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New Central Michigan football coach Jim McElwain has his first recruiting class.

Now he’s starting to piece together his coaching staff.

McElain is set to hire Robb Akey as his defensive coordinator, according to Evan Petzold of CM Life.

Akey was on McElwain’s staff at Florida in 2017, and has previous head-coaching experience, with a six-year stint at Idaho from 2007-12.

Akey, 52, also has coached in the NFL, with Minnesota and Washington, and had previous college stops at Washington State, Northern Arizona and Weber State.

He didn’t coach in 2018.

McElwain also has hired a quarterbacks coach, Kevin Barbay, who also was on staff at Florida before McElwain was fired during the 2017 season. Barbay spent 2018 on staff at Stephen F. Austin.

McElwain also is expected to keep several members of previous coach John Bonamego’s staff, including offensive-line coach Derek Frazier, tight-ends coach Tavita Thompson and defensive-backs coach Cory Hall, who was the interim coach at Bonamego’s firing.

Central Michigan has not yet confirmed the hirings, as background checks take place.

In other state coaching news, Western Michigan coach Tim Lester has parted ways with receivers coach Ashton Aikens and cornerbacks coach Nick Sanchez.

Brown’s cousin goes pro

Oklahoma receiver Marquise Brown will skip his senior season and declare himself eligible for the NFL Draft.

Brown, whose cousin is Steelers star Antonio Brown (Central Michigan), is nicknamed “Hollywood” for his flashy play and the name of his hometown, Hollywood, Fla.

In two seasons, he caught 132 passes for 2,413 yards and 17 touchdowns. Brown leaves sixth in school history in career yards receiving.

Extra points

Washington safety Taylor Rapp declared for the NFL Draft, giving up his final year of eligibility after being a second-team Associated Press All-America selection.

... Florida running back Jordan Scarlett and linebacker Vosean Joseph have decided to enter the NFL Draft, the fourth and fifth Florida players to leave school early and turn pro since the Peach Bowl win over Michigan.

 

National championship

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Clemson

Kickoff: 8 Monday, Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

TV: ESPN

Records: Both teams 14-0

Line: Alabama by 6

 

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