Boise State Broncos

BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 20:  The Boise State Broncos run onto the field for the game against the UNLV Rebels at Bronco Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
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Zak Hill hired as Boise State co-OC after one month at Hawaii

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A month ago, Zak Hill joined Nick Rolovich‘s original staff at Hawaii.

On Friday, Hill was announced as Boise State’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“Zak’s shown a tremendous ability to take young quarterbacks and develop them into not just good players but leaders on the field,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said in a statement. “The quarterback play at Eastern Washington over the last several years has been really, really good and the result has been an efficient and explosive offense.  While credit goes to a number of people, Zak’s name certainly has to be near the top of the list.”

Hill’s rapid ascension — he was Eastern Washington’s passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2009 through this season before joining Hawaii’s staff in December — is jarring on the surface but is an annual check point of the coaching change season.

Additionally, Boise State has promoted offensive line coach Scott Huff to co-offensive coordinator and named wide receivers coach Junior Adams passing game coordinator. The moves were necessary after the Broncos lost offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz to N.C. State. Hill will be Boise State’s third offensive coordinator in three seasons as Drinkwitz replaced Mike Sanford, who recently completed his first season at Notre Dame. Boise State also lost defensive coordinator Marcel Yates to Arizona this winter.

Harsin will call plays for Boise State this fall.

“Our focus with the staff is to find the right role and allow our guys to star in that role. Hiring Zak allowed us an opportunity to create a collaborative effort in our offensive staff room. Each coach brings something different to the table and will have input on our plan and execution, with Zak and Coach Huff serving as the co-offensive coordinators,” Harsin said. “One will focus on the run game, and the other will focus on the pass game with Coach Adams. I have full confidence in both of them and their ability to coordinate and develop our offensive plan. “

To replace Hill, Hawaii has announced former Warrior wide receiver Craig Stutzmann as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach and moved Brian Smith to run game coordinator/running backs coach.

SEC, Ohio State tops on Carolina, Denver Super Bowl rosters

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29:  Former Tennesse quarterback Peyton Manning and current quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is honored alongside his former college coach Phillip Fulmer before the start of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on October 29, 2005 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Cam Newton may be hurtling toward history, but the former Auburn quarterback will not be the lone player representing the SEC in next month’s Super Bowl.  In fact, he’s far, far from it.

As you may have heard, Newton’s Carolina Panthers are set to square off with Peyton Manning‘s Denver Broncos in the 50th Super Bowl Feb. 3.  Manning and Newton are two of and FBS-best 30 former SEC players who are on the two teams’ rosters, which includes those on the 53-man, reserved/injured list, practice squad, reserved/suspended by commissioner and reserve/future squad.

The Pac-12 is next with 23, followed by the Big Ten (21) and ACC (17).  The final Power Five conference, the Big 12, has 10, three less than the Mountain West’s 13.  The AAC, with eight, is the only Group of Five league to come close to double digits.  The MAC, meanwhile, is the only conference to be shutout, while all of the other divisions in the NCAA combined for 18 players.

Nearly every SEC team is represented in this year’s big game, the lone exception being Vanderbilt.  Of the dozen schools in the Pac-12, only Arizona and Washington State are missing.  Both the ACC and Big Ten have 11 of their 14 teams in the game, the lone exceptions being Clemson, Louisville and Virginia Tech for the former and Illinois, Minnesota and Rutgers for the latter.

One of those B1G schools that’s in, Nebraska, has had at least one player on a Super Bowl roster for 23 straight years, the longest active streak for any FBS program.

Ohio State easily outdistances individual schools with seven, three more than the four each for Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon State and Tennessee.  Alabama, Arizona State, Colorado State, Georgia, Nevada, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, USC and Utah.

A total of 20 schools have two players each, including Coastal Carolina, the only non-FBS program in the group.  The other 19 includes Arkansas, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, San Diego State, South Carolina, Stanford, Troy, Tulane, Washington and Wisconsin.

2016 early NFL draft entries fall just shy of ’14 record

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So close, yet so far.  Well, technically speaking it is.

With the deadline for early entry into the NFL draft in the rearview, the NFL announced Friday that 96 players “have been granted special eligibility for the 2016 NFL Draft” and will be eligible to be selected during the April 28-30 event in Chicago. While that’s significantly more than 74 draft-eligible sophomores and juniors who declared last year, it falls two shy of the record 98 who declared early for the 2014 draft.

For some perspective, the number of players combined who declared early for the 2007 (40) and 2008 (53) falls short of the number for this year alone.

Another 11 players with eligibility remaining “have in timely fashion under NFL rules officially notified the league office that they have fulfilled their degree requirements” and are thus eligible for the draft as well. Those 11 are…

2016 NFL Draft I

Of the 96 deemed by the NFL as having special draft eligibility granted, 48 played defense and 46 were from the offensive side of the ball. There were also two kickers in this category — Southern Oregon’s Aldrick Ross and British Columbia’s Quinn van Gylswyk.

A total of 18 defensive ends and tackles are included, while the secondary, combining both cornerbacks and safeties, has 17. On the offensive side, 16 running backs are in the group, joined by 12 offensive linemen and 10 running backs. Just four draft-eligible quarterbacks cannonballed into the pool: Cal’s Jared Goff, Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, Ohio State’s Cardale Jones and Memphis’ Paxton Lynch.

The SEC, naturally, leads all conferences in NFL-designated special draft eligibility — The Shield differentiates this year between them and those who have eligibility remaining but earned degrees — with 25 players leaving early.  12 of the 14 teams in that conference have at least one player in the group, the lone exceptions being Kentucky and Missouri. Next up is the 15 of the Big Ten and Pac-12; the only other conference in double digits is the ACC (11).  The lone remaining Power Five conference, the Big 12, just missed with nine.

The most of any Group of Five league is the Mountain West’s four.  Two conferences, Conference USA and the Sun Belt, had no players granted special eligibility.

Individually, Ohio State saw seven players deemed to have met the NFL’s criteria for special eligibility, followed by UCLA with six and Clemson with five.  Below are the other individual schools with more than one player in this category:

4 — Notre Dame
3 — Arkansas, Baylor, Mississippi State, Ole Miss
2 — Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, Cal, Indiana, LSU, Oklahoma, West Virginia

And, below this, are all of the 96 players with special eligibility for the NFL draft:

Bralon Addison, WR, Oregon
Dominique Alexander, LB, Oklahoma
Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Demarcus Ayers, WR, Houston
Peyton Barber, RB, Auburn
Vonn Bell, DB, Ohio State
Caleb Benenoch, OL, UCLA
Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Dariusz Bladek, OG, Bethune-Cookman
Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan
Beniquez Brown, LB, Mississippi State
Artie Burns, CB, Miami
Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Trenton Coles, DB, Duquesne
Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska
Jack Conklin, OL, Michigan State
Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
Kamalei Correa, DL, Boise State
Su’a Cravens, LB, USC
Elijah Daniel, DT, Murray State
Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Thomas Duarte, WR, UCLA
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia
Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
Jared Goff, QB, Cal
T.J. Green, S, Clemson
David Grinnage, TE, North Carolina State
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Jerald Hawkins, OL, LSU
Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
Willie Henry, DT, Michigan
Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford
Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana
Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Quinton Jefferson, DL, Maryland
Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
Cayleb Jones, WR, Arizona
Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State
Jayron Kearse, DB, Clemson
Denver Kirkland, OT, Arkansas
Darius Latham, DL, Indiana
Kenny Lawler, WR, Cal
Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
Roger Lewis, WR, Bowling Green
Steve Longa, LB, Rutgers
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Jalin Marshall, WR, Ohio State
Alex McCalister, DE, Florida
Brett McMakin, LB, Northern Iowa
Keanu Neal, S, Florida
Yannick Ngakoue, DL, Maryland
Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
Marquez North, WR, Tennessee
Emmanuel Ogbah, DL, Oklahoma State
Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA
C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame
Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
Alex Redmond, OL, UCLA
Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas
A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Demarcus Robinson, WR, Florida
Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU
Aldrick Rosas, K, Southern Oregon
Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma
Isaac Seumalo, OL, Oregon State
Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia
Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida
Ron Thompson, DE, Syracuse
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Quinn van Gylswyk, K, British Columbia
Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State
Cleveland Wallace III, CB, San Jose State
Dwayne Washington, RB, Washington
Stephen Weatherly, LB, Vanderbilt
De’Runnya Wilson, WR, Mississippi State
Daryl Worley, CB, West Virginia
Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona
Avery Young, OL, Auburn

Boise State dismisses TE David Lucero

David Lucero, Andrew Wingard
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An off-field incident late last year has cost David Lucero his football future at Boise State.

The football program announced on its official Twitter account Tuesday that Lucero has been dismissed from the Broncos.  Athletic director Curt Apsey wrote that the tight end’s “behavior does not align with the core values of the athletic department at Boise State.”

The behavior to which Apsey referred occurred back in mid-November.

Around that time, Lucero was arrested and booked on a felony charge of attempted strangulation charge. Lucero was involved in a verbal altercation with a female he was in a relationship with that allegedly turned physical. At the time, Lucero was indefinitely suspended from all football activities.

In December, Lucero pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor battery.

Lucero had played in nine games this past season as a redshirt freshman, catching four passes for 63 yards. In 2014, Lucero was a two-star member of the Broncos’ recruiting class.

Arizona, Penn State bring in new defensive coordinators

STATE COLLEGE, PA - JANUARY 11:  James Franklin, head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions addresses the media on January 11, 2014 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Though college football’s head coaching carousel is likely stopped for the season, there still are plenty of coordinator and assistant coaching vacancies to be filled with signing day approaching. And, of course, after signing day there’ll be a whole new round of departures and hires, too.

Word came of two new hires Monday morning, with Penn State bringing in ex-Illinois defensive coordinator Tim Banks as its co-DC/safeties coach and Arizona hiring Boise State defensive coordinator Marcel Yates to the same position, per Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman.

Banks left Illinois in December to “pursue other interests,” with coach Bill Cubit speculating he wanted sole possession of a defensive coordinator role (he was also a co-DC for the Illini). Whatever those interests were, nothing must’ve materialized, as he’s joining Nittany Lions’ linebackers coach Brent Pry in coordinating James Franklin‘s defense.

Yates followed fellow Boise State graduate and former coordinator Mike Sanford, who accepted Notre Dame’s offensive coordinator position a year ago, out the door to a Power-Five program. In his two years as Boise State’s defensive coordinator, the Broncos allowed 4.86 yards per play (2015, 20th) and 5.24 yards per play (2014, 39th), while S&P+ rated Yates’ two defenses 32nd (2015) and 38th (2014).