With the football coaching carousel in full swing, one of Miami's own is reportedly checking out the prospect of going for a ride.
The Philadephia Inquirer, OwlScoop.com (Rivals) and CBSSports.com reported (citing unnamed sources) that Miami Hurricanes defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio already interviewed for the head-coaching vacancy left by Steve Addazio.
Addazio departed Philadelphia last Tuesday to become head coach of Boston College.
D'Onofrio, UM's defensive coordinator and assistant head coach, was the Temple defensive coordinator from 2006-2010, when his close friend Golden (and former Penn State teammate) was head coach. D'Onofrio was supposedly offered the head-coaching job that Golden vacated to come to Miami. But D'Onofrio chose to accompany Golden.
It has been a rough year for D'Onofrio, whose defense ranks among the worst nationally in almost every category: 117th in total defense (of 120 teams ranked in the Football Bowl Subdivision), 113th in rushing defense, 82nd in scoring defense, 101st in pass defense, 112th in sacks, 102nd in tackles for loss.
I looked up UM's defensive stats from 2011, D'Onofrio's first season at Miami, and here's how the Canes ranked: 45th in total defense, 68th in rushing defense, 21st in scoring defense, 28th in pass defense, 56th in sacks, 50th in tackles for loss.
Last year Miami finished 6-6; This season, 7-5.
Former Hurricane/Hurricanes assistant coach Mario Cristobal, recently fired by FIU, also interviewed for the head-coaching job at Temple, Miami Herald FIU beat writer David Neal reported, citing sources.
The Inquirer listed New York Giants offensive line coach Matt Ruhle, Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater and Ohio State receivers coach Stan Drayton as others who interviewed.
CBSSports.com and OwlScoop reported that Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco was also scheduled to interview for the Temple job, with the Inquirer reporting that Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was set to interview Monday night.
So, how would you feel if D'Onofrio left and the door opened for a new UM defensive coordinator? Either way, the pressure is big-time for this defense to start going in the right direction. With Stephen Morris and UM's offense poised for a bright future, they need the defense to hold its own.
DUKE OF MIAMI HONORED AGAIN
Running back/return specialist Duke Johnson was named a second-team Freshman All-America by CollegeFootballNews.com. Also named a second-teamer: safety Deon Bush.
Duke Johnson and linebacker Eddie Johnson were named to the CBSSports.com All-Freshman Team.
Johnson, a second-team Walter Camp All-America, is the ACC Rookie of the Year after amassing 2,060 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns and rushing for a UM freshman-record 947 yards.
Bush played in 10 games, starting six. He had 34 tackles, three pass breakups and three forced fumbles.
Eddie Johnson had 59 tackles and a team-leading 7.5 tackles-for-loss in 10 games, with eight starts. He finished second in ACC Defensive Player of the Year voting.
KNIGHTON COMMITS TO CANES
Canesport.com and InsidetheU.com have reported that 6-5, 265-pound DL/OL Hunter Knighton of the Hun School, in Princeton, committed tonight to play football at Miami.
Knighton, rated as a three-star player, told CaneSport that UM recruited him as an offensive lineman, but that "if things don't work out they said I can definitely play defense.''
He said he is trying to enroll early, so he could participate in spring practice.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN