Catch up on the latest Buzz Around Team Camps for this Monday, December 15th:
San Diego St. via http://www.signonsandiego.com
San Diego State has hired Ball State head coach Brady Hoke as its new head football coach, sources close to the situation said. An announcement of his hiring could come as soon as today, after Hoke informs his players of his decision this morning.
Hoke, 50, was one of three finalists interviewed last week, along with UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker and former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione. Sources said Walker didn't have the best interview and that Franchione has been notified he is not the choice.
Michigan via http://www.mlive.com
Fred Jackson realized that Sam McGuffie was struggling long before the University of Michigan freshman running back decided he wouldn't return for his sophomore season. Even before what turned out to be his only campaign in Ann Arbor began, McGuffie admitted he was homesick.
The News confirmed a Rivals.com report Friday that McGuffie had been granted his released, allowing him to transfer to a school closer to his home in Texas, ending speculation the speedy tailback wouldn't return.
Jackson, Michigan's running backs coach who talked to McGuffie nearly on a daily basis, wasn't surprised.
"(His issues) have been going on since he got here," Jackson told reporters at halftime of Michigan's 91-60 basketball win over Eastern Michigan. "It's just difficult. "The kid wanted to be here, but he just had things happen with family that weighed heavy on him. And because of those things, he couldn't concentrate."
McGuffie, who sustained two concussions during his freshman year, ran for 486 yards and three touchdowns on 118 carries in 10 games.
"He did the best he could," Jackson said. "I commend him for what he did - but there were a lot of things that happened that affected him. "When a kid's heart is in something else, it's going to be hard for him to help us."
Michigan St. via http://www.freep.com
The heat was on the Michigan State football team today. The Spartans practiced in hot conditions inside the Duffy Daughtery indoor football facility in preparation for their Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl game against Georgia in Orlando, Fla. Coach Mark Dantonio also had crowd noise and music blaring over loudspeakers.
Some might question the value of working out in an artificial environment with the belief it will get the players prepared for what they'll face on game day. But, quarterback Brian Hoyer said it worked last season when MSU played in the Champs Sports Bowl also at Citrus Bowl Stadium.
The difference is, the Champs Bowl was played in the evening while the Capital One will kick off at 1 p.m., although Hoyer didn't recall anybody having trouble with the heat during mid-day practices.
"It feels pretty hot in here and it probably won't even be as hot in Florida so we'll be prepared for it," Hoyer said. "I guess they assume that six days here in the heat will get us acclimated. I remember the first day we got down there last year it was real hot, but we gradually got used to it especially after practicing up here where it's about 80 degrees.
North Carolina via http://tarheelblue.cstv.com
University of North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, linebacker Mark Paschal and linebcker/tight end Ryan Taylor were named the Tar Heels' Most Valuable Players at the 2008 senior football banquet Friday evening.
Nicks earned team MVP honors for the second consecutive season after setting school records for most receiving yards in a season (1,005) and career (2,623). A junior from Charlotte, N.C., Nicks tied the single-season record with nine touchdown receptions and was named first-team All-ACC. He enters the Meineke Car Care Bowl game vs. West Virginia, needing just four receptions to tie the school's all-time mark for catches.
Paschal started 11 games this year before a spine injury in the NC State game ended his career. He finished the season with 103 tackles, ranking fourth in the league in tackles per game. He also had 6.5 tackles for losses, two sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. The Charlotte, N.C., native played in 47 consecutive games until the injury.
Taylor graded out as Carolina's top special teams player with 18 tackles. Against NC State, he became the first Tar Heel in several years to play offense, defense and special teams in the same game.
Washington via http://seattletimes.nwsource.com
The Washington Huskies are expected to announce a handful of new assistant coaches in the next day or two. And Sunday night, it was confirmed that Jim Michalczik will become the offensive coordinator for Steve Sarkisian's staff.
Michalczik has been the offensive-line coach at California the past seven years and was also the Bears' offensive coordinator in 2007. He is a Port Angeles native who played guard at Washington State from 1984 to 1988, playing alongside current Cougars coach Paul Wulff on the 1988 Aloha Bowl champs.
Michalczik told the Contra Costa Times Sunday night that "professionally, it was an offer I couldn't turn down."
While Michalczik will be the offensive coordinator, Sarkisian has said he will call the plays for the Huskies.
UW's defensive-coordinator spot is still uncertain as USC secondary coach Rocky Seto has yet to decide if he will accept an offer.
Boston College via http://bceagles.cstv.com
Sophomores Anthony Castonzo and Thomas Claiborne and true freshman Montel Harris were each honored by College Football News for their performances this season. Castonzo was a 2008 CFN All-Sophomore First Team selection while Claiborne was put on the second team. Harris was tabbed an honorable mention among the freshman class.
With Castonzo at left tackle and Claiborne at right guard, the BC offensive line has paved the way for two true freshmen running backs and a pair of first-year starters at quarterback. The Eagles have allowed just 21 sacks of QBs Chris Crane and Dominique Davis. They rank 49th in the country in sacks allowed (1.69) and 25th in tackles for a loss allowed (4.77).
The line also blocks for Harris and classmate Josh Haden. The duo is the second-best true freshman running back pair in the country, averaging 105.9 yards per game.
Harris has established new BC freshman rushing records with 832 yards and five 100-yard performances. He broke Shelby Gamble's 1976 record of 776 yards. Harris ranks third in the country in rushing among true freshman at 69.3 yards per game.
Syracuse via http://www.syracuse.com
Syracuse University head football coach Doug Marrone has been turned loose from his remaining duties as offensive coordinator with the New Orleans Saints in order to turn his full attention to his new position with the Orange men.
The Saints and Marrone mutually agreed to let him out of the final two games of the NFL season. Marrone had planned to finish out his duties with the Saints. The two sides made the decision on Saturday.
Marrone said he will be in Syracuse on Sunday after finishing packing up his belongings from his New Orleans coaching office. On Saturday, he said his goodbyes to players and coaches with the Saints.
"Today was a hard day," Marrone said. "Going into New Orleans ... these players that I've had ... they were so happy for me. It made it a lot easier."
Southern Cal www.latimes.com
Junior running back Stafon Johnson said he submitted paperwork Friday for an evaluation of his possible NFL draft position.
"I just want to know where I'm at, what I need to work on," said Johnson, who has 642 yards and nine touchdowns in a team-high 123 carries. "For the most part, I'm here to stay and that's my mind-set right now. After the Rose Bowl, we'll see what happens."
Linebacker Rey Maualuga and safety Taylor Mays were selected to the Football Writers Assn. of America and the cbssports.com All-American teams. . . . The Trojans will not practice again until Thursday.
Hawaii via http://warriorbeat.honadvblogs.com/
The Warriors are going to use the extra practice days as a mini camp, giving work to the redshirts and developing players. This will give them a boost for spring ball. Starting Wednesday, the Warriors will focus solely on Notre Dame.