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Boston College plucks DL coach from UCLA

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Jeff Hafley continues to assemble his first Boston College football coaching staff, with an assistant on the defensive side next up.

Thursday, BC announced the hiring of Vince Oghobaase as Hafley’s defensive line coach.  And, for those curious, the new coach’s surname is pronounced oh-guh-BAH-see.

From 2016-17, Oghobaase was the assistant defensive line coach for the San Francisco 49ers.  During those two years, Hafley was the NFL team’s secondary coach before he moved on to Ohio State for the 2019 season.

Oghobaase also has experience at OSU, serving as a defensive graduate assistant for the Buckeyes for three years (2013-15).

In 2018-19, Oghobaase was the line coach for Chip Kelly at UCLA.

“I had the opportunity to work with Vince in San Francisco and his knowledge of the game, energy and commitment to the players jumped out to me,” said the Boston College football head coach in a statement. “At Ohio State, he trained under one of the best defensive line coaches in all of football in Larry Johnson and he gained excellent experience the last two seasons at the defensive line coach at UCLA. We are so excited to have Vince join our BC football family.”

Oghobaase began his coaching career at Duke, working as a graduate assistant for the Devils for two seasons (2011-12).  He played his college football for the Blue Devils from 2006-09.

Oklahoma confirms addition of UCLA transfer WR Theo Howard

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Just ahead of the championship game kicking off, there’s been some confirmation as to the latest addition to the Oklahoma Sooners football roster.

Last week, Theo Howard indicated on social media that he will be transferring to Oklahoma and continuing his playing career with the Sooners.  The announcement came nearly three months after the wide receiver decided to transfer from UCLA.

Late Monday afternoon, the official Twitter account of the Oklahoma Sooners football program confirmed Howard’s signing.

Prior to the OU announcement, Howard had also considered Arizona, Baylor, Oregon State, TCU and Washington.

Howard graduated from UCLA in December, giving him immediate eligibility at OU this coming season.

In 2018, Howard earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors after catching 51 passes for 677 yards and four touchdowns. Because of a pair of hand injuries that sidelined him for a sizable chunk of 2019, Moore didn’t record a catch this past season for the Bruins.  Because he played in fewer than four games, he was able to use a redshirt for the 2019 season.

During his time at UCLA, Howard totaled 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on 119 receptions. In a loss to OU in September of 2018, Howard caught two passes for 53 yards.  He didn’t record a catch in the Bruins’ loss to the Sooners this past September.

Two more UCLA football players enter transfer portal, increasing number of departures to a baker’s dozen

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For UCLA football, this transfer thing is becoming old hat.  Very old hat.

Back in mid-October, it was reported that a whopping 63 players had left Chip Kelly’s team since November of 2017 for various reasons. As a result, we wrote at the time, not only was the team down a number of scholarship players, but the bulk of those remaining were young and inexperienced — with some 53% of the roster was made up of freshmen alone.

Earlier this month, we noted that an 11th player had entered the portal since that mid-October report.  Monday, that number increased to a baker’s dozen as it’s being reported that defensive tackle and Ulysses Aburto and linebacker Jayce Smalley are now listed in the database.

Both players began their careers with UCLA football as walk-ons, Smalley in 2017 and Aburto in 2019.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Smalley played in 12 games the past two seasons.  Four of those appearances came this past season.

Aburto took a redshirt for the 2019 season.

The other Bruins to enter the portal recently are:

  • Tight end Joshua Harris
  • Tight end Matt Lynch (HERE)
  • Defensive lineman David Vardanian
  • Defensive lineman Marcus Moore
  • Offensive lineman Christaphany Murray (HERE)
  • Offensive lineman Bryan Weitzman
  • Wide receiver Theo Howard (HERE)
  • Running back Kenroy Higgins II
  • Linebacker Tyree Thompson (HERE)
  • Linebacker Je’Vari Anderson
  • Linebacker Noah Keeter (HERE)

The most noteworthy of those departures were Howard and Murray.  Howard earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in 2018, while Murray started every game during his two seasons with the Bruins.

Thompson started every game in 2018 but missed all of 2019 due to injury.

Is Jim Mora in play to replace Mike Leach at Washington State?

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What we do know is that the Washington State football program is on the hunt for a new head coach. While we don’t know yet who it’ll be, could it wind up being someone very familiar with the conference?

To the giddy delight of college football media members across the country, Mike Leach left as the head coach of Washington State football for the same job at Mississippi State Thursday. Leach had spent the past eight seasons on the Palouse.

As for a replacement? Former Wazzu and current Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has been mentioned as a possibility, as have Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl and USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.

Additionally, in the hours after Leach left, Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports tossed out another name.  Jim Mora.

The 58-year-old Mora began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Washington, where he also played his college football. After a quarter-century in the NFL, Jim Mora took over as the head coach at UCLA in 2012.

His first four seasons with the Bruins, Mora won at least eight games. He put up back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2013-14. A 4-8 record in 2016 put him on the hot seat; a 5-6 record in 2017 led to his dismissal with one game left in the season.

Since the firing, Mora has worked as a college football analyst for ESPN.

Given Harrell’s experience in the Air Raid, he would make much more sense than Mora given the personnel cupboard left by Leach. So would North Texas’ Seth Littrell. Apparently, though, Mora is a name to keep an eye on as the Washington State football program searches for a Leach replacement.

UCLA losing 11th player to portal, this one a starting offensive lineman

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Of all of the recent departures from the UCLA football program, this one might leave the biggest mark.

Back in mid-October, it was reported that a whopping 63 players had left Chip Kelly’s team since November of 2017 for various reasons. As a result, we wrote at the time, not only was the team down a number of scholarship players, but the bulk of those remaining were young and inexperienced — with some 53% of the roster was made up of freshmen alone.

Earlier this week, we noted that a 10th player had left the UCLA football team since that mid-October report.  Thursday, though, brings word that an 11th player, Christaphany Murray, has entered the NCAA transfer database.

The move was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

A four-star 2018 signee, Murray was rated as the No. 9 guard in the country and the No. 29 player regardless of position in the state of California.

Murray started all 24 games his first two seasons with the Bruins.  He started the first three games at center as a true freshman, but moved to right guard.  The rest of his 21 starts came at that position.

According to his official bio, Murray “[b]ecame the first Bruin true freshman to start a season-opener at center since at least 1982 [date when records are complete].”