Car wreck claims life of standout FCS DB Danny Johnson

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Sadly, our latest dive into the FCS ranks is decidedly tinged with tragedy.

Alabama A&M confirmed in a release that rising junior defensive back Danny Johnson was killed in a two-vehicle accident Thursday morning.  Al.com wrote that the 20-year-old Johnson “was killed when the 2011 Kia he was a passenger in collided head-on with a 1999 Dodge pickup truck in Jackson County.”

According to Alabama State Troopers, Johnson was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

“This is a tragic loss for the Alabama A&M University family,” a statement from athletic director Bryan Hicks began. “Danny was a fine young man, a hard worker on the field and off.

“Our condolences go out to the Johnson family.”

“It is with great sadness that we share the tragic news of Danny’s passing,” head coach James Spady said in his statement. “He and his brother Devon were two of our first signees.

“Danny was an important member of our football family and a fine student. We ask everyone to join us in prayer for his family and keep them in your thoughts in this time of sadness.”

Johnson was a two-year starter for the Bulldogs. In 2015, he was tied for second on the team in tackles (37) and pass breakups (four), and a solo second in solo tackles (30). The school’s release on his death notes that Johnson “blocked a point-after try which proved to be the margin of victory in Alabama A&M’s 37-36 win over Alabama State in the Magic City Classic.”

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those affected by Johnson’s all-too-soon passing.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.