Hokies offer up myriad injury updates

1 Comment

Virginia Tech’s injury list last season was a lengthy and voluminous one.  Not so unexpectedly, the updates have followed suit.

On the BeamerBall.com website Wednesday, head trainer Mike Goforth provided updates on a whopping 14 Hokie football players as the team gets set to commence spring practice.  A total of four of those players will not participate in spring practice, including running back Marshawn Williams and defensive lineman Luther Maddy.

Williams sustained a torn ACL last November, an injury that, obviously, knocked him out for the remainder of the 2014 season.  At the time, he was Tech’s leading rusher, and still ended up being No. 2 in that category (475 yards) as well as leading the team in rushing touchdowns (four).

Beyond spring, the status of Williams, who underwent ACL surgery in mid-December, for summer workouts is to be determined, although, if he does miss those sessions, it doesn’t appear it’ll be because of a lack of effort.

“[H]e’s looking great and really pushing through his rehab,” Goforth said. “I’m confident he’ll be close for summer, and with the way he works, and his strength and attitude, I wouldn’t bet against him.”

As for Maddy, it looks as if he’ll be a definite go for the summer workouts.

“Very encouraged with him. He’s doing phenomenal,” said the trainer. “We’re going to hold him out of both Winter and Spring. We need him back healthy and ready to roll when summer rolls around.”

Maddy sustained a knee injury in September that was expected to keep him out of action for 2-4 weeks. A month later, however, the lineman was forced to undergo another surgical procedure on the knee and missed the remainder of the season.

Over the past three-plus years, Maddy has started 33 of the 43 games in which he’s played. After leading the Hokies with 13.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hurries in 2013, Maddy was named third-team All-ACC by the coaches.

There was also some encouraging news for a pair of starting cornerbacks.

In December, Brandon Facyson suffered a broken tibia and fibula during bowl practice. While he had initially been ruled out of spring practice, Goforth wrote that the defensive back “will be ‘out’ for our Winter Workouts and then we’ll re-evaluate this status going into Spring.”

Facyson missed most of spring practice in 2014 because of a “stress reaction” in his left tibia, ultimately undergoing surgery a month later. He returned for summer camp and started the first three games of the 2014 season, but aggravated a lingering issue in his left leg and did not play the remainder of the regular season.

The other starting corner, Kendall Fuller, underwent wrist surgery in January.  He’ll be limited during spring practice, but should be fine moving forward for both summer workouts and summer camp.

The other two players definitely ruled out for the spring are center Kyle Chung (shoulder) and defensive end Ken Ekanem (shoulder).

UNLV hires Stanford assistant Peter Hansen as DC

Stanford Cardinal football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Thanks to the Stanford Cardinal football team, Marcus Arroyo is closing in on filling out his first UNLV coaching staff.

Tuesday, UNLV announced the hiring of Peter Hansen as Arroyo’s defensive coordinator.  The longtime Bay-area coach will also be responsible for the Rebels’ inside linebackers.

Hansen served two different stints as part of the Stanford Cardinal football program over the past decade-plus.

In 2008, Hansen was part of the strength & conditioning staff.  From 2009-10, he was a defensive assistant.  After a stint in the NFL, Hansen returned to the Cardinal in 2013.  The past seven seasons, he was Stanford’s inside linebackers coach.

In between the two Farm stops, Hansen was a defensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers.  He worked with both inside and outside linebackers during his two years with the NFL club.

Hansen, who played his college football and basketball at Arizona, was born in Palo Alto and began his coaching career at a high school in the city.  This will mark the assistant’s first coaching job outside of the Bay area.

Hansen and the rest of the Rebels defensive staff will have their work cut out for them.  At least, based on the campaign they will.

This past season, UNLV was dead last in the Mountain West Conference and 108th nationally as they gave up up 33 points per game.  In total defense, they were 13th in the conference and 105th in the country as they allowed 442.3 yards per game.  In passing defense, they were 13th and 104th.

With the Hansen hiring, Arroyo now has eight of his 10 on-field assistants in place.  The others already on the staff are:

  • Danny Langsdorf, quarterbacks coach/passing-game coordinator
  • Cameron Norcross, offensive line/running-game coordinator
  • Scott Baumgartner, running backs
  • Jordan Paopao, tight ends/special teams coordinator
  • Kenwick Thompson, linebackers
  • Damon Magazu, safeties
  • Tre Watson, cornerbacks

Boise State ‘weighing our options’ in regards to Mountain West membership

Getty Images
1 Comment

The Mountain West landed a big TV deal earlier this month, a 6-year deal with FOX and CBS that will pay the conference $270 million in total.

Even better for the conference, it would be the last time Boise State would be treated as separate from the rest of the league.

Which was apparently news to Boise State.

“The Mountain West stated that this was the last time our deal would be negotiated separately,” the school said in its own statement following the conference’s announcement. “However, Boise State’s decision to join the conference was predicated on a number of negotiated provisions, including the right to separately negotiate material terms of media rights relating to our home games. This is stated in our conference agreement and cannot be changed by any vote of the membership or conflicting agreement. We will not support any change to this provision and are in the process of weighing our options to move forward.”

As we all remember, Boise State was set to leave the Mountain West for the Big East before it became clear the Big East they agreed to join was not the Big East they would actually join. That league eventually became the American Athletic Conference, and that league would undoubtedly be happy to have Boise State if this latest spat with the MW cannot be smoothed over.

Six years into the College Football Playoff system, only Boise State and Western Michigan have claimed the Group of 5’s New Years Six bid from the American, and between now and the new MW deal’s expiration in 2025-26, it would be an upset if anyone other than Boise State or the AAC won the bid.

Should the Broncos actually follow through with this threat, their Olympic sports would have numerous options between the WAC, the Big Sky and maybe even the West Coast Conference (which is made up entirely of private schools but may be willing to make an exception for a brand like Boise State’s), but football would have limited options. Boise State would look south to see BYU’s experience as an independent has not gone as planned, and Bryan Harsin is unlikely to find a Pac-12 or Big 12 invitation in the mail, no matter how fun that may be for all of us to watch.

So that pretty much leaves Boise State to try to make life work as the far, far westernmost output of the AAC or smooth things over with the MW.

Of course, none of this would happen until 2026 and who knows if we’ll even have conferences, or college football, or a planet in 2026.

RILEY TO DALLAS! SMU hires Lincoln’s brother, Garrett

Getty Images
Leave a comment

All you who were damn sure a Riley would be coaching in Dallas in 2020, come collect your winnings. SMU has announced Garrett Riley, Lincoln’s younger brother, as its new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“I think he’s a really good fit,” head Mustang Sonny Dykes said of Riley. “He’s comfortable teaching our system of play, particularly in the passing game. One of the things that intrigued me about him was the success that Appalachian State had running the ball and the unique ways they did so.

“He also has a great history recruiting in this area. He knows the coaches and he knows the players. He even knew a lot of things about our current players when we sat down and talked.”

Riley coached running backs for Appalachian State in 2019 but did not join Eli Drinkwitz in the conga line from Boone to Mizzou. That’s despite Riley helping Mountaineer running back Darrynton Evans win Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year honors after registering 1,740 all-purpose yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. He’ll now have to help Shane Buechele improve upon a season in which he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 34 touchdowns.

He’ll replace Rhett Lashlee, who left for a similar job at Miami.

Garrett started his career ahead of Lincoln, playing at Texas Tech whereas Lincoln just coached as an undergraduate. He then moved on to Stephen F. Austin before joining the coaching profession as an assistant in the Texas high school ranks. He worked under big brother at East Carolina before spending 2016-18 at Kansas.

In conjunction with the move, SMU has elevated offensive line coach AJ Ricker to co-offensive coordinator.

Dave Aranda reportedly set to hire defensive coordinator away from Louisiana-Lafayette

Getty Images
Leave a comment

New Baylor head coach Dave Aranda is a defensive coordinator by trade, so his choice of defensive coordinator will be an interesting one. Will he call it himself or hand the reins to someone else, bursting a blood vessel all the while as he looks on as someone else has the audacity to handle his baby different from him?

According to multiple reports Tuesday, Aranda will hire Louisiana-Lafayette defensive coordinator Ron Roberts to serve in the same post in Waco.

Roberts helmed the Ragin’ Cajuns’ defense for the past two seasons, helping the club go 18-10. His 2019 defense led the Sun Belt in scoring (19.7 points per game) while ranking second in the league in total (371.8) and per play (5.45) defense.

More than his work in Lafayette, Aranda was impressed by his run as the head coach at Division II Delta State, a run that saw him go 47-16 with four Gulf South Conference titles from 2007-11. Working under his wing for that 2007 season was a young Aranda, who served as the Statesmen’s co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

Roberts hasn’t been announced yet and so we’re far from a determination as to whose lips the play calls will emerge from, but the guess here is Aranda and Roberts will work like the arrangement Jimbo Fisher and Darrell Dickey have at Texas A&M, where the head man calls plays while working in lock step with the coordinator.