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Pitt reportedly poaches Mississippi State staffer to be new director of recruiting

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Could we have the start of a budding rivalry between Pitt and Mississippi State? No, but the two programs did see one poach a staffer from the other.

A source told FootballScoop that Mississippi State assistant director of football operations Reed Case has taken the director of recruiting position at Pitt. Both positions are off-the-field roles but as anybody who has worked in a football office will tell you, each is crucial to the day-to-day success of a program.

Per the folks over at FootballScoop, this is one of the first big jobs that Case has had at an ACC program in the Northeast but he’s got a diverse background from stops at Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and East Carolina among others.

The move by Pat Narduzzi fills the vacancy left behind by long-time staffer Mark Diethorn, who previously served as the Panthers’ director of recruiting for six years before heading to a new job at his alma mater of Virginia Tech last week.

Mississippi State WR Reggie Todd arrested on assault charge

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After just a couple of days, it’s time to, once again, reset the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker.

According to the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department’s website, Mississippi State wide receiver Reggie Todd was arrested Tuesday on one count of simple assault. No details as to what led up to Todd’s arrest have been made available.

The MSU football program has yet to address the development, at least publicly.

A three-star member of the Bulldogs’ 2016 recruiting class, Todd took a redshirt as a true freshman. In playing in all 13 games last season, Todd caught 14 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. He also averaged 18.5 yards on 15 kick returns.

After starting the final five games of the 2017 offseason, the 6-4, 192-pound Todd headed into the 2018 offseason as a favorite to lay claim to a starting job. 247Sports.com noted that, “[t]his past spring, Todd ran first-team at split end in combinations with Jesse Jackson and Jamal Couch.”

Joe Moorhead pushes back on Will Muschamp’s SEC recruiting theory

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Joe Moorhead hasn’t even coached a game in the SEC yet but he’s already sending subtle shots to other coaches in the league who might be trying to paint him in a negative light.

In a long interview with USA Today about adjusting to life at Mississippi State after decades spent as an assistant and head coach in the Northeast, Moorhead pretty firmly pushed back at a few theories of how to recruit in the area and why he could conceivably be at a disadvantage with all his experience coming north of the Mason-Dixon line.

“I truly believe the regional aspect of recruiting and coaching couldn’t be more overblown,” he said. “If you can recruit you can recruit. If you can coach you can coach.” Nick Saban and Urban Meyer aren’t Southern, he finishes, and they did OK in the SEC.

“Where you’re born doesn’t guarantee success,” he tells them, “but it doesn’t eliminate it.”

The comments can be seen as a fairly direct response to South Carolina’s Will Muschamp, an SEC veteran at several schools, who told The State at league meetings that recruiting in the conference is different from anywhere else and presents some difficulty for outsiders to pick up on and manage.

“As much as anything, what’s different in our league is the recruiting element,” Muschamp said. “It’s 24/7, 365 and you have to be involved or it will get away from you. That’s what a lot of coaches who come in our league don’t always understand is that side of it.”

Moorhead definitely has a good point about two of the most dominant coaches in recent SEC history being from elsewhere and still cleaning up on the recruiting trail. In the end, their tenacity at going after top prospects is what separates the Saban’s and Meyers’ of the world from the pack much more so than where they’re from or what kind of accent they might have — certainly the more relatable traits to takeaway for somebody new to the area.

Muschamp’s original comments came as he was asked about new Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt, who also has a lengthy resume filled with SEC experience. While we may not be able to test this insider/outsider theory completely using Moorhead and Pruitt as examples, the two newbies do serve as a nice dichotomy as to how to approach the job of running one of the league’s 14 programs.

Perhaps the biggest shame however, is that the Bulldogs and Gamecocks don’t meet again in the regular season until 2023 so we won’t get the head-to-head clash between Muschamp and Moorhead to prove who’s right on the subject between the lines.

Mississippi State’s Brandon Bryant headed to NFL’s supplemental draft

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And then there were three.

Already this month, Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander (HERE) and Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal (HERE) have opted to enter the NFL’s supplemental draft, which is slated to be conducted at an undetermined date in July. It’s also being reported that yet another defensive back, Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, will likely file for entry into that draft.

Alexander and Beal are a part of the secondary draft’s pool of players because of academics; it’s being reported that Bryant’s inclusion is for similar reasons.

The past three seasons, Bryant started 26 of the 38 games in which he played. In 2015, he led all freshmen SEC defensive backs in tackles with 63 and interceptions with three. The 5-11, 200-pound native of Mississippi finished his Bulldogs career with a total of five picks.

SEC passes changes to intra-conference transfer rules, players no longer must sit out a year

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It’s been a rather sleepy set of league-wide meetings for the SEC in their annual retreat in Destin, Florida but the conference did release some rather notable changes to their rules on Friday that will be a net positive for several players. Most notably, that includes transfers who will no longer have to sit out a season when moving from one conference school to another.

At the heart of the matter is Alabama offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy, who announced his transfer out of Tuscaloosa last month but has been seemingly in limbo awaiting a change to the SEC’s rules so that he could play immediately at either Tennessee or Auburn. Naturally, Nick Saban is not super happy at that possibility and has been upholding the league rules to block Kennedy from doing just that but Friday’s decision means it’s now out of the coach’s hands.

Also affected by the change should be former Ole Miss wideout Van Jefferson. He made the move to Florida following NCAA sanctions being announced on the Rebels but was similarly stuck in a bit of limbo trying to be eligible right away for the Gators.

The rules changes announced by the SEC are really just getting ahead of broader changes coming to the NCAA level in the coming months. Many coaches have been pushing back against a number of these ideas but it’s pretty clear by the vote coming out Destin that they’re going to be on the losing end of this battle.

That’s good news for players everywhere as they get a bit more freedom to pick where they want to play in the future.