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Video: Behind-the-scenes with the Gophers' summer workouts

It’s only fifty-two days until the first Saturday in college football and only three weeks until head strength coaches hand over the players to the position coaches.  You will undoubtedly hear a number of head coaches praise their strength staffs as August practice approaches.

It’s almost a guarantee that Dabo and Dan Mullen will be among several that say, “We have the best head strength coach in the country.  I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.”

Muschamp will praise Mickey Marotti.  Jimbo will throw a bone to Vic Viloria.  Cutcliffe will praise Noel Durfey.  

Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill got it started today.

When Jerry Kill accepted the head coaching  job at Minnesota, it was a no-brainer to offer the head strength job to Eric Klein.  Klein has coached with Kill for the last 17 seasons including stops at Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Emporia State, and Saginaw Valley State.

Kill said, “He’s been the difference.  He’s the difference maker on the team.  I don’t think any coach (on our staff) would tell you anything different.  Without him, we wouldn’t be where we are.”

“He knows how to talk and communicate.  He doesn’t talk at them, he talks with them.”

During a behind-the-scenes look into the Gophers’ strength program, Klein explained, “Where we started at and where we are now is 180 degrees.  When we walk out on the field now for a workout, the expectation level is so much higher.”

Here's a peak inside the Gophers' strength program this summer:

Greg Adkins talks about Syracuse recruiting success

Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone secured nine commitments in June and has secured four more thus far in July.

Offensive line coach / recruiting coordinator Greg Adkins told Brent Axe of 1260 The Score, “I think it is a number of different things. I think it is across the board. You look across the country; it is a trend right now. The process of recruiting has sped up so much. I heard a figure the other day that somewhere around 300 kids in the month of June committed to some Division I school.”

The Orange has received verbal commitments from players in six different states including New York (5), Florida (3), New Jersey (1), Pennsylvania (1), Georgia (1), Michigan (1).

Marrone and Adkins believe in pounding the strengths of the university, city, and program.  Neither coach hesitates to admit that Syracuse isn’t for everyone.

Adkins believes the Syracuse coaches do an excellent job of building trust, not only with the recruits, but with their high school coaches as well.

Adkins said, “I think the key to being a good recruiter is the trust of being able to go in to each of these schools and tell them the truth. As long as you can tell the prep school, high school, junior college coaches the truth, and there is a trust between you and that other person, those are the people that do a great job in recruiting.”

Doug Marrone will enter his third year as head coach in 2011.  In his first two seasons, the Orange finished 4-8 and 8-5.  Syracuse opens the season with back-to-back home games against Wake Forest and Rhode Island, before traveling to USC.

Video: New stadium nearing completion at FAU

Florida Atlantic will not play a home football game until the seventh week of the 2011 season.  That’s right, the seventh week of the season.

The Owls open the season in Gainesville against the Florida Gators.  The next five weeks include trips to Michigan State, Auburn, Louisiana-Lafayette, and North Texas.  The Owls catch a BYE week after the trip to East Lansing.

However, when Howard Schnellenberger (78) leads his team against Western Kentucky for their first home game in mid-October, it will be under the lights in a brand new stadium on campus in Boca Raton.

In the past, FAU rented Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale at a cost of $390,000 per year.

As Sun Sentinel writer Tim Hutton explains, FAU is hoping the new 30,000 seat stadium will help generate $3.8 million off the five home games this season if revenue expectations hit.  The total cost of the new stadium was $70 million.

The stadium is slated to feature 6,000 premium seats, including 24 suites, 26 loge boxes, 1,000 premier club seats and 4,000 priority club seats, and the latest, state-of-the art amenities.

Yesterday, FAU released a time lapse video of the construction of the new stadium.  It’s pretty neat, so check it out.

High school coaches compare Al Golden and Randy Shannon

Miami (FL) head coach Al Golden is receiving rave reviews from several local high school coaches in Dade County.

Christopher Columbus HS head coach Chris Merritt said, “You want to talk about a night-and-day difference. There’s a lot more communication and texts now. Miami didn’t recruit any of our kids under Shannon.”

Coaches from Norland HS, Miami Central HS, and Miami Belen HS shared comments as well.

The coaches believe Golden is more committed to recruiting than previous head coach Randy Shannon and his philosophy will greatly benefit the Hurricanes’ program.  

Looking back however, Scout.com ranked Shannon's class of 2008 as the 3rd best in the nation, Rivals.com ranked it the 5th best in the nation.

Starting with the 2006 class, Rivals' final national team ranking for the Hurricanes was 14th, 19th, 5th, 15th, and 16th.  Some would say, considering the below average facilities at Miami (FL), those rankings would be hard to improve upon.  

Golden told the Miami Herald, “(The former staff) had four coaches doing South Florida. We have nine.”

Currently, Golden’s staff has secured 22 commitments including 18 from the state of Florida.

Golden admitted, “We want to be 80 percent Florida.”

The four out-of-state commitments come from Texas (QB), Pennsylvania (DE), Georgia (WR), and Georgia (DE). The most highly ranked player that is committed is the 79th ranked player in the nation, a defensive end named Jelani Hamilton from Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Golden vs. Shannon.  In the end, it's about winning games.  Only time will tell.

Shannon finished 5-7 in his first season as head coach.  The Hurricanes open the 2011 season at Maryland.  The other non-conference games include Ohio State, Kansas State, Bethune-Cookman, and at South Florida.  

Upgrade: Wyoming reveals new uniforms and helmets

Wyoming will be rocking some new threads once the 2011 season begins.

Today, head coach Dave Christensen and the athletic department revealed the new pants, jerseys, and helmets.

New is a brown on brown look, pants and jerseys.  A brown helmet could potentially go along with that particular look.

According to the press release, “Home uniform options feature a traditional combination of brown jersey with gold or white pants, as well as an option of brown jersey and brown pants. The brown home jerseys feature the traditional "WYOMING", in white letters, across the front of the jersey and a gold panel down the sides.”

“Gold jerseys may also be worn for home games. The gold jerseys can be paired with brown, white or gold pants. The gold jersey features the letters "WYO" in brown, outlined in white. There is no secondary color panel on the side of the gold jerseys.”

“Road uniform combinations are built around a newly-designed white jersey for 2011. The redesigned white jersey features the letters "WYO" across the front and gold panels down the side of the jersey. The "WYO" letters on the white jersey are in brown, outlined in gold. They replace the word "WYOMING", which was in brown on the previous version of the road whites. The road white jerseys can be combined with brown, gold or white pants, and when paired with the new brown helmet give a very modern, distinctive look to the Cowboy uniform.”

Personally, we like the all brown (UPS look) or all gold looks. The brown pants with white jerseys and brown helmet looks good, too. We ask you this..."What can brown do for you?"

Here’s the video of the new styles for the Cowboys:



Video: Gruden endorses Thibodaux, LA after the Manning Passing Academy

Jon Gruden spent this past weekend in Thibodaux, Louisiana at the Manning Passing Academy.  Thibodaux is a small Cajun community in LaFourche Parish about an hour southwest of New Orleans.  It’s the home of Nicholls State University and Rox's Bar.

Gruden joined thirty-six starting D1 quarterbacks as camp counselors along with Mike Mayock, Eli Manning, and Peyton Manning to name a few.

Some of the notable college players that served as counselors were Andrew Luck, Kellen Moore, EJ Manuel, Jordan Jefferson, Landry Jones, Kirk Cousins, Tino Sunseri, AJ McCarron, Jacory Harris, and John Brantley.

Gruden, who rocked his FFCA (Fired Football Coaches Association) visor throughout the weekend, enjoyed instructing some of 1200 campers through individual drills, but he may have enjoyed the food from south Louisiana as much as anything.

By the end of the camp, he may have also become the spokesman for LaFourche Parish, who received a ringing endorsement from the always positive Gruden.

Watch this.  It's good stuff from Gruden.


Going up: Sunday night bar tabs at the AFCA convention

DI coaches are set to consider a proposal to allow all forms of electronic correspondence to be sent to recruits beginning at the same time that phone contact is allowed.

This would give coaches the opportunity to text message and email recruits, something most coaches find as a more efficient way to communicate with recruits.

The electronic communication would have to be sent directly and privately to the prospect or his parents / legal guardians.  Thus, coaches would still not be allowed to post on the Facebook “wall” of a recruit.

Coaches are also expected to vote on whether to eliminate the limits on the number of phone calls to prospects. Currently, many coaches put pressure on recruits to call coaches.  Coaches will email a recruit to simply say, "Call me."

During a recent cabinet meeting, the members of the DI Recruiting and Athletics Personnel committee also proposed to eliminate the contact period for D1-AA programs in recruiting between New Year’s Day and the AFCA convention

A quiet period is a time when the college may not have any in-person talk with the prospective student-athlete or the parents off the college’s campus. The coach may not watch the prospect play or practice. The prospective student-athlete can visit college campuses during this time and a coach may write or telephone.

In other words, coaches work their tails off.  A little break would be nice.  Every once in a while, even coaches, want to forget about work and drink some Miller Lite with their buddies.  So let us pack our stuff on Sunday morning and catch a flight to the convention.

In the past, many coaches haven't arrived at the convention until Monday morning instead of Sunday afternoon.  

The 2012 AFCA convention is set for January 8-10 in San Antonio.   

Steve Addazio talks about "that edge."

Temple head coach Steve Addazio is hoping his team will develop “that edge.”

After six seasons with Urban Meyer at Florida, Addazio admitted this morning that he was pleasantly surprised at the talent level at Temple after leading the Owls through spring practice.

This morning, Addazio told 990 AM The Sports Animal, “I think we are talented.  I don’t think we have as much depth as we might have had at Florida, but we are a very, very talented football team.  I think we have to be a mentally tough and physically tough football team.”

“What’s our edge?  We talk about being ‘Temple Tough.’  Maybe it’s part of my background being an offensive line coach, but I want a tough football team.”

“I want a team that loves the game of football.  I want a team that respects the game of football.  We’re going to play hard and play with intensity.  We are talented.  There is no question about that.  We want to develop that edge…that edge that can separate you and help you win a championship.”

Addazio admitted he’s glad that very few of the MAC programs recruit the Philadelphia area and surrounding region.  He also believes that Temple will be able to sign four or five players each year out of the state of Florida.

The 2011 season begins with Villanova.  After a trip to Akron, the Owls will host Penn State.  The final non-conference game will be at Maryland in week #4.  Addazio said that his program wants to continue to play a couple of BCS programs each year in the non-conference schedule, something some of the MAC programs don't like to do.