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  1. The 2020 season for Conference USA is headlined by uncertainty in the East Division and a clear front-runner in the West. UAB is Athlon’s projected champion in the 2020 Conference USA predictions, with coach Bill Clark’s squad anchored by a strong defense and an offense poised to improve with a healthy fall out of quarterback Tyler Johnston III and running back Spencer Brown. The East is one of the more difficult divisions to predict in college football. WKU is Athlon’s pick to win it, but Marshall, FAU and Charlotte should all be in the mix. Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech headline the next tier in the West Division, followed by Rice and North Texas as potential bowl teams. UTSA and UTEP round out the bottom of the West. Middle Tennessee and FIU should push for postseason trips out of the East, but Old Dominion is likely a year away from contention. Athlon Sports has released its preseason magazine for 2020, and now it's time to preview and predict the conferences. Below are Athlon's picks and projections for Conference USA in 2020: Read more: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/conference-usa-football-2020-predictions
  2. Jordan Brown made his commitment to play college football at North Texas before the 2019 season, but his journey with the Mean Green didn’t officially begin until late last month. The former Huntsville standout arrived in Denton on June 22, and has been working out with the team since. Brown notes that outside of some early jitters, everything has “been really good.” “When I first started working out I was kind of nervous, but then you find out it's kind of like high school,” he said. “It's a little more intense, but you just have to be mentally strong and it's all the same.” Brown, who shared honors as District 10-5A, Division II’s Defensive MVP last season, recognizes that his time with the Hornets helped prepare him to take his talents to the next level. “That program played a big part in this,” he added. “With that program, you have to be mentally tough to get through some of the things ... and that's helped me get through these workouts in college.” The versatile linebacker led the district’s top defense in 2019, recording 97 tackles, four sacks, 12 tackles for loss, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and one defensive touchdown in nine regular season games. He proceeded to come up big in the postseason, helping the Hornets notch a pair of playoff victories. read more: https://www.itemonline.com/sports/huntsville-prepared-jordan-brown-for-start-of-north-texas-football-career/article_01752e60-c143-11ea-8c30-7bcd1efcdc2c.html
  3. Mike Ekeler, an excitable sort, often prefaces his football stories with phrases such as "Think about this" and "This is the greatest story of all time." In January, the 48-year-old native of David City was named special teams coordinator at North Texas. His Mean Green players soon will learn about Ekeler's storytelling prowess, if they haven't already. Think about this one: During the spring of 2010, when Ekeler coached Nebraska's linebackers, he recalls the Husker defense plodding through a terrible Friday practice. So, Ekeler had a message for his linebackers before a scrimmage the next morning. Not an official marathon, mind you. In this case, Ekeler had an NU football staff member drop him off on Interstate 80 about 27 miles from Memorial Stadium. It was 90 degrees. The good news: The wind was at his back. The bad news: It was all of 90 degrees. He made it to the 21-mile mark, but not the full 27. We'll get to what happened in a second. Read the rest of the story here: https://journalstar.com/sports/huskers/sipple/steven-m-sipple-the-story-of-mike-ekelers-aborted-27-mile-run-on-i-80/article_01d10c2f-8fd4-5bd3-8e00-56f72aa57ea7.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
  4. DENTON – Senior wide receiver Jaelon Darden enters his final season in Denton with his name on several of the program's career leader charts and is expected to continue to climb. His tireless work ethic and energy spent in the film room is a big reason why one of the most dynamic receivers in the country has been so successful with the Mean Green. "I'm trying to take that next step to better myself as a teammate," Darden said. "I'm passing as much knowledge as I can to everybody in my room, and also to the DBs. I just want to be able to help everyone get better." He's taken a lot of the time in quarantine this offseason to focus on film. In addition to his own and film of opponents, Darden has spent a lot of time watching a trio of NFL receivers that he follows often – Davante Adams (Green Bay Packers), Doug Baldwin (Seattle Seahawks) and Stefon Diggs (Buffalo Bills). He uses their film to understand how they're defended, why they make the reads they do in certain situations and how he can apply that to his own game. "Those three guys are my favorite because of their ability to be able to create space at the line, which allows them to do what they do afterwards," Darden said. "That's more of my game, so I've been watching them so I can see how they put together different routes, and keep all of my routes and stems the same way, so you would think I'm doing more than what I really am. Making things easier for myself. "To be honest, that's mainly the most part I'm looking at to see how the DB is playing. Yeah it's cool to see the receiver get open and do this and that, but at the end of the day, I'm looking at the task and the task is what's in front of me with the DB, so I pay a lot of attention to that. "Say for instance, I line up two yards inside the hash, nine times out of 10 a DB is very anxious – feet are tapping, hands shaking, so I know they are likely in man coverage because there is no reason he would be so nervous if he's just dropping to a zone. Those kinds of things are going to help me take my game to the next level because at the end of the day it's all mental and not so much physical. You could put in all the work you want physically, but at the end of the day if you don't know football, and how it's played, then it's going to be hard for you." In addition to an increase in the amount of film he watches, Darden has grown a lot as a leader during his three-plus seasons in Denton. So much of his impact among his teammates comes from within. He says his leadership comes naturally and comes from a desire to motivate and hold himself and his teammates accountable. His teammates noticed right away. read more: https://meangreensports.com/news/2020/7/3/football-darden-on-his-grind.aspx
  5. 12. North Texas Mean Green 2019-20: 20-11 (14-4), Conference USA regular season champion Grant McCasland hasn’t wasted any time getting things up and running in Denton. The Mean Green won 20 games for the third straight year, and the 34th-most efficient offense, per KenPom, propelled them to a C-USA title. The biggest revelation was the emergence of Javion Hamlet, who turned out to be one of the best JuCo transfers in the country last season. The guard led the Mean Green in scoring at 14.6 points per game and assists at 4.7. His play earned him C-USA Player of the Year honors, and it’s reasonable to think that he enters next season as one of the frontrunners to take home the award next year. Hamlet will need to be a star again to help pick up some of the slack from the departures of Umoja Gibson (transfer to Oklahoma) and Deng Geu. However, he won’t be alone. The Mean Green bring back four other seniors, including starters James Reese and Zachary Simmons. Thomas Bell also returns after leading the team in rebounds and hitting just under 37 percent from deep coming off the bench. It all runs through Hamlet, though. When he goes, the Mean Green go. Lucky for McCasland, he has one of the best point guards in the country at his disposal. North Texas should be in the top tier of C-USA again. Read more: https://www.midmajormadness.com/2020/5/14/21256196/the-other-top-25-2021-dayton-flyers-st-bonaventure-bonnies-austin-peay-jalen-crutcher
  6. read more: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/college/article/University-of-Houston-COVID-tests-positive-15345393.php
  7. OKLAHOMA CITY – Sooner Athletic Conference commissioner Stan Wagnon announced on Tuesday (June 9) afternoon that the University of North Texas at Dallas has been extended and accepted an invitation for Sooner Athletic membership, increasing the league's membership to 12 institutions. "UNT Dallas has demonstrated a sincere commitment toward establishing a successful athletics program," admitted Wagnon. "It's a tremendous opportunity for the Sooner Athletic Conference to come alongside the university, President Mong and his team in forming a mutually beneficial partnership." While spending the 2020-21 season as an associate member, UNT Dallas will be eligible for full membership the following academic year. The Trailblazers were approved for associate NAIA membership by the Council of Presidents (COP) back on March 31. "We are enthusiastic about being invited into the Sooner Athletic Conference," UNTD President Bob Mong noted. "The SAC not only provides UNT Dallas with instant local rivalries, but also with a reliable set of strong competition around the region." "The SAC will be a great home for us," UNTD Athletic Director Jack Allday added. "I also think UNTD will bring a lot to the conference with our Dallas location and rapid growth. We'll have two local rivalries in Texas Wesleyan and Southwestern Assemblies of God. It's a good fit all the way around." UNTD has been actively preparing to launch its athletic program, hiring former Dallas Mavericks standout Josh Howard to coach its men's basketball team, ex-Plano High School (Texas) coach Rodney Belcher as women's basketball head coach, and Kenneth Royal, former Roosevelt and Madison High School (Texas) coach, to head the men's and women's cross country and track programs. With the addition of the Trailblazers, the SAC increases its footprint in the state of Texas to four institutions, including Wayland Baptist University. The conference awards championships in 14 sports (seven men and seven women). Men's championships feature football, cross country, basketball, baseball, golf, soccer and wrestling. Women's championships include volleyball, soccer, cross country, basketball, softball, golf and wrestling. read more: http://www.victorysportsnetwork.com/Clip/news/unt-dallas-becomes-newest-sooner-athletic-conference-member.htm
  8. Former North Texas quarterback Mason Fine wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, and he had his Pro Day workout canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, which he called “disappointing and frustrating." However, despite all of the obstacles in his way, Fine has been doing his best to show coaches around the league that he may be worthy of a draft selection. Fine threw for 12,505 yards and 93 touchdowns over four college seasons at North Texas. Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/sports/nfl-draft-prospect-qb-mason-fine-trying-make-good-first-impression-with-teams
  9. Fine is a dark horse in this year’s draft class, an unheralded prospect who might be picked in the final rounds if at all. That puts him in a similar boat to Florida International’s James Morgan, Hawaii’s Cole McDonald, and Colorado’s Steven Montez. What sets Fine apart from those other late-round prospects is his sky-high college production. He put the team on his shoulders at North Texas with over 1,000 pass attempts in four years, leaving school with a solid 62.8 completion percentage and with 93 touchdowns thrown against 34 interceptions (15 of those coming in 2017, his first full year as a starter). He’s shown he can handle a high volume of dropbacks, a responsibility some collegiate passers struggle with. Read more: https://saintswire.usatoday.com/2020/04/13/2020-nfl-draft-prospects-saints-mason-fine-north-texas-football-news/
  10. The Mean Green wrapped up their 2020 recruiting class with a handful of signees that will be a great addition to their squad on Wednesday during National Signing Day. A majority of the 13 Texas area signatures came during the early signing period in December. With the 2020 recruitment period coming to a close, North Texas is looking ahead to what will hopefully be a better season than last year’s 4-8 (3-5) record. Here’s a look at the 13 natives who will be joining in the fall. OG, Kade Bond (6’3, 281) 3-Star, Magnolia Committing to North Texas in June, Bond sealed the deal in December with a signature. According to a 246sports.com composite, Bond is the No. 221 player in the state of Texas and the No . 94 offensive guard in the nation. Bond is a three-time First Team All-District athlete (’17, ’18, ’19) who helped anchor Magnolia’s O-Line for a gain of 2,921 rushing yards, 265.5 yards per game, and 24 rushing touchdowns in 2019. Bond is great at creating a pocket for his quarterback. We can expect to see great blocking coming from this 3-star recruit once he suits up. Bond chose to join the Mean Green squad over offers from five other schools including Texas State, New Mexico State, Louisiana-Monroe and more. read more: http://texashsfootball.com/mean-green-signees-a-look-at-seth-littrells-newest-in-state-athletes/
  11. https://coachtube.com/course/football/seth-littrell-condensed-packages/2317546?ambassador=cHwDoZZPjeFnR8UFcSNTQb31&src=7221376 Description This was the talk of this year's Texas High School Coaches Association annual Coaching School. Packed with all X's and O's to outsmart your opponents! See why his offense is putting up over 48 points a game and already upsetting SEC's Arkansas 44-17 in week 2. Condensed Sets Run Game -Pin-Pull -Power Read -Inside Zone Read Pass Game -Quick Passing Game -Leverage Beaters/Shot Plays Mesh -Leverage Beaters/Shot Plays: Corners -Leverage Beaters/Shot Plays: Post Over Seth Littrell is in his third season at University of North Texas. The Mean Green finished 2017 9-5 with an appearance in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and set several offensive records along the way. North Texas broke single-season program records for points (497), passing TDs (32), total offense (6,366 yards), total offense per game (454.7), most plays (1,037) and most first downs (340). The Mean Green showed marked improvement offensively again in Littrell's second season, improving their points per game average by 10.7 ppg (35.5). Sophomore QB Mason Fine also took a major leap forward in his second season with Littrell, becoming the first Mean Green signal-caller to eclipse 4,000 yards passing in a season (4,052) and the first to throw for 30 or more touchdowns (31). Fine was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year and was a first-team all-conference performer. Littrell led the Mean Green to the second-best turnaround in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2016, his first season at the helm. North Texas improved its win total by four games, finishing 5-8 on the season with a Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl appearance. Littrell helped lead the Mean Green to a 9.6 points per game jump in scoring offense from it's output in 2016, which ranked 11th-best in the nation, and the 2016 defense allowed 8.7 points per game fewer than it did in 2015, which was the 13th-best turnaround in the country. One of the brightest offensive minds in college football, Littrell came to North Texas after serving as the assistant head coach for offense and tight ends at North Carolina. At the time of his hire, the Muskogee, Oklahoma, native was the youngest coach in Conference USA and fifth youngest in the nation. The dynamic mind of Littrell turned the North Carolina offense in 2015 into one of the nation's best, as the Tar Heels set school records for most points and touchdowns in a season. The Tar Heels won the ACC Coastal Division Championship and played in their first ACC Championship game. North Carolina scored over 30 points nine times in 2015, topped the 40-point mark seven times and scored over 50 points in four games, which was a school record. Through 12 games under Littrell's guidance in 2015, UNC averaged 41.2 points a game, which at the time ranked 11th in the nation. Under the leadership of Littrell, quarterback Marquise Williams set a new school record for career touchdowns (90) and total offense at North Carolina. In 2015 with Littrell, the UNC offense averaged 7.46 yards per play, which at the time was second in the nation, and ran the ball for 6.0 yards a carry, which ranked third in the country. UNC was one of just 11 schools in the nation that averaged more than 200 yards rushing (229.7) and 250 yards passing (266.0). In 2015, UNC rushed for over 200 yards eight times and had over 500 yards of total offense in four games, including 704 yards in a 66-31 win over Duke. In his first season in Chapel Hill in 2014, Littrell helped Carolina establish several school records, including most passing yards, most passing touchdowns and most first downs. Williams was a second-team all-conference pick after leading the Tar Heels to a bowl game in his first year as the starter, and set several individual school records, including most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. Carolina gained more than 5,000 yards in Littrell's first season as the play-caller and averaged 429.8 yards per contest. Littrell came to Chapel Hill from Indiana where he guided one of the most prolific offenses in the country. Indiana finished ninth in the nation in total offense in 2013, averaging 508.5 yards per game. The Hoosiers were 17th in passing offense (306.7 avg.) and 30th in rushing offense (201.8). Indiana was one of only three teams to average more than 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing Under Littrell's guidance in 2013, Indiana set single-season records with 6,102 total yards, (508.5 ypg), 461 points, (38.4 ppg), 36 passing touchdowns, 62 total touchdowns and 300 first downs. Tight end Ted Bolser thrived in his system, setting IU career records for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns by a tight end. Bolser and wide receiver Cody Latimer were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. Latimer was taken in the second round (56th overall) by the Denver Broncos, while Bolser went in the seventh round to Washington. In Littrell's first season as Indiana's offensive coordinator in 2012, the Hoosiers led the Big Ten and ranked 17th nationally in passing offense (311.2). They finished second in the conference in total offense (442.0) and fourth in scoring offense (30.8). Prior to his stint at Indiana, Littrell coached three seasons at Arizona, where his 2011 offense ranked third nationally in passing offense (370.8) and 15th in total offense (465.2). Three of his Arizona players were selected in the NFL draft: tight end Rob Gronkowski (New England - 2010 second round), quarterback Nick Foles (Philadelphia - 2012 third round) and wide receiver Juron Criner (Oakland - 2012 fifth round). Prior to Arizona, Littrell served four years as running backs coach at Texas Tech (2005-08) under Mike Leach. The 2008 Red Raiders rushed for 119 rushing yards per game, the highest total in the Leach era. Running back Shannon Woods earned All-Big 12 Conference honors in 2006 after averaging 6.1 yards per carry and snagging 75 receptions, totaling a top 15 national figure of 139 all-purpose yards per game. Littrell began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Kansas from 2002-04. The Jayhawks played in the 2003 Tangerine Bowl. Littrell has coached in seven bowl games, played in two and was team captain on Oklahoma's 2000 national championship team. He was a four-year letterwinner at Oklahoma where he rushed for 231 yards and seven touchdowns in 1999 and finished his career with 11 rushing scores.
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