The task of rebuilding his new coaching staff following the departure of James Franklin for Penn State continues, with Derek Mason reportedly set to add an experienced piece to the offensive side of the ball.
Jeff Lockridge of The Tennessean is reporting that Karl Dorrell is set to become the Commodores’ new offensive coordinator. The move is pending universal approval, the paper wrote.
Most recently, Dorrell served as the quarterbacks coach of the Houston Texans. He found himself jobless following the firing of head coach Gary Kubiak and hiring of former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien.
Dorrell has been an assistant at the NFL level for the past decade and a half, the lone exception being a five-year stint as the head coach at UCLA. The Bruins were 35-27 under Dorrell from 2003-07 before Dorrell was fired and replaced by Rick Neuheisel.
Dorrell has served as a coordinator for two different college programs: Northern Arizona (1990-91 and Colorado (1995-98). Mason was a Lumberjacks cornerback during Dorrell’s time as coordinator at Northern Arizona.
This hire would mean Mason has reportedly filled two of the most important positions on his staff, with Stanford linebackers coach Dave Kotulski confirming over the weekend that he would be following Mason to the Commodores as defensive coordinator.
(Photo credit: UCLA athletics)
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.
One of the most productive pass-catching duos in the country has been cut in half.
Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery confirmed Tuesday that Keevan Lucas sustained a torn patellar tendon in the third quarter of Saturday’s loss to Houston. As a result, the wide receiver will miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
“He’s such an emotional leader for us and such a great kid,” the first-year coach said. “We’ll have to make a few adjustments offensively and move some people around and try to make sure we’ve got guys in the right spot but also guys who will step up and be ready to play.”
Lucas is currently second on the team with 26 receptions and 409 receiving yards, behind Keyarris Garrett‘s 33 and 539. His five receiving touchdowns, though, are tops on the team.
Montgomery expects Lucas to be healthy enough to participate in spring practice next year.