Quick Hits: Muschamp, Vaas, Callaway, Cignetti
Will Muschamp says coaches were calling about special teams coordinator / linebackers coach DJ Durkin: "I have two guys that I really respect in this profession that both called me and said, if you don't retain him, I'm going to hire him. That was a good motivating factor too, competition."
South Florida quarterbacks coach Peter Vaas is awaiting a call from Frank Spaziani: "I'm excited about the days ahead. It's just a question of am I putting on snow skiis or water skiis."
UAB head coach Neil Callaway compliments Will Friend, who is leaving the UAB to join Mark Richt’s staff as offensive line coach: “I know the people that you’re talking about and they’re all good coaches, but I’d put Will Friend up against any offensive line coach in the country. I think he’s that good.”
IUP head coach Curt Cignetti says he was surprised to get a standing ovation at the end of his first team meeting as IUP head coach: “This is a team like Alabama on a relative scale. I'd heard they'd gotten a little soft. So I went into the first team meeting and talked kind of tough. Nick (Saban) had the tremendous influence on my beliefs. I got that blueprint in my head, in terms of establishing core values. I went in and talked to them about discipline, commitment, paying the price, sacrificing, toughness. After about 20 minutes I walked out and they gave me a standing ovation. I couldn't believe it. I was touched.”
At least 37 programs will have a new quarterbacks coach in 2011
According to our reseach, at least 37 college programs will have a different coach tutoring the quarterbacks in 2011. That’s over 30% of Division-I programs.
Several schools have yet to announce their new quarterbacks coach. Boston College, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Rice, Temple, and Wyoming have yet to decide on who will tutor the quarterbacks heading into spring practice.
1. Arkansas State (Grant Heard), 2. Ball State (Rich Skrosky) 3. Boston College (TBA) 4. Boise State (Brent Pease) 5. Buffalo (Don Patterson) 6. Cal (Marcus Arroyo) 7. Central Michigan (Morris Watts) 8. Clemson (Chad Morris) 9. Colorado (Rip Scherer) 10. Florida (Charlie Weis)
11. Indiana (Rod Smith) 12. Kent State (Brian Rock) 13. ULL (Jay Johnson) 14. Louisville (TBA) 15. LSU (Steve Kragthorpe) 16. Maryland (Gary Crowton) 17. Miami (FL) (Jedd Fisch) 18. Miami (OH) (Charlie Fisher) 19. Michigan (Al Borges) 20. MTSU (Buster Faulkner)
21. Minnesota (Jim Zebrowski) 22. Ole Miss (David Lee) 23. Northern Illinois (Matt Cananda) 24. Oklahoma State (TBA) 25. Pitt (Todd Dodge) 26. Rice (TBA) 27. Rutgers (Frank Cignetti) 28. Stanford (Pep Hamilton) 29. Temple (TBA) 30. Texas (Bryan Harsin)
31. Troy (Kenny Edenfield) 32. Tulsa (James Kilian) 33. UCLA (Mike Johnson) 34. Utah State (Matt Wells) 35. Vanderbilt (Ricky Rahne) 36. West Virginia (Dana Holgorsen) 37. Wyoming (TBA)
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Al Golden winning over Miami (FL) fan base
Al Golden is really starting to win over the Miami (FL) fan base. Since accepting the head coaching job, Golden has done very well with the media.
No group seems too small for Golden to spread his message. In fact, this week he met with the university student media.
Golden explained, “I have my alarm clock set at 4:45 am. I’m usually in between 5:15 and 5:30. That’s usually my quiet time to get some things done. I usually write a lot of alumni and sign some autographs and that type of stuff...and plan for the day. When 7 o’clock hits, the whole staff is in. It will then be staff meetings. We’ll finish with 2 and half hours of recruiting to cap the night off.”
“At the end of the day, I want a team that is known as a tough team. I think toughness is a skill. I think you can develop toughness, a mental toughness that we need to improve upon.”
“The second biggest think that I think the players are seeing a different level of player-coach relationship, the fact that our guys are involved in their lives outside of football, which is equally important.”
“If we don’t become a smarter and more disciplined football team, we don’t have a chance.”
“We have a Las Vegas rule. What happens in the facility stays in the facility. There’s definitely going to be more discipline, but I don’t want to specifically go into the rules of the program.”
“Certainly when you take over a place like Miami the brand is so much stronger. There (Temple), we were trying to short the brand and sell the people. Here (at Miami) we had the brand, we just wanted to get our people in front of the prospects and their families.”
Jimbo: Make people catch you, don't let them catch up. Don't even look back
Jimbo Fisher believes right now if the most important time in the history of Florida State football.
The Seminoles are coming off a 10-4 season and finished with the #1 ranked recruiting class in the country according to Scout. The signing class includes five 5-star prospects, the most signed by any program in the country.
Interestingly, the ‘Noles went to New Jersey and North Dakota to sign two offensive linemen. In fact, 7 of 28 recruits that signed were from outside the state of Florida.
Fisher says, "Florida State can get players and line up and do anything with anybody if we recruit right and do right."
"Keep building this thing and stretch it and get our facilities out there, build the indoor, build the dorm, right now is the time to make that stretch. It's never better than right now."
For Jimbo, it’s about being the leader. He wants to get ahead.
The 2011 non-conference schedule includes Charleston-Southern, Oklahoma, ULM, and at Florida.
LSU assistant Frank Wilson named national recruiter of the year
Rivals has named LSU running backs coach / recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson as the National Recruiter of the Year.
Wilson is credited with signing three 5-stars and five 4-stars.
Wilson explained to Rivals, "This year we had 15 in-state kids who could go anywhere in the country, not just around the SEC. We were fending off Ohio State, Michigan, USC - you name it down the stretch not to mention Auburn, Florida, Alabama and everyone else down here.”
“Everyone came into Louisiana this year and tried to pull guys out and I could tell you some stories of how hard guys went after our guys like La'El, Freak Johnson, Jarvis and the rest. People who say it's easy to keep kids in Louisiana at home at LSU just don't know and we really just lost one guy we coveted and that was Greg Robinson, but we got the rest. Sure there are some kids that just want to play for LSU and that's their dream, but nowadays temptation to get out of state and play for some other great programs is always there. And it's our job to fend them off as best we can."
Wilson just finished his first year at LSU. He previously coached the wide receivers at Tennessee under Lane Kiffin. He coached the running backs at Southern Miss and Ole Miss, where he got his start at the college level under Ed Orgeron.
You can read more about Frank Wilson and see the entire list of Top 25 recruiters according to Rivals, right here.
NCAA releases average home attendance figures
Michigan led the nation in 2010 with an average home attendance of 111,825 fans. Ohio State, Penn State, Alabama, and Texas each averaged over 100,000 fans per home game.
Tennessee, UGA, LSU, Florida, and Auburn rounded out the top 10 for average home attendance.
Notre Dame (13th) averaged 80,795, meanwhile Oregon (29th) averaged 59,398 per home game.
The top 10 at the D1-AA level included Appalachian State (25,715), Montana, Jackson State, Old Dominion, Delaware, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville State, Harvard, James Madison, and North Dakota State.
The 120 FBS teams averaged 45,912 fans in 755 home games this season.
You can see the top 30 for each division (D1, D1-AA, D2, D3) right here.
Houston Nutt explains signing day forged signature
During an appearance on Rivals Radio with Bill King, Houston Nutt explained the Floyd Raven signing day situation.
Raven, a defensive back out of East St. John HS in Louisiana, was committed to Ole Miss in the days leading up to signing day. On Wednesday morning, Houston Nutt and his staff received a signed National Letter of Intent. One problem…Raven’s signature was forged and faxed in by his mother.
The signing was announced by Ole Miss.
Nutt explained, "The next thing you know, we get a call from Floyd. There was some hesitation. He said, ‘Coach, it was my Mom.’ I said, ‘Your Mom is really smart.’ After a 20 minute conversation, I knew he wanted to go to A&M. I said go ahead and go to A&M, we’re gonna tear this one up.”
"The only thing that looked funny was the name was printed and then it was signed. We actually said, ‘Send another one in. It doesn’t look quite right.’ There was a little bit of hesitation there. It was crazy.”
Nutt admitted he had never been around anything quite like this situation on National Signing Day.
“It’s a tough, tough decision. There are master salesmen at each school. My thing is that I want them to want to be here.”
For Nutt and his staff, the significance of this signing class was taking care of the state of Mississippi. He explained, “We took care of home. We took care of the home-state. With no bowl game, all our guys did was recruit, recruit, recruit.”
Perhaps the biggest signee was 5-star linebacker CJ Johnson. Nutt said, “He’ll be in the mix early on and have a chance to start. He’ll also be on the kick-off team, you know that.”
Quick Hits: Hecklinski, Kragthorpe, and Kevin Steele
Michigan recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski says the Wolverine must own Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois in recruiting: "For the longest time, you walked in the door and Michigan owned the state of Michigan. We have to get back to that, and we will."
“It's going to start in those four states we talked about, and that's where our foundation is going to be from. You've got to take care of home. If you're not taking care of your home, there is a problem. This has got to be a first and foremost priority."
Steve Kragthrorpe talks about his goal at LSU: “We want to be good at what I call 'hang your hat plays,' where we can have a staple offense and then wrinkle off of those things. We teach concepts. And then we'll wrinkle off those from week to week. I think Les and I are on the same page. I think our philosophies mesh very well. We want to be a power running team and couple that with a great downfield, quick-strike passing game."
Kevin Steele really happy for Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers: ""Dom is so extremely organized, so meticulous, the NFL players embrace it because he gives them so much accurate information in a simplistic form just in reams of paper."
"It's one thing to be a great teacher. It's another thing to have a great teaching system. The system becomes who the players are and they teach each other."
Hines Ward compliments his position coach Scottie Montgomery: "It's always good when someone who's coaching you played your position because they can understand it. For a lot of years, some of my coaches never even played the wideout position. If I ask them a question, they may know it on paper. But to come out here and do it physically, they wouldn't have a clue how to do it.”
"But in Scottie's case, he understands certain situations like, 'Hey, you're right.' ... He's a great coach. I'm very proud to have him as my coach."