Before we go any further, it’s important to note (in our opinion, shared by many) that Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich is still the favorite to replace the departed Chip Kelly.
That said, Oregon has to go through an interview process that includes speaking to a qualified minority candidate before making a hire. According to a report from CBSSports’ Bruce Feldman, the Ducks met with Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton on Friday.
Though Hamilton is African-American, he is not the first minority candidate to interview for the Ducks job, according to the Eugene Register-Guard.
But Hamilton’s qualified to at least be considered for a head coaching gig regardless of state law. He developed Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan into a real weapon that gave Stanford an added dimension during the final few games of the season. Hamilton is a a hot commodity who is on the radar of multiple NFL organizations right now, too. In fact, Chris Mortensen is reporting that Hamilton will be the new offensive coordinator of the Colts where he would be reunited with former Cardinal QB Andrew Luck.
Helfrich is the natural fit for Oregon and it would be an huge upset if he is not selected officially, possibly as early as today.
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