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We're moving again. I told my wife and her jaw dropped

Changes can happen really fast in the coaching profession.  It’s a profession that can lead you to places unknown.  It’s also a profession that can be tough on families.

Less than 24 hours following the MAC Championship game, Matt Limegrover has absolutely no clue he would be moving from DeKalb, IL to Minneapolis, MN.  When Northern Illinois head coach Jerry Kill accepted the Minnesota job, he asked his offensive coordinator / offensive line coach Matt Limegrover to join him.

Here’s how Limegrover describes it to ESPN1500 in Minny:

Limegrover said, “It's crazy trying to live out of a hotel and with being in the heat of recruiting right now, but it's also the nature of it. Fortunately, it is not the first time that we've had to do it or have had to do it as a group. So, I think the byproduct of it is that as crazy as it could have been that part was lessened because we've all done it together.”

“There is a core of guys who for some of us it's the fourth time we've done it together, with most of its third time. We kind of knew what needed to be done and what needed to happen, so I think that lessened it a little bit. But it has been pretty crazy to say the least.”

So what was your wife’s reaction when you told her the family was moving to Minnesota?

“It was kind of drop-jaw, what-are-you-talking-about-type reaction. The move from Carbondale and Southern Illinois to Northern Illinois for me particularly was pretty good for me because my wife is from that area and has a lot of family there, so that worked out very well. But then to say we're going six hours away, initially that set her aback. The great thing is that the wives, after the initial shock kind of sets in of you're moving, you're disrupting things, then the great excitement sets in of what a great opportunity it is. Really in a lot of respects it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and they realize that and understand it.”

“Once everybody started looking into the Twin Cities and everything that the area has to offer, I know my wife was incredibly excited. She's already brought the kids. They didn't want to see me. They went straight to the Mall of America. So, I had to go down there to see them. They are real excited. And that is a big part of it, to know that they are chomping at the bit to get up here and to get going with things because it makes you feel a little bit better about the decision you made.”

 




Rod Broadway says HOLLA one day after signing day, accepts new job

Just days after turning down the NC A&T job and saying, “Louisiana is my home,” Rod Broadway is leaving Grambling State to accept the head coaching job at NC A&T.

On Saturday, as speculation had risen, Broadway stated, "This is home. I live here. This is my home. I grew up in North Carolina, but Louisiana is my home now, and again, I'm happy to be here."

"I've said for a number of years — to anyone that would listen — that I have the best job in black college football. It's an honor that people come calling, but I've never applied for a job, never sent a resume for a job, or anything else. It's just a compliment to our guys that people have interest in us."

Today, however, Broadway had a change of heart.

After four years at Grambling (35-12 record), Broadway accepted the NC A&T head coaching job.

Grambling AD Lin Dawson said, “I must say that Grambling has lost a true leader and a developer of young men. His record speaks for itself. He built a championship program and left us with a foundation to be one of the best football programs in the region, as well as in Black College Sports. I will miss him both as a friend and as a colleague that I could count on. Grambling provided Broadway the opportunity to bring his skills as a head coach to the national stage, and Grambling is better because of it."

NC A&T must have a pretty good deal for Broadway, who was set to earn $215,000 next season at Grambling State.

Broadway coached at Duke from 1991-94, Florida (1995-2000), UNC (2000-2001), and served as the head coach at NC Central (2003-2006).




Dan Mullen defends recruiting class, talks decommitments

Coming off a 9-4 season, Dan Mullen seemed defensive yesterday of his recruiting class that finished 10th (SEC) / 42nd (Nationally) by Rivals and 11th (SEC) / 43rd (Nationally) by Scout.

Mullen explained, “I can tell you how this class will pan out in a couple of years but in our last three classes. We signed 53 players, 47 are still contributing to our football team, one is playing professional baseball with the Reds and one just recently resigned with us after completing his work in junior college. That percentage shows we are finding the players that fit our program and they’re sticking with us and continuing to develop for the future. That to me is how you evaluate a recruiting class.”

A number of players that verbally committed to Mississippi State signed with Ole Miss (3), Auburn, and Vandy.

Mullen said, “A decommitment in my mind and in the media’s mind is different. A commitment in my mind is someone that is always going to come to Mississippi State and if you are visiting other schools then that means you are not committed in my opinion. I really don’t think I had any decommitments in my opinion. That is how I view recruiting but we’re not allowed to talk about it so that is all up to you guys interpretation. If a player is afraid of competition, I don’t want them to come here and we are simply looking for guys that want to come in and work hard, offer a special talent and earn their spot on this team. That is what it takes to win and there is no shortcut to the top of the mountain.”

The 2011 non-conference schedule for Mississippi State includes at Memphis, LA Tech, at UAB, and UT-Martin.




Quick Hits: Spurrier, Fitz, Tubs, and Hazell

Classic quote from Steve Spurrier: “Randy Shannon had the No. 1 recruiting class in 2008, Urban Meyer had the No. 1 class last year. Both those guys are working television.”

 

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald has his own style: “The old phrase is ‘It is what it is.’ I tell the kids the truth. I tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. I learned that from Randy [Walker] and Gary [Barnett.]”

“I just loving giving kids an opportunity to come see our program. Humbly, an opportunity to give a kid a $55,000 scholarship a year to come to Northwestern. That’s a life-changing experience for a kid. That’s a pretty humbling responsibility. I get that power of influence. I like building relationships with kids, and I like getting to know their families, and I love getting out to talk to high school coaches. Yeah, I love it. I love everything aspect of it. Everything. Love it.”

 

Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell explains his recruiting philosophy: ''There are 719 schools in the state of Ohio. 'If you can't get three-fourths of your class from your own backyard, then you're not doing your job. Our staff's motto is to always take care of your backyard, and that's what we did.''

 

Tommy Tuberville signed the first ever Top 20 class at Texas Tech: "We had no problem selling Lubbock and the community and West Texas and the Big12. There is a lot of interest in that. The thing you do run into -- and we went to other conferences, and we competed against some of the so-called big boys in this country in college football. We beat them some, they beat us some.”




Houston Nutt praises Mississippi mothers

Despite a subpar season, Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt signed 8 of the Clarion-Ledger’s Dandy Dozen including 5-star linebacker C.J. Johnson.

Nutt said the top 5 players in the state of Mississippi signed with the Rebels and he credited  “the Mississippi mothers.”

Nutt explained, “The mother is a special, special lady.  I don’t think sometimes husbands know what they do.  They don’t understand.  They usually do the raising.  They play both roles.  They’re working, raising, training, nurturing, mentoring, counseling.  Most of them played father roles, so I have an awesome respect for mothers.  It ought to be the title of tomorrow’s headlines.  I say the mothers of Mississippi are the MVPs.  They are the MVPs.  You build that relationship with them.  They believe in us…even when we had our worst season.”

“Who is going to take care of their son?  Who is going to really watch them?  Recruiting talk is easy, but it’s about your body of work.”

"Nobody gave us a chance to get any of these guys. All of a sudden you look around and we about got them all.”

"I felt like the more you got into those living rooms and the more feedback I got from the mothers, the more I got around the conversation of trust, relationship and commitment. They felt like they knew where we were going and they wanted to do it here in Mississippi, to win a championship. They were hungry for home."

Ole Miss hosts BYU in the season-opener.  Other non-conference games include Southern Illinois, at Fresno State, and LA Tech.




Michigan DC Greg Mattison injured, receives praise from Urban Meyer

Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison recently slipped on some ice, injuring his quadriceps.

Offensive coordinator Al Borges told the Detroit News, "I showed up right after the crime. I saw him laying there on the ground with his wife (Ann), and I said, 'What's going on?' He said, 'Oh, I slipped on the ice.' And he was hurting. We had to get an ambulance. We couldn't move him. We tried to move him, and he was howling."

According to the Detroit News, the injury required a surgery for Mattison, who is will be back in the office on Monday.

Just yesterday, ESPN analyst Urban Meyer called Mattison, “the best recruiter in college football.”  While on set with ESPNU, Meyer stated, “He’s not only one of the best defensive coordinators in America, but also the best recruiter in college football.”

Mattison served on Meyer’s staff at Florida from 2005-2007 before joining the Baltimore Ravens staff.  This is Mattison’s second stint at Michigan.  From 1992-1994, he coached the Wolverines defensive line.  In 1995-1996, he served as the defensive coordinator.

Michigan opens the 2011 season with four consecutive non-conference games against Western Michigan, Notre Dame (night game), Eastern Michigan, and San Diego State.

Here's a pretty good video interview with Mattison.

 




Interesting stats from NFL Combine invitations

329 players have been invited to Indianapolis for the 2011 NFL Combine.  Our research tells us that 52 players (15%) will come from SEC programs.

UNC has the most number of players invited to the NFL Combine with 12.  Ohio State, Iowa, and Miami (FL) each has 9 player invited.

Interestingly, Texas and Oklahoma received just 4 invitations.  LSU and Georgia led the SEC with 8 invitations each.  USC and Nebraska also received 8 invitations.  Clemson and Wisconsin received 7 invitations.  

UCONN (6) and Pitt (6) had more players invited than Alabama (5) and Auburn (5).

One player will represent Walsh University, Southeastern LA, West Texas A&M, Villanova, Chattanooga, Slippery Rock, Portland State, Northern Iowa, Mount Union, Missouri State, Lehigh, Hillsdale, Hampton, Fort Hays State, Fort Valley State, Eastern Washington, Delaware, Cal-PA, The Citadel, and Abilene Christian.

Appalachian State (3) and Richmond (2) were the only non-FBS programs to receive more than one invitation.

Only 5 players from the MAC received invitations (Buffalo, Central Michigan, and 3 from Temple).

Here’s the complete list of the 329 invitations.




Quick Hits: Muschamp, Sark, Strong, and Al Golden

Will Muschamp is officially not worried about star rankings: "Have you seen those guys that rank those five stars (in recruiting)? I don't count stars. I watch the tape, I recruit.”

"I don't want to disappoint anybody or offend anyone, but I don't read the Internet. I put the tape on and I decide from a critical standpoint if this guy can fit in our program and be a good football player — he's got a good-looking transcript, he's going to do the right things on and off the field. I'm going to be excited about him being a part of our program.”

"I haven't turned on ESPN today to check on what everybody is saying. I'm worried about what I think more than what they think."

 

Quoting Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian: “I think we signed a very athletic class, one that is long, rangy, possesses a lot of speed, and it's physical. And I think one of the things we have tried to address as a football program as we move forward is our physicality on the field and I think that this class does that.”

"We sell who we are as people and we don't change. Who we are is who we are --- we are very real, we are candid, we are up front, we are honest and that doesn't change from player to player or family to family or in state to out of state. That's who we are.”

(on shifting to a 3-4 defense) "We're going to tinker with it, there's no doubt, even more this spring. With so much of what's going on in college football with the spread offense it gives us a little more versatility to do that, it disguises somem of our pressures more and we did more of it toward the end of the year so we are trying to find guys that fit that body type and that style of defense.” 

 

Quoting Louisville head coach Charlie Strong: "We wanted to recruit speed and mentally and physically tough kids. We are not going to take a step backwards. We laid the foundation, and now we are going to build on it."

 

Funny quote from Miami (FL) head coach Al Golden: "Gionni (a linebacker) went from not wanting to talk to us, to getting a Miami tattoo. There are lots of schools that can't flip eight kids in three or four years, and we did it in five weeks."

"This is a defense-heavy class. That's an indication of my evaluation of where we needed the most depth - defense and special teams."