Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Sports Briefs: West Virginia Rb Smallwood Declares for NFL Draft

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Sports Briefs: West Virginia Rb Smallwood Declares for NFL Draft

Article excerpt

WEST VIRGINIA RB SMALLWOOD DECLARES FOR NFL DRAFT: West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood announced on Twitter that he's skipping his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.

Smallwood said in a statement Wednesday night that he believes "the time is now" to pursue his dream of an NFL career.

The Big 12 rushing champion is the second Mountaineer player to announce he's leaving school early, joining defensive back Daryl Worley. Smallwood finished with 1,519 rushing yards this season as West Virginia went 8-5 and beat Arizona State 43-42 in the Cactus Bowl. It was the fourth-most yards in a season in West Virginia history and doubled Smallwood's production of a year ago.

OREGON STATE NAMES CLUNE NEW DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Kevin Clune, the linebackers and defensive coordinator for Utah State, on Thursday was named the new defensive coordinator for Oregon State.

The move reunites Clune with Beavers head coach Gary Andersen, who worked with him on prior stops at Southern Utah, Utah State and Utah. Clune will also serve as inside linebackers coach at Oregon State.

Clune, who has 24 years of coaching experience, was defensive coordinator at Hawaii before he took the same post for the Aggies. Utah State finished 6-7 last season.

BEARS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR INTERVIEWS WITH DOLPHINS: Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase has become the fifth coach to interview for the Miami Dolphins' head coaching job.

Gase met with Dolphins officials Thursday. They've also interviewed former NFL coach Mike Shanahan, former Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Buffalo Bills running backs coach and assistant head coach Anthony Lynn.

Gase is the league's hottest head coaching candidate among assistants. He interviewed Tuesday with the Eagles and Wednesday with the Browns. He is regarded by some as the front-runner for the Miami job.

A year ago, Gase followed head coach John Fox from Denver to Chicago after interviewing for head coaching jobs with the Bears, 49ers, Bills and Falcons. …

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