Mike Stoops on Manziel: ‘If they keep him out of jail… he’ll be pretty good’

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Yep, he went there.

In the Cotton Bowl a week ago, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel ripped the Oklahoma defense to the tune of 516 yards and four touchdowns as the Aggies throttled the Sooners 41-13.  The man whose defense was charged with stopping or at least slowing down the 2012 Heisman winner was sufficiently impressed with what he witnessed last Friday night.

Never seen anything like that,” OU’s Mike Stoops said during a radio interview this evening, as transcribed by Tulsa World‘s John Hoover. “Never felt as defenseless as we were the other night, that’s for sure.”

As is ofttimes the case, though, the loquacious Stoops, brother of head coach Bob Stoops, couldn’t help himself as he tossed out some words of wisdom/caution for head coach Kevin Sumlin and his Aggies coaching staff.

Said the defensive coordinator, “If they can keep (Manziel) out of jail or keep him eligible, he’s gonna be pretty good.”

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Manziel, of course, was arrested back in late June for disorderly conduct and possessing a fake identification.  Many thought the incident had derailed Manziel’s shot at A&M’s starting job; instead, he won it a month a half later and went on to a record-breaking regular season capped by becoming the first freshman — redshirt or otherwise — to win a Heisman.

Whether or not Stoops’ comment was a shot at the off-field incident is not exactly clear — OK, it was.  Stoops, though, wasn’t done as, in addition to expressing concern about future incarceration, he also delved deeper into the eligibility issue

If they can keep him off the Twitter, he might have 3-4 Heismans,” Stoops said. “He’ll have that type of ability.”

(Writer’s note: forget it, he’s rolling)

That’s apparently in reference to some pictures posted by Manziel to his Twitter account in the aftermath of the blowout win over the Sooners.  In the photos, the underage Manziel is seen holding a bottle of Dom Perignon as well as fanning out a wad of money (pictured, above right) that he apparently won while at a casino.  The photos set of a laughable mini-firestorm of controversy as some accused the quarterback of bending or outright breaking NCAA bylaws.

In response to that particular controversy, Manziel sent out a tweet earlier today that read “Great visit to the hospital today in Connecticut made a ton of new friends. Hopefully this picture passes compliance” and included the following photo:

Johnny Manziel

Well played, Johnny Football.  Well played.

Good to see that there’s at least one person with class in this post…

Ohio State co-DC Jeff Hafley reportedly rebuffed interview overtures from Cincinnati Bengals

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The Cincinnati Bengals were rebuffed in its pursuit of an SEC defensive coordinator this past week.  As it turns out, they pursued another coordinator at the collegiate level — and were shot down yet again.

According to a report from the NFL Network, the Bengals sought an interview with new Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley for their still-vacant coordinator job. “However,” the report stated, “he’s not going to renege on his commitment to OSU after taking the job last month.”

On Jan. 7, the Buckeyes confirmed Hafley and Michigan assistant Greg Mattison had been named as co-coordinators on Ryan Day‘s first OSU coaching staff.

The 39-year-old Hafley — he’ll turn 40 in April — has spent the past three seasons as the defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers.  All told, Hafley worked at the NFL for the last seven seasons.

Hafley’s last job at the collegiate level coming at Rutgers in 2011 as part of the coaching staff of Greg Schiano, who was let go by Day as OSU’s defensive coordinator early last month.

Ex-Illinois WR Mike Bellamy returning to Illini as RBs coach

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A familiar face will reportedly be next up on the offensive side of Lovie Smith‘s Illinois coaching staff.

Bob Asmussen of the Champaign News-Gazette was one of a handful reporting Friday that Smith is set to name Mike Bellamy as his new running backs coach.  While there’s nothing yet official from the football program, a school official stated that a staff announcement could come as early as this weekend.

The hiring of Bellamy, who would replace an assistant lost to a MAC school, would mark a Champaign homecoming on a couple of fronts.

In the late eighties, Bellamy was a first-team All-Big Ten wide receiver and second-team All-American kick returner for the Illini.  Then, from 2012-15, Bellamy served as wide receivers coach at his alma mater.

The past two seasons, Bellamy was the wide receivers coach at Toledo.  In between his stints at Toledo and Illinois, he was a quality control coach at Mississippi State in 2016.

Arkansas reportedly hiring Auburn staffer for on-field role

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One SEC West school has turned to another from the same division to fill a hole on its coaching staff.  Reportedly.

According to 247Sports.com, and citing two sources familiar with the decision, Chad Morris is expected to hire Kenny Ingram as Arkansas’ defensive line coach. Morris’ move to add a new assistant to his Razorbacks staff was triggered by John Scott‘s move to South Carolina earlier this offseason.

Ingram, who played his college football at Arkansas State, has spent the past two seasons as the Director of Player Relations at Auburn.

Prior to his time on The Plains, Ingram worked as the defensive line coach at Cincinnati from 2015-16.  From 2006-09, he was on the coaching staff at Memphis, including a turn as defensive coordinator his last season with the Tigers.

In 2012, Ingram worked with the defensive line at his alma mater ASU.

Lincoln Riley’s brother named App State running backs coach

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Garrett Riley is a bright, accomplished coach in his own right, but until he wins back-to-back Heismans with two different quarterbacks (or, at least becomes a head coach in his own right), he’s going to be known as his big brother’s little brother. With that in mind: Lincoln Riley’s brother has been announced as Appalachian State’s new running backs coach.

“I’m excited to be part such a traditionally successful program,” Riley said in a statement. “I’m humble and grateful to have the opportunity to be around this organization and work with Coach Drink and the rest of the staff that I’ve known about for several years. Look forward to continuing the great success that Appalachian State’s had, and I can’t wait to start working with the players.”

Garrett followed Lincoln to Texas Tech and East Carolina before branching out on his own at Kansas, where he joined the staff as an offensive analyst in 2016 and was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2017 and tight ends/fullbacks coach in 2018.

Appalachian State has not announced an offensive coordinator under new head coach Eli Drinkwitz — and certainly the head coach, a former offensive coordinator himself, will have tremendous sway on his favored side of the ball initially — it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Riley become the Mountaineers’ offensive coordinator in 2020 or 2021. “We’re looking to be cutting edge on offense, and we expect him to continue to push that,” Drinkwitz said Friday. “His experience coaching in North Carolina will also benefit our program.”