And there you have it. Bill O’Brien has officially filled the lone hole (giggle) in his Penn State coaching staff.
Following up on the speculation of a week ago, Penn State announced Thursday that Anthony Midget (after recess, you can giggle at the surname as well) has been hired to serve as O’Brien’s safeties coach. Midget will partly replace John Butler, who was promoted to defensive coordinator upon Ted Roof’s departure for Georgia Tech. Butler will also coach cornerbacks, the release stated.
Midget had been hired by Marshall as a defensive assistant late last month before abruptly leaving Huntington for Happy Valley.
“Anthony will be a great addition to our staff,” O’Brien said in a statement. “He is an experienced and passionate defensive coach and recruiter. We welcome Anthony to our team and look forward to his contributions to the program.”
Midget, an All-American defensive back at Virginia Tech in the late nineties, had been at Georgia State since 2008 before leaving for Marshall earlier this year. He first served as secondary coach and special teams coordinator before being promoted to defensive coordinator for the 2012 season.
“It’s an honor to be a part of the Penn State family and this great University,” Midget said. “I am thankful to Coach O’Brien for the opportunity to come to Penn State and am excited to get to know the players and get ready for spring practice.”
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.