A year after significantly falling short of expectations, an offseason of change has commenced at Nebraska.
In one of the first big moves since Scott Frost took over at his alma mater, the Cornhuskers and offensive coordinator Troy Walters announced on Friday that they had ‘mutually agreed to part ways.’
“Troy has been a valued member of our coaching staff for the past four years,” Frost said in a statement. “Troy is a good mentor for his players, provides great energy on and off the field, and carries himself with a presence off the field that will be missed. I want to thank him for his work on our coaching staff, and wish him and his family all the best going forward.”
The duo first came together when Frost was hired at UCF and led a number of prolific offenses, including the undefeated 2017 team for the Knights. Walters was a finalist for the Broyles Award that same season though has not called plays for either team.
Walters had a distinguished career as a player at Stanford that included All-American honors and a Biletnikoff Award in 1999. He spent several years in the NFL before going into coaching during stops at Texas A&M, N.C. State and Colorado.
The departure of Walters could interestingly lead to a reunion between Frost and a familiar name in Mark Helfrich. The latter was head coach at Oregon when Frost was elevated to offensive coordinator for the Ducks and is in search of a job after being let go by the Chicago Bears from a similar role.
Last year, everybody wanted to know where Jalen Hurts would transfer to. This year? D’Eriq King might take that mantle.
The Houston quarterback entered the NCAA Transfer Portal shortly before the national title game on Monday and is already moving on to lining up visits. One of the first stops on King’s transfer tour? We already know that a trip to Miami to check out the Hurricanes on the docket but that’s not all on a busy weekend. According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland is on deck for the signal-caller this Saturday.
The Terps turning to a graduate transfer is nothing new. Head coach Mike Locksley brought in Josh Jackson to mixed success in 2019 after the latter left Virginia Tech. King, however, would represent a much more dynamic option behind center for the team.
King set numerous records with the Cougars and scored 50 touchdowns (36 passing and 14 rushing) in 2018 alone. The prolific numbers also came despite the fact that he missed two games due to a knee injury. While UH had long maintained that King’s surprising redshirt decision this past season was part of a plan that would see him return to the team for 2020, things have played out pretty much as expected in him looking elsewhere.
Whether he lands in College Park remains to be seen but it’s no surprise Locksley is dipping into the market. Tyrrell Pigrome is a senior but isn’t quite up to Big Ten passing standards and depth behind him is limited. That’s always an issue at Maryland given the injury history at the position too.
Landing somebody like King would be quite a coup for the Terps but it’s pretty clear they’ll be just one of several programs in hot pursuit of the Texas native’s services.
A former member of the Maryland Terrapins football team is now a former player on yet another team. At least, he’s nearly former.
According to 247Sports.com, Qwuantrezz Knight is now listed in the NCAA transfer database. The defensive back just completed his first season at Kent State.
This past season, Knight led the Golden Flashes in tackles for loss with 10.5. In Kent’s first-ever bowl win this past season, Knight was named as the game’s defensive MVP.
The move is odd, if for nothing more than the struggle Knight went through just to see the field in 2019.
Leaving the Maryland Terrapins football program shortly after head coach DJ Durkin was fired amidst scandal in the midst of the 2018 season, Knight ultimately transferred to Kent State in January of last year. Four months later, Knight filed an appeal with the NCAA for a waiver that would’ve granted him immediate eligibility, a waiver that cited “depression symptoms”; in early June, that initial waiver was denied.
Armed with the ability to appeal the original decision, Knight did as much and it proved successful as the MAC program confirmed in June of last year that the appeal was successful and the waiver granted.
Presumably, Knight will be leaving Kent as a graduate transfer. That would allow him to play immediately at a third FBS school.
After Rutgers poached one of his assistants a month ago, P.J. Fleck has filled that lone hole on his Minnesota Gophers football coaching staff.
Thursday, Minnesota confirmed that Chad Wilt has been hired by Fleck to serve as the Golden Gophers’ defensive line coach. Wilt replaces Jim Panagos, who left in mid-December to take the job on Greg Schiano‘s Scarlet Knights’ staff.
This is a Big Ten homecoming of sorts for Wilt as he was the defensive line coach at Maryland for two seasons (2014-15). Last season, Wilt held the same job at Cincinnati.
Wilt’s other FBS coaching stops as line coach include:
- Army (2016-18)
- Ball State (2011-13)
- Virginia (2009)
After 12 wins combined his first two seasons at the school, Fleck went 11-2 in his third. It was the best season for Minnesota Gophers football since 1904.
Nearly seven weeks after he returned as the Rutgers football head coach, Greg Schiano‘s second first staff is nearly complete.
Wednesday, RU announced the hiring of Bob Fraser as the team’s linebackers coach. This will mark Fraser’s fourth stint with the program. In 1987, he was a graduate assistant at the school. Then, he was a part of Schiano’s staff from 2006-11, including as defensive coordinator for the last three years. Then, he was linebackers coach again in 2015.
The ties to Schiano don’t end in Piscataway.
In 2012-13, Fraser was an assistant on Schiano’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff. Additionally, he was on the same Ohio State staff as Schiano from 2016-18.
“Bob and I have worked together for several years at different stops and it is great to bring him back to Rutgers, a place I know he cares about deeply,” said the Rutgers football head coach in a statement. “My faith and trust in ‘Fras’ as a coach and developer of men is unparalleled.”
This past season, Fraser served a coaching assistant for the New England Patriots.
With this hiring, Schiano has now filled nine positions on his 10-man Rutgers staff. The others are:
- Sean Gleeson — offensive coordinator (HERE)
- Nunzio Campanile — offensive assistant (HERE)
- Augie Hoffman, offensive assistant (HERE)
- Tiquan Underwood — wide receivers (HERE)
- Andrew Aurich — offensive line (HERE)
- Robb Smith, defensive coordinator (HERE)
- Jim Panagos — defensive line (HERE)
- Bob Fraser — linebackers coach
- Fran Brown — co-defensive coordinator/secondary (HERE)