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Clemson: "We're the total package"
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Photos: Washington's new unis
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D-II version of "Evolution of Dance"


Former SEC assistant reflects on losing his job after 9 good years

Following the 2009 season, Georgia head coach Mark Richt made the decision to dismiss three assistant coaches that had helped Georgia win a ton of ball games over the years.  It’s one of the difficult parts of the profession for an assistant coach.

One of the assistants to lose his job was defensive ends coach Jon Fabris, who help Georgia win 89 games in nine seasons, including two SEC Championships, three SEC Eastern Division Titles, six bowl victories and six Top 10 finishes in the final national polls. Fabris helped develop defensive ends David Pollack, Will Thompson, Quentin Moses, Charles Johnson and Marcus Howard.

After a brief stint at Louisville prior to the 2010 season, Fabris sat out of coaching last season.  He has since joined the Northwest Community College staff in Senatobia, MS.

This week, Fabris reflected back on his time at Georgia.

He told the Times Free Press, “I know what I was a part of at Georgia, and I also know that no one is perfect. Even Bear Bryant had back-to-back six-win seasons at Alabama, but I’m very proud that I was part of a program that finished in the top 10 six times in nine years. Seven of the top 12 Georgia players in career sacks were players I coached, and I’m proud that most all of the punt-return records in school history were set by the units I coached.”

“It is not a case where you leave with your head down. Things happen for various reasons, whether it’s pressure or politics. They are things you have no control over.”

“I don’t know if this is a change-of-life kind of deal or if something else is going to happen. I know I can still coach circles around some other people in coaching. I don’t know what this is all about, but I do know what I’ve gained in the last year and a half. God has given me priceless time with my children.”

Fabris will coach the defensive line this season for Northwest CC.  The Rangers open against Pearl River on September 1st.




2011 media guide released: Does anyone do it like LSU?

LSU has released their 2011 football media guide.

Interestingly, the Tigers chose not to feature any players or even head coach Les Miles on the front cover.  There’s not even a color photo of Tiger Stadium, the pride of LSU.

Perhaps it’s a message that this year's squad isn't about any one individual, it’s about a team.  It’s about a team on mission to end up in New Orleans, site of the 2012 national championship game.

OR it’s that LSU wants you to read a passage, so that you can truly feel Tiger Stadium.

"It is a pantheon of concrete & steele.  It is a city that rises.  Defiantly in the delta, alongside the father of waters.  It is the humidity of autumn       evenings that drapes stately oaks and broad magnolias.  It is haunted and it is loud.  It is Halloween night and cannon blasts.  It is a Louisiana gumbo of humanity that cheers its Tigers to victory & destroys the dreams of invading foes.  Chance of rain…never!  It is a cathedral of college football…and worship happens here.  When the sun finds its home in the western sky, it is a field of glory.  For sure, but much more than that it is a sacred place and it’s Saturday night in Death Valley."

Do yourself a favor.  Watch this video down below.  College football is approaching.

 

LSU

 




D1 assistant coach resigns for 3 very respectable reasons

Sometimes it’s just time to do something else.

After eleven seasons on the staff at Kent State, A.J. Pratt accepted a position on Willie Taggert’s staff at Western Kentucky in 2010.

One year later, Pratt has decided to resign his position for three very respectable reasons.

Pratt, who served as the tackles / tight ends coach under Taggart, released a statement saying, “My wife and kids know nothing else but being a family of a college football coach for the past 12 years. This decision is based solely upon three factors - my family, my faith and my health.”

“Our family has discussed this decision the past few days, and we are at peace with the outcome though it is the most difficult decision I have ever personally had to make. The opportunity for a new occupation has just recently been presented, and I wish the timing could have been different.”

“We are very thankful for the people of Western Kentucky University, especially the athletic department, administration and our student-athletes. We are thankful and blessed for those relationships. I will continue to support WKU football and the people that make it successful from our home in Bowling Green."

Taggart understood his assistant’s position and said the decision was entirely Pratt’s.

Pratt will serve as a teacher in the Bowling Green, Kentucky area.

Stay tuned to The Scoop.  There are always three or four surprising changes just before August camp arrives.  About this time last year, Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson decided to hang it up.  




Big East coach tabbed most friendly head coach in college football

Have you ever wondered what some of these college head coaches are like when nobody is looking?

ESPN The Magazine wanted to find out by creating superfan “Jim Smith.”

Smith wrote a letter in February to each of the D1 head coaches stating, “Dear Coach: Would you be willing to call my voice mail and leave a message I can use as my outgoing greeting? Something like, 'Hi, this is ________ .  Jim can't take your call right now, but if you leave your name and number ... '"

Larry Fedora, Art Briles, Mike London, Kirk Ferentz were among the four coaches to respond to the letter.  Seven head coach declined, but sent autographed photos.

Of all the coaches, it was Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone, a native of the Bronx, New York, who offered the nicest response.  Despite all the responsibilities that Marrone has with leading a major D1 program, he took the time and clearly went above and beyond.

A month after the drafting the letter, Smith received this voicemail from Marrone:

"Hi, Jim, Doug Marrone from Syracuse football. I got your note and want to thank you for your support. Every fan matters here for us. It's been a tough few years for Syracuse football, but we have that Big East title in our sights. Stay with us. I'll start the message in a minute." Awkward pause. "Hi, this is Doug Marrone from Syracuse football. You've reached Jim. He can't take your call right now. But I promise you, if you leave a short message after the beep, he will get right back to you. Go Orange." Another awkward pause. "So thanks again, Jim. We really appreciate your support up here. Go Orange."

You won’t believe what happened next…

Who would you say is the most friendly head coach in college football?  Let us know in our newly added conversation section, which is down below.




UCLA will pay Norm Chow serious $$$,$$$ this year

UCLA will be paying Norm Chow $500,000 this year while Chow calls plays for the Utah Utes.

Chow, who has signed a 2-year extension at UCLA last summer worth $1.1 million, was forced out as the Bruins’ offensive coordinator following a month of negotiations following the season.  Shortly thereafter, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham offered his offensive cooordinator position to Chow, who accepted the job.

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel opted to bring in former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson to run the offensive.  The Bruins also hired Nevada running backs coach Jim Mastro, leading most people to believe “The Pistol” will remain a big part of the UCLA offensive scheme.

Utah actually hosts UCLA on November 12th at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Chow graduated from the University of Utah.  Oddly enough, he isn’t coaching the quarterbacks for the Utes.  Instead, Chow is coaching the tight ends.

Even more strange, Chow has opted to live in a hotel.





Video: Tulane football does something really cool

Last week, Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin served as a camp counselor at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, Louisiana.  Griffin joined the likes of Andrew Luck, Kellen Moore, Landry Jones, Tino Sunseri, John Brantley, Jordan Jefferson, Nick Foles, EJ Manuel, and many more.

Today, Tulane launched a marketing video featuring the 6’5 and 215 lb red-shirt junior quarterback.

Personally, we like the bold statement in the video from Griffin.  Tulane football…with a little bit of swag.  Notice the crowd noise in the video.  Have you ever been to a Tulane game in the Louisiana Superdome?  Beautiful!

Tulane is the fourth school that we have seen use a specific player to market ticket sales.  USC and South Carolina kicked things off early this summer with campaigns featuring Matt Barkley, Devyn Taylor, and Marcus Lattimore.

Tulane’s home schedule includes Southeast Louisiana, Tulsa, Syracuse, UTEP, Memphis, and Houston.




Video: Behind-the-scenes with the Gophers' summer workouts

It’s only fifty-two days until the first Saturday in college football and only three weeks until head strength coaches hand over the players to the position coaches.  You will undoubtedly hear a number of head coaches praise their strength staffs as August practice approaches.

It’s almost a guarantee that Dabo and Dan Mullen will be among several that say, “We have the best head strength coach in the country.  I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.”

Muschamp will praise Mickey Marotti.  Jimbo will throw a bone to Vic Viloria.  Cutcliffe will praise Noel Durfey.  

Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill got it started today.

When Jerry Kill accepted the head coaching  job at Minnesota, it was a no-brainer to offer the head strength job to Eric Klein.  Klein has coached with Kill for the last 17 seasons including stops at Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Emporia State, and Saginaw Valley State.

Kill said, “He’s been the difference.  He’s the difference maker on the team.  I don’t think any coach (on our staff) would tell you anything different.  Without him, we wouldn’t be where we are.”

“He knows how to talk and communicate.  He doesn’t talk at them, he talks with them.”

During a behind-the-scenes look into the Gophers’ strength program, Klein explained, “Where we started at and where we are now is 180 degrees.  When we walk out on the field now for a workout, the expectation level is so much higher.”

Here's a peak inside the Gophers' strength program this summer:




Greg Adkins talks about Syracuse recruiting success

Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone secured nine commitments in June and has secured four more thus far in July.

Offensive line coach / recruiting coordinator Greg Adkins told Brent Axe of 1260 The Score, “I think it is a number of different things. I think it is across the board. You look across the country; it is a trend right now. The process of recruiting has sped up so much. I heard a figure the other day that somewhere around 300 kids in the month of June committed to some Division I school.”

The Orange has received verbal commitments from players in six different states including New York (5), Florida (3), New Jersey (1), Pennsylvania (1), Georgia (1), Michigan (1).

Marrone and Adkins believe in pounding the strengths of the university, city, and program.  Neither coach hesitates to admit that Syracuse isn’t for everyone.

Adkins believes the Syracuse coaches do an excellent job of building trust, not only with the recruits, but with their high school coaches as well.

Adkins said, “I think the key to being a good recruiter is the trust of being able to go in to each of these schools and tell them the truth. As long as you can tell the prep school, high school, junior college coaches the truth, and there is a trust between you and that other person, those are the people that do a great job in recruiting.”

Doug Marrone will enter his third year as head coach in 2011.  In his first two seasons, the Orange finished 4-8 and 8-5.  Syracuse opens the season with back-to-back home games against Wake Forest and Rhode Island, before traveling to USC.