NCF Nation: Joe Walker

Continuing with the hits and misses from Pac-12 recruiting.

CALIFORNIA

Needs filled: The Bears added nice depth to the offensive line with tackles Aaron Cochran and Erik Bunte. Junior-college transfer Sione Sina can also be a nice stopgap at defensive end. They went heavy in the trenches with five offensive linemen and seven defensive linemen.

Holes remaining: Cal is looking for a quarterback to run the new-look offense under new head coach Sonny Dykes. Could be Zach Kline of the 2012 recruiting class. Could be Jared Goff of this year's class, an early enrollee. The Bears addressed a lot of positions, but whether some youngsters can step up remains to be seen. The 11th-hour flip of offensive guard Cameron Hunt to Oregon has to sting.

OREGON

Needs filled: The Ducks went heavy on offense, and running back Thomas Tyner highlights a group that is loaded with speed (what did you expect, it's Oregon). They added two stellar offensive guards in Hunt and Evan Voeller and a premier defensive end in Torrodney Prevot, previously a USC commit. There are speedy receivers down the line like Darren Carrington. And they added kicker Matt Wogan. The Ducks were 11th in the conference in field goals made in 2012.

Holes remaining: The Ducks still have holes to fill at linebacker. Junior-college transfer Joe Walker, an outside linebacker, could step in to help immediately. But with the losses of inside linebackers Michael Clay and Kiko Alonso, the Ducks have mostly untested talent at the position and this year's class didn't add much depth to a position that is already a question mark.

OREGON STATE

Needs filled: When you look at the top two players the Beavers lost -- Jordan Poyer and Markus Wheaton -- it's nice to look at their recruiting class and see a cornerback and wide receiver as the two highest-rated players. Dashon Hunt and Hunter Jarmon might never develop into a Poyer or a Wheaton, but the Beavers saw the holes and addressed them. JC defensive tackles Kyle Peko and Edwin Delva should help immediately and Kyle Kempt could develop into the quarterback of the future in a couple of years. a href="http://espn.go.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/player/_/id/136903/jordan-villamin">Jordan Villamin, 6-foot-4 wide receiver, might also develop into a nice red zone target.

Holes remaining: The JC transfers help with the defensive line in the immediate future, but the Beavers signed only two high school defensive linemen, leaving some questions about depth in the future. It's likely a position they'll address heavily next season.

STANFORD

Needs filled: This is a class low on numbers, but extremely high on potential. If quarterback Ryan Burns is as advertised, it's possible he could challenge for the starting job as early as 2014. Francis Owusu has tremendous upside as a receiver and Peter Kalambayi adds depth to one of the best front sevens in the nation. Plus, three tight ends (Austin Hooper, Greg Taboada and Eric Cotton Jr.). How very Stanfordish of them.

Holes remaining: The Cardinal loaded up on defensive linemen with five last year and there is plenty of depth, albeit untested, at running back. The Cardinal didn't sign any running backs or defensive linemen this year. It's not a bad thing -- for now. But if a couple of guys get injured or if there is any attrition, it could bite them. For now, the Cardinal seem to be in good shape across all positions.

WASHINGTON

Needs filled: The Huskies added some much-needed depth on the defensive line with five linemen -- headlined by ESPN 150 defensive tackle Elijah Qualls. Damore'ea Stringfellow and Darrell Daniels -- both ESPN 150 wide receivers -- provide a nice one-two offensive punch. Troy Williams, the nation's No. 3-rated dual-threat quarterback -- could potentially be the heir apparent to Keith Price. It was a good class that fills a lot of needs.

Holes remaining: For solid as the defensive line class was, the Huskies signed only three offensive linemen -- though one of them is Dane Crane, the nation's No. 4-rated center. If you recall, however, the Huskies were decimated with offensive line injuries this year and coach Steve Sarkisian made it a point to talk about the team needing more depth to be able to absorb that kind of injury hit. Three more guys helps; but is it enough to sustain them if another injury bug ravishes the line?

WASHINGTON STATE

Needs filled: This was quietly a very good encore recruiting class for Mike Leach in his second season at the helm. It's heavy on linemen, heavy in the secondary and it's headlined by a four-star wide receiver in Vince Mayle -- a JC transfer from Rocklin, Calif. Interestingly enough, it also has two fairly highly rated running backs. We know Leach isn't going to be a run-first guy -- but the Cougars could certainly use the help after rushing for 29.1 yards per game last season.

Holes remaining: Who is going to run the offense? It could be Connor Halliday. But it's also possible Leach pulls the trigger on Tyler Bruggman, the No. 22-rated pocket passer in the country from Phoenix. That remains the No. 1 priority for the Cougars in the offseason. Otherwise, this recruiting class plugged a lot of holes. The question is whether they are the right guys to help immediately.
Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville announced the hiring of six assistant coaches and the strength and conditioning staff Friday.

The new staff:
  • Darin Hinshaw, passing game coordinator/quarterbacks
  • Blake Rolan, wide receivers
  • Art Kaufman, defensive coordinator
  • John Lovett, defensive backs
  • Robert Prunty, associate head coach/defensive ends
  • Fred Tate, defensive line
  • Joe Walker, director of football strength and conditioning
  • Orlando Smith, assistant director of football strength and conditioning

The new hires join Eddie Gran, who was named the team’s offensive coordinator in late December.

"I'm pleased with the staff we have assembled so far," Tuberville said in a statement. "We have a group of excellent coaches with a wide variety of experience as well as strong recruiting ties and knowledge of Cincinnati and the tri-state area. I'm excited to get started, finish off recruiting and prepare for spring football."

Hinshaw and Rolan spent the past three seasons at Tennessee. Hinshaw worked with the Vols’ quarterbacks in 2010-11 before moving over to the wide receivers and serving as the recruiting coordinator in 2012. Rolan served as an offensive intern during that time, working closely with the offensive staff and wide receivers.

The four defensive coaches all join Cincinnati from Texas Tech. Kaufman has 11 years experience as a coordinator at the FBS level. The 2012 Broyles Award nominee was a former defensive coordinator at North Carolina and Mississippi, where he first worked with Tuberville. Kaufman has also has coached at Southern Miss, Middle Tennessee State, East Carolina, Arkansas Tech and Louisiana Tech.

Lovett returns to Cincinnati for his second stint with the Bearcats, having served as defensive coordinator from 1989-92. His career includes stints as defensive coordinator at Miami, Bowling Green, Clemson, Auburn, Maine and Cincinnati. Lovett and Tuberville first coached together at Ole Miss and then again at Auburn from 1999-2001 and at Texas Tech in 2012.

Prunty helped Texas Tech put together its top-two rated recruiting classes in school history in 2011 and 2012. He was the head coach at Hargrave Military Academy from 2002-10, coaching 27 players who would later play in the NFL.

Tate has had coaching stints at Marshall, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Southern Miss, East Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, Jacksonville State and Texas State. After graduating high school, he spent five years in the U.S. Army as a combat engineer. Following his service, Tate was a junior college All-American at East Central CC before finishing his career at Southern Miss.

Both Walker and Smith join Cincinnati from Texas Tech. Walker also spent time with the strength programs at Auburn, TCU, Kansas State and Pittsburgh. Smith was a two-time All-Conference USA running back in the late 1990s at Cincinnati. Before joining the Red Raiders, Smith worked previously at South Carolina, Kansas and Minnesota.
If you missed historian John D. Lukac's story from yesterday about Nebraska and the birth of the strength and conditioning program, go check it out.

Still want more? Head over and read Pat Forde's piece on Notre Dame strength coach Paul Longo.

But here's a look at who's beefing up players across the Big 12. So the next time your favorite player flashes a flex after a touchdown, remember who had a lot to do with that.

Baylor -- Kaz Kazadi

Kazadi, a 1997 graduate of Tulsa, came to Baylor in January 2008 and also serves as the assistant athletic director. He was also the assistant strength coach for the Kansas City Chiefs after a short stop at the University of Missouri. He played professionally after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams and received his Master's degree from the University of Missouri.

Colorado -- Jeff Pitman

Pitman came to Colorado in May 2006 after seven years as the head strength and conditioning coach at his alma mater, Boise State. He helped the Broncos win six WAC titles during that span and played center from 1990-92. Before coming back to Boise, he worked as an assistant strength coach at Minnesota.

Iowa State -- Yancy McKnight

McKnight came to Ames in 2009 via Houston, where he was the coach at Rice. He's coached under Les Miles and Todd Graham and helped develop pros like Tatum Bell, Kevin Williams and Antonio Smith. He's a graduate of Missouri Southern State in Joplin, Mo.

Kansas -- John Williams

Williams coached at South Carolina State before joining new coach Turner Gill at Kansas. He graduated from North Carolina A&T in 1995 and has made career stops at North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Baylor. Along the way, he's helped develop seven first-round NFL draft picks and 40 NFL players.

Kansas State -- Chris Dawson

Dawson was named the director of strength and conditioning in January after leaving Kansas and coach Mark Mangino. He's coached 29 NFL draft picks in his 15-plus years as a strength coach. He's previously coached at Minnesota and his alma mater, Oklahoma, where he played linebacker from 1992-94, as well as an internship with the Dallas Cowboys.

Missouri -- Josh Stoner

Stoner served under former director and current assistant athletic director Pat Ivey before becoming director of strength and conditioning in 2007. Stoner graduated from Centenary before receiving his Master's degree at Southern Miss. Before coming to Missouri, he made stops at Tulsa and coached at Southern Miss while earning his degree.

Nebraska -- James Dobson

Dobson came to Nebraska in 2008 after spending nine seasons at Iowa as assistant strength coach. Dobson graduated from Wisconsin and got his Master's degree at Central Michigan, and now finds himself preparing to be back in the Big Ten after helping the Hawkeyes win league titles in 2002 and 2004. Before Iowa, he'd also coached at SMU. During his career, he's coached pros like Bob Sanders and Dallas Clark, as well as linemen Robert Gallery and Ndamukong Suh.

Oklahoma -- Jerry Schmidt

Schmidt has been at Oklahoma since coach Bob Stoops' arrival in 1999 and followed the coach from Florida. He'd previously coached at Notre Dame and Oklahoma State. During that time, he's earned national championship rings from all three schools and worked with five Heisman winners including Sam Bradford, Jason White, Danny Wuerffel, Barry Sanders and Tim Brown. He's also coached 28 first-round NFL draft picks. Since coming to Norman, Oklahoma's produced 48 picks, including 12 first-rounders.

Oklahoma State -- Rob Glass

Glass, an Oklahoma State alum, spent 10 seasons at Florida under Steve Spurrier before coming back home to Stillwater. He had previously been an assistant strength coach when head coach Mike Gundy played in Stillwater, but left for Gainesville in 1995 before earning to head position in 1998. He's worked with 17 first-round picks, including two Heisman winners, a Thorpe Award winner, a Ray Guy Award winner and a Golden Spikes award on the baseball field.

Texas -- Jeff Madden

Madden came to Austin via North Carolina and is in his 13th year as the assistant athletics director for strength and conditioning at Texas. Madden, a graduate of Vanderbilt, played briefly in the USFL and has made stops at Cincinnati, Rice and Colorado over the course of his 20-year career. He's helped develop over 100 NFL players, including 32 first-round draft picks and 16 Olympians. Among his pupils: Two Heisman winners and two Heisman runners-up, along with numerous college football award winners. Madden spoke to ESPN earlier this week, and we'll have a Q&A with the Cleveland native later this morning.

Texas A&M -- Dave Kennedy

Kennedy came to Texas A&M in 2008 under Mike Sherman and has coached at Ohio State, Pittsburgh and his alma mater, Nebraska, most recently. Sherman, a former NFL coach, also notes that he turned down numerous NFL jobs. Kennedy has helped develop future Pro Bowlers like Eddie George, Orlando Pace and Larry Fitzgerald throughout his career, which began at Nebraska in 1982, when he was a student assistant.

Texas Tech -- Joe Walker

Walker was at Auburn for two years before joining former Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville for each's first season in Lubbock. He's also coached at TCU, Kansas State and Pittsburgh since earning his Master's degree from Auburn in 2004 after earning a bachelor's degree from Lock Haven University in 2002.

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