A few items of interest for you from around the league this past weekend:
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney presented the first Brian Dawkins Clemson Lifetime Achievement Award to -- surprise -- Brian Dawkins at the team’s banquet on Saturday evening.
From the release:
Dawkins recently retired from the NFL after 16 years with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and played 224 games overall. He was a three-time All-ACC selection at Clemson between 1992-95 and was an AP All-American as a senior in 1995 when he led the ACC in interceptions.
“I got the idea to present an award like this from last year’s experience with the Bobby Dodd Award,” said Swinney, who won the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year Award in 2011. “The Dodd Award takes into account performance on the field, but also qualities like leadership, community service and others.
“Brian Dawkins epitomizes everything you strive to be on and off the field when it comes to being a Clemson football player. He is the ultimate professional and has represented this university with distinction in every way. He has set a standard of excellence in every way."
Swinney said that the award would be presented annually to a former Clemson player who had been out of school for at least 10 years. A committee will make a selection each November. The player will be honored at the banquet in January and at a football game the following fall.
FLORIDA STATE/GEORGIA TECH
Florida State has hired former Georgia Tech interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly as its linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. On Saturday, Georgia Tech responded with the following statements:
Charles Kelly: “I would like to thank Paul Johnson and Chan Gailey for giving me the opportunity to coach at Georgia Tech. I would also like to thank all the current and former Georgia Tech players for the effort they gave, on and off the field.
“My family and I will always have fond memories of the past seven years and we appreciate the support of the Georgia Tech administration, alumni and fans.
“I have a great deal of respect for Paul Johnson and I am very appreciative of his understanding of this great opportunity for me and my family.”
Paul Johnson: “I want to thank Charles for all that he has done for Georgia Tech football, especially in my five years at Tech. Charles is a hard-worker, a good football coach, and I’m certain he’ll be successful for years to come. I wish the best for him, Kristy and the kids.”
The NCAA's investigation is reportedly nearing an end, according to The Associated Press. The program could find out its punishment by May or June. Maybe. Possibly. It still needs the notice of allegations, but it sounds like some key officials are set to meet today.
At 11 a.m. today, Miami juniors Seantrel Henderson, Brandon Linder and Curtis Porter will announce their intentions on whether they will declare for the 2013 NFL draft or return for their senior seasons.
Virginia hired Larry Lewis as the its special teams coordinator and running backs coach. Lewis replaces Jeff Banks, who joined the UVa staff on Jan. 1 before resigning last week to coach in the SEC.
Lewis has 32 years of collegiate coaching experience, including an eight-year stint as the head coach at Idaho State. Lewis first started coaching special teams when he was an assistant on Mike Price’s Weber State staff in 1981 and became one of the first college coaches to hold the title of special teams coordinator when he took on that role for Price’s Washington State teams in the 1990s.
“Larry Lewis has probably been coaching special teams for as long as anyone in college football and we’re really fortunate to have him join our staff,” coach Mike London said. “On the offensive side of the ball, he has worked for some very successful and innovative coaches out west and coached two of the nation’s top running backs over the past two seasons. Larry is high energy and our players are going to enjoy his style. It is ironic that Jeff Banks played for Larry at Washington State. I guess you could say we’ve gone from the pupil to the teacher.”
Lewis comes to Virginia after working for Hall of Fame coach Chris Ault at Nevada in 2012. Ault announced his retirement in late December. Lewis served as the Wolfpack’s special teams coordinator and running backs coach. Nevada averaged 271 rushing yards per game last season, the seventh-best average among FBS programs.