2013 December

Monthly Archives: Dec 2013

Report: Bill O'Brien to be named Texans coach

Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has reached an agreement to replace Gary Kubiak as head coach of the Houston Texans, according to reports.

Will Penn State head football coach Bill O'Brien be the next Houston Texans' coach? (Photo: Gene J. Puskar, AP)ESPN reports that the deal is expected to be announced no later than Saturday.

O’Brien, a Bill Belichick protege, was an offensive assistant with New England from 2007 to 2011. He left the Patriots prior to the 2012 season to take over Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

The Nittany Lions went 15-9 under O’Brien, including 10-6 in the Big Ten. He was named conference coach of the year in 2012.

Reports initially surfaced last week that O’Brien was a prime target of Texans owner Bob McNair and that he would interview for the job.

Shortly after those reports surfaced, five-star defensive tackle and Penn State commit Thomas Holley told reporters that he spoke with O’Brien and the Nittany Lions coach told him the rumors were “not true.”

O’Brien’s NFL buyout was reduced from $13 million to $6.5 million in March, opening up doors for his return to the NFL.

Photo: Gene J. Puskar, AP

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Source: Charlie Strong has not interviewed for Texas job

A report surfaced Monday that Louisville’s Charlie Strong met with Texas officials regarding the Longhorns’ head coaching vacancy, but a source close to the situation tells Football Rumor Mill that is not true. At least not yet.

Sources indicate that even if the NFL comes calling, expect Charlie Strong to stay put in college.Orangebloods.com’s Chip Brown reported that Texas athletic director Steve Patterson met with Strong at an undisclosed location.

While the situation could certainly change, our sources say that Strong did not meet with Patterson on Tuesday and was not scheduled to interview Tuesday night.

Brown reports that Patterson has also already met with Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and wants to talk to Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio.

Other names mentioned with the Texas opening include Baylor’s Art Briles and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher.

Earlier on Monday, word leaked that Fisher had signed a new contract, but don’t assume that will keep him with the Seminoles. Sources indicate he remains a legitimate candidate.

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Report: Florida State's Jimbo Fisher signs contract extension

Reports surfaced before Florida State’s Dec. 7 ACC Championship Game win over Duke that Jimbo Fisher had agreed to a contract extension to remain the Seminoles’ coach.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher has reportedly signed a contract extension to remain the Seminoles' coach. (Photo: John Raoux, AP)Word leaked soon after that Fisher had not yet signed the agreement, and his name has been mentioned prominently as a potential replacement for Mack Brown at Texas.

Now, according to a Warchant.com report, all the terms of Fisher’s new deal have been finalized and the agreement has been signed.

Full details were not available, but the new deal reportedly will pay Fisher a base salary of over $4.1 million a year, according to Warchant, is “very ‘incentive laden.'”

Whether the signing of the contract extension will quell the Fisher-to-Texas rumors remain to be seen. However, according to Warchant, a source close to Fisher says he is happy in Tallahassee and isn’t interested in the opening at Texas.

The Longhorns have reportedly narrowed their list of potential coaches to Fisher, Baylor’s Art Briles, Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Louisville’s Charlie Strong.

In his fourth season at Florida State, Fisher is 44-10.

The Seminoles face Auburn for the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 6 in Pasadena, Calif.

Photo: John Raoux, AP

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Washington's Sankey, Seferian-Jenkins declare for NFL Draft

Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will forego his final season of eligibility and enter May’s NFL Draft.

Washington running back Bishop Sankey will also enter the 2014 NFL Draft. (Photo: Ted S. Warren, AP)

Washington running back Bishop Sankey will also enter the 2014 NFL Draft. (Photo: Ted S. Warren, AP)

“I’ve done everything I can at the University of Washington,” he said follow the Huskies’ 31-16 victory over BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco. “I know I’m ready for the NFL.”

Seferian-Jenkins, who won the 2013 Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end, caught 36 passes for 450 yards and eight touchdowns this season. In his three seasons with the Huskies, he caught 146 passes for 1,840 yards and 21 scores.

The 6-foot-6, 270-pound junior is expected to be one of the top tight ends chosen in the draft and reportedly received a second-round grade from NFL evaluators.

He is the fourth underclassmen tight end to declare for the draft, joining Cal’s Richard Rodgers, North Carolina’s Eric Ebron and Oregon’s Colt Lyerla.

UPDATE: Another Washington junior – running back Bishop Sankey – announced that he will also enter the 2014 Draft.

“The time is right,” Sankey said. “I’ve proven what I needed to prove. I have to look at the position I play and the number of carries.”

Sankey finished the season third in the nation in rushing with 1,870 yards and 20 touchdowns, including 95 yards and two TDs against BYU in the Kraft Hunger Bowl.

The 5-foot-10, 203-pound Sankey was one of only four backs to average over 25 carries per game in 2013.

Last week Sankey received a third-round grade from the NFL draft advisory committee.

For a complete list of college underclassmen that have declared for the NFL Draft, click HERE.

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Sunday, Dec. 29

There’s certainly plenty of smoke that Penn State’s Bill O’Brien is primed for a return to the NFL.

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien will be named head coach of the Houston Texans. (Photo: Gene J. Puskar, AP)It’s been making the news rounds the past couple of weeks, and now ESPN reports that O’Brien has emerged as the overwhelming favorite to become the next coach of the Houston Texans, and the two sides are working to get a deal in place within the next week.

Lions247 reports Brooklyn (N.Y.) Abraham Lincoln five-star defensive tackle and Nittany Lions commit Thomas Holley spoke with O’Brien Saturday night regarding the ESPN report that O’Brien was in the process of working on a deal to become the Houston Texans next head coach.

“I just off the phone with him,” Holley told 247Sports Luke Stampini. “He said he isn’t going. It’s not true.”

The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reports that Texans owner Bob McNair said the search for the team’s next head coach “isn’t over.”

“The process continues,” he said. “We have other interviews scheduled next week. It isn’t over.”

CBSSports reports Chargers offensive coordinator and former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt will be given strong consideration for the Texans job.

Reports surfaced Friday that Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox was expected to accept the same position on Steve Sarkisian’s USC staff.

Now, DuckTerritory is reporting that Oregon has targeted Wilcox to replace the longtime outgoing DC Nick Aliotti. If the Ducks miss on Wilcox, they more than likely promote John Neal to the position.

There are all sorts of rumors flying around linking Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly to the Detroit Lions job. However, it looks as if Kelly is likely to stay put.

Jets linebackers coach Brian VanGorder will become Notre Dame’s new defensive coordinator. VanGorder was defensive coordinator at Auburn, Georgia and the Atlanta Falcons.

Multiple sources tell us North Carolina assistant Walt Bell will be the new offensive coordinator at Arkansas State. He had been considered a leading candidate to take over for the departed Blake Anderson, but it looks like Bell will instead join Anderson instead.

InsideCarolina reports that Bell is receiving a two-year contract at $225,000 per year in his new position at Arkansas State, which is less than what UNC offered.

UNC head coach Larry Fedora could look to his former offensive coordinator and current Texas co-OC Darrell Wyatt as his next play caller.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told the Toledo Blade there are no plans to renegotiate with head coach Urban Meyer before next season, but he knows Ohio State “will have to face that music down the road.”

At Texas, there’s a lot of smoke around Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher. If the Texas search drags until the BCSNCG, the speculation surrounding Fisher could reach a fever pitch.

Fisher hasn’t even issued a non-denial denial, saying only, “I’m going to talk about our team. That’s all I’m talking about. I ain’t getting into all the rumors.”

At some point, those rumors are likely to become a distraction for the Seminoles, who will play for the National Championship on January 6th.

The Dallas News reports Longhorns athletic director Steve Patterson has begun to focus on at least a handful of candidates including Fisher, Baylor’s Art Briles. Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Louisville’s Charlie Strong are also considered to be in the mix.

The News also reports that Alabama’s Nick Saban is a possibility, although that may be a long shot. Other candidates could also emerge.

Horns247 reports that Fisher’s counterpart in the National Championship Game, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, is not a candidate at Texas.

Mack Brown is contractually obligated to receive at least $500,000 annually through 2020, but Texas’ soon-to-be former head football coach is pushing for a lot more.

Don Evans, a former UT regent and one-time U.S. Secretary of Commerce, is involved with Brown’s buyout negotiations with school officials, said Joe Jamail, Brown’s attorney and Texas benefactor.

UCF head coach George O’Leary confirmed on Saturday that he has hired Paul Ferraro as the Knights new defensive coordinator.

Ferraro coached under O’Leary as a graduate assistant at Syracuse in 1983 and also coached defensive backs on O’Leary’s staff at Georgia Tech in 1999-2000.

The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu reports new Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper will make $600,000 a year. The length of the contract is unknown.

Sources tell us that West Virginia offensive line coach Ron Crook could be the leading candidate to take over the same job at Wake Forest.

Crook is a West Virginia native who arrived in Morgantown via Stanford prior to the 2013 season.

Photo: Gene J. Puskar, AP

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Oregon DC Nick Aliotti to retire following Alamo Bowl

Longtime Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti will retire following the Alamo bowl, according to reports.

Oregon defensive coordinator Nick AliottiBruce Feldman of CBSSports.com initially broke the news, and the school has now officially announced the move.

Aliott’s retirement marks the end of a 24-year Oregon coaching tenure and 17-year stint as the Ducks’ defensive coordinator.

“After coaching for 38 years, it is time for a new chapter in my life and Kathryn’s,” Aliotti said in a release. “Coaching is all I’ve ever known but it has been a labor of love and a fantastic ride.

“I’ve coached in a lot of great games in my life but the things I’m going to miss the most are the great players and assistant coaches I have had a privilege to work with. There is never an ideal time to announce these decisions because I don’t want to take away from the attention on this final game or the focus from the players who are the ones who deserve all the credit for getting us to where we are today.

“I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a great career and to step away from the game when I felt the time was right. Now is that time.”

Aliott’s career include three separate stints as an Oregon assistant coach, spanning the tenure of four different head coaches — Rich Brooks, Mike Belotti, Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich. His career also included stops at Oregon State, UCLA and with the St. Louis Rams.

During Aliotti’s tenure, Oregon led the conference in pass defense three times (2000, 2005 and 2006) and total defense in 2005 (357.7 avg.), in addition to leading the country in interceptions (26) and turnover margin (+1.62) in 2012.

“Nick’s contributions to the football program at the University of Oregon cannot be overstated,” Helfrich said. “His dedication to the success of this program will certainly leave a lasting impression that is hard to measure.

“I want to thank him for his loyalty and efforts to help make Oregon football what it is today, and wish him and his wife, Kathy, a long and happy retirement.”

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Fresno State sophomore receiver Davante Adams declares for the NFL Draft

Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams has reportedly signed with an agent and will enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

Fresno State leading wide receiver Davante Adams will enter the 2014 NFL Draft. (Photo: AP)Adams, a third-year sophomore, was Derek Carr’s go-to target the past two seasons.

Adams caught 131 passes for 1,719 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns this season. His reception and touchdown catch totals leads the nation.

As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Adams had 102 receptions for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns.

He the Mountain West in all three categories and earning Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah compares the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Adams to San Diego Chargers rookie Keenan Allen, a second-round selection last year.

Like Allen, NFLDraftScout.com gives Adams a second-round grade and rates him the No. 10 receiver overall in May’s draft.

Photo: AP

For an updated list of college underclassmen that have declared for the NFL Draft, click HERE.

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