College football season is over. The offseason moves have begun. Some coaching carousels remain in full swing, while others have settled on who’s to lead their respective programs in 2020 and, possibly, if the head coaches prove their individual worth in wins, beyond. Some players are bowing out and taking their talents elsewhere. Other players are deciding whether to stick around for the remainder of their eligibility or, at the behest of their Pop Warner dreams, to take it pro.
That’s where we come in, because news across the college football landscape comes at you fast this time of year. Check in here for the latest updates on the coaching carousel, as well as any player updates that impact the Big 12 Conference and the Texas Longhorns.
The latest (Feb. 27)
Scottie Hazelton reportedly has been rumored to be interested in the defensive coordinator job at Michigan State under newly hired head coach Mel Tucker. Well, turns out those rumors are true. Kansas State was unable to match the offer and Hazelton is expected to head to Lansing as the final assistant to be hired onto Tucker’s somewhat promising staff.
He’ll be sorely missed in Manhattan. In 2019, Hazelton’s defense gave up a stingy 21.4 points per game to opponents, the second lowest among Big 12 teams. The Wildcats’ pass defense was also ranked as the conference’s second-best, in which they gave up just 202.9 yards per game. Meanwhile, their eighth-ranked run defense gave up just 165.6 yards per game.
Texas Tech (defensive personnel)
IN – Kevin Cosgrove (LSU), Derek Jones (Duke)
OUT – Kerry Cooks (fired), Todd Orlando (USC)
It took Orlando’s firing by Texas head coach Tom Herman to make it happen, but nevertheless, former Longhorns defensive coordinator landed with an in-state rival. Under Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells, Orlando was set to coach linebackers and had been named assistant head coach. To land him, Texas Tech nixed safeties coach Kerry Cooks and opted to move current defensive coordinator Keith Patterson in Cooks’ place.
However, all of the above fell through when Orlando ditched Lubbock for a gig as defensive coordinator with the USC Trojans just two weeks into his Texas Tech tenure. Also in tow with Orlando will be Texas ex Craig Naivar, who was originally expected to join him at Tech.
With Orlando’s departure, the Red Raiders looked to Kevin Cosgrove to coach the program’s linebackers. Cosgrove was most recently the leading defensive analyst on LSU’s national championship-winning team. He also has nearly four decades of experience as a coach, with more than half of that coming as a defensive coordinator with New Mexico and Nebraska, among others.
Also joining Texas Tech’s coaching squadron will be Derek Jones, who is set to join the Red Raiders as a defensive back coach, co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach, the program announced earlier this week. Jones has spent the past 12 seasons at Duke, where he helped turn around an otherwise abysmal defense in recent years; prior to then, he spent ten seasons between Memphis, Middle Tennessee and Murray State.
TCU (offensive personnel)
OUT – Curtis Luper (Missouri), Chris Thomsen (Florida State)
Two things are for sure: former running backs coach Curtis Luper is heading to Missouri for a similar role and offensive line coach Chris Thomsen is off to the Florida State, where he’ll serve as a deputy head coach under head coach Mike Norvell. The rest, however, remains up in the air, albeit delicately — Football Scoop reported on Jan. 15 that former TCU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham is expected to return as an inside wide receivers coach. Colorado State running back coach Bryan Applewhite is also expected to join TCU head coach Gary Patterson, per Football Scoop.
247Sports reports that Patterson is expected to name former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill to his offensive staff, as a special assistant to the head coach. 247Sports notes that Kill won’t be among the ten assistant coaches in 2020. Instead, he’ll oversee the offense from the perspective of coach and player evaluations, play calls and schemes, among other things.
Baylor (offensive and defensive personnel)
IN – Dave Aranda (LSU), Ron Roberts (Louisiana), Larry Fedora (Texas), Joe Wickline, Brian Stewart (Detroit Lions)
OUT – Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers)
The NFL’s Carolina Panthers stole Baylor head coach Matt Rhule at a price of $60 million over seven years. As a result, Baylor hired LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. It’s the first head coaching job of his career and also means that the Longhorns will face a new defensive coordinator in Baton Rouge this September. Not longer after, Aranda then hired Ron Roberts, who spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator at Louisiana. In 2019, Louisiana finished No. 18 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 19.7 points per game.
The coaching carousel continued. Days later, Aranda added former Southern Mississippi and North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora as his offensive coordinator. Fedora spent 2019 as an analyst for the Longhorns, and holds a 79-62 record as a collegiate head coach.
Joe Wickline, previously an offensive lineman coach and offensive coordinator for the Longhorns under Charlie Strong, is also heading down the road to Waco, Baylor announced over the weekend. It’s not Wickline’s first stint with the Bears: From 1997 to 1998, he was an offensive line coach at Baylor prior to spending time at Florida, Oklahoma State and then Texas, where he coached under Strong from 2014 to 2015.
As is Brian Stewart, who was hired as the Bears’ new cornerbacks coach. Stewart was most recently in charge of cornerbacks with the Detroit Lions. In 2007 and 2008, he was also the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys under former head coach Wade Phillips. In 2009, he was with the Philadelphia Eagles, prior to taking his talents back to the college level, where he served in stints at Houston, Maryland, Nebraska and Rice from 2010 to 2017.
Oklahoma (offensive and defensive personnel)
IN – DeMarco Murray, Jamar Cain (Arizona State)
OUT – Ruffin McNeil (personal leave)
Football will have to wait for now, because family comes first for Oklahoma assistant head coach and outside linebackers coach Ruffin McNeil, who’s leaving the program to move back to North Carolina to take care of his sick father, the Sooners announced in January.
With the departure of McNeill, Oklahoma opted to hire Jamar Cain away from Arizona State to coach the program’s outside linebackers, Fox Sports reports. At Arizona State, Cain coached the Sun Devils’ defensive linemen. In Norman, he’ll inherit a solid defensive core between the likes of Jon-Michael Terry, Nik Bonitto and Joseph Wete.
Multiple outlets are also reporting that Oklahoma alum DeMarco Murray will return to Norman as the program’s new running backs coach. During his time at Oklahoma from 2007 to 2010, he rushed for 3,685 yards and 50 touchdowns. He also recorded 10 touchdown receptions and three kickoff return touchdowns, earning him a school-record of 64 all-purpose scores. Not to mention the fact that he also holds Oklahoma’s record for all-purpose yards (6,498) and receiving yards by a running back (1,512.)
Oklahoma State (offensive coordinator)
IN – Kasey Dunn
OUT – Sean Gleeson (Rutgers)
Longtime Oklahoma State assistant coach Kasey Dunn got the best of this move. Dunn, head coach Mike Gundy’s longest tenured staff member since 2011 and the 2017 National Wide Receivers Coach of the Year, was promoted to offensive coordinator after Sean Gleeson was hired away for the same role with Rutgers.
Kansas (defensive personnel)
IN – Jordan Peterson (New Mexico)
OUT – Clint Bowen (North Texas), Tony Hull
In December, longtime Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen announced he was leaving the program to join North Texas, after serving in a variety of roles over two separate stints — 1998 to 2009 and 2012 to 2019 — and under several Jayhawks head coaches. As a result, Kansas head coach Les Miles hired a safeties coach in Jordan Peterson, who previously served in the same role with New Mexico since 2017 , and as defensive coordinator with the program after he was promoted last year.
Adding to that, and although it’s unclear where, exactly, he’ll land, Tony Hull announced in February that he’s leaving the Kansas football program. In his four years with the Jayhawks, Hull has served as a position coach (most recently as a running backs coach in 2019), associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.
West Virginia (offensive personnel)
IN – Gerad Parker (Penn State)
OUT – Xavier Dye (South Florida)
When West Virginia receivers coach Xavier Dye announced his departure for South Florida, head coach Neal Brown landed on Penn State receivers coach Gerad Parker to step in as the program’s new offensive coordinator. West Virginia assistants Matt Moore and Chad Scott shared offensive coordinator duties in 2019. Moore and Scott remain on the coaching staff and will likely be moved to position coaches.
Iowa State (tight ends coach)
IN – Mick McCall (Northwestern)
OUT – Alex Golesh (UCF)
Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell couldn’t hold on to tight ends coach Alex Goresh, who’s taking over as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach with the UCF. As a result, longtime college football guy and former Northwestern offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mick McCall has joined the Iowa State Cyclones as a running backs coach, according to Football Scoops. Assistant coach Tom Manning was in charge of running backs in Ames in 2019 but has opted to move to coaching the tight ends position.
Kansas State (special teams coach)
OUT – Sean Snyder (USC)
It’s the end of an era, because the Snyder family is no longer at Kansas State. Sean Snyder, the son of longtime former head coach Bill Snyder, has accepted an offer to be the next special teams coordinator at USC, the Manhattan Mercury reports. During his time working with the Wildcats’ special teams from 2011 to 2018, Kansas State set or tied eight school records, and from 2013 to 2017, the program produced the first-team All-Big 12 kick returner each season.
Players going pro
Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Houston Miller — Listed at 6-4, 275 pounds, Miller has declared for the NFL Draft. In 28 games at Texas Tech, Miller notched just three tackles.
Redshirt junior defensive tackle Ross Blacklock — Despite the NFL’s Advisory Committee telling Blacklock that he should hold off on declaring for one more season, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he’s opting to do so anyway and has signed with an agent.
Junior receiver Jalen Reagor — After leading the Horned Frogs in catches (43), yards (611) and touchdowns (5) — an inconsistent season by his standards — Reagor has opted to forgo his senior season and try the NFL. He’s projected as a first round pick later this year.
Redshirt junior cornerback Grayland Arnold — After earning a second-team All-Big 12 recognition in 2019 and a second overall conference ranking with six interceptions, 40 tackles and two pass breakups, Arnold is heading to the NFL, like former coach Matt Rhule.
Junior defensive lineman James Lynch – This one was a no-brainer for the 2019 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He finishes his college career with 33.5 tackles for loss and 22 sacks.
Junior receiver CeeDee Lamb — For those who watched the Longhorns take on the Sooners in 2019, this move was in itself equally obvious for Lamb. After consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons with double-digit touchdown catches, Lamb is a projected first round pick.
Junior linebacker Kenneth Murray — It didn’t end well for Murray and the Oklahoma defense against LSU in the College Football Playoff Semifinal game (Heisman Trophy-winning LSU quarterback Joe Burrow ate their lunch), but Murray’s 102 tackles and four sacks in 2019 were enough to boost his confidence enough to send himself to the NFL.
Freshman Utah State linebacker Christian LaValle – LaValle, a member of the 2019 signing class with the Utah State Aggies, will finally get his chance to play for Wells, who left the Aggies for his current role at Texas Tech after the 2018 season. At 5’11, 240 pounds, 247Sports ranked LaValle and the No. 44 inside linebacker in the nation coming out of high school. LaValle will likely be forced to sit out the 2020 season unless he successfully petitions the NCAA for an eligibility waiver.
Redshirt junior quarterback Justin Rogers – Although he’ll have to sit out a year before he’s eligible to compete, the former TCU quarterback is transferring to UNLV. Once one of the highest touted recruits in TCU history, what was presumed to be a prolific career to come for the Horned Frogs was thrown into array when Rogers injured his knee early in his high school senior season, effectively delaying his career. In Las Vegas, he’ll join what our SBNation neighbors Frogs O’War described as a “crowded QB room.” Notably, Rogers will likely compete for the starting job once he’s eligible for the 2021 season.
Senior Temple tight end Kenny Yeboah — Yeboah barely missed his chance to reunite with former head coach Rhule, who recruited Yeboah as part of the 2016 class. As a redshirt junior with the Temple Owls, he accounted for career highs in catches (19), yards (233) and touchdowns (5). Yeboah is expected to fill a much needed role for the Bears in 2020.
Senior UCLA receiver Theo Howard — Three months after he announced his intention to transfer away from the UCLA Bruins, Howard has found a landing spot in Norman, where he’ll help push what will be a younger group of receivers for the Sooners in 2020. During his career at UCLA, Howard amassed 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on 119 receptions.
A host of current Sooners have also entered their name into the transfer portal. Names included among that bunch are redshirt sophomore linebacker Levi Draper, redshirt sophomore linebacker Ryan Jones, freshman linebacker Jonathan Perkins, redshirt junior cornerback Jordan Parker, freshman safety Ty DeArman and redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Troy James, among others players on the offensive side of the ball, such as redshirt junior receiver Mykel Jone and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Michael Thompson.
Though James and DeArman are set to land at Prairie View A&M and SMU, respectively, it remains to be seen where the remainder of the transfer hopefuls will land in 2020.
Junior West Virginia offensive lineman Josh Sills — West Virginia’s loss is Gundy’s gain. With two years of eligibility remaining, Sills opted to remain in the Big 12 as a graduate transfer. His 2019 season ended early on with an ankle injury. Prior to then, he started 22 of 25 games with the Mountaineers and was named second-team All-Big 12 in 2018.
Missouri cornerback Christian Holmes is also taking his talents to Stillwater for his senior season in 2020. Holmes was a three-star prospect in the 2016 recruiting class. Over the course of 12 games in 2019, he recorded 29 tackles and defended four passes. In 2018, he recorded 35 tackles, defended 12 passes and picked off two interceptions for the Tigers.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State receiver Tyrell Alexander has entered the transfer portal, according to GoPokes. In Stillwater, Alexander was recruited as a receiver but was moved to cornerback prior to the 2018 season. He was then moved back to receiver, where he played for the remainder of his time as a Cowboy. The redshirt senior will be immediately eligible wherever he lands, as noted by our SBNation neighbor Cowboys Ride For Free.
Joining him in the transfer portal will be sophomore receiver CJ Moore. A former four-star recruit out of Tulsa Union, Moore totaled four catches for 81 yards in five games, including a 59-yard reception against McNeese State, in 2019.
Senior running back Khalil Herbert — You know run game-happy Les Miles hates to see this one. Prior to his commitment to Virginia Tech in early December, at Kansas, Herbert, who redshirted four games into the 2019 season, rushed for 1,735 yards and 14 touchdowns with an average of 5.4 yards per attempt during his time with the Jayhawks.
Junior West Virginia offensive lineman Josh Sills — Like we noted above: West Virginia’s loss is Gundy’s gain.