaluation of the injury.

Wednesday, it was reported that the injury was believed to be just a sprain and that Tagovailoa could return to practice soon. That report proved prophetic as Tagovailoa was indeed back at practice Thursday, albeit on a limited basis.

From al.com:

The quarterback was not doing the normal drills with his teammates but was off to the side working with head athletic trainer Jeff Allen. It looked like they were testing Tagovailoa’s ability to grip the football since the injury was suffered on his throwing hand. He replicated a few play-action roll outs with the ball in his left hand. At one point, he rolled over toward where Jalen Hurts was standing and they high fived.

Until Tagovailoa is fully recovered, Jalen Hurts will take the majority of the reps as the Crimson Tide continues its march through their 15 spring practice sessions.

The rising true junior Hurts, who has started every game but one the past two seasons, and the rising true sophomore Tagovailoa, the national championship game hero who replaced Hurts at halftime of the overtime win, are entrenched in a competition for the starting job that, barring a post-spring transfer, is expected to extend into summer camp. That said, most observers outside of the UA football program fully expect Tagovailoa, because of his proficiency in the passing game relative to Hurts, to earn the job at some point before the Tide opens the defense of their title against Louisville in Orlando Sept. 1.

USC graduate transfer Jalen Greene heads east to play at Illinois in 2018

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Greene is turning orange. Well, Jalen Greene is at least.

The former USC wide receiver who announced he would pursue a graduate transfer earlier this month announced on Twitter that he would be heading East to play at Illinois in 2018. He will be immediately eligible to play for the Illini.

Greene was originally recruited by the Trojans as a dual-threat quarterback but eventually made the move to receiver. He caught eight passes for 98 yards at USC last season as a partial starter and added another eight receptions for 116 yards the year prior.

Illinois has already begun spring practice and has been trying several new players at wide receiver in the process to find a good complement to Mike Dudek on the outside. It seems Greene could find himself in the mix to be one of those guys when he arrives in Champaign.

Josh Heupel keeping most of Scott Frost’s playbook at UCF as spring practice begins

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There are a ton of interesting storylines as spring practice begins across the country but one of the most intriguing programs to watch might be in Orlando as UCF looks to simultaneously follow up an undefeated season while also transitioning to a new coaching staff.

ESPN’s Andrea Adelson wrote a good story on the Knights changing some things up under head coach Josh Heupel the past few months like eating with players during meals, new strength and conditioning regiments and the usual offseason stuff you typically wind up season. However there was one interesting nugget about the team’s playbook that the coach relayed:

In other areas, player input has kept a few things unchanged. Take the offensive playbook, for example. Heupel and (Scott) Frost share enough offensive concepts that the new staff has adopted the terminology that players already know on the plays they have in common. So in theory, that should allow the offense to hit spring practice, which started Tuesday, with much more familiarity than another program that has completely changed over its staff.

As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In Heupel’s first head coaching gig, it seems he’s taking that to heart.

David Beaty elevates Cassius Sendish from GA to Kansas safeties coach

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It didn’t take long nor did David Beaty have to look far for Kansas’ new safeties coach.

The school confirmed on Thursday morning that graduate assistant Cassius Sendish, a former Jayhawks team captain and defensive back, would be taking over as the team’s new safeties coach to complete the staff for 2018.

“I am honored and proud to represent the University of Kansas football program,” said Sendish in a statement. “I hold this place near and dear to my heart and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work at my alma mater. I can’t thank Coach Beaty and the rest of the football staff enough for allowing me to come aboard and be a part of something special.”

Sendish replaces Todd Bradford on the staff after he made the rather head-turning move to leave coaching and take a new job in the oil industry. Recently hired Bill Miller will continue to coach linebackers while the newest hire will team up with defensive coordinator Clint Bowen to handle the secondary.

There will be plenty of time for everybody to settle into their new on-field roles as the Jayhawks will open up spring practice on March 31st.