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Middle Tennessee promotes Austin Silvoy to receivers coach

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Middle Tennessee State is staying in house to fill a void at wide receivers coach. Austin Silvoy has been promoted to the coaching position after serving the 2016 season as a quality control coach for head coach Rick Stockstill.

The Middle Tennessee State assistant coaching job will be Silvoy’s first at the FBS level, although he has some coaching experience under his belt with Florida Tech of the Gulf South Conference and the University of Central Oklahoma. The year of experience with the Blue Raiders will also ensure he is familiar with the players and what he has to work with in 2017.

“Austin was with our staff last year in an off the field position and did an excellent job,” said Stockstill in a released statement. “I was impressed with his work ethic, communication skills and how he understood our offense. He will also do a great job in recruiting.”

Silvoy played college football for a Middle Tennessee rival, Troy. Silvoy played receiver for the Trojans from 2007 through 2010, catching 45 passes and six touchdowns. He was a part of five Sun Belt championship teams with Troy and hopes to bring some of that success to Middle Tennessee.

“I played against Middle Tennessee when I was at Troy and always respected Coach Stockstill and the program,” said Silvoy. “Joining his staff on a full-time basis is like a dream come true because he is one of the best in the business.”

Silvoy replaces Kez McCorvey, who was fired at the end of the 2016 season.

Surgery knocks out MTSU starting QB Brent Stockstill for the spring

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In early November, a right shoulder injury knocked Brent Stockstill out for the remainder of Middle Tennessee State’s season.  Four months later, a procedure on the other side of the same area has sidelined the starting quarterback yet again.

MTSU announced Tuesday that Stockstill will miss the whole of spring practice, which is set to kick off March 15.  The rising junior recently underwent surgery on his left (throwing) shoulder.

The procedure is not expected to have any impact on his availability for the upcoming season.

“The doctors just went in and cleaned some stuff up in his shoulder but he should be ready to go this summer,” Rick Stockstill, MTSU’s head coach and the player’s father, said in a statement. “He will be held out of spring drills.”

After just two seasons as the starter, Stockstill already owns school records in touchdown passes (61), 300-yard passing games (14), 400-yard passing games (2) and passing yards per game (303.3).

Ex-Mizzou DE Walter Brady surfaces at MTSU

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The “secret” is now officially out.

In very early August of last year, Walter Brady was dismissed from the Missouri football program for what was described as violations of unspecified team rules.  Unbeknownst to most, the defensive end found a new collegiate home shortly thereafter.

In a story posted to their official website Tuesday night, Middle Tennessee State revealed that Brady had transferred to the school last September from Mizzou; his addition to the roster had not previously been announced  As Brady sat out the 2016 season while enrolled in classes at MTSU, he’ll be eligible to play in 2017 as a redshirt junior.

Brady had actually committed to MTSU and head coach Rick Stockstill while in high school before flipping to Mizzou.

“For Coach Stock to find me and offer me a chance to come here under his mentorship and under his coaching staff and to be able to build myself as a man and athletically, it meant a lot,” Brady told the team’s site. “It showed the coaching staff believes in me.

“It was a rough transition at first, but I finally got settled in towards the end of last semester. It’s like being home – MTSU and I have a lot of history. The coaches jab at me every now and then about not coming here in the first place. But it’s a blessing to be here now.”

After redshirting in 2014, Brady started nine games at end as a redshirt freshman the following season.  His seven sacks were tops among all freshman nationally, while his 12.5 tackles for loss were tops amongst that class in the SEC.

For that, he earned consensus Freshman All-American honors.

Independents and Group of Five National Signing Day Recap: Irish bounce back, Memphis tops AAC

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Outside of the Power Five conferences, recruiting went about as expected in 2017.

Notre Dame continued to pound the national trail and landed a top 12 class full of players who will be expected to play early. BYU managed another impressive group that was one of the most diverse out there. The schools with a talent-rich backyard to draw on did well in the AAC.  Boise State was once again tops in the Mountain West and did better than a few peers in the region. And yes, Lane Kiffin earned that recruiting reputation by pulling in the best class of Conference USA.

Though there wasn’t much drama outside the top schools, there nevertheless was plenty of action for many programs on National Signing Day.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 67 overall Brock Wright (TE, Notre Dame), No. 154 overall Chaz Ah You (DB, BYU), Aisa Kelemete (DE, Boise State), Nick Robinson (TE, Memphis), Nicholas Sims (RB, Toledo)

Top classes: Notre Dame (No. 11 overall), Memphis (No. 58 overall), Boise State (No. 60 overall), BYU (No. 65 overall), Florida Atlantic (No. 71 overall), Toledo (No. 74 overall), Texas State (No. 87 overall)

Biggest storyline: Irish still land solid recruiting class

Despite the worst season in South Bend since Charlie Weis and a nearly brand new coaching staff, Notre Dame still managed to cobble together a top 12 class on Signing Day. Tight end Brock Wright was the highest rated player and should see early playing time but the number of quality offensive linemen was really evident in the group Brian Kelly signed. Will it be enough to help with a big turnaround? We’ll see.

Biggest surprise: Memphis runs away with things in the AAC but new coaches still fared well

Given all the turnover in the American this year, it should probably come as no surprise that the Tigers pulled the top recruiting class in the conference. That’s a testament to what Mike Norvell is building with the program and the fact that they don’t have to go far for players. Many of the same factors played a role in Scott Frost landing the second-best class at UCF. It was also pretty impressive what Luke Fickell did on the recruiting trail at Cincinnati and Charlie Strong did at USF given those two didn’t have a ton of time to get things lined up.

Don’t sleep on: Boise State, Colorado State

The Broncos were once again the class of the Mountain West on the recruiting trail and fended off several Pac-12 schools for prospects. That will put them firmly in the mix to win the league again in 2017 but don’t overlook another good job by Mike Bobo and staff at Colorado State in landing 17 three-star players.

We’ll see about: Everybody else

Former Syracuse coach Scott Shafer hired as Middle Tennessee’s defensive coordinator

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Middle Tennessee is giving former Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer a chance to get back in the game. Shafer has been hired to be the new defensive coordinator for the Blue Raiders, the school announced Friday.

“We are all very excited about Scott and his wife Missy joining the Blue Raider family,” said MTSU head coach Rick Stockstill in a released statement. “Scott brings a wealth of experience as a defensive coordinator and we can’t wait until he gets started and puts his plan in place. He will have a positive impact on the program and university as our defensive coordinator.”

Shafer was out of coaching during the 2016 season after being fired by Syracuse after the the previous season. Shafer coached Syracuse to a record of 14-23 in his three years on the job. Now, he returns to a familiar role as defensive coordinator. Shafer has held the title of defensive coordinator at Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Stanford (under Jim Harbaugh), Michigan (under Rich Rodriguez) and Syracuse (under Doug Marrone; Shafer replaced Marrone once the coach was hired by the NFL’s Buffalo Bills).

Middle Tennessee ranked 96th in the nation in total defense in 2016, allowing 449.5 yards per game. The Blue Raiders also allowed an average of 35.8 points per game (which ranked 109th in the nation).