Mark Richt completes his coaching staff with the hiring of Mike Ekeler

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Mike Ekeler, the linebackers coach at Southern California in 2013, has been named inside linebackers coach at Georgia.

Ekeler was linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator at Indiana from 2011-12, following three seasons as linebackers coach at Nebraska.

The addition of Ekeler completes the Georgia defensive staff with new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Georgia also added Kevin Sherrer and Tracy Rocker to the staff.

Coach Mark Richt says he still has to assign special teams responsibilities among the assistants.

• Senior offensive tackle Mark Beard plans to transfer to another school for his final year of eligibility after graduating this summer.

Beard was a backup left tackle in 2013.

FLORIDA STATE: Quarterback Jameis Winston said coach Jimbo Fisher was on the money when he said that the Heisman Trophy winner might play two more years of college football.

Winston told The Associated Press Thursday, that’s indeed his plan.

The redshirt freshman said he and Fisher – who said Wednesday while talking about the Seminoles recruiting class that the QB will be in Tallahassee two more years – have a good relationship, “so whatever he says most likely is true.”

CONNECTICUT: Lost its biggest game of 2015 without even taking the field.

Tennessee announced Thursday that it won’t be playing a scheduled home-and-home series with the Huskies that had been planned for 2015 and 2016.

Connecticut spokesman Mike Enright said the schools have agreed to reschedule the series.

TEXAS: Approved contracts for new coach Charlie Strong’s assistants.

Texas is giving each of the 10 assistants a three-year contract.

Defensive coordinator Vance Bedford will get the largest salary at a base of $760,000. Quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach Shawn Watson will make $610,000. They came with Strong from Louisville. Offensive coordinator Joe Wickline, who Strong hired from Oklahoma State, will be paid $535,000.

WEST VIRGINIA: Coach Dana Holgorsen says defensive coordinator Keith Patterson has voluntarily left the program.

The school announced the departure without elaborating Thursday and declined further comment.


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