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Herm Edwards gets after NFL rookies during speech

ESPN analyst and former NY Jets head coach Herm Edwards got after the NFL rookies today during a speech at the NFL Rookie Symposium.

Just as Edwards spoke to the rookies, plenty of you coaches will soon be laying the expectations to a new batch of freshmen.

We thought Edwards’ speech might be entertaining to you.

Herm reminded the rookies to pay attention before saying, “This is free information.  A lot of things in life are not free.  This is free.”

His central message was, “The only thing you can control…you be ready to go.”

“It doesn’t really matter when you got drafted.  I was not drafted. I was a free agent. Played ten years, never missed a game, never missed a practice.  I was available.  I was ready to go when they said they’re going to kick the ball off.”

“It’s your job, men.  Understand what I’m saying.  It’s your job.”

He then reminded the rookies to look at the (NFL) shield. “It’s not a right but a privilege to play and coach in the National Football League. Make sure you read the privilege part.”

He closed by reminded the players that coaches always ask themselves, “Does the production meet the talent?”

He encouraged the players to take advantage of their talent, something that God gave you, not something you earned.  The only way to screw it up is to become distracted or for the game to become unimportant to you.

Chart: The most popular athletic department Facebook and Twitter feeds

Today, we are taking a look at the popularity of the Facebook and Twitter pages of the SEC athletic departments.  Some athletic departments keep their fans engaged with clever and creative new content better than others.  

Of course, Facebook and Twitter are essentially free means of advertisement.

LSU, Auburn, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt have also done a really nice job of producing creative videos to keep their fans entertained and create excitement about upcoming events.  In the spring, Florida highlighted each assistant football coach with a behind-the-scenes video. Mississippi State doesn't produce videos as regularly as Auburn or LSU, but when they do, the Bulldogs fans seems to really enjoy the videos.

On a national perspective, Ohio State leads the nation with 981,972 facebook fans.  Texas, Florida, Kentucky, and Wisconsin round out the top 5.

Florida leads the nation with 24,949 twitter followers.  Kentucky, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Kansas round out the top 5.

Surprisingly, despite an enormous enrollment, UCF has just 406 twitter followers and 6,688 facebook fans.

By athletic department, you can check out the Top 25 most popular Facebook and Twitter feeds right here.

Here is the SEC breakdown:

Facebook fans

  1. Florida - 595,238
  2. Kentucky -  470,223
  3. Alabama – 229,102
  4. Tennessee – 200,608
  5. South Carolina - 177,844
  6. LSU – 153,843
  7. Arkansas – 147,911
  8. Auburn – 66,956
  9. Mississippi State - 35,952
  10. Georgia - 35,541
  11. Ole Miss - 27,338
  12. Vanderbilt - 9,856


Twitter followers

  1. Florida - 24,949
  2. Kentucky – 20,917
  3. Alabama - 19,761
  4. LSU - 11,445
  5. Arkansas – 13,379
  6. Georgia – 10,965
  7. South Carolina - 10,579
  8. Auburn – 10,426
  9. Tennessee – 8,891
  10. Ole Miss - 8,475
  11. Mississippi State - 7,281
  12. Vanderbilt - 1,843

Video: Paul Johnson looking forward to new indoor facility at Georgia Tech

In less than two months, Georgia Tech will open a brand new indoor football facility, an 88,000 square feet facility that includes a full length field.

The projected was announced less than one year ago, so construction has moved quickly.

Head coach Paul Johnson said, “It will help with recruiting. But mainly it just helps us function better as a program.”  In the past, inclement weather would force the Yellow Jackets to hop on a bus to the Atlanta Falcons’ indoor practice facility in Flowery Branch, GA.

Georgia Tech is not the only school in the ACC that is nearing completion of a new indoor facility.  Duke head coach David Cutcliffe and his staff will soon benefit from a new state-of-the-art indoor facility on campus in Raliegh.  

Down below, we have the latest video of the construction progress of the Georgia Tech facility, but you may rather check out this video, which shows what the facility will look like once completed.

Chizik pinpoints the #1 key to Auburn turnaround

Gene Chizik’s new book “All In: What it Takes to be the Best” hits bookstores today.

Chizik discussed the book on Fox News Talk Radio this morning and made it clear the book is a message of hope and encouragement.  The book talks a lot about team building and Chizik says that you do not have to be a football fan to like this book.

Reflecting back on his experience at Iowa State, Chizik explained, “I was literally driving along in my car one day and it was negative temperatures on my gage and went it hit 1 degree, I was like, ‘Yes.  This is great.  Then I thought about it and I was like this is messed up.’”

“We really connected to the people in Iowa.  They are down home, hard working, live off the land guys.  That really resonated with my family and myself and we just really embraced that.”

“I felt like everything was on track.  We need that it would take time.  There was no question in my mind the players were buying in to what we are trying to do.  Never did I doubt that we would be able to get it on track.  It was going to take time, but I was willing to take that time.”

On getting the Auburn job, Chizik said, “I didn’t think with a 5-19 record, it was feasible.”  He admitted the first 48 hours were the toughest of his life because he knew he wouldn’t be able to bring all the Iowa State assistants to Auburn and he essentially had to start all over again.

Despite the 5-19 record, Chizik said he had absolutely no doubt in his mind that he was the right guy for the job.  He even told himself out loud, “You are the right guy for the job.”

So how did you get it turned around at Auburn?

Without hesitation, Chizik explained, “Everything is about relationships.  We put a high premium on being able to get our team together.  I wanted them (the players) around us when they didn’t have to be.”

“We had bowling nights, fishing tournaments, Halloween costume nights.”

Chizik said the team building exercises brought about a sense of trust within everyone in the program.

D1 grad assistant lands NAIA head coaching job

Not often do you see a graduate assistant coach land a collegiate head coaching job.

However, sources tell FootballScoop that Michigan State offensive grad assistant Jeff Duvendeck has accepted the head coaching job at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio must give some outstanding recommendations.  Duvendeck is the third Spartan to land a head coaching job in the last two years.  Dan Enos took over at Central Michigan and Don Treadwell took over at Miami (OH).

Duvendeck was set to enter his second season in East Lansing under Mark Dantonio, but couldn’t pass on the opportunity to become a head coach at age 32.  He previously served as the offensive coordinator / offensive line coach at Northern Michigan from 2006-2009.  In 2002, he worked as a grad assistant at Grand Valley State under current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.

Duvendeck replaces Cameron Keller, who resigned in May to accept the co-offensive coordinator job at Winona State University.

In 2010, Culver-Stockton finished 1-10.   The Wildcats lost to Lindenwood 90-19.  The 70-0 loss to Missouri Valley may have been the season low, however.

Culver-Stockton competes at the NAIA level.  This season, the Wildcats will open against Graceland, the only team Culver-Stockton defeated last season.


Southern Miss assistant: There's just an intensity we didn't have before

Since Larry Fedora arrived in Hattiesburg, the Golden Eagles have finished 7-6, 7-6, and 8-5.  A year ago, Southern Miss lost high scoring games to East Carolina (44-43), UAB (50-49), and Tulsa (56-50).  There was something missing.

Perhaps one of things that can push the Golden Eagles over the hump is new head strength coach Paul Jackson, who spent last season as the head strength coach at Miami (OH).

Southern Miss offensive coordinator Blake Anderson told the Hattiesburg American, “There’s just an intensity about it that we just didn’t have before. He’s brought accountability and discipline and he wants to hold guys to a higher standard. After the guys have been in there a while, they start to hold each other to a higher standard. It’s contagious.”

Defensive backs coach Grady Brown, who recommended Jackson to head coach Larry Fedora, believes Southern Miss has one of the best in the profession.  Brown, who once served as a grad assistant at LSU, thinks Jackson will one day be thought of like LSU strength coach Tommy Moffitt.

Brown said, “Moffitt is one of the best in the business, and 25 years from now I can see Paul being referred to as the same as Moffitt is now.”

Along with Jackson, the Golden Eagle also have a new defensive coordinator in former Illinois assistant Dan Disch.

Southern Miss opens with LA Tech, then travels to Marshall in the second week of the season.  The non-conference schedule includes Southeast Louisiana, at Virginia, and at Navy.


James Franklin challenging recruits, lands #2 overall running back

Vanderbilt offensive coordinator / running backs coach John Donovan may end up coaching the most coveted recruit in Vanderbilt history.

On Friday, head coach James Franklin landed a verbal commitment from East High School (Memphis, TN) running back Brian Kimbrow.

Kimbrow reportedly had scholarship offers from Notre Dame, Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama, Stanford, Nebraska, USC, and many others.  Rivals ranks Kimbrow as the #2 all-purpose running back in the country.

Upon hearing of the commitment, Franklin reportedly hollered, “Get you some, Coach O.” (just kidding)

Franklin did however explain part of his recruiting philosophy with Sports Illustrated.

Franlin challenges recruits by saying, "If you feel that you are the best and the brightest, come prove it with me week in and week out. If you're afraid of competition, then you'd better not be playing major division football, and you'd better not be considering the SEC."

Vandy now has twelve total commitments including seven verbals from the state of Georgia, four from Tennessee, and one from Louisiana.  Of course, verbal commitments are non-binding, just ask Mike Gundy.

If Vandy inks a Top 25 recruiting class, the Vanderbilt war room might be a wild scene.  

Mike Gundy frustrated, speaks out about decommitments

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is frustrated and for good reason. 

Recently, a couple of recruits have withdrawn their verbal commitments to Oklahoma State in favor of other programs.  Not only do the Cowboys lose out on the previous commitments, but also some of the backup options because we are well into the 2012 recruiting process.  In fact, forty-six of the Rivals 100 have already announced a verbal commitment...and it's only early July.  

It’s been happening for years, all over the country.  Although he might be one of the first to speak about being held hostage, Gundy isn’t the only coach that has become frustrated over the situation.

Gundy explained to the Oklahoman, "The player is always going to have the last say, they're holding the trump card.”

“There's nothing you can do about it. It's not like you can call and beat them up over the phone, because then you won't be able to go back into that high school.”

“It's very disappointing and very discouraging but it's not going to change. It's the part of the job that is most discouraging. When you have a guy committed for three, four, five months, you've stopped recruiting at that position then they go somewhere else.”

Maybe it’s time for a rule adjustment, perhaps an early signing period.

What do you think?