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Cristobal joins Miami after Diaz firing

(AP Photo/Andy Nelson, File)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) Mario Cristobal is going home again.

Cristobal is leaving Oregon and returning to Miami, accepting an offer to become head coach at his alma mater, where he won two national championships as a player. He let the Ducks know of the decision Monday, his team meeting in Oregon nearly simultaneous with Miami announcing the firing of coach Manny Diaz after three seasons.

"My family and I are excited to return home to the University of Miami," Cristobal said.


Heisman finalists: 3 QBs, DE Hutchinson

NEW YORK (AP) Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud were announced Monday as finalists for the Heisman Trophy.

The Heisman will be presented Saturday in New York, returning to its usual routine and date - second Saturday in December - after it was forced to delay and go virtual last year due to the pandemic.


Ducks' Thibodeaux to turn pro, skip bowl

Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux made it official on Monday night and announced that he would not return to the Ducks for his senior year.

Thibodeaux is expected to be one of the top picks in the upcoming NFL draft, and the move to go pro was widely anticipated. He announced his decision on Twitter and Instagram, thanking Oregon for giving him "the opportunity to transition into a man ready to take on the world."


Colorado State hires Nevada's Norvell

Colorado State hired the first Black head football coach in program history Monday, bringing in Nevada's Jay Norvell to take over for Steve Addazio.

Norvell is coming off a season in which he guided the Wolf Pack to an 8-4 record and a spot in the Quick Lane Bowl against Western Michigan on Dec. 27.


Huskers legend Rodgers in ICU with COVID

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Johnny Rodgers, the 1972 Heisman Trophy winner and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, was in an Omaha hospital intensive care unit Monday with COVID-19.

Rodgers' business partner, Denny Drake, said the Cornhuskers' football great was hospitalized Thanksgiving morning with the virus at Nebraska Medical Center, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Rodgers also developed pneumonia but seemed to improve after a few days in the hospital, Drake said. However, he took a turn for the worse last week and was placed in the ICU.


BC QB Jurkovec to return for senior year

BOSTON (AP) Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec said on Monday that he will return for his senior season rather than enter the NFL draft.

"I will be returning to Chestnut Hill in 2022 to complete my economics degree, improve all facets of my game, and compete nationally," he said in a statement issued by the school. "Let's win!"


McClendon to coach Oregon in Alamo Bowl

Just three days after losing the Pac-12 championship and their chance to salvage an up-and-down season with a Rose Bowl berth, the Oregon Ducks are looking for a new coach.

Mario Cristobal became the head coach at Miami on Monday, returning to his alma mater, and Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said his phone was "blowing up."


Napier adds Toney, Hocke to Gators staff

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) New Florida coach Billy Napier's staff is starting to take shape.

Napier hired four assistants who spent the last four years with him at Louisiana-Lafayette, including Patrick Toney as the team's co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach and Mark Hocke as the team's associate head coach and director of strength and conditioning.


Gophers keep Ciarrocca to coach offense

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota re-hired Kirk Ciarrocca as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Monday, after sagging production during the two seasons he was elsewhere.

Coach P.J. Fleck's reunion with Ciarrocca was initiated after Mike Sanford was dismissed following the expiration of his contract. Sanford held the dual role for the Gophers the last two years.


QB Pickett headlines AP All-ACC honors

Newly crowned Atlantic Coast Conference champion Pittsburgh headlines The Associated Press All-ACC teams and individual awards for the 2021 season.

The 13th-ranked Panthers had a league-best seven selections in results released Monday after voting by 14 sports writers who cover the conference. That list included quarterback Kenny Pickett as the unanimous choice for offensive player of the year, as well as national receiving touchdown leader Jordan Addison being an unanimous first-team pick at receiver.

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