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LSU’s Joe Brady, Ohio State’s Jeff Hafley among nominees for Boyles Award as CFB’s top assistant coach

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The college football awards process is a pretty simple four phase process as you go from watch list season to the actual season to the semifinalist lists to the actual awards being announced in early December. As we approach Week 12 of the 2019 campaign, we’re firmly into the third phase of announcing a narrowing of the field and limiting who can actually take some hardware home after the regular season is finished.

To that end, The Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation announced on Wednesday the 41-person strong list of nominees for the Broyles Award, which goes to college football’s top assistant coach. As you would expect, there are quite a few big names under consideration as the assistants in question have either helped lead remarkable turnarounds with their specific side of the ball or have helped elevate their team into conference and/or the national title conversation.

Here’s the full list of 41 names and their titles:

ALABAMA – Steve Sarkisian, Offensive Coordinator/QB

APPALACHIAN STATE – Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator

ARKANSAS STATE – Keith Heckendorf, Offensive coordinator/QB

AUBURN – Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator

BALL STATE – Joey Lynch, Offensive Coordinator/QB

BAYLOR – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

BYU – Aaron Roderick, Passing Game Coordinator/QB

CALIFORNIA – Tim DeRuyter, Defensive Coordinator

CENTRAL MICHIGAN – Charlie Frye, Offensive Coordinator/QB

CINCINNATI – Marcus Freeman, Defensive Coordinator

CLEMSON – Jeff Scott, Co-Offensive Coordinator/WR

FLORIDA – Billy Gonzalez, Wide Receivers

GEORGIA – Dan Lanning, Defensive Coordinator/Outside LBs

GEORGIA STATE – Brad Glenn, Offensive Coordinator

INDIANA – Kalen DeBoer, Offensive Coordinator/QB

IOWA – Phil Parker, Defensive Coordinator/DB

IOWA STATE – Tom Manning, Offensive Coordinator/Run Game Coordinator

LOUISVILLE – Dwayne Ledfors, Offensive Line

LOUISIANA – Ron Roberts, Defensive Coordinator

LSU – Joe Brady, Passing Game Coordinator/WR

MEMPHIS – Pete Lembo, Special Teams Coordinator

MICHIGAN – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator

MINNESOTA – Kirk Ciarrocca, Offensive Coordinator/QB

MISSOURI – Ryan Walters, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

NAVY – Brian Newberry, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

OHIO STATE – Jeff Hafley, Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary

OKLAHOMA – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator/ Safeties

OLE MISS – Mike MacIntyre, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

OREGON – Andy Avalos, Defensive Coordinator

OREGON STATE – Brian Lindgren, Offensive Coordinator/QB

PENN STATE – Brent Pry, Defensive Coordinator/LB

PITTSBURGH – Randy Bates, Defensive Coordinator

SAN JOSÉ STATE – Ryan Gunderson, Quarterbacks/Passing Game Coordinator

SMU – Rhett Lashlee, Offensive Coordinator/QB

TROY – Ryan Pugh, Offensive Coordinator/OL

TULANE – Will Hall, Offensive Coordinator/

UAB – David Reeves, Defensive Coordinator

UCF – Randy Shannon, Defensive Coordinator

UTAH – Morgan Scalley, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

WESTERN KENTUCKY – Clayton White, Defensive Coordinator/CB

WISCONSIN – Jim Leonhard, Defensive Coordinator

Obviously there’s a ton of well deserving candidates but it might be hard to top LSU’s Brady for the award given how big of a jump the Tigers’ offense has made with his arrival in Baton Rouge. Ohio State’s Hafley and Oklahoma’s Grinch also have made huge strides with their respective teams but even at the Group of Five level there’s a ton of guys who have been terrific this season.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 10th and the award is usually a good sign for whoever takes home the trophy becoming a head coach in the near future. Former Alabama OC Mike Locksley won the Broyles Award last year while past winners have included Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and current Texas coach Tom Herman when he was at Ohio State.

Michael Penix to start at QB for Indiana vs. Ball State

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Michael Penix will be Indiana’s starting quarterback this season, Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen announced Monday.

A redshirt freshman from Tampa, Penix overcame tough competition and a torn ACL to win the job. He appeared in three games as a true freshman in 2018, hitting a total of 21-of-34 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown while rushing seven times for 45 yards, before an ACL tear against Penn State on Oct. 20 knocked him out for the season.

Penix rehabbed the knee to the point where he beat out both incumbent starter Peyton Ramsey and 4-star Utah transfer Jack Tuttle to win the job.

“It was a very difficult decision in regards to the competition involved with the young men, Jake (sic) Tuttle, Peyton’s an awesome kid, one of the finest young men I’ve ever been around. So much respect for him,” Allen told the Indianapolis Star.

Indiana opens its season Saturday against Ball State at Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Stadium (noon ET, CBS Sports Network).

Clemson’s projected starting DTs to be sidelined for spring

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With Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins off to the NFL, Clemson knew it would need to replace a pair of All-Americans along the interior of its defensive line.  The favorites to be their replacements, though, will be forced to delay staking an official claim to the spots.

Wednesday, Dabo Swinney revealed that Nyles Pinckney and Jordan Williams will be sidelined for the whole of spring practice after they each underwent surgery recently.  The former had a slight tear in a pectoral muscle that required surgery, while the latter had a screw surgically implanted in one of his legs to repair unspecified damage.

According to the head coach, Williams suffered his injury playing basketball last month.

Both players are expected to be 100-percent healthy for the start of summer camp.

“The good news is both those guys got a ton of experience this year and really learned a lot,” Swinney said according to TigerNet.com. “And obviously had a great model in front of them with those guys as to what we got to do. I think they will provide great leadership. So that is the good news. They will be alright.”

Pinckney, a rising redshirt junior, played in 15 games during the Tigers’ run to their second national championship in three years, totaling 4.5 tackles for loss as part of the team’s line rotation.  A rising redshirt sophomore, Williams was credited with three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in 12 games.

Reports: Nebraska RB Greg Bell won’t travel to Wisconsin, considering transfer

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Nearly midway through what so far has been a winless season in Lincoln, the personnel upheaval is continuing.  Reportedly.

According to multiple media outlets in the area, Greg Bell will not make the trip to Madison this weekend for Nebraska’s game Saturday against Wisconsin.  Rivals.com is reporting that Bell has decided to leave the Cornhuskers and transfer, although the Omaha World-Herald writes that “NU is not confirming Bell’s departure and will not have a comment on his situation until after the Wisconsin game.”

Bell had started the first three games of the season, but was benched ahead of the Week 5 loss to Purdue and played sparingly last weekend. If the junior were to leave now without playing another down for the ‘Huskers, he’d be able to take advantage of the new redshirt rule and retain a season of eligibility that he could use elsewhere.

Through four games, Bell was third on the team, and second among running backs, with 173 yards rushing on his 35 carries.  Just two of those carries came in the loss to the Boilermakers this past Saturday.

Should he end up transferring, Bell would become at least the 15th player to leave the program since Scott Frost took over last December.  The other 14 are offensive lineman Bryan Brokop, wide receiver Zack Darlington (HERE) offensive lineman Michael Decker (HERE), tight end David Engelhaupt (HERE), quarterback Tristan Gebbia (HERE), linebacker Willie Hampton (HERE), defensive back Will Jackson (HERE), wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey (HERE), fullback Ben Miles (HERE), quarterback Patrick O’Brien (HERE), linebacker Avery Roberts (HERE), tight end Matt Snyder (HERE) inside linebacker Andrew Ward (HERE) and wide receiver Keyan Williams (HERE).  An even dozen of those 14 transferred, while one of the remaining two, Decker, retired from football and the other, Darlington, joined the Army.

Biletnikoff Award watch list highlighted by 2017 finalist David Sills

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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  Yet another watch list.

The latest to release theirs is the Biletnikoff Award, with the honor going to the nation’s top receiver issuing a list consisting of 50 players from all nine FBS conferences as well as one independent (UMass).  Headlining this year’s preseason list is West Virginia’s David Sills, who was a finalist for the 2017 award claimed by Oklahoma State’s James Washington.  One other 2017 semifinalist is included as well, Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown.

A total of seven teams placed two receivers each on the watch list: Cal (Kanawai Noa, Vic Wharton III), Louisville (Dez Fitzpatrick, Jaylen Smith), Nebraska (Stanley Morgan Jr., JD Spielman), North Texas (Jalen Guyton, Michael Lawrence), Oklahoma (Marquise Brown, CeeDee Lamb), Toledo (Diontae Johnson, Cody Thompson) and West Virginia (Gary Jennings Jr., Sills).

Three conferences totaled seven players apiece, the ACC, Big 12 and MAC.  That trio is followed by five each from Conference USA and four apiece for the AAC, Pac-12 and Sun Belt.  The Big Ten and Mountain West each placed three.

Below is the complete list of 2018 Biletnikoff Award preseason watch listers:

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford
Tyre Brady, Marshall
A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Trevon Brown, East Carolina
Ryan Davis, Auburn
Greg Dortch, Wake Forest
Terren Encalade, Tulane
Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville
James Gardner, Miami-Ohio
Jonathan Giles, LSU
Marcus Green, ULM
Jalen Guyton, North Texas
Emanuel Hall, Missouri
Justin Hall, Ball State
Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State
N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
Penny Hart, Georgia State
Justin Hobbs, Tulsa
Andy Isabella, Massachusetts
Gary Jennings Jr., West Virginia
Anthony Johnson, Buffalo
Collin Johnson, Texas
Diontae Johnson, Toledo
KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Michael Lawrence, North Texas
Ty Lee Middle, Tennessee
McLane Mannix, Nevada
Scott Miller, Bowling Green
Denzel Mims, Baylor
Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska
Kanawai Noa, California
James Proche, SMU
T.J. Rahming, Duke
Ahmmon Richards, Miami
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
David Sills V, West Virginia
Steven Sims Jr., Kansas
Jaylen Smith, Louisville
Kwadarrius Smith, Akron
JD Spielman, Nebraska
Cody Thompson, Toledo
John Ursua, Hawaii
Teddy Veal, Louisiana Tech
Jamarius Way, South Alabama
Nick Westbrook, Indiana
Vic Wharton III, California
Malcolm Williams, Coastal Carolina
Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia