Recruit signs with Tulane after mom nixes Texas Tech, others

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And here we had thought that (thankfully) the recruiting drama for the Class of 2013 was in the rearview mirror.

Edward Williams, a three-star linebacker from New Orleans, had every intention of signing with Texas Tech early last month.  The only problem with that?  A signature from a parent or guardian is required because Williams is under the age of 18 and his mother did not want him to attend the school in Lubbock, preferring her son stay closer to home and attend Tulane.

“Right now things have been shaky, because my mother does not want me to go to Texas Tech,” Williams told PelicanPreps.com Feb. 21. “She has her reasons, but I still prefer to be in Lubbock. She really wants me to go to Tulane, but I do not like it there. So it has to be where I am happy.”

Williams, though, stated the same day that “I am going to Texas Tech, I have my heart set on them. … I like everything about it. I can see myself playing there.”

The mother, however, couldn’t.

One workaround for Williams would’ve been to wait until he turned 18 in June and sign a financial aid agreement with the Red Raiders, which would not have required his mom’s Herbie Hancock.  In fact, that was reportedly his intention as of a week ago; in the end, however, mom “won” as Williams, PelicanSports.com reports, signed his National Letter of Intent and turned his paperwork into Tulane late this past week on a visit to the school in his home state.

On National Signing Day Feb. 6, Williams had stated his top three choices were Miami, Oregon State, and Texas Tech, with the latter serving as the front-runner heading into signing day.  The mother, Rose Williams, claims that the choice was her son’s to make.

“My son made the decision last night and we discussed it as a family”, said Mrs. Williams. “I always felt Tulane was the best option for my son, but he had to choose where he wanted to go. Him and his father (Edward Williams IV) went to Tulane and signed early this morning.”

“Tulane just made me feel more comfortable with what they have to offer academic wise. Edward took notice to the same thing and he decided to stay home.”

Williams had originally committed to Texas A&M in June of last year before reopening his recruitment in late January, just a couple of weeks before signing day.

(Tip O’ the Cap: Dallas Morning News)

Neal Brown completes Troy staff with FCS co-DC

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For the most recent addition to his Troy coaching staff, Neal Brown has dipped into the Football Championship Series.

The Sun Belt Conference program confirmed Tuesday that Brandon Hall has been hired by Brown as his new linebackers coach.  Hall had spent the past four seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at FCS Jacksonville State.

“Brandon is an outstanding defensive coach and has experience coaching at a lot of different levels,” a statement from Brown. “He is relentless on the recruiting trail and already has developed strong relationships in the areas that we believe are key. Looking at his track record, it comes as no surprise that Brandon helped build one of the top defenses in the FCS at Jacksonville State over the last four years.”

Prior to JSU, Hall had spent time at Arkansas State, Auburn and Oklahoma.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to join this program and coaching staff,” Hall said in his statement. “You can’t help but get excited as a coach when you look at what Coach Brown and the rest of this staff has done over the past three years with the Troy program. My family and I are looking forward to becoming part of the Trojan Family and continuing the strong tradition of Troy football.”

Longtime UCLA staffer Angus McClure’s hire one of two announced by Nevada

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The departure of a longtime UCLA staffer has officially been confirmed.

Late last week, reports surfaced that Angus McClure was leaving UCLA for a position at Nevada.  Tuesday, the Mountain West Conference football program confirmed that McClure has been hired as Jay Norvell‘s new offensive line coach.

McClure had been with the Bruins since 2007, serving at various times as position coach for both sides of UCLA’s lines as well as special teams.  Most recently, McClure had served as recruiting coordinator for the Pac-12 school.

McClure and Norvell have a prior working relationship as they were both on the same staffs at Nebraska and UCLA.

In addition to McClure, David Lockwood was announced as Nevada’s new safeties coach.  Lockwood was on the UNLV staff last season after spending the previous three years as the cornerbacks coach at Arizona.

“I think we made our staff stronger with these two veteran hires,” Norvell said in a statement. “I’m excited about the experience and expertise that we have added to the Wolf Pack coaching staff.”

Former Kansas State head coach Jim Dickey dies at 84

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Former Kansas State head coach Jim Dickey died on Saturday night at the age of 84.

A Texas native, Dickey played quarterback at Houston in the 1950’s and started his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater. From there he took assistant jobs at Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas and North Carolina before landing the K-State job ahead of the 1978 season. He went 25-53-2 in seven-plus seasons on the job, which doesn’t look like much at first blush until one takes stock of where the Wildcat football program was at the time.

Dickey took Kansas State to the Independence Bowl in 1982, a 14-3 loss to Wisconsin, which was the first bowl appearance in program history. He was named the Big 8’s Coach of the Year for that season.

After back-to-back 3-win seasons in 1983 and ’84, he was let go after an 0-2 start to the 1985 campaign. The program would remain historically down until future College Football Hall of Famer Bill Snyder built the program up in the 1990’s.

Dickey finished out his career as an assistant on the pre-Steve Spurrier Florida teams before retiring in 1989. He lived at a rest home in Houston at the time of his passing, according to the Manhattan Mercury. Dickey’s son, Darrell Dickey, is the former head coach at North Texas and currently the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M.

Mario Cristobal reportedly reuniting with former assistant in Eugene

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The Oregon coaching staff is going to have a specific South Florida flavor to it. Head coach Mario Cristobal is a Miami native, a former Hurricanes player and assistant, and the former head coach at Florida International. On Tuesday, Cristobal moved to bring a fellow South Floridian with him to the Pacific Northwest.

According to Grant Traylor of the Huntington (W. Va.) Herald-Dispatch, Marshall offensive line coach Alex Mirabal is leaving the staff to reunite with Cristobal in Eugene.

Sports Illustrated‘s Bruce Feldman added Mirabal will work under Cristobal, who will handle the offensive line.

Mirabal is also a native of Miami and a Florida International graduate. He spent the first decade-plus of his career working in Miami’s high school ranks before joining Cristobal’s FIU staff as tight ends and later offensive line coach from 2007-12. He landed at Marshall in 2013 after Cristobal was forced out at FIU, where he remained until Tuesday.

Under Mirabal’s guidance, Marshall finished fourth nationally in sacks allowed at just 0.85 per game. Oregon finished 54th nationally in that same metric.