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Florida State confirms Jimbo Fisher has accepted offer from Texas A&M

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Not that there was much doubt, but now it’s officially official.

Earlier this afternoon, myriad reports surfaced that Jimbo Fisher had decided to leave as Florida State’s head coach and assume the same position at Texas A&M.  Not long after, FSU president John Thrasher confirmed that Fisher had informed him he’s accepted A&M’s offer.

Fisher will not coach FSU’s regular-season finale, it was also confirmed, with longtime defensive line coach Odell Haggins serving as interim head coach for Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe.  FSU needs to win that game to avoid going bowl-less for the first time since 1981.

Fisher spent the past 11 seasons with the Seminoles, the last eight as head coach.  In that span, FSU went 83-23 overall and 48-17 in ACC play.  The ‘Noles won three conference titles, four Atlantic Division crowns and the 2013 national championship.  Their last conference title came in 2014, with the season bottoming out at 5-6 heading into this weekend’s rescheduled game.

Reports out of College Station have Fisher arriving in the area Sunday and being officially introduced as the Aggies’ new head football coach at a Monday press conference.

Below are the statements from both Thrasher and athletic director Stan Wilcox addressing Fisher’s departure for the SEC:

STATEMENT FROM FSU PRESIDENT JOHN THRASHER
Florida State University has one of the premier programs in college football and has had only two head football coaches in the past 40 years.

Today, Jimbo Fisher informed me he has accepted an offer to become the next head football coach at Texas A&M University. Coach Fisher did an exceptional job as both an assistant coach at FSU and in the challenging role of successor to the legendary Bobby Bowden. I believe Texas A&M is getting one of the best coaches in college football. We appreciate all he has done for our program and wish him and his family great success moving forward.

From the moment media reports began to circulate about our position, it became evident the job would attract great interest from a number of elite coaches, and we will move quickly to evaluate candidates from across the nation.

Our fans are the best in the country, loyal and passionate about developing student-athletes who are champions on and off the field. They’ve made Doak Campbell Stadium one of the most thrilling venues in all of college sports along with its storied traditions that represent the spirit and excellence of our distinguished university, athletically and academically. The excitement around Florida State is indisputable, and a tremendous opportunity awaits whoever is chosen as our new head football coach.

STATEMENT FROM FSU VICE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS STAN WILCOX
President Thrasher and I have worked together through this challenging period while Coach Fisher was making a decision, and I appreciate the cooperation, support and leadership he has provided.

In the interim, I have appointed associate head coach and defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins to serve as our head coach versus ULM.

As the president alluded to, we are extremely pleased by the quality of individuals who have already expressed interest in being the head coach at Florida State University. I am confident we will fill the position very soon.

I would tell our supporters and fans the same thing that I told our team: we will hire a head coach that will lead Florida State to ACC and National Championships; one who will maintain our commitment to academic excellence; and one who will make you proud to be a Seminole.

Auburn’s Derrick Brown named Lott IMPACT Trophy winner

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Finally, one of the top defensive players in the nation has been recognized with a significant hardware win.

Sunday night, it was announced that Auburn’s Derrick Brown has been named as the winner of the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy.  This award, named for one of the game’s all-time greats, highlights a player’s performance on the field as well as off of it.

Not only does this award honor defensive excellence on the field but the player who most represents the qualities of the honor’s namesake, former USC All-American Ronnie Lott, off of it — Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Brown is the first-ever player from Auburn to win the award.  The defensive tackle is also the second-straight player from the SEC to claim it, with Kentucky’s Josh Allen serving as the 2018 winner.

In addition to Brown, the other finalists for this year’s Lott IMPACT Trophy were Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and Cal linebacker Evan Weaver.

Mizzou confirms Eli Drinkwitz will retain Brick Haley

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After a run on bringing in assistants from Boone, Eli Drinkwitz has gotten about the business of retention in Columbia.

In a press release, Missouri confirmed that Drinkwitz has decided to retain Brick Haley as part of his first coaching staff with the football program.  Haley wil continue on as the Tigers’ defensive line coach, and will carry the title of assistant head coach as well.

“In my short time of being around Brick I know him to be a man of high character who gets the most out of his players,” said Drinkwitz in a statement. “His wealth of knowledge with the defensive line is exactly what we’re looking for to motivate young men.”

Haley has spent the past three seasons with the Tigers.  Prior to that, he was the line coach at Texas (2015-16), LSU (2009-14) and Mississippi State (2004-06) at the collegiate level.

From 2007-08, Haley was the line coach for the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue at Mizzou and I’m excited to work with Coach Drink and his staff,” said Haley. “Our family loves Mizzou and being part of the Columbia community, so we’re thrilled to keep stakes in the ground here and I’m looking forward to getting to work on doing great things.”

Alex Hornibrook no longer with Florida State

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It seems Alex Hornibrook‘s college career is complete.

Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins said on Saturday that Hornibrook is no longer with the Seminoles as the club prepares for the Sun Bowl

He will join (former) teammate Cam Akers in that regard.

A graduate transfer from Wisconsin, Hornibrook appeared in five games this season. His peak as a Seminole came on Sept. 28, when he completed 29-of-40 passes for 316 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. For the year, Hornibrook hit 84-of-122 throws for 986 yards with seven scores versus two picks.

In three years at Wisconsin, Hornibrook threw for 5,438 yards and 47 touchdowns.

SMU WR Reggie Roberson, Jr., to return for senior season

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SMU wide receiver Reggie Roberson, Jr., will return for his senior season in 2020, he announced earlier this week.

Roberson did so through a statement that at first read as if he would leave the Hilltop. “In the past couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that I am able to forgo my senior year and enter the NFL draft. I want to thank Coach Dykes for giving me the opportunity to come to SMU, and play the game I love in my hometown in front of my family and friends,” it began.

However, like a a classic Roberson open field move, he quickly changed directions and sprinted toward opportunity. “I have decided to come back and play my senior year at SMU. There is a lot of unfinished business that I left on the field that I need to take care of next season.”

A native of DeSoto, Texas, just south of Dallas, Roberson was one of SMU’s top players before he was lost to a foot injury in October. He caught 11 passes for 180 yards in the Ponies’ opening week win over Arkansas State and hauled in eight passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 drubbing of Temple on Oct. 19.

For the year, Roberson caught 43 passes for 803 yards and six touchdowns over seven-plus games. Spread over a 13-game season, he was on pace to end the year in the neighborhood of 80 receptions for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Roberson originally signed with West Virginia out of high school.