Razorbacks football report:

Analyst: UA in mix for Grinch

By: Tom Murphy
Published: December 13, 2017 at 6:19 p.m. - Updated: December 13, 2017 at 11 p.m.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks are in the running for Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, according to ESPN analyst Brock Huard, a former University of Washington and NFL quarterback.

Speaking on his radio show Brock and Salk on KIRO-AM, 710, in Seattle on Wednesday morning, Huard said Grinch, a nephew of former Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel, is very likely to depart Coach Mike Leach's staff at Washington State and that SEC destinations Texas A&M and Arkansas are the most probable landing spots.

"He's not officially gone, but everybody I've talked to who is close to the situation say ... he is weighing numerous options and he is a wanted commodity," Huard said.

Asked where Grinch is likely to land, Huard replied "It could be A&M or Arkansas. I think back in the SEC. Remember he came from Missouri. He was a position coach there. So family roots, some of those things are there."

Arkansas Coach Chad Morris has not announced any assistant coach hirings, though several members of his SMU staff have been recruiting for the Razorbacks. Morris said last week at his introductory news conference that he planned to hire the best defensive coordinator in football and that he had a short list of candidates for the position.

No. 18 Washington State, which is 9-3 and headed to a Dec. 28 Holiday Bowl matchup against Michigan State, is No. 15 in the FBS in total defense, allowing 313.6 yards per game, No. 47 in scoring against (24.4 points per game), No. 5 in pass efficiency defense, No. 12 in sacks (3.0 per game) and tied for No. 7 with 8.17 tackles for loss per game.

"He's done an unbelievable job and everybody's come knocking at his door," Huard said. "So he is weighing multiple options. I heard it was pretty close at Texas A&M, but we'll see."

Phil Bennett, 62, who announced Tuesday that he was leaving Arizona State after one season as defensive coordinator, also has been linked to openings at Texas A&M, which is his alma mater, and also at Arkansas.

Harris honored

Linebacker De'Jon Harris was a first-team All-SEC pick by Pro Football Focus (PFF), which grades players at all positions. Harris, whose 115 tackles rank second in the SEC behind LSU linebacker Devin White (127), had the third-highest grade among SEC linebackers by PFF.

Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith had the highest grade at 90.5, following by South Carolina's Skai Moore (86.4) and Harris (85.7).

Harris, a 6-0, 242-pound sophomore from Harvey, La., led the Razorbacks with 8.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Ragnow named

CBSSports.com named center Frank Ragnow a first-team All-American this week after he was a second-team pick by the Football Writers Association of America and a third-team selection by The Associated Press.

Ragnow allowed no sacks in 2,603 career snaps, and only one pressure on 255 pass-blocking snaps this season. The senior from Victoria, Minn., played in seven games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury against Auburn on Oct. 21.

Sports on 12/14/2017


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