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Western Michigan officially adds Michigan, Syracuse grad transfers

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The roster at Western Michigan officially received a Power Five boost Wednesday.

In late November, wide receiver Drake Harris announced that he had decided to transfer from Michigan, confirming three months later that he would be moving on to WMU.  Earlier this month, after opting to transfer from Syracuse in mid-December, defensive back Juwan Dowels (pictured) took to social media to announce he had landed in Kalamazoo as well.

Wednesday, the MAC football program formally announced the additions of both players.  As each are coming to the Broncos as graduate transfers, they will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

“We are excited about the size and athleticism Drake brings to our wide receiver corps,” said head coach Tim Lester in a statement. “He played his high school ball just up the road in Grand Rapids and I know he is excited about showcasing his skill set in Kalamazoo. …

“Juwan brings valuable experience to a young secondary unit, having played in the same defensive scheme as ours in his freshman and sophomore seasons. His 24 [games] in the ACC will help solidify the back half of our defensive in 2018.”

A four-star 2014 signee, Harris was rated as the No. 7 receiver in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Michigan; and the No. 68 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Just one signee in the Wolverines’ class that year, five-star athlete and 2017 NFL first-round draft pick Jabrill Peppers, was rated higher than Harris.

Despite that impressive recruiting pedigree, Harris was never able to turn the recruiting hype into on-field production. During his four seasons at U-M, he caught eight passes for 50 yards, including one for 10 against Ohio State this season.

Harris also spent time as a cornerback in 2017.

Dowels played in 24 games during his time with the Orange, starting seven of those contests. Five of those starts came during the 2015 season, while he started one of the first two games of 2016 before going down with a season-ending knee injury.

During his three years, Dowels was credited with 69 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and eight passes defensed. He also picked off a pair of passes, including one in his final season with the Orange.

In the release announcing the players’ additions to the roster, the school also noted an interesting twist involving both players:

Both Dowels and Harris will get to face their former teams this upcoming fall. Western Michigan hosts Syracuse in the season opener on Friday, Aug. 31 in Kalamazoo. The Broncos travel to Michigan for game two, taking on the Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 8.

NDSU promotes Matt Entz to replace new Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman

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North Dakota State is sticking with what works. Namely, that includes promoting from within.

The program announced on Thursday that defensive coordinator Matt Entz will indeed become the Bison’s next head coach in the coming weeks, taking over the job from new Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman after he was hired by the Big 12 school earlier this week.

“Having watched Matt as the defensive coordinator for the past five years, I knew he possessed the qualities to be the head football coach at North Dakota State: leadership, integrity, toughness, and a sincere appreciation for the history and tradition of Bison football,” ,” AD Matt Larsen said. “I’m eager to work with Coach Entz and his staff as they continue building upon the championship tradition of Bison football.”

This will be Entz’ first head coaching gig and comes after serving the past five years as NDSU’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Prior to joining Klieman’s staff, he found plenty of success as a DC at previous stops with FCS Western Illinois and Northern Iowa.

“Great things happen to great people, and I am so happy for the Entz family,” Klieman added. “Matt is the right guy for the job. I know the Bison will have unbelievable success. The program is in great hands.”

Both Klieman and Entz will remain in their current roles with NDSU until the conclusion of their FCS playoff run before moving on to their new gigs. The former had been promoted once Craig Bohl left for Wyoming a few years ago and that’s worked out just fine for the Bison so it appears the school has no qualms at going back to the well and doing the same thing with the latter. Entz certainly understands expectations around the ol’ Fargo Dome going forward, which includes this weekend’s upcoming semifinal game against South Dakota State.

Texas Tech regents approve $20 million football facility renovation, may expand alcohol sales at stadium too

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Seemingly like clockwork, when a Power Five school hires a new head coach they typically will wind up improving facilities in some fashion shortly thereafter. Consider that the case at Texas Tech following the ouster of Kliff Kingsbury and the recent hire of Matt Wells to lead the football program.

The school’s board of regents met on Thursday down in Lubbock and among the agenda items was approving a $20 million renovation to the team’s football facilities. As is nearly always the case in the state, the project was naturally approved and will move forward, per the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, as soon as Wells is able to sign off on any changes he wants to the plans:

That wasn’t the only football-related move on the agenda for the Red Raiders however, as athletic director Kirby Hocutt put in his pitch to open up beer and wine sales at Jones AT&T Stadium as soon as the upcoming season.

As noted above, there are numerous Big 12 schools who have opened the taps in general seating areas over the years. Oklahoma State was the most recent to do so in 2018 but it’s been brought back at Texas and West Virginia, among others, to great success (i.e. $$$) the past few years.

Holy Cross AD reportedly set to take same position at Air Force after lengthy search

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Air Force appears to finally have their man to lead the Falcons’ athletic department.

Some eight months after former AD Jim Knowlton departed for California, it appears the program is on the verge of plucking Holy Cross AD Nathan Pine to fill the same position in Colorado Springs. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette first reported the news.

Col. Jennifer Block has served as interim athletic director in the wake of Knowlton’s departure but it’s clear that the Air Force has always wanted to keep a civilian in the top post long term. To that end, this will be the first time the Falcons’ AD will be hired and paid under the umbrella athletics corporation at the school, per the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Pine has a lengthy background out West despite spending the past five years leading the Crusaders. An Oregon State alum, he has worked for the Beavers and fellow Pac-12 program California as well. In addition, he’s made stops at Maryland and, funny enough, academy rival Army too.

New Temple head coach Manny Diaz will coach Miami in Pinstripe Bowl, Hurricanes keep Turnover Chain too

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Temple introduced new head coach Manny Diaz on Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia but it appears their latest hire will be splitting his duties for the next month or so with both his new program and his old one.

Speaking to reporters on campus, Diaz confirmed that he would stick around Miami over the coming month in order to coach the Hurricanes in their Pinstripe Bowl matchup against Wisconsin. That will mean he’ll be recruiting and hiring his Owls staff in parallel to his old duties as defensive coordinator under Mark Richt.

Also notable from the introductory press conference was a topic of great importance to some: the Turnover Chain. One of the most eye-opening displays of ‘The U’ returning to national prominence last season, the Diaz-created item led to numerous copycats across college football. It appears as though the chain won’t be headed north with the coach though and will remain a tradition in Coral Gables going forward.

Interestingly, Temple opted to use a dry erase board on the sidelines as their prop under former coach Geoff Collins. While players could write a message or their Twitter handle on it after a turnover, something says that won’t be the only aspect of the program that Diaz puts his stamp on over the coming months in Philly.