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Penn State announces future games with Nevada, San Jose State and Bowling Green

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At long last, our national nightmare is over. Penn State is finally going to meet Nevada and San Jose State on the gridiron, and the Nittany Lions are going to kill both birds with the same season.

Penn State on Monday announced it has scheduled future games with Nevada, San Jose State as well as Bowling Green. Penn State hosts Nevada on Sept. 5 for its 2020 season opener and hosts San Jose State on Sept. 19. The Nittany Lions will visit Virginia Tech on Sept. 12 of that season, meaning all three of Penn State’s non-conference opponents in 2020 will be first-timers.

Penn State last played a Mountain West opponent on Sept. 26, 2015, a 37-21 win over San Diego State in State College.

The Nittany Lions also added a Sept. 7, 2024 game with Bowling Green to be played at Beaver Stadium. Penn State has played Bowling Green twice before, but not since 1998 — a 48-3 Penn State win.

 

Ex-USC WR Rahshead Johnson no longer at San Jose State, too

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Maybe the third time will be a charm?

In January of 2015, Rahshead Johnson decided to transfer from USC and ultimately ended up at San Jose State.  Now, a little over three years after that departure, the wide receiver is departing again.

Johnson has another season of eligibility remaining, so he could transfer to another program and play in 2018.  Whether that’s his plan or not is unknown.

Johnson was a four-star member of the Trojans’ 2014 recruiting class, rated as the No. 19 receiver in the country; the No. 13 player at any position in the state of California; and the No. 139 player overall. Only three of the 19 members of USC’s last class carried a higherRivals.com rating than Johnson’s 5.9: Adoree’ Jackson and John Smith‘s 6.1, and Damien Mama‘s 6.0.

With the Spartans, Johnson, after sitting out the 2015 season, caught 16 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns in 2016.  This past season, those numbers dropped to seven and 103, although he did another pair of touchdowns.

Washington adds San Jose State assistant as 10th coach

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Yet another Power Five program has poached one from the Group Of Five to fill the 10th assistant role that went into effect this week.

Washington became the latest to do the poaching, with UW confirming that Will Harris has joined Chris Petersen‘s staff as defensive backs coach.  The move, at least for now, completes what would be Petersen’s fifth staff with the program.

“Will is an excellent, young coach who I think will fit our team and our culture well,” Petersen said in a statement. “We’re excited to have him join our staff.”

The past two seasons, Harris worked as the defensive backs coach at San Jose State.

That was Harris’ first job at the FBS level; this will, obviously, be the first Power Five job in a coaching career that began less than a decade ago and has included a stop in Southern California’s Snoop League.

Sean Lewis adds coordinators on both sides of the ball to first Kent State coaching staff

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Arguably the two most important hires Sean Lewis makes as he embarks on his first head-coaching job are in place.

Kent State announced Friday that Andrew Sowder and Tom Kaufman have been added to his first coaching staff, the former on the offensive side and the latter on the defensive side.  Kaufman will also carry the title of associate head coach for the Golden Flashes.

“Tom is a Northeast Ohio guy,” the first-year head coach said in a statement. “He’s a relentless recruiter and a great football mind. He’s going to bring an aggressive, attacking defense that was No. 1 in the SoCon last year. I couldn’t be more excited to have him on board. …

“I have a great relationship with Andrew. He helped groom and develop Roger Lewis who’s an NFL starter with the New York Giants. He understands our system and the idea of playing FlashFast. He fully embraces it and I can’t wait to get on the field with him.”

Sowder spent the 2017 season as the offensive coordinator and right ends coach at San Jose State.  Kaufman was the defensive coordinator at FCS Chattanooga in this past season.

Lewis and Kaufman worked together on the same staff at Syracuse in 2016, the former as offensive coordinator and the latter as special teams coordinator/linebackers coach.

Herm Edwards: ‘I am very excited and humbled to be the Arizona State head football coach’

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If nothing else, this should prove to be fascinating theatre.

Word broke Saturday evening that, after a few days worth of speculation, Herm Edwards was set to be named as the new head football coach at Arizona State.  Sunday night, that stunning development officially came to fruition as the Sun Devils “unveiled plans for a restructured ASU football model” by naming Edwards as the program’s 24th coach.

According to the school, the hiring is pending the approval of the Arizona Board of Regents.

“Passion for my faith, my family and my occupation as a football coach are the things that have driven me back to the grass,” said Edwards in a statement. “My personal commitment to build young men to be whole people through the game of football is completely in alignment with the vision President Michael Crow and Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson have for this program. I stand ready for the challenge of working with them to elevate Sun Devil Football. I am very excited and humbled to be the Arizona State head football coach.”

The 63-year-old Edwards’ last coaching job at any level came as the head coach of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs in 2008; his last (and only) college job was as the defensive backs coach at San Jose State from 1987-89.  Since 2009, he’s been an NFL analyst for ESPN.

For perspective, the last time Edwards was a coach at the collegiate level, Urban Meyer was the quarterbacks/wide receivers coach at Illinois State and Nick Saban was the defensive backs coach of the Houston Oilers; Lincoln Riley, one of the four 2017 playoff head coaches, was a first-grader; Bo Schembechler was in his last season as the head coach at Michigan; and there were a total of 18 bowl games (there are now 174).

The school noted in its release that Edwards “has most recently served as a coach for the past eight years at the Under Armour All-American game, which features the top high school football recruits in the country,” so there’s that, which is nice.

ASU’s current athletic director, Ray Anderson, served as Edwards’ agent during a coaching career that seemingly ended nearly a decade ago.

“During my years with and around the NFL, there is not a more respected man that has the passion for the game of football like that of Herm Edwards,” Anderson said. “I have no doubt his ability to lead, inspire and develop young men will translate into his staff and into recruiting, and I’m confident he is the visionary and leader we need to command this new ASU football model.”

As for that new football model?  From the school’s release:

The department’s New Leadership Model will be similar to an NFL approach using a general manager structure. It’s a collaborative approach to managing the ASU football program that includes sport and administrative divisions, which will operate as distinct, but collective units focused on elevating all aspects of Sun Devil Football. This structure will allow the department to form a multi-layered method to the talent evaluation and recruiting processes, increase its emphasis on both student-athlete and coach development and retention, and provide a boost in resource allocation and generation.

“Our goal for this football program is to reach unprecedented heights, and therefore we need to find a way to operate more innovatively and efficiently than we have in the past,” Anderson said. “In the spirit of innovation, our vision for this program is to have a head coach who serves as a CEO and is the central leader with a collaborative staff around him that will elevate the performance of players and coaches on the field, in the classroom and in our community. Equally important, the head coach will be a dynamic and tireless recruiter.

OK then.