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Urban Meyer talks about a complete turn of integrity in college coaching

Now that Urban Meyer is not a current coach, he won’t hesitate to speak his mind.   Meyer admitted on Friday during an interview with 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis, that being able to speak his mind is part of the reason he walked away from coaching.

Meyer explained, “What I’ve seen the last five years is a complete turn in the integrity of the college coaching profession. It’s completely turned the other way. Right now, it’s not good because the risk-reward is ‘have at it, do what you’ve got to do get the great player, go win games and at the end of the day we’ll find out what happens down the road."

“You tell me how a young man who is a wide receiver (Dez Bryant – Oklahoma State) and he lied to the NCAA and they took away his eligibility and he was never allowed to play again. And then there’s violations in other areas of the country and that doesn’t happen.”

Thanks to SportsbyBrooks, you can listen to the interview.


Quick Hits: Muschamp, Joe Rob, Jim Reid, and Bieber's ringtone

Will Muschamp explains he’s not a CEO: "As a leader or in a leadership role, you have to be yourself. I'm not a CEO. That's not my M.O. I'm going to be involved with the players. I've always envisioned myself in that (head coaching) chair, but when you get in it, it's different. Still, I enjoy scheming. I like drawing up Xs and Os. As a head coach, you can get pulled away from that job. That's not going to happen."


LSU special teams coordinator Joe Robinson thinks it critical for a punter to be the holder on field goals: "The reason I have fought for the punter - not just at LSU but over time - is that they spend two or three hours together every day with the kickers," Robinson said. "The chemistry is there. When you have quarterbacks, you're lucky to get a few minutes a day with them. They're too busy."

"Josh Jasper broke the school record for (field goal) accuracy. He had his punter holding for him every day for two years. I don't think that's accidental. When a kicker has a guy with him all day, every day, holding hundreds and hundreds of balls, that's going to make a difference."


Virginia defensive coordinator Jim Reid talks about pass rushers: “In the two years I was with the Dolphins, we looked at tape after tape after tape (for a great pass rusher to draft), and if you’re a dynamic pass rusher and you’re a first-round draft choice, you’ll never have to work again the rest of your life except at the game of football. They come in different shapes and sizes. Da-Da (Virginia signee) isn’t 6-5, 275, but has quickness and speed.”


Your boy Justin Bieber has Mike Gundy's "I'm a man.  I'm 40" speech as his iPhone ringtone.  Watch as Beiber explains why.


Syracuse DC Scott Shafer explains coaching moves

Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone has shifted around his defensive coaching personnel in hopes of expediting the process of development of a core group of young players on defense.

The moves start up front where defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh will now coach only the defensive tackles.  Central Michigan defensive line coach Tim Daoust has been hired to coach the defensive ends.

Defensive coordinator Scott Shafer will now direct the defensive backs, while John Anselmo moves to outside linebackers.  Dan Conley will remain with the linebackers, focusing on the inside players.

Shafer explained the personnel moves to Syracuse.com by saying, “It kind of goes back, for me, to when I was at Stanford (defensive coordinator in 2007). This is how we did it. And we got more productivity because we had more coaching going on.”

“We've got to shore it up, up front. Because you win and lose up front. We definitely have a big task on our hands, because we have a bunch of new faces and jerseys out there that people aren't going to recognize.”

“When you have more guys at the interchangeable positions, then you get a little more technique-specific coaching, which is why I was looking at sliding the people around the way we have.”

“At the first level (line of scrimmage) with looking at where we are, losing a bunch of D-tackles this past year, now we say to ourselves, 'How can we bring the young kids along best.' And that's when we decided it might be smart to go to the system of having two defensive line coaches.”

The 2011 Syracuse non-conference schedule includes at USC, Toledo, at Tulane, Rhode Island, and Wake Forest.

Quick Hits: Drayton, Saban, Dooley, Butch Davis, Todd Monken

Quoting Ohio State wide receivers coach Stan Drayton explains leaving Florida: “In 17 years of coaching, I’ve never had the opportunity to be around my family. My kids are born and raised in Florida, so they’ve never had an opportunity to be around their grandparents. […] I’m a Buckeye by heart. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. I used to go to coach Tressel's camps as a high school football player at Youngstown State. I had always admired his career, always tried to model myself on some of the principles that he holds his program to. I followed his career and always had a dream of coming back to Ohio State, I just didn’t know when.”


Nick Saban talks about the future: "Because we've got some guys returning, I think the dynamics of this year's team is completely different than what it was a year ago. I think we have a little more maturity on our team. It seems like our players are hungry to get started this year."


Derek Dooley reflects on his signing class and philosophy behind the class: "We couldn't afford to have a lot of high-risk guys in this class. Everybody has got some deficiency somewhere, but it's no different than investing your money. When you build a class, we're investing in people. It's important that we minimize the amount of risk."

"I know we're charged with winning games, all right, but being able to get guys to stay through the course is just as important. It was very important to me that we try to get guys who four years from now we're going to say, 'You know what, that's a whole bunch of guys who had great contributions to the program.' "


Interesting quote from North Carolina head coach Butch Davis: "I can honestly tell you, I don't think in 37 years of coaching there's been a football team that I have been prouder of than this particular group of kids. Every single week somebody new would step up, and each week it was that next-man-up mentality."


Quoting Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken: "I want to blend what this team has done with what I've done to make this Oklahoma State's offense. We want to have flexibility with it. With all of the returning starters, it would be silly to break up what they already have going. When I was at Louisiana Tech, we were no-huddle. When I was at Oklahoma State under Les, it was power running and going straight ahead. The key is to be flexible."

“Dana Holgorsen did great job and I'm just trying to come in and find what fits best. Even before Dana was there, Oklahoma State didn't lack in offensive productivity. It's never been an issue under Coach Gundy. The biggest thing is just to have an identity where this is Oklahoma State's offense and we know what we want to do."

Neuheisel: What matters is that we play well next year

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel, back from a brief vacation to Cabo to celebrate his 50th birthday, must feel like the weight of the world is on his shoulders.

The Los Angeles and national media have been hard on Neuheisel for his strange handling of coaching staff decisions this off-season.

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson was hired with Norm Chow still on the staff.  Boy, I bet that wasn’t awkward for Chow, who has since moved into a hotel in Utah.

The negotiations to land Nevada running backs coach Jim Mastro seemed to last for over a month.

Most heavily scrutinized is that Neuheisel has yet to name a defensive coordinator to replace Chuck Bullough, who was dismissed on December 18th.  Randy Shannon, Rocky Seto, Steve Brown, and other candidates have interviewed.  Neuheisel says the defensive coordinator hire will come this weekend.  At one point, Seto accepted the job, but the offer was later rescinded.

"I understand the scrutiny," Neuheisel said. "I understand the perception and all that kind of stuff but at the end of the day, none of that matters. What matters is that we play well next year."

"I understand the scrutiny. I understand the perception and all that kind of stuff but at the end of the day, none of that matters. What matters is that we play well next year."

Neuheisel also has the defensive line job open.  Yesterday, Todd Howard accepted the defensive line job at Washington State.  It was reported that Howard was dismissed early in the day.  By night, Washington State announced him as their new defensive line coach.  Who knows what happened there?

The Bruins’ non-conference schedule in 2011 includes at Houston, San Jose State, and Texas.

As a first-year head coach, how do you prepare for this?

There’s no way Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson could have prepared for this.  Four of Wilson’s initial hires have already bolted for other jobs.

To be honest, it’s hard to blame coaches that leave for Boise State, Nebraska, Michigan, and Oklahoma State.

It all started with Brent Pease.  Wilson hired Pease, who served as the wide receivers coach at Boise State, as his offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach.  Pease was recognized as the FootballScoop Wide Receivers Coach of the Year.  But when Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin left for Texas, Pease opted to return to Boise State as the offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach.

Next up … Jerry Montgomery.  The former Wyoming defensive line coach lasted less than two weeks in Bloomington.  He jumped ship when Brady Hoke offered him the defensive line job at Michigan.

Next up … Cory Raymond.  After leaving Utah State, Raymond joined the Indiana staff, but moments later shot deuces and said, “Holla, I’m heading to Nebraska.”  Something like that.  

And today… it was Jemal Singleton’s turn.  Singleton was recently hired to coach the Indiana running backs.  Today, he’s on a plane for Stillwater, where he’ll be joining Mike Gundy’s staff at Oklahoma State.

So who is on the Indiana staff? Rod Smith (Co-offensive coordinator / quarterbacks), Kevin Johns (Co-offensive coordinator / wide receivers), Greg Frey (Offensive line), Mike Ekeler (Co-defensive coordinator / linebackers), Doug Mallory (Co-defensive coordinator / safeties / assistant head coach), Brett Diersen (Defensive ends), Brandon Shelby (Corners), and Mark Hagen (Special teams coordinator / defensive tackles).

We’ve heard that Wilson will be bringing in an new group of grad assistants and quality control assistants.  Our sources tell us the only one of that group that will be retained is David Elson, the former head coach at Western Kentucky.

It should be noted that 12 coaches accepted two jobs during last off-season.  That number is down this year.  We're pretty sure that number is six.  Des Kitchings went to Furman, but is now at Air Force.  Also, Justin Frye went from North Texas to Temple.

Here’s the complete list of coaches that accepted two jobs in 2010:

Kippy Brown (University of Tennessee to Seattle Seahawks)

Pep Hamiton (New Mexico to Stanford)

Hugh Freeze (San Jose State to Arkansas State)

Clay Helton (Arkansas State to Southern Cal)

Willie Martinez (Stanford to Oklahoma)

George Edwards (Florida to Buffalo Bills)

Brian Mitchell (Memphis to East Carolina)

Steve Ensminger (Texas Tech to LSU)

Clancy Pendergast (Oakland Raiders to Cal)

Greg Peterson (North Texas to Northern Colorado)

Ron Turner (Stanford to Indianapolis Colts)

Glen Elarbee (Toledo to West Georgia)

All-Access inside the war room on National Signing Day

Auburn significantly generated more enthusiasm from their fan base and kept recruits entertained throughout the year with their constant ALL-ACCESS youtubes.

It now appears Vanderbilt will follow a similar strategy by bringing fans and recruits closer to the program.

Vandy just released a well done ALL-ACCESS production that takes you inside the “War Room” on national signing day with James Franklin and his coaching staff.

Offensive quality control Charles Huff took the role of Roger Goodell by announcing each signature in the style of, “With the 8th pick, Vanderbilt University selects {signee}.”

After 4-star quarterback Lafonte Thourogood faxed it his National Letter of Intent, Vandy head coach James Franklin announced, “You don’t go into Virginia Beach and take a kid committed to Virginia Tech.  He benches 410 pounds!  Have you seen his arms?”

At one point, Franklin says on a phone call, “We got Baron Dixon decommited from Mississippi and committed to us.  We got tight end Vanderwall decommitted from Arizona State and committed to us.  We’ve been on fire lately.”

Regarding another recruit, quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne said, “He put on a South Florida hat, took it off and put on a Vandy hat.  There are picture of it.  Yes, he did.”

You have to make your fans into believers.  This is a good start by James Franklin and Vandy athletics.

Here’s the video:

Robert Gillespie offers proof that things are going fine at West Virginia

West Virginia running backs coach Robert Gillespie, who followed Dana Holgorsen from Oklahoma State, is describing the transition as “smooth and great.”  Those words are nice, but Gillespie offered more proof by turning down an opportunity to join Will Muschamp's staff at Florida.

Maybe things are OK in Morgantown, at least for those that are comfortable with Holgorsen.  After all, it’s not like Gillespie is going to say the transition has been really tough and the program is in for a long year of turmoil.

Gillespie told the West Virginia student newspaper, "It's been a smooth transition. This month has been good to meet these guys and get to know them. Everyone has a lot of good ideas. That's the reason I wanted to come here.”

"I know Coach Holgorsen understood what he was coming into, so if he was comfortable with it, I was comfortable with it. (WVU head coach Bill Stewart) has been great. I look forward to working with him and getting to know him. He's been welcoming to us, and it's been a great transition."

"The people inside of these walls, we know what's going on. So far, it's been great."

Certainly, the most convincing part is that Gillespie did indeed turn down an opportunity to return to his alma mater, Florida.

After being contacted by Will Muschamp, Gillespie released a statement last week that said, “I was flattered to have the opportunity to go to the University of Florida where I played my collegiate football. However, I am also very excited about West Virginia University and the football program. I believe the system is in place here and we are headed in the right direction. I made the decision for my coaching career, and my family, to stay at West Virginia University. I am excited about being here and being a Mountaineer. I am looking forward to my wife and family joining me here in Morgantown."

Folks, if you are turning down a chance to coach at your alma mater, you either know you will fight Charlie Weis in a matter of weeks OR your current situation is indeed pretty darn good.