The rumor mill: College football news and rumors – 2/10
Utah quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson is leaving to join the Mississippi State staff.
The winningest starting quarterback in Utes history, Johnson became the youngest offensive coordinator in the FBS when coach Kyle Whittingham appointed the then 24-year-old to the position in 2011.
But after two disappointing seasons, he was demoted to co-offensive coordinator when Dennis Erickson was hired before the 2013 season. He was demoted again in December when Whittingham hired former Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen as offensive coordinator.
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen originally recruited Johnson to Utah and has long been a mentor to him.
The Bulldogs have had an opening since offensive coordinator Les Koenning left to join Charlie Strong’s staff at Texas.
Former Arizona State assistant Bob Connelly will be named offensive line coach at Georgia Southern.
Connelly coached the 2012 season on Todd Graham’s Sun Devils staff. Prior to that, he spent four seasons as offensive line and associate head coach and co-offensive coordinator under Mike Price at UTEP.
Connelly was offensive line coach at Alabama for four seasons (2003-06), and three different Pac-12 schools — ASU, UCLA (2007) and Washington State (2001-02).
He was named one of the nation’s Top 25 recruiters by Rivals.com in 2005.
West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson has joined the Arizona State staff.
The Charleston Daily Mail reports that WVU safeties coach Tony Gibson is the leading candidate for the open defensive coordinator job.
Charlotte defensive coordinator Bruce Tall is also a candidate to join the West Virginia staff.
Georgia has named Mike Ekeler as the Bulldogs’ new inside linebackers coach,
Multiple sources indicate Stanford has hired Carolina Panthers assistant receivers coach Lance Taylor running backs coach. Taylor coached with Cardinal offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren on the New York Jets’ staff.
Tulane coach Curtis Johnson will hire Aaron Price to coach quarterbacks.
One day after telling his players he was leaving to accept a job at Florida State, James Willis has decided to remain as defensive coordinator at ULL.
Rutgers has promoted special teams coordinator Joe Rossi to defensive coordinator.
Former Rutgers defensive coordinator Robb Smith has been hired as Arkansas defensive coordinator. Smith spent last season as linebackers coach on Greg Schiano’s staff with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Former LSU assistant coaches Mike Haywood and Bradley Dale Peveto, and Louisiana Tech defensive coordinator Manny Diaz are among those under consideration for the special teams assistant coaching job at LSU.
Thomas McGaughey is leaving to become special teams coordinator with the New York Jets.
Rice coach David Bailiff has announced that Larry Edmondson and Billy Lynch will serve as co-offensive coordinators for the 2014 season. Edmondson handled the play-calling duties for the Owls in the Liberty Bowl following the departure of John Reagan.
Ron Zook, the former head coach at Illinois and Florida, has been hired as assistant special teams coach by the Green Bay Packers.
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