Written By T.J. Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
B1G East Round-Up
The B1G East Round-Up is back. This is typically a quiet time in the news for college football as programs prepare for spring ball but fear not, there’s still some news to share. Read on to find out about transfers, coaching hires (and the ending of a long career) and screws coming out of ankles (what fun!).
-The Buckeyes lost a couple of key assistants to the “coaching carousel”. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman became the head coach at the University of Houston and running backs coach Stan Drayton decided to take the same role with the Chicago Bears.
-After some speculation that IU’s running backs coach Deland McCullough was in the running for the job, Ohio State announced they had hired Notre Dame’s Tony Alford. Alford was in South Bend for 6 seasons (running backs coach, wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator).
-Lots of injury news coming out of Columbus as star running back Ezekiel Elliott will have surgery on his left wrist. Dave Biddle from Bucknuts wrote, “Elliott will need a second surgery on his left wrist, which was fractured during preseason camp last August.” Elliott should be 100% by the time the Buckeyes open training camp.
-Injured quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller are on the mend. Barrett had successful surgery to remove screws from his ankle and Miller has begun throwing as he continues to recover from his shoulder injury. Both are expected to compete with Cardale Jones for the starting position.
-IU fans might remember Keith Washington. The 3-star recruit was pursued by the Hoosiers but ended up choosing California-Berkeley. However, on National Signing Day, Washington flipped to Michigan without ever officially visiting Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh praised Washington during his Signing Day press conference, “He is a very, very humble person but a winner. I just really, really liked watching him play on tape right away…got a great, great feeling about him. You’re going to like him”.
-John O’Korn decided to transfer from the University of Houston to the University of Michigan. O’Korn had a successful 2013 season but saw his playing time dip in 2014. He is required to sit out the 2015 season and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
-T.J. Weist, a former offensive coordinator at UConn and 25-year coaching veteran, has joined Michigan’s coaching staff as a “senior offensive analyst”. I have no idea what that actually entails but he’s expected to mentor the Wolverines wide receivers.
-Desmond Morgan (linebacker) and Jabril Peppers (cornerback) have both been granted additional years of eligibility after suffering season ending injuries in 2014. Both are expected to be starters for the Wolverines in 2015.
-Michael O’Connor came to Penn State as a highly recruited signal caller from Canada that was expected to takeover behind center whenever Christian Hackenberg moved on. However, O’Connor announced in late 2014 that he would be transferring and he surprisingly chose to head back “north of the border” and play at the University of British Columbia.
-According to Bill Parcells, the Hall of Famer was approached by Penn State in 2011 after the sex abuse scandal and eventual firing of Joe Paterno. Parcells mentions in his upcoming book that he was asked about his interest in the job. Can you imagine a 70-year old Parcells attempting to convince teenagers to come play for him in Happy Valley?
-Longtime defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi finally opted to leave East Lansing and become a head coach (he is now the leader at Pitt). That leaves a major question mark for the defense of the Spartans and Mark Dantonio is ready to be more involved on that side of the ball. According to Mike Griffith from MLive, Dantonio is ready to be involved in some small changes to the Spartans’ defensive terminology and in making some tweaks when they face “elite spread teams”.
-Caleb Rowe is expected to replace the graduated C.J. Brown as the starting QB for the Terrapins in 2015. Rowe was expected to be a senior next season but Randy Edsall says that the university has applied for a waiver that would grant Rowe another year of eligibility. Rowe was injured after two games as a freshman in 2012.
-It appears that Moise Larose (LT) and Daniel Adams (WR) have left the Maryland football program. Larose filled in as Maryland’s starting left tackle after an injury to their regular starter but he was suspended for all of 2014 and no longer appears on the team’s roster. Adams, a transfer from New Mexico, caught one touchdown pass last season but was assumed to be an odd man in the wide receiver corps next season.
-My second favorite “Fridge” (after William “The Refrigerator” Perry, of course) in football is retiring. Rutgers’ offensive coordinator, Ralph Friedgen, is stepping down at 67 due to health reasons. Friedgen was a boost for the offense last season as Rutgers’ yards per rush jumped more than 50 spots in the national rankings.
-Rutgers moved quickly to replace Friedgen and promoted former wide receivers coach Ben McDaniels (yes, he is the brother of Patriots OC Josh McDaniels). McDaniels will call plays and coach the quarterbacks. A new offensive coordinator means that the Scarlet Knights will have a new OC, a new QB and three new O-linemen next season.