Sonny Dykes' next coaching shot comes in home state at SMU

DALLAS (AP) — Sonny Dykes was already back in Texas. Now he’s a head coach in his home state for the first time.

Dykes was introduced at SMU on Monday, telling a story of cheering for the Mustangs at old Southwest Conference rival Texas Tech in the early 1980s. That was before his late dad, Spike Dykes, started a long tenure leading the Red Raiders.

The 48-year-old is back as a head coach a year after he was fired at Cal, having spent the past season as an offensive consultant under Gary Patterson at TCU.

Dykes will coach SMU (7-5) against one of his former teams, Louisiana Tech, in the Frisco Bowl near Dallas next week.

He turned around the Bulldogs before joining the Golden Bears, coaching 2016 No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Jared Goff. Dykes takes over for Chad Morris, who left the Mustangs for Arkansas after three seasons.

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New SMU head NCAA college football coach Sonny Dykes, right, laughs with university president Gerald Turner after Dykes introduction in Dallas, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. SMU hired the former California and Louisiana Tech coach as its new coach, replacing one Texan with reputation for directing potent offenses for another. Dykes will replace Chad Morris, who left SMU last week to become Arkansas' coach. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

New SMU head NCAA college football coach Sonny Dykes, right, laughs with university president Gerald Turner after Dykes introduction in Dallas, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. SMU hired the former California and Louisiana Tech coach as its new coach, replacing one Texan with reputation for directing potent offenses for another. Dykes will replace Chad Morris, who left SMU last week to become Arkansas’ coach. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

New SMU head football coach Sonny Dykes is applauded after his introduction in Dallas, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. SMU hired the former California and Louisiana Tech coach as its new coach, replacing one Texan with reputation for directing potent offenses for another. Dykes will replace Chad Morris, who left SMU last week to become Arkansas' coach.(AP Photo/LM Otero)

New SMU head football coach Sonny Dykes is applauded after his introduction in Dallas, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. SMU hired the former California and Louisiana Tech coach as its new coach, replacing one Texan with reputation for directing potent offenses for another. Dykes will replace Chad Morris, who left SMU last week to become Arkansas’ coach.(AP Photo/LM Otero)

New SMU head football coach Sonny Dykes, center, holds up a jersey with university president Gerald Turner, left, and athletic director Rick Hart after Dykes' introduction in Dallas, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. SMU hired the former California and Louisiana Tech coach as its new coach, replacing one Texan with reputation for directing potent offenses for another. Dykes will replace Chad Morris, who left SMU last week to become Arkansas' coach.(AP Photo/LM Otero)

New SMU head football coach Sonny Dykes, center, holds up a jersey with university president Gerald Turner, left, and athletic director Rick Hart after Dykes’ introduction in Dallas, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. SMU hired the former California and Louisiana Tech coach as its new coach, replacing one Texan with reputation for directing potent offenses for another. Dykes will replace Chad Morris, who left SMU last week to become Arkansas’ coach.(AP Photo/LM Otero)

New SMU head football coach Sonny Dykes gestures from the podium after his introduction in Dallas, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. SMU hired the former California and Louisiana Tech coach as its new coach, replacing one Texan with reputation for directing potent offenses for another. Dykes will replace Chad Morris, who left SMU last week to become Arkansas' coach.(AP Photo/LM Otero)

New SMU head football coach Sonny Dykes gestures from the podium after his introduction in Dallas, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. SMU hired the former California and Louisiana Tech coach as its new coach, replacing one Texan with reputation for directing potent offenses for another. Dykes will replace Chad Morris, who left SMU last week to become Arkansas’ coach.(AP Photo/LM Otero)


Source: USA Today Fan Sports Poll

New Tennessee staff seeking immediate help, offer several elite JUCO prospects

Coming off an 0-8 season in conference play, it goes without saying Tennessee’s roster needs a serious influx of talent that can contribute right away. While the roster may not be in as rough a shape as it appears from the outside, there are still plenty of holes on the roster that need a quick patch to help cease the current leaks that exist.

That’s where junior college transfers can really help a program like Tennessee. While high school recruits can often come in and contribute right away, junior college prospects should be theoretically more polished and physically mature in order to help for the 2018 season.

Tennessee’s new staff obviously agrees and has gone out and offered, or re-offered, a multitude of standout junior college prospects. Here’s a list of some of the JUCO prospects Jeremy Pruitt’s staff are currently pursuing in the 2018 recruiting period:

Four-star cornerback Jeremy Webb. He’s 6-foot-3, 195-pounds and ranks as the No. 2 JUCO cornerback in the nation according to 247Sports. They also have him as the No. 11 overall JUCO prospect.

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Webb’s teammate, offensive lineman Johncarlo Valentin has also landed a Tennessee offer. The 6-foot-3, 330-pound Valentin is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 offensive guard and the No. 24 overall JUCO prospect in the nation by 247Sports.

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Cal graduate transfer Dwayne Wallace isn’t a JUCO transfer but he did arrive in Berkeley from the junior college ranks. He was at one point listed as the nation’s No. 5 JUCO offensive guard. He would be eligible immediately in Knoxville.

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Dominick Wood-Anderson, the nation’s No. 1 junior college tight end is also back on Tennessee’s radar following the hiring of the new staff. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound TE is listed as a four-star prospect and the No. 10 overall JUCO recruit in the nation by 247Sports.

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Arizona Western running back Greg Bell has also been offered. He’s the nation’s No. 5 JUCO running back according to 247Sports. He comes from the same program that sent Jonathan Kongbo to Tennessee.

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Bell’s teammate Jahmir Johnson has also landed a Tennessee offer. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman is ranked as the No. 5 JUCO offensive tackle in the nation and the No. 26 overall junior college prospect in the nation by 247Sports.

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It remains to be seen if any of these players will end up donning the Orange and White next season but give the new UT staff credit for leaving no stone unturned when it comes to unearthing prospects from all across the country with the potential to help the turnaround efforts in Knoxville.


Source: Saturday Down South

USA TODAY Sports’ college football freshman All-America team

Meet the next wave of college stars: USA TODAY Sports’ freshman All-America team features several players destined to take center stage in 2018 and beyond, including Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm, Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor and Memphis defensive back T.J. Carter.

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm.

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm.

Fromm is the pick at quarterback after leading Georgia to the College Football Playoff, capping his regular season with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the Bulldogs’ win against Auburn to win the Southeastern Conference.

Taylor is joined at running back by another freshman from the Big Ten Conference, Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins. They are joined by a third Big Ten skill player in Nebraska wide receiver JD Spielman, who finished his rookie campaign with 55 receptions for 830 yards.

Arizona and Northwestern each had a pair of defenders earn honors, joining a defense that includes Carter, Arizona State cornerback Chase Lucas and Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray.

MORE: How ESPN, College Football Playoff are saving bowl games

AWARDS: USA TODAY Sports’ college football All-American team

WOLKEN COLUMN: 10 takeaways from the college football coaching carousel

OFFENSE

QB: Jake Fromm, Georgia

Fromm tossed 21 touchdowns, averaged 9.4 yards per attempt and completed 63% of his attempts in helping Georgia win the SEC title.

RB: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Taylor was the only freshman to earn USA TODAY Sports All-America honors after leading the Big Ten with 1,847 rushing yards.

RB: J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

Dobbins was superb as a true freshman and at his best in key moments, rushing for 174 yards in the Buckeyes’ win against Wisconsin to take the Big Ten and accounting for 1,364 yards on 7.5 yards per carry overall.

WR: JD Spielman, Nebraska

Spielman was perhaps the lone bright spot during Nebraska’s otherwise dismal season, setting up the freshman as a future star in the Big Ten.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Greg Dortch.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Greg Dortch.

WR: Greg Dortch, Wake Forest

Despite missing four games because of injury, Dortch finished with 53 receptions for 722 yards and nine touchdowns while leading the way in Wake Forest’s return game.

TE: Matt Bushman, Brigham Young

Bushman led all FBS freshmen tight ends with 49 receptions for 520 receiving yards, with both totals good for fifth among all players at the position during the regular season.

OL: Tyler Roemer, San Diego State

Roemer earned second-team all-conference honors as one of several new faces on an offensive line that paved the way for running back Rashaad Penny’s 2,000-yard rushing season.

OL: Jack Anderson, Texas Tech

One of the Red Raiders’ top recruits during the Kliff Kingsbury era, Anderson occupied a starting role for every game of the regular season and helped Tech’s offense remain among the nation’s best.

OL: Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin

With little fanfare, Biadasz held down the fort at the middle of Wisconsin’s powerful offensive line to open holes for Taylor and the running game.

OL: Trey Smith, Tennessee

The future is bright for Smith, who started his freshman season at right guard but shifted to left tackle in November to become the first UT rookie to start on the blind side in at least 30 years.

OL: Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Georgia’s offense flourished with Fromm under center and Thomas, a day-one starter, holding down the fort at right tackle.

DEFENSE

DL: Curtis Weaver, Boise State

Weaver led all FBS freshman and the Mountain West Conference with 9.0 sacks while adding an interception and a fumble return for a touchdown.

DL: Lamonte McDougle, West Virginia

The 5-10, 300-pound sparkplug finished the regular season with 22 tackles after starting the Mountaineers’ final eight games.

DL: Sam Miller, Northwestern

With his 5.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss, Miller was a catalyst for a Northwestern defense that ranked third in the Big Ten in rush defense and 38th nationally in yards allowed per game.

DL: Kylan Wilborn, Arizona

The first of two Arizona defenders on this team, Wilborn’s freshman year was highlighted by a four-sack performance in the Wildcats’ 47-30 win against UCLA in October.

LB: Colin Schooler, Arizona

Schooler posted 13.5 tackles for loss, all coming in Pac-12 Conference play, to be the only freshman to rank in the nation’s top 100 in the category.

Northwestern Wildcats linebacker Paddy Fisher.

Northwestern Wildcats linebacker Paddy Fisher.

LB: Paddy Fisher, Northwestern

With 110 tackles, Fisher became the first Big Ten freshman to crack the century mark in stops since former Northwestern defensive back Ibraheim Campbell in 2011.

LB: Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

Murray made 69 tackles in starting all 13 games for the Sooners, earning co-Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year and honorable mention all-conference honors.

CB: T.J. Carter, Memphis

Carter raked in five interceptions, second in the American Athletic Conference, to more than live up to his four-star billing and serve as the bright spot in the Tigers’ otherwise subpar pass defense.

CB: Chase Lucas, Arizona State

Lucas turned heads during the offseason and delivered during the fall, making 53 tackles and pulling down two interceptions to become the only freshman to earn first- or second-team all-conference honors in the Pac-12.

S: Grant Delpit, LSU

Delpit was a fixture in the Tigers’ secondary throughout the year but hit another gear with the start of SEC play, with his uptick in production coinciding with a three-game winning streak against Florida, Auburn and Mississippi that turned around LSU’s season.

S: Tariq Thompson, San Diego State

Thompson looks like the next elite SDSU defensive back after starring for a secondary that allowed just one team, Arizona State, to toss multiple touchdowns without at least one interception.

SPECIALISTS

K: Jared Sackett, Texas-San Antonio

Sackett made 19 of his 22 attempts, five coming beyond 40 yards and none bigger than his field goal in the final seconds to clinch a 9-7 win against Marshall on Nov. 18 and make UTSA bowl-eligible.

P: Cade Coffey, Idaho

Idaho’s latest potential All-America punter, Coffey averaged 44.6 yards per punt and effectively negated the opposition’s return game.

RET: Marcus Jones, Troy

Jones tied for second nationally with three kickoffs returned for touchdowns and ranked fourth nationally with 32.9 yards per return.

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Source: USA Today Fan Sports Poll