Texas Longhorns football
Getty Images

Texas Longhorns add another assistant as significant staff revamping continues

Leave a comment

The dramatic reshaping of the Texas Longhorns football coaching staff continued Tuesday, with Tom Herman adding yet another new assistant.

Herman has already swapped out coordinators, with Mike Yurcich replacing Tim Beck on the offensive side of the ball — Beck has since landed at NC State — and Chris Ash replacing Todd Orlando on the defensive side.  Monday, Herman added assistants on each side of the ball, with the Texas Longhorns football program confirming the hiring of Jay Valai and Andre Coleman.

A day later, the Texas Longhorns football program announced Coleman Hutzler has been hired by Herman as co-defensive coordinator.  Hutzler will also coach linebackers for the Longhorns.

Orlando, the deposed defensive coordinator, was also linebackers coach.

“Coleman is a coach who came highly recommended by several people I have a great deal of respect for in our business,” the Texas Longhorns head football coach said in a statement. “When we had a chance to sit down and talk with him, he certainly lived up to everything we had heard. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience, is high energy and has accomplished a great deal while spending much of his career coaching in big-time environments in the SEC. He’ll do a terrific job developing our linebackers and helping us grow on defense. We’re excited to get him on board and to get him around our team and out on the road recruiting for us.”

Hutzler had spent the past four seasons as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator for Will Muschamp at South Carolina.  He was also on Muschamp’s Florida staff in 2014.

Muschamp, of course, was part of the Texas Longhorns football program as defensive coordinator from 2008-10.

In addition to USC and UF, the 35-year-old Hutzler has also been on staffs at Boston College (2015) and New Mexico (2012-13).

Connor Shaw returning to South Carolina as Director of Player Development

Connor Shaw South Carolina
Getty Images
Leave a comment

For Connor Shaw and South Carolina, you can indeed go home again.

From 2010-13, Connor Shaw played quarterback at South Carolina.  As the starter, Shaw posted a school-best 27-5 record that included a perfect 17-0 mark at home.  Monday, the university announced that Shaw has been named as the Director of Player Development for the Gamecock football program.

Shaw will officially be introduced at a Wednesday press conference.

“I am excited to be back at a program that I love.” said Shaw in a statement. “As an alumnus and someone who wore the Garnet and Black with pride, ‘Forever to Thee’ is a part of who I am so I’m grateful to contribute in making Gamecock Football the best it can be for our student-athletes.”

Following his time at USC, Shaw spent three seasons in the NFL after going undrafted in 2014.

In January of 2018, Shaw was named as the tight ends coach at Furman.  Nearly seven months later, the FCS program announced that Shaw was its former tight ends coach as he decided to resign and “accept a position in private business.

At USC, Shaw replaces former teammate Marcus Lattimore, who had been in the same position since January 2018. Lattimore will depart the Gamecock staff to devote more time to personal and professional opportunities.

“When Marcus and I talked before he was hired, he told me about the long-range plans he had for his personal and professional goals,” said head coach Will Muschamp. “I knew one day Marcus would consider leaving his current role and I always had Connor Shaw in my mind as someone who could fill that position.”

“I appreciate the opportunity Coach Muschamp gave me to come back to my University and mentor our football players,” said Lattimore. “Our athletics administration, football staff and players made me feel welcome and appreciated. We have something building at South Carolina and I look forward to following the successes that they will soon reach.”

Wil Muschamp adds former Georgia QB to South Carolina staff

South Carolina football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s not just players who have followed Mike Bobo to the South Carolina football program.

Thursday, South Carolina confirmed that Joe Cox has been added to Will Muschamp‘s coaching staff as tight ends coach.  Cox will take over for Bobby Bentley, who will remain on staff as quarterbacks coach.

Cox was an assistant on Bobo’s staff at Colorado State.  Bobo, of course, is now USC’s offensive coordinator.

“I’m excited to add Joe to our staff,” the South Carolina football head coach said in a statement. “He has a long relationship with Coach Bobo, who speaks very highly of him, and did a great job with the tight ends and wide receivers at Colorado State. Bobby will be able to bring his experience and expertise to assist with the quarterbacks, allowing Coach Bobo the luxury of being able to move around more during practice to observe the entire offense

To make room on the 10-man on-field staff, defensive assistant Kyle Krantz will shift back to an analyst role.

“Kyle has done a fantastic job for us, but in order to make this work for our offense, we needed to open up an on-field spot for Joe to come aboard,” Muschamp stated.

A former quarterback at Georgia who had Bobo as his position coach, Cox was CSU’s wide receivers coach in 2019.  He coached tight ends for the Rams the previous four years.

The CSU job was Cox’s first at the collegiate level.

“I appreciate Coach Muschamp giving me this opportunity and I’m excited about continuing to work with Coach Bobo,” said Cox. “We have a long history together – first at Georgia, then at Colorado State. I’m also looking forward to getting back to the South and the places where I’m most comfortable. I am anxious to get started working with this staff, the group I have this spring, and adding more quality players to the tight ends room.”

South Carolina adds a second transfer from Colorado State

South Carolina Colorado State
Getty Images
1 Comment

For South Carolina, the Mike Bobo-fueled Colorado State pipeline remains wide open.

The head coach at Colorado State for five seasons, Bobo was fired earlier this month.  Less than a week later, Bobo was hired as the offensive coordinator at South Carolina.

Dec. 28, CSU quarterback Collin Hill announced that he is transferring to USC.  Two days later, one of Hill’s former teammates, Adam Prentice, announced on Instagram that he is joining Hill in Columbia.

“I’m excited to see what this new opportunity brings!” the fullback wrote. “Can’t wait to get started in January.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Excited for my next chapter! 🤙🏼

A post shared by Adam Prentice (@adam_prentice_) on Dec 30, 2019 at 10:40am PST

As a graduate transfer, Prentice will be eligible to play immediately for the Gamecocks in 2020. A 2015 signee, Prentice had previously been awarded a sixth season of eligibility.  He redshirted as a true freshman, then missed all of 2016 with a knee injury.

The last three seasons at CSU, Prentice ran for 65 yards on 18 carries.  He also caught 18 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown.

As of yet, it should be noted, the football program has not confirmed either player’s addition to the roster.

College Football All-Decade Team — CFT’s selections

College Football All-Decade Team
Getty Images
3 Comments

Hey, look, it’s a College Football All-Decade Football Team, so let the whining commence in earnest as there’s little doubt that we hate (insert name of your favorite player from your favorite team here).

While it might be hard for some to believe, we have come to the end of yet another decade. As such, we — Zach Barnett, Bryan Fischer, Kevin McGuire and myself — decided to cobble together a list of players who have been the best of the best in college football over the past 10 years. And, yes, we’ve done so fully aware of the verbal slings and written arrows that are sure to follow.

(Writer’s note: Speaking of the esteemed panel and verbal slings/written arrows, their personal Twitter accounts can be found HERE, HERE and HERE. Fire away at will.)

This was truly an impossible task — with a small handful of exceptions. Justin Blackmon as one of the wide receivers? Zero doubt. Luke Kuechly manning one of the linebacker spots? No-brainer. Aaron Donald in the middle of the defensive line? Obviously.

Outside of those three, plus a couple of more? Good luck.

Let’s also be clear: This team is based on what the players did at the collegiate level.  What they did or didn’t do in the NFL has no — zero, none, zip, zilch, nada — bearing whatsoever in this endeavor.

One final note before we get on to the festivities: Players needed to have spent more than half of their collegiate careers in this decade to be included. Thus, players such as Alabama’s Mark Barron, Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles, Alabama’s Julio Jones, Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh and Texas’ Early Thomas were ineligible.

With that all out of the way, let’s get it on.  Or something.

OFFENSE

QB: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
A three-time Heisman finalist, the former two-time walk-on finally claimed the trophy in 2017.  Twice Mayfield helped lead the Sooners into the College Football Playoffs as well as breaking the FBS pass-efficiency rating each of his last two seasons in Norman.  This was arguably the hardest selection as I wouldn’t argue one bit if someone were to put the special mention in this spot.
(Special Mention: Deshaun Watson, Clemson)
(Honorable mention: Lamar Jackson, Louisville; Robert Griffin III, Baylor)

RB: Derrick Henry, Alabama; Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin 
The only reason this position was “easier” to select than quarterback is the fact that there are two players instead of one.  Taylor is a two-time Doak Walker Award winner who this season, in breaking Herschel Walker‘s record, became the only player in FBS history with more than 6,000 yards rushing his first three seasons.  As part of the Crimson Tide’s 2015 title team, Henry won the Heisman Trophy after rushing for more than 2,200 yards and 28 touchdowns.  He was the only running back to win the Heisman this decade.
(Special mention: Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State; Christian McCaffrey, Stanford)
(Honorable mention: Any other Wisconsin running back; Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona)

WR: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State*; Amari Cooper, Alabama*
As noted earlier, Blackmon was one of the no-brainers.  In 2010 and 2011, Blackmon caught 233 passes for 3,304 yards and 38 touchdowns.  He’s one of just two receivers to win back-to-back Biletnikoff Awards, the other being Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree. Cooper put up two 1,000-yard seasons during his three years in Tuscaloosa, winning the Biletnikoff following the 2014 season.  He was a unanimous All-American that year as well.
(Special mention: Corey Davis, Western Michigan)
(Honorable mention: Justin Hardy, East Carolina; Marquie Lee, USC; James Washington, Oklahoma State)

TE: Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
Andrews totaled 22 touchdowns during his three seasons with the Sooners, coinciding with Baker Mayfield‘s time in Norman.  He was named the winner of the Mackey Award after catching 62 passes for 958 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.
(Honorable mention: Jake Butts, Michigan; Evan Ingram, Ole Miss; Nick O’Leary, Florida State)

OT: Barrett Jones, Alabama*; Brandon Scherff, Iowa*
Jones was a four-year starter at Alabama.  He was a Freshman All-American at guard, won the 2011 Outland Trophy at tackle and claimed the 2012 Rimington Trophy at center.  Those last two seasons, he was a consensus All-American.  Scherff started at both guard and tackle at Iowa, and was a consensus All-American and Outland Trophy winner for the 2014 season.
(Special mention: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M; Cam Robinson, Alabama)
(Honorable mention: Spencer Drango, Baylor; Jake Matthews, Texas A&M; David Yankey, Stanford)

G: Quinton Nelson, Notre Dame*; David DeCastro, Stanford
Nelson was a three-year starter for the Fighting Irish.  He earned unanimous All-American honors in 2017.  A two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection, DeCastro was a unanimous All-American in 2011.
(Honorable mention: Chance Warmack, Alabama)

C: Pat Elflein, Ohio State
Elflein began his career as a guard, where he was twice named All-Big Ten.  After moving to center, he was named as the 2016 winner of the Rimington Trophy.
(Special mention: Ryan Kelly, Alabama; Billy Price, Ohio State)

DEFENSE

DE: Joey Bosa, Ohio State*; Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
On the defensive side of the ball, this might’ve been the toughest group to select.  His last two seasons in Columbus, Bosa was a unanimous All-American one year and a consensus All-American the other.  In three seasons, he totaled 51 tackles for loss and 26 sacks. Garrett was a two-time All-American who had 31 sacks his last two seasons with the Aggies.
(Special mention: Derek Barnett, Tennessee; Chase Young, Ohio State)
(Honorable mention: Vic Beasley, Clemson, Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina; Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois)

DT: Ed Oliver, Houston; Aaron Donald, Pitt*
I think people tend to forget just how dominating Donald was at the collegiate level.  His last three seasons, Donald was credited with 63 tackles for loss (63!!!).  A two-time unanimous All-American, Donald won Outland, Lombardi, Bednarik and Nagurski Awards in the same season.  In just 32 career games, Oliver accumulated 53 tackles for loss.  In 2017, he became the first sophomore to win the Outland Trophy.
(Special mention: Christian Wilkins, Clemson)

LB: Luke Kuechly, Boston College*; Jarvis Jones, Georgia; C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Kuechly, who finished his three seasons at BC with more than 530 tackles, was a two-time consensus All-American and the winner of the 2011 Butkus, Lombardi, Lott IMPACT and Nagurski Awards.  Like Kuechly, Mosley was a two-time consensus All-American and a Butkus Award winner.  Jones, who began his collegiate career at USC, was a two-time consensus All-American as well.
(Special mention: Khalil Mack, Buffalo)
(Honorable mention: Dont’a Hightower, Alabama; Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame; Roquan Smith, Georgia; Manti Te’o, Notre Dame)

CB: Morris Claiborne, LSU; Desmond King, Iowa*; Jalen Ramsey, Florida State*
Ramsey played multiple positions in the secondary during his time with the Seminoles, earning All-American accolades his last two seasons.  King was a two-time All-American as well who started all four seasons for the Hawkeyes.  His junior season, he was named winner of the Jim Thorpe Award.  Claiborne won the Thorpe Award in 2011.
(Special mention: Vernon Hargreaves, Florida)
(Honorable mention: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State; Adoree’ Jackson, USC)

S: Tyrann Mathieu, LSU*; Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama*
One of the most exciting players in the sport this past decade, Mathieu was a finalist for the 2011 Heisman after a season in which, among other things, he returned two fumbles and two punts for touchdowns.  The Honey Badger won the Bednarik Award that season as well.  A two-time consensus All-American and winner of both the Bednarik and Thorpe Awards in 2017, Fitzpatrick was the greatest defensive back produced by a Tide program known for cranking out quality secondary personnel.
(Honorable mention: Landon Collins, Alabama; Grant Delpit, LSU)

SPECIALISTS

K: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State*
Twice a first-team All-American, Aguayo is the third-most accurate kicker in college football history on field goals and never missed an extra point.  Following the 2013 regular season,  he was named as the winner of the Lou Groza Award.
(Honorable mention: Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State)

P: Tom Hackett, Utah
Hackett was the second punter to win back-to-back Ray Guy Awards.  As a senior, he averages exactly 48 yards per punt. For his career, he placed nearly 44 percent of his 242 punts inside the 20-yard line.
(Special mention: Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech; Michael Dickson, Texas)

RS: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Penny finished his collegiate career tied for the most career kick return-touchdowns (7) and combined kick-/punt-return touchdowns (8) in FBS history.  Four of those seven kick returns went for 100 yards, one shy of the FBS record.
(Special mention: Adoree’ Jackson, USC)

AP: Christian McCaffrey, Stanford*
In 2015, McCaffrey shattered Barry Sanderssingle-season all-purpose yardage record, finishing that season with 3,864 yards (Sanders’ old record was 3,250).  McCaffrey finished his time with the Cardinal with (take a deep breath) 3,922 yards rushing and 21 rushing touchdowns; 1,206 yards and 10 touchdowns on 99 receptions; a 26.4-yard average and one touchdown on 56 kick returns; an 11.2-yard average and a touchdown on 34 punt returns; two passing touchdowns; and seven tackles.
(Special mention: Saquon Barkley, Penn State; Jabrill Peppers, Michigan)

(*Denotes unanimous selection)