We've gotten a few e-mails asking what we've heard in regards to Coach Hazell's staff...Not much.
The new coach has kept his process pretty quiet, smartly, mind you. But a few things have become known in the last few days- first, Paul Haynes won't be his DC. After the Arkansas
dumpster fire coaching staff was blown up with their hiring of Bielema, Haynes was contacted by his alma mater, Kent State to become their head coach...he obliged. Perhaps just as Purdue made hiring another mustache important after Tiller left, Kent State looks like they went after another bald and beautiful coach to fill coach Hazell's sizable shoes.
I've heard a very quiet, almost undetectable, murmur that Hazell is interested in Fickel. He'd carry a hefty price tag that I'm not sure Purdue could swing. BUT, he's a Tressel guy (who's advising Hazell), he's not a Meyer guy, and a ton of aOSU fans are less-than-in-love with the ex-interim-Bucknut coach.
Hazell has interviewed and talked with current Purdue coaches and he was impressed...but hasn't made anything public about who's staying or going, yet. He's impressed with Kevin Maurice, Purdue's current supervisor of player personnel...but hasn't gotten too specific after that.
One thing that's pretty awesome about Hope's staff is that they've all been able to hold on to the verbal commitments that Hope received...and those that have been visited by Hazell have been impressed. That's quite a contrast with many of the programs that are currently feeling the growing pains of announcing a new coach for next season...and that should make Hazell's transition much easier.
Message board and twitter rumors say Marcus Freeman will come with him from KSU...but that's still speculation. What we do know is that Hazell has given up sleeping for the month or so that he's coaching KSU and Purdue. He still has nine spots open for his class of 22...and three of that class should be enrolling in January after Christmas break.
|Ike (in gold), a few of his ex-teammates, and LBD (blonde) take in a game at Mackey|
DEnd, LB and WR are all positions that are currently getting attention...and DE specifically needs a good get as redshirt Freshman Kingsley Ike is in the process of transferring elsewhere. That's too bad; I liked the guy and thought he might be one of the next guys in the Den.
Ike hails from Texas and is the only current player to leave the team since Hope's departure.
Interim Coach Higgs has made bowl prep practices shorter for the Boilers as they get ready to play on January 1 in an effort to keep intensity high and players healthy. Virtual pal of BS via Twitter, Crosby Wright says it's been effective as the practices have been sharp and intense.
I was kind of concerned about motivation being a problem for the squad without a permanent coach in place...glad to see that's not a problem. But, the Senior-laden Boilers surely are leaning heavily on the pillars of the team in order to keep some semblance of consistency.
In Case you missed it...
Jay Simpson won't be suiting up for our Boilers for the rest of the season due to a nagging foot injury that isn't healing. He'll be seeking a medical hardship waiver that would make him a Freshman again next season...but the NCAA has to grant it first.
A UND shooting forward played in 10 games last season before tearing his ACL...he averaged 34min/game...Simpson has averaged under 8/gm.
Having Simpson as a super-Freshman next season would be a big boost to that class and the program at large...but I won't believe it until it's official. Since Keith Smith wasn't granted his sixth year a few seasons back, I don't have a ton of trust in the NCAA.
Who am I kidding...I've never had a ton of trust in the NCAA's judgement or consistency.