grady brown

Ex-S. Miss assistant completes South Carolina coaching staff


Southern Miss hired its new head coach, Ellis Johnson, from South Carolina; it seems only appropriate in a Head Ball Coach kind of way that the Gamecocks complete a USCe-USM swap by taking an assistant from the Golden Eagles.

South Carolina announced today that USM cornerbacks coach Grady Brown would be joining the Gamecocks’ staff as secondary coach and assistant special teams coordinator.

Okay, it’s not quite an eye for an eye. Still, we think Urban Meyer would approve.

“We’re pleased to announce the hiring of Grady Brown, a sharp, young defensive secondary coach who has had much success the last three years at Southern Miss,” Steve Spurrier said in a statement. “He will also assist Joe Robinson with the special teams. He and Joe were together at LSU and know each other well. He will fit in extremely well here and be an excellent addition to our staff.”

Brown spent the past two seasons on USM”s staff under current North Carolina coach Larry Fedora and was retained when Johnson was hired. Southern Miss finished last season No. 7 nationally in pass efficiency defense and set a NCAA record for interceptions returned for touchdowns with eight. In total, the Golden Eagle defense finished the 2011 season as a Top-30 defense on their way to a Conference USA title and Hawaii Bowl win.

Brown was previously in strength and conditioning at LSU before taking over the CB’s at USM. He replaces safeties Jeep Hunter, who was not retained.

(Photo courtesy of USM Athletics) 

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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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.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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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