Mizzou’s Aldon Smith latest to take NFL plunge

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The cavalcade of top players heading to the NFL continued this evening as it was announced that Missouri lost yet another big-time starter to the draft.

Standout defensive end Aldon Smith has decided to bypass his final two years of eligibility and will make himself available for the 2011 NFL Draft.

“I’d like to thank everyone at Mizzou for supporting me,” said Smith.  “The coaches, our fans and alumni, everyone has been great, and they’ve definitely helped me get to this point.  It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember to play in the NFL, so this is something I’m really excited for,” he said.

“There’s no question that Aldon is one of the most gifted athletes in the country at his position,” head coach Gary Pinkel said.  “We’d love to have the chance to coach him longer, but we’re 100 percent behind him and supportive with this decision.  Aldon gave us three outstanding years, and it’s going to be exciting to watch him in the pros, because his best football is ahead of him.”

Smith set a school record with 11.5 sacks in 2009.  His production in 2010 dipped due to an injury that cost him the first three games of the year, but the redshirt sophomore still finished with 5.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

Smith’s teammate, quarterback Blaine Gabbert, announced earlier this week that he too was heading to the NFL.

Reports: Miami hiring Lance Guidry from Tulane as DC

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
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Miami is hiring Lance Guidry, who was defensive coordinator at Marshall last season and recently accepted the same position at Tulane, to lead its defense, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized between Guidry and Miami.

The 51-year-old Louisiana native was hired way from Marshall by Tulane just last month. Now he’ll replace Kevin Steele on Mario Cristobal‘s staff at Miami. Steele is reportedly on his way to Alabama to become Nick Saban‘s defensive coordinator after holding that position for one season with the Hurricanes.

Alabama has yet to make the hiring of Steele and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees official. Rees had been assistant at Notre Dame.

Tulane announced the hiring of Guidry on Jan. 23 to replace Chris Hampton, who left the New Orleans-based school to join Oregon’s staff as an assistant coach.

Guidry’s defenses at Marshall ranked third in the nation in yards per play this season (4.56) and 26th nationally in 2021 (5.14 ypp).

Iowa-Northwestern set for Wrigley Field in November

Nikos Frazier/Journal & Courier/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CHICAGO — Wrigley Field will host a college football game for the third time since 2010 when Iowa plays Northwestern next season.

Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs announced that the Wildcats’ home game will be played Nov. 4.

Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley in 2010 in the MLB ballpark’s first college football game since 1938, and the Wildcats hosted Purdue there in 2021.

Wrigley Field has a long history of hosting football games. The Chicago Bears played there from 1921 to 1970 before moving to Soldier Field. The old Chicago Cardinals also played at Wrigley, as well as DePaul until its program folded in 1939.

Northwestern had been scheduled to play Wisconsin at Wrigley in 2020, but the game was moved to Ryan Field in Evanston because of the COVID-19 pandemic.