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Colorado officially announces UGA DC Mel Tucker as Buffs’ next head coach

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It took a few days longer than expected but Colorado officially named Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as the Buffaloes next head coach on Wednesday afternoon.

“Colorado has always been a place that I thought should be relevant in the national championship conversation year-in and year-out, because of its tradition and a seemingly endless list of what the school has to offer,” Tucker said in a statement.  “What we have to offer are some of the best facilities in the country, strong academics, and an amazing environment as a whole.  Colorado should be a ‘no excuse’ program.  There’s absolutely no reason we can’t achieve success at an extremely high level.”

Tucker was awarded a five-year deal from the school worth a total of $14.75 million — starting at $2.4 million per season and increasing $275,000 annually. Colorado regents will formally approve the deal, made by AD Rick George, at a Dec. 12 meeting in Denver.

“We didn’t say we were looking for a specific name or sitting head coach,” George remarked in a school release. “He’s a great recruiter, just look at the No. 1 draft picks he’s recruited and signed.  That’s important.  Mel is someone who will relate to the players and is a well-organized, strong administrator.  He played the game, he went to Wisconsin and was an accomplished player who had a shot to go to the NFL.”

Of note to Bulldogs fans (and those from old Big 12 rival Texas) is that Tucker will not coach in Georgia’s upcoming appearance in the Sugar Bowl and will get right to work in Boulder assembling a staff and recruiting.

Tucker replaces Mike MacIntyre, who racked up a 30-44 record overall at Colorado while going 14-39 in Pac-12 play.

Mark Richt praises Manny Diaz as Miami DC officially leaves to take over at Temple

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Mark Richt has officially lost control of the defensive coordinator position on his Miami coaching staff, and now has a rather sizable hole to fill as a result.

It emerged earlier this week that, after interviewing for the Temple opening Monday, Manny Diaz had emerged as the front-runner for the Owls job.  Thursday, Temple confirmed that the Miami defensive coordinator has indeed been named as the program’s new head football coach.

Diaz replaces Geoff Collins, who left earlier this month for the same job at Georgia Tech.

Below is Richt’s statement on the departure:

This morning defensive coordinator Manny Diaz informed me that he has accepted the head coach position at Temple University. Throughout the process, Manny had been very transparent about the opportunity with both myself and Blake James.

“In his three years in Coral Gables, Manny proved to be one of the top assistant coaches in the country and did an unbelievable job leading our defense. I have no doubt that he will experience great success as a head coach and we wish him, Steph, Colin, Gavin and Manny all of the best.

“We have launched a national search for a new defensive coordinator and we have already received great interest from around the country. Our football program, our university and our facilities are among the best in the country, and coaches want to be a part of something special. Our coaches are on the road recruiting the next generation of Canes and I am excited about the young men scheduled to sign with us next week. Together, we are building champions!

Diaz spent the past three seasons as the Hurricanes’ defensive coordinator.  He also served as The U’s linebackers coach during that stretch.

The 44-year-old Diaz has also spent time as a coordinator at Mississippi State (2015 and 2010), Louisiana Tech (2014), Texas (2011-13) and Middle Tennessee State (2006-09).  This will mark the Florida State graduate’s first job as a head coach at any level.

Les Miles bringing nation’s No. 1 JUCO QB to Kansas

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Unlike the majority of his time at LSU, maybe Les Miles — and his offensive coaching staff — will be able to get something out of this quarterback?

In a missive posted to Twitter earlier this week, Thomas MacVittie announced that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career for Miles at Kansas. “Coach Les Miles, [offensive coordinator] Chip Lindsey and the staff at Kansas, I am ready to join the Kansas family and win a Big XII title,” MacVittie wrote in the tweet.

As a transfer from the junior college ranks, MacVittie will be eligible to play immediately for the Jayhawks in 2019.  Counting this coming season, the quarterback has two years of eligibility remaining.

247Sports.com rates MacVittie as the No. 1 JUCO quarterback — pro-style, dual-threat or otherwise — in this year’s class.  On the recruiting website’s composite board, he’s the No. 3 pro-style quarterback at that level of football.

MacVittie was originally a three-star Pitt 2016 signee who was the highest-rated recruit on the offensive side of the ball for the Panthers that year.  After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, he played in three games in 2017 — on special teams — and didn’t attempt a pass before deciding to transfer from Pitt in December of 2017.

MacVittie’s 2018 season was spent at Mesa Community College in Arizona.

Arkansas’ Demetrius Walker arrested on weapon, drug charges

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The latest incident to cause the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker back to double-zeroes is quite the prolific one.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Demetrius Walker was arrested by Fayetteville police officers Wednesday on multiple weapons and drug charges.  Specifically, the Arkansas linebacker is facing one count each of delivery of marijuana, possession of marijuana with purpose to deliver, possession of a schedule IV drug with purpose to deliver, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Online records show that a search of Walker’s residence revealed, among other items, 95.8 grams of marijuana, 40 Xanax pills, a digital scale and an AR-15 rifle with one loaded magazine. KFSM-TV writes that “detectives from the 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force purchased marijuana during undercover operations from Walker with assistance from a confidential informant.”

As a result of the arrest, Walker has been indefinitely suspended from the Razorbacks football program.

The student-athlete has been suspended from our football program indefinitely, and we will continue to monitor the situation and cooperate fully with any related legal and campus processes. Our continued expectation is that our student-athletes conduct themselves and represent the University of Arkansas in an appropriate manner at all times.

Walker, a redshirt sophomore, was listed as the third-string weakside linebacker on Arkansas’ most recent depth chart, put out ahead of the regular-season finale late last month. He has played in six games, with all of those appearances coming last season.

Minnesota’s Quinn Oseland transferring to San Jose State

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It’s been quite a past few days personnel-wise for the Minnesota football program.

Since last Friday, two Minnesota starters have announced that they would be skipping the Gophers’ bowl game in order to begin preparing for the 2019 NFL Draft.  Additionally, multiple reports surfaced Tuesday that at least six and as many as eight Gophers football players will be suspended for the school’s bowl game.

A day later, Quinn Oseland used his social media accounts to announce that he has decided to transfer from Minnesota.  Not only that, but the offensive lineman confirmed his transfer destination — San Jose State.

 

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I’m goin West

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Oseland played in 13 games during his time with the Gophers, starting two of those contests.  Both of those starts came during the 2017 season.

In 2018, Oseland, a three-star 2015 recruit, appeared in just two games, with playing time the likely trigger for his decision to transfer from the school.  At San Jose State, Oseland will be eligible to play immediately in 2019 as a graduate transfer.