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Former Rutgers- Bucs WR Underwood returning to coach alma mater

Florida Football Insiders



Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/USA Today Sports

Loyalty is an important thing in life, in sports and obviously, in coaching. And for former NFL receiver and Dolphins assistant Tiquan Underwood, loyalty means going back to his college days/roots at Rutgers.

The University announced Thursday night that Underwood will reunite with his college and NFL coach with the Bucs, Greg Schiano, at the University of New Jersey, as their new wide receivers coach.

Underwood had been serving this past season with Brian Flores’ staff with the Dolphins, as a quality control coach.

Underwood was a star receiver for Schiano and the Scarlet Knights from 2005-08 catching for nearly 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns in his career.

He then he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Underwood played two nondescript seasons in North Florida without a TD Catch. Then, he went to the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes and then, landed on the New England Patriots roster during their Super Bowl runner-up season of 2011. He was only active for 6 games that year and none of them in the playoffs.

When the Buccaneers hired Schiano from Rutgers in 2012, he brought Underwood in and he caught 28 passes for a 15.2 yards per catch average with two touchdowns that season. Then the following year, Underwood had another 24 grabs with four more TD’s, including catching an 85-yard bomb from quarterback Mike Glennon (above) in the fourth quarter at Detroit in the Buccaneers upset win.

Schiano was fired after two dismal seasons in Tampa Bay and Underwood’s NFL career was done.

Schiano has now been rehired seven years after departing Rutgers to come back and try to resurrect their lowly Big Ten program. He said in the statement Thursday of  bringing Underwood back,

“I am excited to welcome Tiquan back home to Rutgers,” Schiano said. “He had a great career and played an integral role in the success we were able to achieve. Watching him grow as a player and now as an up-and-coming coach has been a blessing. Tiquan understands the culture of this program and what it takes to be successful here. Tiquan will be an elite teacher and mentor for our wide receivers and our entire team.”

Underwood was part of an offensive staff and receivers that improved as the year went on, including Devante Parker, who caught for over 1,000 yards and received a lucrative contract extension from the team this year.

Miami Dolphins

Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine

Florida Football Insiders



John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:

In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.

However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.

As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan

He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.

Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.

In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.

As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.

Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.

It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.

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Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday

Florida Football Insiders



Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.

The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:

The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.

Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.

Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.

Colorado’s athletic director Rick George said in a statement Sunday night,

“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.” 

The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.

Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.

Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.

Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.

Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.

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