Broyles Award

Big Ten paces Broyles Award finalists

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If one of your favorites isn’t included in the Broyles Award’s list of finalists, it wasn’t for lack of effort on the part of the award.

The honor that goes to the nation’s top assistant coach revealed its list of finalists Wednesday, with that group topping out at a whopping 40 candidates.  The award is in it 18th season and is named in honor of the legendary former Arkansas head coach, Frank Broyles.

Of the 40 finalists, 20 are from the offensive side of the ball, 19 from the defensive side and one special teams coordinator.  There are 18 offensive coordinators represented, along with 18 defensive coordinators as well.  Western Michigan running backs coach Charles Huff is the only pure position coach listed among the finalists.

The Big Ten leads all conferences with seven finalists, followed by the SEC and ACC with six apiece, the Pac-12 with five and the AAC and the MWC with four apiece.

t year’s winner was Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco.

Alabama – Doug Nussmeier, Offensive Coordinator
Arizona – Jeff Casteel, Defensive Coordinator
Arizona State – Mike Norvell, Offensive Coordinator
Arkansas State – Kent Riddle, Assistant Head Coach, TE’s/Special Teams
Auburn – Rhett Lashlee, Offensive Coordinator
Ball State – Rich Skrosky, Offensive Coordinator
Baylor – Philip Montgomery, Offensive Coordinator
Boston College – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator
Brigham Young – Nick Howell, Defensive Coordinator
Central Florida – Brent Key, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line
Colorado State – Dave Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
Clemson – Chad Morris, Offensive Coordinator
Duke – Kurt Roper, Offensive Coordinator
Florida State – Jeremy Pruitt, Defensive Coordinator
Fresno State – Dave Schramm, Offensive Coordinator
Georgia Tech – Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator
Houston – David Gibbs, Defensive Coordinator
Indiana – Seth Littrell, Offensive Coordinator
Iowa – Phil Parker, Defensive Coordinator
Louisville – Vance Bedford, Defensive Coordinator
LSU – Cam Cameron, Offensive Coordinator
Michigan State – Pat Narduzzi, Defensive Coordinator
Minnesota – Tracy Claeys, Defensive Coordinator
Missouri – Josh Henson, Offensive Coordinator
Nebraska – Tim Beck, Offensive Coordinator
Ohio State – Tom Herman, Offensive Coordinator
Oklahoma State – Glenn Spencer, Defensive Coordinator
Ole Miss – Dan Werner, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Rice – Chris Thurmond, Defensive Coordinator
San Jose State – Jimmie Dougherty, Offensive Coordinator
South Carolina – Lorenzo Ward, Defensive Coordinator
South Florida – Stu Holt, Special Teams Coordinator
Stanford – Derek Mason, Defensive Coordinator
Texas State – Mike Schultz, Offensive Coordinator
UCLA – Jeff Ulbrich, Assistant Head Coach/LB’s/Special Teams
Utah – Ilaisa Tuiaki, Defensive Line
Utah State – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
Virginia Tech – Torrian Gray, Defensive Secondary Coach/Pass Game Coordinator
Western Michigan – Charles Huff, RB Coach
Wisconsin – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator/LB’s

Mean Green DC Mike Ekeler formally announced as Tar Heels’ LBs coach

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 30:  Linebackers Coach Mike Ekeler of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers looks on from the sideline during the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl against University of Arizona Wildcats on December 30, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Cornhuskers defeated the Wildcats 33-0. (Photo By Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
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North Carolina’s reported poaching of North Texas’ coaching staff is officially official.

UNC acknowledged in a press release Friday that Mike Ekeler has been hired as the Tar Heels’ new linebackers coach.  Ekeler will take over the job previously held by John Papuchis, who was promoted to defensive coordinator after Gene Chizik abruptly stepped down to spend more time with his family.

“We’re thrilled to add Mike to our coaching staff,” said head coach Larry Fedora in a statement. “He’s a well-respected, energetic coach who has worked with other members of our defensive staff in the past, which will make the transition to Carolina that much easier. He’s an outstanding coach and recruiter who will be a great fit for our program. We look forward to having Mike and his wife and kids join the UNC family.”

Ekeler spent the 2016 season as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Mean Green. Prior to joining UNT, he spent two seasons as inside linebackers coach at Georgia.

He’s also worked on coaching staffs at USC (2013), Indiana (2011-12), Nebraska (2008-10), LSU (2005-07) and Oklahoma (2003-04).  At the latter two stops, Ekeler served as a graduate assistant.

Top Syracuse DB Antwan Cordy gets medical redshirt for 2016 season

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 31:  Wide receiver Travis Rudolph #15 of the Florida State Seminoles looks to maneuver by safety Antwan Cordy #8 of the Syracuse Orange on October 31, 2015 at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL.  (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
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Not surprisingly, Syracuse’s top returning defensive back will get to spend a little additional time with the Orange.

On social media Thursday, Antwan Cordy announced that the NCAA has granted him a medical hardship waiver for his 2016 season. Because of the medical redshirt, the safety will have two seasons of eligibility at his disposal instead of just the one prior to the decision.

Should he choose, Cordy could play for the Orange in 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Cordy started the first two games last year, but sustained what turned out to be a season-ending arm injury in a Week 2 loss to Louisville.

In 2015, Cordy started all 12 games for the Orange, with the 5-8, 175-pounder’s 12 tackles for loss leading the team and setting a school record for defensive backs. That total was also second in the ACC amongst secondary players (Duke’s Jeremy Cash, 18).

Former Wisconsin offensive coach returning… as defensive assistant

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 15:  Helmets are raised by the Wisconsin Badgers before the start of the game between the Utah State Aggies and the Wisconsin Badgers September 15, 2012 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
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Paul Chryst is certainly taking a unique approach in reconstituting his Wisconsin coaching staff.

Earlier this month, Chryst hired Jim Leonhard as his new defensive coordinator despite the latter having just one year of experience as a coach at any level. Now, reports have surfaced that Chryst is bringing Bob Bostad back to Madison to fill a vacancy on the staff.

While Bostad was an offensive assistant during his first tour of duty with the Badgers, he’ll be a defensive coach in this latest stint. Specifically, he’ll serve as UW’s inside linebackers coach.

Bostad would technically replace Justin Wilcox, the coordinator Leonhard replaced after Wilcox took the head-coaching job at Cal last month.

From 2006-11, Bostad was an assistant for the Badgers — the first two seasons as tight ends coach, the last four as offensive line coach. After spending four seasons as the line coach for two NFL franchises — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-13), Tennessee Titans (2014-15) — Bostad spent the 2016 season as tight ends coach at Northern Illinois.

In a coaching career that spans 27 seasons, this would be Bostad’s first job on the defensive side of the ball.

UPDATED 12:59 p.m. ET: Wisconsin has confirmed the hiring of Bostad.

Amidst medical mystery, Georgia’s Trenton Thompson withdraws from spring semester classes

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 19: Anthony Jennings #11 of the Lousiana-Lafayette Rajin' Cajuns is pursued by Trenton Thompson #78 of the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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While the details are very hazy at the moment, a member of the Georgia football team has apparently suffered a health scare recently that calls into question his short-term future with the football program.

First reported by WSB-TV, defensive end Trent Thompson suffered an unspecified medical emergency very early Thursday morning and was rushed to an Athens hospital. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution subsequently confirmed the initial report.

Thompson was released from the hospital Thursday morning, his mother confirmed to the television station. No specifics have been released publicly, although the Journal-Constitution, citing sources with knowledge of the situation, is reporting that no drugs or alcohol were involved. It’s also believed that the issue isn’t related to football.

In the wake of those reports as well as others that indicated he had a run-in with Athens police immediately prior to the hospitalization, UGA released the following statement, which reveals that Thompson will be withdrawing from classes this semester because of the unspecified medical issues:

Based upon recent events, Trenton Thompson’s family has authorized UGAAA to release the following information. Trenton has been dealing with a significant medical issue which required emergency hospitalization and extended hospital stay. Trenton was recently discharged from the hospital and remains under close medical care. With respect to last night’s incident, the physical appearance and behavior described in the UGA PD report is solely related to an adverse reaction to medications prescribed specifically for his medical condition. The adverse reaction required emergency transport to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released. Toxicology tests performed at the hospital were negative for OxyContin. We cannot release any further information at this time due to federal privacy laws. Due to the medical issues, Trenton is withdrawing from classes this semester, and his family requests privacy during this time.

As a sophomore last season, Thompson started seven of the 13 games in which he played. His 9.5 tackles for loss led the Bulldogs, while his five sacks were tied for the team lead and the 56 tackles with which he was credited were tops among linemen.

Capping off that breakout season, he was named MVP of UGA’s Liberty Bowl win over TCU.