We don’t yet know to where Aaron Cochran will transfer, but the potential landing spots have been narrowed.
Jake Trotter of ESPN.com revealed on Twitter that the Cal transfer has whittled his to-do list down to three: Auburn, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. The offensive lineman is already known to have taken an official visit to the Cowboys nearly three weeks ago.
Per Trotter, he’ll visit The Plains this weekend, then Lubbock two weeks later.
In early February, Cochran announced that he would be transferring from Cal. As he is leaving Berkeley as a graduate transfer — he’s expected to graduate this spring — the lineman would have instant eligibility at another FBS school.
Cochran started 16 of the 28 games in which he played during his Cal career. 10 of those starts came this past season.
And, regardless of where he lands, his new school will be getting a very large human being.
For what it’s worth, Cochran is listed at 6-8, 350 pound on his official Cal bio page.
Depending on your vantage point, this is either tremendous news when it comes to stability or another sign that the league will continue to remain stuck in neutral behind the two current conference behemoths.
According to a report from Pete Thamel of SI.com, Larry Scott has reached an agreement on a contract extension with the Pac-12. The new deal would keep Scott as the conference’s commissioner through 2022.
Scott had one year remaining on his old deal.
Thamel writes that “terms of the deal aren’t known.” According to a report from USA Today‘s Steve Berkowitz in May of last year and based on tax return filings, Scott was paid nearly $4.1 million for the 2014 calendar year, making him the highest-paid commissioner in collegiate athletics. By comparison, the Big Ten’s Jim Delany pulled in $3.1 million for the same period.
Scott’s tenure with the Pac-12 was initially marked by what was a then-record television deal with ESPN and FOX Sports in 2011. Since then, that conference has watched both the Big Ten and SEC secure new deals that earn its members anywhere from $8 million to $13 million more annually than their Pac-12 counterparts.
And then there’s the inability of the Pac-12, under Scott’s guidance, to secure a distribution agreement with DirecTV for its collection of conference networks, causing it to lag well behind the networks offered by the Big Ten and SEC.
Think coaches are done tinkering with their rosters ahead of spring football? Think again.
Oklahoma State is the latest school to dip into the graduate transfer market this month as ESPN reports that former Cal offensive tackle Aaron Cochran and ex-Clemson defensive back Adrian Baker are both expected to visit Stillwater this weekend.
Cochran announced his departure from the Golden Bears last month and will be eligible right away in 2017 at a position of need for the Cowboys. The left tackle appeared in 28 games the past three seasons in Berkeley and made 16 starts for the team, which ran a similar offense to what OSU does.
Baker missed the Tigers’ run to the national title with a knee injury this past year but did start three times for Clemson two years ago. He would be a nice addition at corner for the Oklahoma State after the loss of veteran cover man Ashton Lampkin.
It remains to be seen if either of the two players actually winds up in Stillwater but a transfer to the Big 12 makes a lot of sense for both parties as things gear up for 2017.
With his long-time boss, Sonny Dykes, out of a job, Mark Tommerdahl found himself in a similar predicament. Monday, however, the coach was once again gainfully employed.
The coach with more than three decades of experience in the profession, Utah State confirmed in a press release, has been hired by Matt Wells to serve as the Aggies’ special teams coordinator. Tommerdahl had spent the past four seasons in the same job at Cal.
“We are very excited to welcome Mark and Annette to the Aggie football family,” said Wells in a statement. “Mark brings a tremendous amount of veteran coaching experience with his knowledge of both special teams and offenses, and he will be a valuable part of our staff moving forward.”
All told, Tommerdahl has spent 22 of his 33 seasons as a special teams coordinator. In addition to his time with Dykes at Berkeley, he was also the coordinator for the head coach at Louisiana Tech from 2010-12 after being retained following the 2009 season.
Additionally, he’s been a coordinator at Louisiana-Monroe (2008), Texas A&M (2003-07), Alabama (2001-02), TCU (1998-2000), New Mexico (1997) and Minnesota (1995-96).
“I have a lot of respect for what Matt Wells stands for and I have a high level of comfort with this offensive staff, having worked with both Steve Farmer and Luke Wells in the past, in addition to coaching against David Yost for over 15 years,” said Tommerdahl. “I also have a lot of respect for the special teams foundation that has been laid here at Utah State by both Stacy Collins and Dave Ungerer, and I look forward to building on that foundation.”
In late December, Fresno State hired Tony Tuioti as part of Jeff Tedford‘s first coaching staff with the Mountain West program. Two months later, Tedford’s former Pac-12 employer has poached said staff.
By way of a press release, Cal announced that Tuioti has been hired as Justin Wilcox‘s outside linebackers coach. Tedford served as Cal’s head coach from 2002-12; Tim DeRuyter, Fresno’s head coach for five seasons before being fired and replaced by Tedford, is now Wilcox’s defensive coordinator with the Golden Bears.
“Tony has a tremendous resume that showcases his diverse skill set and abilities both on and off the field,” Wilcox said in a statement. “Not only is he an excellent coach, but the experience he has as a director of player personnel will be a tremendous benefit to us in the structuring and organization of our recruiting operation. Finding someone with a skill set as unique and diverse as Tony’s is challenging. We are fortunate that we have found that in Tony and are looking forward to his contributions to our program.”
“Working at Cal for a coach like Justin Wilcox was an opportunity I could not pass up,” a statement from Tuioti began. “I have a tremendous feeling about the positive direction Cal is headed, and I really wanted to be a part of that and contribute all I could to a football program with tremendous potential.”
In 2016, Tuioti worked as a football staffer at Michigan. His last on-field job at the collegiate level came at Hawaii (2012-13, linebackers coach; 2010-11, defensive line).