Colorado hired former Purdue DC Ross Els to serve as inside linebackers coach.
In a statement, HC Mike MacIntyre said, "Coach Ross Els brings a lot of energy. He has great experience as a coordinator, positions coach and special teams coach, and we’re really excited about having his expertise in those phases in our program." He acted as Purdue's defensive coordinator and safeties coach last season and has previously worked as a linebacker coach at New Mexico State, Ohio and Nebraska. With Els' hire, MacIntyre's 2017 staff is now locked and loaded.
Pro Football Focus compared Ohio State ILB Raekwon McMillan to Baltimore Ravens LB C.J. Mosley.
"Like Mosley, McMillan is a solid run defender who can give up plays in coverage," writes the PFF analysis team, though they also note that unlike Mosley, "McMillan has not displayed the skill set in college needed to be effective at the next level [as a pass-rusher]." Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline believes that the 6-foot-2, 240-pounder will need to turn in respectable times in the 40-yard dash and shuttle runs at the NFL Scouting Combine in order to help convince teams that he has the requisite wheels in pursuit.
Scout.com notes that Florida State freshman DT Ja'len Parks has potential as a guard.
"Parks is likely a three-technique on the next level," notes Scout's analysis team, "but he could be a heck of an offensive guard too. He is so athletic for a big guy and he can get up the field as a defender and pull as an offensive lineman." The 6-foot-4, 304-pounder slotted into the outlet's 2017 master list at No. 183 overall.
Uncommitted 2018 G Maurice McIntyre will visit Penn State for their junior day on March 19.
McIntyre's recruitment has been relatively slow to date -- his only current offer is from Duke -- but at least part of this sluggishness can probably be attributed to an injury which kept him from playing his junior year at Northside High School (North Carolina). The 6-foot-3, 285-pounder is still planning his other visits beyond that Penn State one.
Houston freshman DE Bryan Jones said that he hopes to "destroy" the AAC.
Lofty aspirations, to be sure, but that attitude will fit in well next to sophomore DT Ed Oliver (who actually did destroy the conference as a freshman). The former Ole Miss commit opted for Houston over fellow finalist Texas A&M this winter. He ranked as ESPN 300's No. 170 overall prospect in the 2017 cycle. Last spring, ESPN's Craig Haubert tossed out a comp to Charles Tapper (formerly of Oklahoma), writing that he believes that the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Jones could see a similar career trajectory.
Pro Football Focus notes that Ohio State S Malik Hooker is "very much a projection at this point."
The PFF team loves Hooker's athleticism, but calls his all-around game "clearly undeveloped as of now." The outlet's overall scouting breakdown is of the positive variety, though. "His ability to track the ball and outplay receivers in the air is unmatched, as evidenced not only by his seven interceptions, but the content of the plays," explains PFF. They comp the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder to Raiders S Reggie Nelson. Unfortunately, recent procedures to repair his labrum and hernia will prevent Hooker from participating in testing drills at the NFL Scouting Combine.
ESPN's Alex Scarborough believes the biggest question facing Alabama for 2017 will be their offense.
We concur. The Tide shuffled through three offensive coordinators (Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian, just-hired Brian Daboll) in the space of a little over a month this winter. Writes Scarborough, "Now it's former Patriots assistant Brian Daboll at the helm, tasked with managing a crowded backfield and a young quarterback whose freshman season was wildly successful overall yet ended on a sour note." We are fascinated to see just how gunslinger Jalen Hurts develops this offseason -- he flashed major upside as a runner in 2016, but, at times, struggled to the extreme in the passing game. Whether Bama can make yet another run toward the championship could come down to whether Hurts is able to take a definitive step forward. It should be remembered that Hurts was considered a longshot to win the starting gig last spring and summer, whereas this time around, Daboll and company will have months to gear the offense around the dynamic youngster.
NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter believes that the Patriots could be one potential first-round landing spot for Florida State DE DeMarcus Walker should he test well at the NFL Scouting Combine.
"Scouts will be interested in his height and length, as well as whether he's twitchy enough to play standing up on a regular basis," Reuter writes. A first-round pick is far from guaranteed, though. Earlier this month, Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline passed along that the "overwhelming belief" was that the 6-foot-3, 281-pound Walker would disappoint at the Combine. Pauline pegs him as a potential fifth-rounder, so there is clearly some variance (to put it mildly) as to draft slot at this point.