On the same day some details emerged on an Alabama assistant’s “resignation,” that assistant’s potential replacement has been identified.
Citing unnamed sources, al.com is reporting that Karl Dunbar is expected to be hired as the Tide’s new defensive line coach. Dunbar would replace Bo Davis, who “resigned” Friday amidst allegations of potential NCAA violations.
Dunbar served as Nick Saban‘s strength & conditioning coach at LSU from 2001-02, and then returned to Baton Rouge as Les Miles‘ line coach in 2005 after spending two years (2003-04) in the same position at Oklahoma State.
Most of Dunbar’s coaching career, though, especially recently, has come at the NFL level.
From 2006-11, Dunbar was the line coach for the Minnesota Vikings, and then held the same job with the New York Jets from 2012-2014. Hired by Rex Ryan to coach the Buffalo Bills’ line in 2015, Dunbar was fired in March of this year.
Dunbar is a former NFL defensive lineman who played for Arizona in 1994-95, when Ryan was one of his Cardinals assistant.
In the run-up to the Notre Dame-Ohio State Fiesta Bowl following the 2015 regular season, many a pundit pounded the pulpit on the plethora of potential next-level players* who would litter the field that night. At least in this instance, said pundits absolutely nailed it.
As the dust has settled in Chicago and the 2016 NFL draft has been put to bed, the tally is official: a whopping 19 Buckeyes and Fighting Irish players who took part in or were on the roster for OSU’s 16-point win in the desert were selected in the seven rounds of the annual selection meeting.
The Buckeyes, who entered Day 3 with a record 10 players drafted the first two days, finished with 12 players plucked by various NFL clubs. While that total is impressive, it falls just short of the record of 14 set by… the 2004 Buckeyes.
They did, though, set one record on the day, and at their own expense.
The Irish, meanwhile — and if you can calculate at a third-grade level — saw seven players selected in the draft. While it was a good haul, it was tied fourth, along with Alabama and Florida, behind OSU’s 12, Clemson’s nine and UCLA’s eight.
There were nine schools that had five players each drafted: Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Stanford, TCU and West Virginia.
(*Alarmed at a little alliteration?)
Back in January, Travonte Valentine was hoping Les Miles would give him another shot at a playing career at LSU. Specifically, Valentine was hoping that he’d get another shot at being a Tiger in 2017.
Not only does it appear Miles is ready to welcome the defensive lineman back, but that welcome could come a year earlier than expected. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Currently enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Valentine was expected to become a 2017 prospect, but NCAA rules may allow him to suit up for LSU in 2016, according to numerous sources with knowledge of Valentine’s academic situation.
Valentine and other sources have confirmed that LSU has checked with its compliance department about what it would take for him to enroll this fall. Valentine, who is currently in good academic standing, has to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, while completing the required number of course hours to qualify. The Tigers are taking a conservative approach to the situation, given the history between both parties, but multiple sources said the program is open to the idea if Valentine maintains his current course, and compliance decides that the transfer would meet NCAA guidelines.
Should Valentine ultimately return to Baton Rouge, it’d be the continuation of a lengthy — and bumpy — odyssey.
After signing with the Tigers in February of 2014, Valentine dealt with NCAA Clearinghouse issues — the player said another SEC program was the root cause — that forced him to miss the start of summer camp his true freshman season. While he was ultimately cleared to practice, he was not permitted to play in any games because of the lingering academic issues.
Then in April of last year, head coach Les Miles confirmed that Valentine had been suspended, with the specific reason being, again, academics. At the time of his departure from the program, it was reported that Valentine, in addition to the academic issues, had failed multiple drug tests.
A four-star member of the Tigers’ 2014 recruiting class, Valentine was rated as the No. 3 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Florida. He had been expected to be an immediate contributor to LSU’s line rotation.
The SEC had fought hard in pushing the NCAA’s Div. 1 Council to ban the practice of satellite camps, and then continued to push for The Association’s Board of Directors to reaffirm the ban. In the end, though, that conference has taken the “if you can’t beat ’em join ’em” tack.
Shortly after the NCAA confirmed that its Board of Directors had, at least for the foreseeable future, rescinded the ban on coaches taking part in football camps outside of their regions, the SEC confirmed that it will be rescinding its own ban on the practice. That rescinding follows through on the “threat” made last year by the conference that it would, essentially, unleash its football programs on the rest of the country if a ban wasn’t enacted.
The SEC’s lifting of the ban on such camps is not effective immediately; rather, it will take effect May 29. After that date, as outgoing commissioner Mike Slive said in late May last year, “our folks will be free to fan out all over the country and have at it.”
In a statement, Slive’s replacement, Greg Sankey, lamented the lifting of the ban while at the same time reaffirmed that “SEC coaches will be allowed to engage in summer camps as a result of Conference legislation approved during the 2015 SEC Spring Meetings.”
Below is the entirety of Sankey’s statement.
While we are disappointed with the NCAA governance process result, we respect the Board of Directors’ decision and are confident SEC football programs will continue to be highly effective in their recruiting efforts.
“We continue to believe football recruiting is primarily an activity best-focused in high schools during the established recruiting calendar, which has provided opportunities for football prospective student-athletes from all across the country to obtain broad national access and exposure but with appropriate guidance from high school coaches, teachers and advisors that focuses on both their academic and athletic opportunities as they decide where they will play college football.
They say there’s no crying in baseball. As for football recruiting? If you’re Les Miles, there apparently is. And some yelping for good measure.
Myles Brennan is a three-star 2017 prospect in 247Sports.com‘s composite rankings, rated as the No. 27 pro-style quarterback in the country. The Mississippi high schooler had held offers from 15 or so schools, including Cal, Indiana, Kentucky, Memphis, West Virginia and Wisconsin; a visit to LSU this past weekend ended with, to him, a surprise offer from Miles and the Tigers to make it an even 16.
Instead of mulling it over with his parents and others close to him, the non-committed Brennan gave Miles his verbal pledge shortly before the trip ended. Apparently appreciative of the chesticles shown by the young man, Miles “just started screaming and tears started coming out of his eyes” over the pledge.
” I just said, ‘Coach, I want to go ahead and shake your hand and tell you I’m going to go ahead and commit,'” Brennan said in an exceptional piece by the Sun Herald‘s Patrick Ochs. “At that time, he just started screaming and tears started coming out of his eyes. He gave me a big ol’ hug. My parents started tearing up and crying because they didn’t know it was coming.”
Given the sorry state of the position for most of his tenure in Baton Rouge, I guess you can excuse Miles getting emotional when someone of talent commits to his program.