Louisiana Tech athletics

Louisiana Tech RB Jaqwis Dancy finds out he’s cancer-free

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Instead of some of the normal crap that passes for offseason college football news, how about something positive?  Check, that, positively excellent.

In mid-October last year, Louisiana announced that sophomore running back Jaqwis Dancy had been diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Fast-forward four months and chemotherapy sessions every few weeks at St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis, and Darcy, in a phone call Thursday evening, received the absolute best news possible — he’s cancer-free.

“It felt amazing when I heard the news that I am cancer-free,” Dancy said in quotes provided by the school. “It was something I have been waiting to hear since I was diagnosed and I can’t wait to share my happiness with all my teammates. I especially want to thank the LA Tech family and everyone who supported me in this fight. The support I have received since the beginning has been amazing. My biggest goal right now is to get back on the field with my teammates.”

Darcy is not completely done with his treatment, it should be noted, as he will still need to undergo a couple of rounds of radiation to ensure there are no lingering cells that are cancerous.  It’s unclear whether Darcy will be available for spring practice, and his status for the 2017 season wasn’t addressed.

That, though, is the least important facet of this encouraging development.

“We are thrilled about the positive news and to hear about the progress he has been making in his battle against cancer,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “It has been a tough fight for Jaqwis and his family. There is still work to do, but this is certainly positive news to celebrate. As much as anything, I am thrilled for him and his mom for what they have been through. At this point, it is nice to know he is cancer-free and we are optimistic, but we know he still has some work to do.”

As a true freshman in 2015, Dancy played in all 13 games and, while he didn’t record a carry, he did return 17 kicks for 296 yards.  An ankle injury, then the cancer diagnosis, prevented him from playing at all last season.

Reports: Auburn losing OL coach Herb Hand to Texas

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Thanks to Tom Herman, Gus Malzahn now has a key hole to fill on his coaching staff on The Plains.

First reported by Brett McMurphy, Herb Hand has decided to leave as the offensive line coach at Auburn and take the same job at Texas.  Additionally, Hand will reportedly carry the title of co-offensive coordinator with the Longhorns.

247Sports.com subsequently confirmed the original report.

Hand spent the past two seasons as the line coach at Auburn.  Prior to that, Hand spent two years with Penn State (2014-15) and four at Vanderbilt (2010-13).

Rutgers makes hiring of John McNulty as OC official

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Rutgers officially has its ninth offensive coordinator in as many years.

Late last week, reports surfaced that Chris Ash was set to hire John McNulty as its new coordinator.  Monday afternoon, the Scarlet Knights confirmed the hiring of McNulty as the replacement for Jerry Kill, who stepped down after one season last month due to ongoing health concerns.

McNulty is a very familiar name in Piscataway as he served as the Scarlet Knights’ coordinator and assistant coach under Greg Schiano from 2004-08.

“I’m excited to welcome John back to the Rutgers football family,” a statement from the head coach began. “He has a wealth of football knowledge and experience, and I look forward to him helping develop our quarterbacks. John is a great leader, man and coach, and I’m excited to see him shape the identity of our offense.”

The past two seasons, McNulty served as the tight ends coach for the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.  In fact, he had spent his entire time as an assistant coach since leaving RU at the NFL level, including stops with the Arizona Cardinals (2009-12),  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013) and Tennessee Titans (2014-15).  He also spent six seasons in the NFL prior to his RU stint — Jacksonville Jaguars (1998-2002) and Dallas Cowboys (2003).

McNulty, who played his college football at Penn State, began his collegiate coaching career at Michigan (1991-94) before moving on to UConn for three seasons as wide receivers coach.

Purdue losing RB to transfer, DT to NFL

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It was a day of attrition on multiple fronts for the Purdue football program.

Monday, Brian Lankford-Johnson announced via Twitter that he has decided to transfer from the Boilermakers.  While no specific reason was given for the running back’s decision to move on, it’s believed a desire for a better shot at playing time played a significant role.

Last season, the sophomore ran for 86 yards on 22 carries.

In addition to Lankford-Johnson, defensive tackle Eddy Wilson announced that he has decided to enter the NFL draft.  In an interview with the Indianapolis Star Monday, Wilson acknowledged that he had let his academics slip a bit and that was the reason behind his decision to declare early.

“It had to do with academics,” the lineman told the Star. “It was a credit hour issue; I didn’t pass enough credit hours. I wasn’t paying attention and I didn’t take it as seriously as I should’ve been taking it.”

The past two seasons, Wilson started nine games for the Boilermakers.  Just one of those starts came during the 2017 season.

Bill Snyder adds two former K-State football players to Wildcats staff

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As has become customary, Bill Snyder has added familiar faces to his Kansas State staff.

K-State announced late Tuesday morning that Snyder has hired former Wildcats football players Zach Hanson and Eric Hickson.  The former will serve as tight ends coach as well as help with the offensive line, while the latter will coach running backs.

In its release, the football program noted that K-State now has seven full-time coaches who played for the Wildcats, the most former players coaching at their alma mater among all FBS staffs.

“I am pleased to have Zach and Eric back with us,” Snyder said in a statement. “Both have proven their capabilities not only as very successful position coaches and teachers, but also in the development of quality and valued young men. They both have a genuine interest in the life skills enhancement of those they work with. Having also been highly successful student-athletes in our program, they believe in and understand our program.”

Hickson spent the past three seasons as the running backs coach at Akron.  That was Hickson’s first coaching job at the FBS level.

A running back at K-State, he left the program in 1998 as the school’s all-time leading rusher; he now stands fifth on that list.

After Hanson finished up his playing career at K-State in 2011, he spent four years at his alma mater (2012-15) as a graduate assistant and quality control coach.  The past two seasons, he was a graduate assistant working with special teams and tight ends at North Carolina.

This will also be Hanson’s first full-time job at the FBS level.