Friday's roundup: MSU hires Snyder as assistant

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Michigan State made it official Friday, hiring Mark Snyder to coach linebackers and special teams.

Coach Mark Dantonio said on SiriusXM's College Sports Nation he had hired the former Texas A&M defensive coordinator ahead of the announcement.

Snyder fills a vacancy created by the departure of defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who left for Pittsburgh. Secondary coach Harlon Barnett and linebackers and special teams coach Mike Tressel were promoted to co-coordinators.

"Mark Snyder has done it all in his career," Dantonio said. "He's been a linebackers coach, a front-seven coach, a defensive line coach in the Big Ten, a head coach, and a coordinator. So he's a big picture guy, and also understands the value of special teams."

Tressel will continue to coach linebackers and special teams while Barnett, who was promoted to assistant head coach, will continue to coach the secondary. Ron Burton remains in charge of the defensive line.

Snyder was the defensive coordinator the last three seasons at Texas A&M before being let go at the end of the season by Kevin Sumlin.

Snyder was linebackers coach at Ohio State from 2001-03 when Dantonio was defensive coordinator under Jim Tressel. After serving as Ohio State's defensive coordinator in 2004, Snyder became coach at Marshall through 2009. He was then defensive coordinator at South Florida until joining Sumlin's staff in 2012.

"The one thing about Coach Dantonio that has always stood out to me is that he's so competitive and such a fundamentalist," Snyder said in the statement. "As an outsider looking in, Michigan State is right there as a national brand, and I think a lot of that has to do with Coach Dantonio and how he's handled everything."

Extra points

Wide receiver Amari Cooper, safety Landon Collins and tailback T.J. Yeldon are leaving Alabama for the NFL draft.

... Mississippi State linebacker Benardrick McKinney will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

... Three-time defending national champion North Dakota State meets Missouri Valley Football Conference co-champion Illinois State in the FCS championship game today in Frisco, Texas.

... Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi hired Florida International defensive coordinator Josh Conklin to the same position with the Panthers.

Andre Powell will join Pitt as the running backs coach and special teams coordinator. Powell spent the last four years at Maryland.

Dave Andrews, who was at Notre Dame, will serve as Pitt's strength and conditioning coach. Ben Matthews, who worked with Narduzzi at Michigan State, will serve as the director of football operations.

... Texas A&M sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill, who lost his starting job after a suspension, has been granted a release and will transfer to TCU, according to a report from

... Berea, Kentucky, running back Darien Harris, a former Michigan commit, committed to Alabama.

His other finalists were Kentucky and Ohio State.

... Oregon, first listed as a 7-point favorite over Ohio State in Monday's national championship game, is now favored by just 6 points.;

Associated Press contributed