Brown wants to have fun in W.Va.

Michi­gan, Har­baugh hire Gat­tis away from Alabama

Albuquerque Journal - - NFL -

MOR­GAN­TOWN, W.Va. — New West Vir­ginia coach Neal Brown’s light­hearted ap­proach to foot­ball is for­ever cap­tured in a 2016 dance video at Troy.

Brown dabbed while his play­ers and as­sis­tants showed off their moves in the video that was part of a spring com­pe­ti­tion among Troy ath­letic coach­ing staffs.

“My 10-year-old said I was way off,” Brown said Thurs­day at his in­tro­duc­tory news con­fer­ence at West Vir­ginia. “That video was sup­posed to be shown one time at the awards cer­e­mony and never come out of the vault again. It may be the most watched video in Troy foot­ball his­tory.”

It’s that fun at­mos­phere that Brown holds dear and car­ries with him to Mor­gan­town. He was hired last Satur­day to re­place Dana Hol­gorsen, who be­came coach at Hous­ton.

“I just don’t want to be mis­er­able,” Brown said. “I look at so many peo­ple in this pro­fes­sion, the pres­sure is high. But at the end of the day, we’re coach­ing foot­ball. C’mon, I’m around young peo­ple all day. I ap­proach it that way. Let’s have fun. I think if you look at what Clem­son’s done. There’s no­body hav­ing more fun than Dabo Swin­ney right now.”

Brown is bring­ing some of the fun with him. Troy de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Vic Koen­ning will have the same role with the Moun­taineers, and a few other as­sis­tant hires made by Brown will be an­nounced once their con­tracts are signed.

Brown will be tasked with com­pet­ing for a Big 12 cham­pi­onship that the Moun­taineers have failed to snare since join­ing the league in 2012. He in­her­its a team that fin­ished 8-4 and faces a re­build­ing year in 2019.

Brown went 35-16 in four sea­sons at Troy, in­clud­ing 3-0 in bowl games.

CLEM­SON: Clem­son’s na­tional cham­pi­onship front four is off to the NFL.

All-Amer­i­can de­fen­sive end Clelin Fer­rell made it a clean sweep of top-round prospects, join­ing All-Amer­i­can tackle Chris­tian Wilkins, tackle Dex­ter Lawrence and end Austin Bryant in head­ing to the draft.

Fer­rell, Wilkins and Bryant all passed on the pros last sea­son for a fi­nal year in col­lege. And the group made it count with a 15-0 sea­son and a 44-16 beat­down of Alabama in the na­tional ti­tle game Mon­day night.

MICHI­GAN: Coach Jim Har­baugh hired Josh Gat­tis away from Alabama to be his of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor after los­ing as­sis­tants Greg Mat­ti­son and Al Wash­ing­ton to Ohio State on con­sec­u­tive days this week.

And, Har­baugh gave Gat­tis a ti­tle on Thurs­day no one had last year when he said play­ing-call­ing was a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort.

Gat­tis, 34, had the ti­tle of co-of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor last sea­son for the Crim­son Tide, though for­mer UNM head coach Mike Lock­sley had the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor ti­tle and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

TROY: For­mer Auburn of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Chip Lind­sey is the new head coach. He was hired away from Kansas, where he had been an­nounced as OC on Dec. 4.

OHIO STATE: Quar­ter­back Tate Martell has en­tered his name into the NCAA trans­fer por­tal, The As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported. Martell list­ing his name means schools are free to talk to him about a po­ten­tial trans­fer.

Martell, who will be a third-year sopho­more, sat be­hind record-smash­ing quar­ter­back Dwayne Hask­ins Jr. last sea­son. Hask­ins left early for the NFL draft, but then Ohio State lured Ge­or­gia trans­fer Justin Fields to com­pete for the start­ing spot.

ORE­GON STATE: QB Jake Lu­ton has been granted a sixth year of el­i­gi­bil­ity by the NCAA. He has started in just nine games for the Beavers since his first sea­son in 2017 be­cause of in­juries. CEN­TRAL FLORIDA: Quar­ter­back McKen­zie Mil­ton posted a video on In­sta­gram doc­u­ment­ing the lat­est step of his re­mark­able re­cov­ery from a cat­a­strophic knee in­jury that nearly led to the am­pu­ta­tion of his leg.

He leg-pressed 40 pounds us­ing his in­jured leg, demon­strat­ing the progress he has made since a hit dur­ing UCF’s win at USF on Black Fri­day dis­lo­cated his knee and caused nerve dam­age.

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