Mississippi State Bulldogs

STARKVILLE, MS - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head Coach Dan Mullen of the Mississippi State Bulldogs on the sidelines during a game against the Northwestern State Demons at Davis Wade Stadium on September 19, 2015 in Starkville, Mississippi.  The Bulldogs defeated the Demons 62-13.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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Miss. St. confirms Maurice Linguist’s addition to Dan Mullen’s staff

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For the third time this offseason, Dan Mullen has added a new face to his Mississippi State defensive staff.

The latest addition is Maurice Linguist, who the school confirmed Thursday has been hired as to coach the safeties for the Bulldogs. Linguist had spent the past two seasons as Iowa State’s defensive passing game coordinator.

“Maurice is a very sharp person with a bright future in the coaching profession,” a statement from Mullen read. “His knowledge of the game is exceptional, while his teaching and communication skills will resonate well with our players. We are happy to have him in Starkville and look forward to the impact he will make on our team.”

“I am excited to be a part of the tradition that Coach Mullen has established in his tenure here at Mississippi State,” Linguist said. “It’s a privilege to be a Bulldog, to coach in the Southeastern Conference and to mentor the dynamic safeties we have on this team.”

Linguist’s first on-field job at the FBS level came at Buffalo in 2012-13, holding the same job title he had at ISU. After finishing up his playing career at Baylor — as a safety he was team MVP and honorable mention All-Big 12 selection — he began his coaching career at his alma mater as a grad assistant in 2007.

The 31-year-old assistant has also spent time on staffs at Valdosta State (2008, defensive backs/special teams) and James Madison (2009-11, safeties).

Linguist joins Peter Sirmon (defensive coordinator) and Terrell Buckley (secondary) as coaches Mullen has hired over the past three weeks.

Half of all FBS signees lived between Texas and North Carolina

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Johnny Jefferson #5 of the Baylor Bears carries while defended by Dominquie Green #26 and Des Lawrence #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of the Russell Athletic Bowl game at Orlando Citrus Bowl on December 29, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.

In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.

The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.

Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.

Data dump, begin!

Miss. St. lands five-star DE Jeffery Simmons over Bama, Ole Miss

Jeffery Simmons

Alabama began National Signing Day with the No. 12 recruiting class in the country, and has since climbed to No. 3 with a handful of key commitments.  Ole Miss had climbed to No. 2 at one point before settling in at its current No. 4.

Mississippi State?  A fairly nondescript day… until now in a much-needed development for the football program.

In what some recruitniks consider more than a mild surprise — or even borderline shocking — Jeffery Simmons revealed during his announcement ceremony that he will play for Dan Mullen at MSU in 2016.  Simmons is a five-star defensive end rated as the No. 1 strongside defensive end in the country.

More importantly, perhaps, for the Bulldogs is that Simmons is the No. 1-rated player at any position in the state of Mississippi, and the Rebels had been one of his three finalists.  Not only that, but the Rebels were considered the frontrunners by most observers.

The other finalist, of course, was Nick Saban‘s Tide.

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.

Miss. St. confirms hiring of Peter Sirmon as DC, Terrell Buckley as secondary coach

Peter Sirmon
Associated Press

Following up on a week’s worth of speculation, Mississippi State has confirmed the additions of two assistants to Dan Mullen‘s coaching staff, including his new defensive boss.

First and foremost, Peter Sirmon has been hired to be Mullen’s defensive coordinator.  Sirmon replaces Manny Diaz, who left MSU after one season to take the same job with Mark Richt at Miami.

Sirmon, who had spent the past two seasons as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at USC, will also serve as linebackers coach.

“Peter is one of the bright young defensive minds in all of college football,” Mullen said. “He will relate to our players well, and he has outstanding knowledge of the game with his experience as a college coach and former NFL linebacker. His recruiting prowess is evident by the talent he brought in and developed at his previous coaching jobs. He’s a great fit to lead our defense.”

“This is a great opportunity to join Coach Mullen’s staff and build a championship defense at Mississippi State,” Sirmon said. “It’s been exciting so far on the recruiting trail. We want to continue to build relationships and bring elite talent to Starkville. We have an exceptional core of experienced players coming back, and I am thrilled to get to know each of them.”

In addition to Sirmon, Terrell Buckley was added as secondary coach as well as recruiting coordinator. Buckley spent the past two seasons as cornerbacks coach at Louisville.

Finally, Mullen confirmed the reports of the departure of Deshea Townsend for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.  Townsend had spent the past three seasons in Starkville as cornerbacks coach.

Replacing Townsend would once again complete Mullen’s nine-man staff.

“We thank Deshea for his three years of service at Mississippi State and wish him all the best as he pursues his dream of coaching in the NFL,” Mullen said. “We have begun a search for an assistant coach who is the right fit for our program.”