There’s been an influx of activity down in the desert.
The college football season came to a close Monday, and while Tuesday allowed everyone to take in the year’s spectacular finale and get a quick breather from action, Arizona State Sun Devil fans experienced a heavy dose of news on Wednesday.
Here’s a recap of everything that happened:
1. The early enrollees are officially here
2. The Sun Devils have a new defensive coordinator
ASU elected to add former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett to its coaching staff, hiring him to the same position.
3. Keith Patterson is still on staff
Patterson is being retained on staff as a linebackers coach.
4. DelVaughn Alexander is heading to Notre Dame
Alexander, who’s served as ASU’s tight ends coach since 2012, was the final assistant remaining from the original staff head coach Todd Graham arrived to Tempe with.
He’ll coach wide receivers for the Fighting Irish, and — as one reader noted — will be reunited with former Sun Devils recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach, Chip Long. Long was recently hired by Notre Dame as its new offensive coordinator after serving in the same capacity on Mike Norvell’s staff at Memphis for one year.
5. Kalen Ballage is not entering the 2017 NFL Draft
Ballage broke out in 2016, rushing for 536 yards and a career-high 14 touchdowns, including a single-game record of eight scores against Texas Tech. He also displayed versatility as a receiving option, hauling in 44 passes for 469 yards to push him over 1,000 total yards from scrimmage for the first time in his career.
According to azcentral, Ballage had pondered entering the draft, however, considering this year’s running back group is littered with star talent such as Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook, among several others, it makes sense Ballage returned to Tempe for his senior year.
6. Chris Thomsen will continue to coach ASU’s offensive line
Per Rivals, Thomsen was being lured by Mike Norvell to join him at Memphis, but he is staying put for now.
7. Chip Lindsey is being considered for Auburn’s opening at offensive coordinator
According to SB Nation, Lindsey is “considered a potential candidate” to take over as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator for Rhett Lashlee, who accepted to hold the same position at Connecticut. The first-year ASU assistant served as an offensive analyst at Auburn in 2013.
During his first season in Tempe, the Sun Devils’ offense averaged 391.1 yards per game. He was reportedly targeted by Georgia State regarding its head-coaching vacancy in early December.
Thanks for checking in to House of Sparky for the latest occurring in Sun Devil athletics.