Rod Smith

AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File

56 college football assistants named nominees for 2017 Broyles Award

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College football’s award season is coming quickly with semifinalists and finalists for various awards coming in the next few weeks. Among the awards is the Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coach in college football. Today, the Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation released its list of nominees for this year’s award. All 56 of them, which is sure to keep more SIDs busy this time of year.

No school has more than one assistant nominated for the award and previous winners of the award from the past five seasons are not eligible. Clemson’s Brent Venables won the award last year, for example, so he is not eligible this season. This list of nominees will be trimmed to 15 semifinalists later this season, and that list will be cut down to five finalists for the award.

The Broyles Award was first awarded in 2010 to Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Malzahn is currently the head coach of the Tigers. In total, five Broyles Award winners have gone on to be a head coach, with four of those currently holding head coaching positions. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi (2013, Michigan State defensive coordinator), Texas head coach Tom Herman (2014, Ohio State offensive coordinator), and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley (2015, Oklahoma offensive coordinator) currently hold head coaching jobs. Bob Diaco, who won the award in 2012 while at Notre Dame, went on to be named the head coach at UConn and currently is an assistant with Nebraska.

2017 Broyles Award Nominees

  • Alabama – Brian Daboll, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Arizona – Rod Smith, Co–Offensive Coordinator
  • Arizona State – Phil Bennett, Defensive Coordinator
  • Arkansas State – Brian Early, Defensive Line Coach
  • Auburn – Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator
  • Boise State – Andy Avalos, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Bowling Green State – Matt Brock, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • California – Beau Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
  • Central Florida – Troy Walters, Offensive Coordinator
  • Clemson – Tony Elliot, Co–Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs
  • Eastern Michigan – Neal Neathery, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • FAU – Chris Kiffin, Defensive Coordinator
  • FIU – Brent Guy, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Fresno State – Orlondo Steinauer, Defensive Coordinator
  • Georgia – Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator
  • Georgia State – Nate Fuqua, Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
  • Iowa State – Jon Heacock, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
  • Kansas State – Sean Snyder, Special Teams Coordinator
  • LSU – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator
  • Memphis – Joe Lorig, Special Teams Coordinator; – Outside Linebackers
  • Miami – Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
  • Michigan – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Michigan State – Harlon Barnett, Co–Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
  • Mississippi State – Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Missouri – Josh Heupel, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • NC State – Dwayne Ledford, Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator
  • North Texas – Graham Harrell, Offensive Coordinator
  • Northwestern – Mike Hankwitz, Defensive Coordinator
  • Notre Dame – Mike Elko, Defensive Coordinator
  • Ohio State – Larry Johnson, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach
  • Oklahoma – Bill Bedenbaugh, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • Oklahoma State – Mike Yurcich, Offensive Coordinator/QBs
  • Ole Miss – Derrick Nix, Running Backs Coach
  • Oregon – Jim Leavitt, Defensive Coordinator
  • Penn State – Brent Pry, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • San José State – Bojay Filimoeatu, Linebackers Coach
  • SMU – Joe Craddock, Offensive Coordinator
  • South Carolina – Coleman Hutzler, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • Southern Miss – Tony Pecoraro, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
  • Stanford – Mike Bloomgren, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • Syracuse – Brian Ward, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • TCU – Chad Glasgow, Defensive Coordinator
  • Temple – Jim Panagos, Defensive Line
  • Texas – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Toledo – Brian Wright, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
  • Troy – Vic Koenning, Defensive Coordinator
  • U.S. Military Academy – Brent Davis, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • USC – Tee Martin, Offensive Coordinator/WR Coach
  • Utah State – Mark Tommerdahl, Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
  • Virginia Tech – Bud Foster, Defensive Coordinator
  • Wake Forest – Warren Ruggiero, Offensive Coordinator
  • Washington – Pete Kwiatkowski, Defensive Coordinator
  • Washington State – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator / Secondary
  • West Virginia – Tony Gibson, Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Western Kentucky – Clayton White, Defensive Coordinator
  • Wisconsin – Jim Leonhard, Defensive Coordinator

QB Anu Solomon shows he is improving in Arizona spring game

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Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon passed for 3,793 yards and 28 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman for the Wildcats, leading them to a spot in the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State. He also rushed for 291 yards and a pair of touchdowns. This spring has seen Solomon look to improve in any way he can, and that appears to be paying off.

Solomon was one of the highlights of Arizona’s spring game Friday night in Tucson. The starting quarterback completed 19 of 25 attempts for 175 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and rushed three times for an additional 20 yards. His decision-making could still use some improvement, head coach Rich Rodriguez noted after the game, but the promise is still there.

“He was pretty sharp. There were a couple of times he probably could’ve been a little more decisive in his throws but Anu is a smart guy,” Rodriguez told reporters Friday night after the spring game. “He’s gotten better and, with a great summer, I think he will be even better come this fall.”

Solomon is still young, so there is still a learning curve at play. This spring, he knew what he needed to work on after an impressive redshirt freshman debut.

“Game management and making sure I am keeping an eye on the down and distance, and what kind of situation it is,” Solomon said Friday night. “If we are down by eight on fourth-and-15, and I throw the ball away, that is something I have to work on. I am still struggling with that, but what I am doing now is getting in the film room with Coach (Rod Smith) and working.”

His work is not going unrecognized by his teammates either. Arizona wide receiver David Richards, who caught two passes for 26 yards and a touchdown in Arizona’s Friday night spring game, complimented Solomon’s work this spring.

“I think Anu has developed more and he knows the offense, its ins and outs, and knows the right decisions to make on each play,” Richards said. “Every time I go past the weight room, (Anu) is in there, and I think he is doing a great job of being a leader.”

Arizona’s offense is going to be in good hands with Solomon.

Quotes via Arizona Athletics.

Statement: Rod Smith left OSU to ‘deal with some personal issues’

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Yet another twist has reared its head in the Rod Smith conundrum at Ohio State.

It was first reported Monday that the running back had been dismissed from the football program for unspecified violations of team rules.  It was subsequently reported that Smith received the boot after failing a drug test.

In a statement released early Tuesday afternoon attributed to head coach Urban Meyer, the word dismissal — or any word that could mean dismissal, for that matter — wasn’t used at all.

Rod Smith has left the Ohio State football team in order to deal with some personal issues. We will continue to support Rod and we wish him the best.

In a conference call, Meyer did confirm that Smith, a senior, will not be returning to the team at any point in the future. He did say that the player will remain on scholarship.

Report: failed drug test led to OSU’s dismissal of Rod Smith

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As is ofttimes the case when it comes to off-field situations, the picture becomes a little more clear in the ensuing days.

Monday, multiple media outlets reported that Ohio State running back Rod Smith had been dismissed from the football program.  The senior’s dismissal was connected to the catch-all “violation of unspecified team rules” designation.

Citing an unnamed source, however, the Columbus Dispatch reported overnight that Smith was dismissed after failing a drug test.

According to OSU’s student-athlete handbook, a “third positive drug test and/or substance abuse occurrence” results in a suspension “from all Department of Athletics functions for a minimum of one calendar year.” The same guidelines call for the loss of “all remaining eligibility and loss of athletic grant-in-aid” following a second positive drug test for performance-enhancing drugs or anabolic steroids.

Earlier this year, head coach Urban Meyer acknowledged that he wasn’t certain Smith would remain with the team because of what he called academic-related issues. Two weeks ago, the player himself alluded to some non-specified incidents that he said served as a wake-up call.

“My turnaround, basically I made up my mind that enough was enough,” Smith told ESPN.com. “This is my last year to go out and help this team and try to get film and try to get myself ready for the next level.

“We all just sat down, and after the incidents happened, I just made sure I was going to work my butt off to contribute to this team and not let the running backs down. They never turned their back on me. When I was doing all that stuff, they never shied away from me.”

Smith’s 101 yards this season are currently fifth on the team, while his four rushing touchdowns are third.  Her also had a touchdown reception.

Ohio State dismisses RB Rod Smith for violation of team rules

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Ohio State running back Rod Smith has been dismissed from the club for the deaded and intentionally ambiguous violation of team rules, ElevenWarriors.com reported Monday night.

“When I was getting ready for training camp, there was part of me saying we probably won’t have a back,” head coach Urban Meyer recently said of Smith. “Not a bad guy, just struggled academically, didn’t do much. He’s been a pleasure to coach.  His demeanor, his work ethic.  I really like where he’s at.”

Smith ranked fifth on the team with 24 carries for 101 yards and four touchdowns on the season. He posted season highs of 11 rushes for 61 yards and a touchdown in the Buckeyes’ 55-24 win over Cincinnati on Sept. 27.

Smith was also a significant contributor on special teams.

No. 13 Ohio State hosts Illinois on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET, ABC).