Southern Miss Golden Eagles

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57 centers named to Rimington Award spring watch list

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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  The first watch list of the offseason has arrived.

The first for that honor this year is the Rimington Award, which on Tuesday released its spring watch list that is 57 players strong.  The Rimington Award, named in honor of former Nebraska standout Dave Rimington, is presented annually to the top center in the nation and is determined by the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America teams — Walter Camp. Sporting News and FWAA.

None of the finalists for the 2015 award, won by Alabama’s Ryan Kelly, are included on this year’s initial watch list as all three have since moved on with expired eligibility.

The ACC and SEC pace all conferences with eight watch listers apiece, followed by the AAC and Big 12 with seven each.  The Big Ten placed six, while the Pac-12’s three was the least of all of the Power Five programs.

All 10 of the FBS leagues, plus one independent (Notre Dame), are represented on the spring watch list, the full roster of which appears below.

AAC
Deyshawn Bond, Cincinnati, senior
Ryan Crozier, UConn, redshirt sophomore
Will Noble, Houston, sophomore
Drew Kyser, Memphis, sophomore
Evan Brown, SMU, junior
Brendan McGowan, Temple, redshirt senior
Chandler Miller, Tulsa, sophomore

ACC
Jay Guillermo, Clemson, senior
Alec Eberle, Florida State, redshirt sophomore
Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech, redshirt senior
Nicholas Linder, Miami, junior
Lucas Crowley, North Carolina, senior
Alex Officer, Pittsburgh, redshirt junior
Jason Emerich, Syracuse, redshirt senior
Jackson Matteo, Virginia, senior

BIG TEN
Joe Spencer, Illinois, senior
Sean Welsh, Iowa, junior
Brendan Moore, Maryland, sophomore
Mason Cole, Michigan, junior
Dylan Utter, Nebraska, senior
Michael Dieter, Wisconsin, sophomore

BIG 12
Kyle Fuller, Baylor, senior
Dalton Risner, Kansas State, sophomore
Jonathan Alvarez, Oklahoma, junior
Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State, junior
Austin Schlottman, TCU, junior
Tony Morales, Texas Tech, senior
Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia, redshirt senior

CONFERENCE USA
Michael Montero, FIU, senior
Dillon DeBoer, FAU, redshirt senior
Daniel Stephens, Middle Tennessee State, senior
Nick Clarke, Old Dominion, sophomore
Cameron Tom, Southern Miss, senior
Max Halpin, Western Kentucky, redshirt senior

MAC
Tim McAuliffe, Bowling Green redshirt junior
James O’Hagan, Buffalo, sophomore

MOUNTAIN WEST
Jake Bennett, Colorado State, junior
Asotui Eli, Hawaii, redshirt sophomore
Nathan Goltry, Nevada, senior
Arthur Flores, San Diego State, senior
Austin Stephens, Utah State, senior

PAC-12
Toa, Lobendahn, USC, junior
Coleman Shelton, Washington, junior
Riley Sorenson, Washington State, senior

SEC
Frank Ragnow, Arkansas, junior
Brandon Kublanow, Georgia, senior
Jon Toth, Kentucky, senior
Ethan Pocic, LSU, senior
Jamaal Clayborn, Mississippi State, senior
Robert Conyers, Ole Miss, senior
Alan Knott, South Carolina, redshirt junior
Coleman Thomas, Tennessee, junior

SUN BELT
Devin Mondie, Arkansas State, senior
Andy Kwon, Georgia Southern, senior
Gabe Mobley, Georgia State, sophomore
Steve Matlock, Idaho, senior

INDEPENDENTS
Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame, junior

W. Michigan the landing spot for ex-S. Miss assistant David Duggan

KALAMAZOO, MI - SEPTEMBER 4: Head coach P.J. Fleck of the Western Michigan Broncos looks on in the first half against the Michigan State Spartans at Waldo Stadium on September 4, 2015 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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After a couple of stints down south, David Duggan is headed north to continue his coaching career as the long-time assistant was announced as Western Michigan’s new linebackers coach.

The past three seasons, Duggan was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Southern Miss.  His first go ’round at Southern Miss, from 2008-11, the 52-year-old Duggan was linebackers coach while also adding the co-coordinator title in 2011.

In between, Duggan was the special teams coordinator at North Carolina in 2012.  He also handled the Tar Heels’ outside linebackers in his lone season with the ACC school.

“Coach David Duggan was an absolute no-brainer hire,” head coach P.J. Fleck, who’ll open his fourth spring practice in Kalamazoo later Tuesday, said. “To be honest I think it was a little bit of a surprise he was available. A former NFL head coach in NFL Europe, defensive coordinator at multiple stops, he has an incredible resume and incredible energy and a passion to teach and coach along with a willingness to come take our program to a completely different level. I hope our players truly understand the resource they now have at the linebacker position. We want to welcome him, his wife Lynn and his two daughters Olivia and Grace.”

Prior to his first stint at Southern Miss, Duggan was the head coach of the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe (2006-07). He spent the first 15 or so years of his coaching career at the collegiate level in the Northeast, including stops at New Hampshire, Holy Cross, Colgate and Brown.

Southern Miss names Alcorn State’s Jay Hopson head coach

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 13:  Nick Mullens #9 of the Southern Miss Golden Eagles looks to pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Earlier in the day we wrote that the math at Southern Miss seemed to add up to the Golden Eagles hiring Jay Hopson as its next head coach… and soon.

By Saturday night, they had done just that.

Southern Miss announced Hopson’s hiring through athletics director Bill McGillis‘ Twitter account, ending a whirlwind week that started with then-head coach Todd Monken bolting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On the surface, Hopson seems like the best hire the Eagles could have made, especially given the circumstances. A native Mississippian, Hopson played at Ole Miss and Delta State and spent nearly his entire life in the South, including a run from 2005-07 as Southern Miss’ defensive coordinator. His Golden Eagles defenses earned a reputation as an aggressive bunch that was among the best in college football at taking the ball way.

Hopson spent the past four seasons as the head coach at Alcorn Sate, taking a Braves program that was 10-22 in the three years prior to his arrival to back-to-back SWAC East Division championships. Overall, Hopson was 32-17 in his four seasons with the program, including 28-10 in the final three years.

Though Monken did leave the program at the most inopportune of times, there’s no denying the program sits in much better shape than he found it. After winning the Conference USA title in 2011, Southern Miss bottomed out to 1-23 over the 2012-13 seasons before rebounding to 3-9 a year ago and 9-5 this fall, including a reappearance in the Conference USA title game.

Report: Florida OC Doug Nussmeier, presumed favorite for Southern Miss job, now out of the running

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 27: Michigan Wolverines offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier congratulates running back Justice Hayes #5 during the second quarter of the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Michigan Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Golden Gophers defeated the Wolverines 30-14. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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It is Saturday afternoon, inside of 100 hours to National Signing Day, and Southern Miss does not have a head coach.

The school was put in this particular lurch when head coach Todd Monken bailed Sunday for an assistant job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and on Saturday Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports the Golden Eagles’ top candidate — Doug Nussmeier, currently Florida’s offensive coordinator and previously the offensive play-caller at Alabama and Michigan — is now out of the running.

Feldman also reported there is “strong support” in Hattiesburg for Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson.

Hopson is 32-17 in four seasons at Alcorn State, but 19-7 in his last two, with SWAC East Division titles to cap each campaign. Hopson is a Mississippi native that played at Ole Miss and Division II Delta State and, save for stints at Marshall and Michigan, spent his entire life in the South — including a three-year run as the Golden Eagles’ defensive coordinator from 2005-07.

With the clock tick-tick-ticking, it’s a good bet Southern Miss gets something done today.

OC Chip Lindsey expected to eschew S. Miss head job, stay at Ariz. St.

Arizona State head coach Todd Graham yells during the second half of the Cactus Bowl NCAA college football game against West Virginia, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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It appears Todd Graham may not have to far losing yet another offensive coordinator after all.

Reports surfaced Monday indicating that Arizona State offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey was “engaged in significant discussion” regarding the head-coaching job at Southern Miss.  That position came after Todd Monken, Lindsey’s former boss, abruptly left over the weekend to take an offensive coordinator job in the NFL.

It was expected that Lindsey would make a decision in 24 hours or so.  Based on one well-placed report, the decision has been made.

On Twitter as well, Lindsey seemed to indicate that he would be staying with the Sun Devils as well.

Lindsey was hired away from Southern Miss this past December to replace Mike Norvell, who left to become the head coach at Memphis. Lindsey had spent the past two seasons as Monken’s coordinator before leaving for the Sun Devils.