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Arizona State retains special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum

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Retention has been key for Herm Edwards in putting together his first coaching staff at Arizona State, and, Tuesday evening, the retaining in the desert continued.

ASU confirmed that Shawn Slocum will return as the Sun Devils’ special teams coordinator. The 52-year-old Slocum, the son of the legendary R.C. Slocum, the winningest head coach in Texas A&M history, has served in that same capacity at the football program for the past three years.

“Coach Slocum has a Super Bowl ring to show for his work as a special teams coordinator and has had a tangible impact on the performance of our specials teams in just three years,” a statement from Edwards began. “Shawn comes from an incredible football pedigree and knows what it takes to succeed at all levels of this game and I felt he would provide a much-needed presence to our program next season.”

Prior to his time at ASU, he was either the special teams coordinator or assistant coordinator for the Green Bay Packers for nine years (2006-14).

Oregon the new home for Miami transfer DJ Johnson

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It was known that DJ Johnson would move on to the Pac-12 after leaving the ACC. Now we know exactly where on the West Coast he’ll continue his collegiate playing career.

Johnson confirmed to 247Sports.com that he has decided to enroll at Oregon and play for the Ducks. He also seemed to take a parting shot at the Miami staff on his way to Eugene.

“Oregon has coaches that actually care about me as a person and want me to grow as a person while also growing as a football player,” Johnson told the site. “That’s rare. They also feel that I can help change the culture of the team and improve the defense that’s already been improving. Lots of love felt already but more than anything I’m looking forward to gaining the trust of the players and coaches on and off the field.”

The recruiting website is also reporting that the defensive lineman is likely to receive a hardship waiver that would allow him to play immediately in 2018. That will leave him with three years of eligibility remaining.

Last week, Miami confirmed that Johnson had decided to transfer from the Hurricanes to be closer to his family in Sacramento. Johnson confirmed via Twitter that he had been given permission to transfer to one of eight Pac-12 schools — Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, USC and Washington.

A four-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2017 recruiting class, Johnson was rated as the No. 9 player at any position in the state of California. Using 247Sports.com‘s rankings, no defensive player in The U’s class last year was rated higher than the weakside defensive end.

As a true freshman, Johnson played in eight games. He was credited with three tackles.

Arizona State loses leading tackler to NFL draft

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For the third time this season, Arizona State has lost out personnel-wise to the NFL.

This time around it’s Christian Sam, with the linebacker confirming on Twitter that he is throwing his hat into the NFL draft ring. Sam’s decision was likely made easier by the fact that he preferred to not play his last season under a new head coach after Todd Graham was fired.

After missing most of the 2016 season because of injury, Sam led the Sun Devils in tackles with 127. He was also fourth in tackles for loss 9.5 and fifth in sacks with three.

In addition to Sam, offensive lineman Sam Jones and defensive lineman JoJo Wicker have also left the Sun Devils early for the NFL.

Herm Edwards adds FCS head coach as Arizona State’s WRs coach

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As he embarks on his first coaching job of any kind in over a decade — and his first at the collegiate level in more than 30 years — Herm Edwards is adding some much-needed experience to his first Arizona State coaching staff.

Late Thursday night, ASU announced that Charlie Fisher has been hired as the Sun Devils’ wide receivers coach.  Fisher will fill the position previously held by Rob Likens, who was promoted to offensive coordinator when Billy Napier left last month to take over as the head coach at Louisiana.

“Charlie Fisher is an energetic and passionate coach with a wealth of experience who will be a great asset to Rob Likens and who will develop the young men on this football team both on and off the field,” Herm Edwards said in a statement. “Coach Fisher has coached at all levels of the game and will utilize his over 30 years of coaching experience to continue helping us to impact what we already feel is an elite group of wide receivers.”

Fisher spent the past two seasons as the head coach at Western Illinois, guiding the Leathernecks to a playoff appearance in 2017.

During a coaching career that stretches back three decades, Fisher has served as an assistant at Power Five programs like Penn State, Vanderbilt, North Carolina State and Ole Miss.  He’s also served on FBS staffs at Miami (Ohio) and Temple.

DJ Johnson gets Miami’s permission to be contacted by eight Pac-12 schools

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It’s not yet known where DJ Johnson will land.  Thanks to one of his social media sites, though, we have a pretty good idea.

Tuesday afternoon, Miami announced that Johnson would be transferring from Mark Richt‘s football program, the third such move in a span of roughly 24 hours.  In confirming his departure, Richt stated that the defensive end “indicated to me that he would like to continue his playing career closer to his family.”

On his Twitter account not long after, the Sacramento native posted a photo of a letter he received from the university’s director of compliance, which specifically states he’s permitted to be contacted by eight Pac-12 institutions — and only those eight — about a potential transfer.  That octet includes Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, USC and Washington.  The latter two schools were two of Johnson’s finalists before he signed with The U last year.

That leaves four Pac-12 schools that were excluded — Colorado, Stanford, Utah and Washington State.

A four-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2017 recruiting class, Johnson was rated as the No. 9 player at any position in the state of California.  Using 247Sports.com‘s rankings, no defensive player in The U’s class last year was rated higher than the weakside defensive end.

As a true freshman, Johnson played in eight games.  He was credited with three tackles.