Diaz did a fine job, but the main ingredient as it is with most teams on offense and defense was talent. Sylvester Croom's staff started recruiting very well 4 years ago. The youngest of those guys are seniors this year. If 6 of the top underclassman hadn't been kicked out in 2008 due to the "gun" incident, they would have been this good last year as well. Every starter on defense was recruited by Croom and his staff. Those guys are good.
Same thing on offense: Only Vick Ballard, a JC recruit, was a starter on offense that was recruited by Dan Mullen. All of those guys are Croom recruits. Pretty telling that in his first real class at MSU putting in a new offense, that none of Mullen's own recruits could start as a freshman. Croom left that team loaded with talent that was young in 2008 and is not hitting their prime.
Numerous websites are reporting today that Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is currently in Austin interviewing with Texas coach Mack Brown about the Longhorns’ open defensive coordinator job.
Mississippi State officials have remained mum on Diaz’ whereabouts, telling the Texas Rivals.com site Orangebloods.com: “We haven’t answered questions about that when it comes to Dan (Mullen) and we can’t answer them about Manny.”
Diaz has not returned texts or calls from Magnolia State reporters. And that’s led to the inevitable flight tracking.
Diaz makes $260,000 a year at State.
While Mullen’s offense improved as the season went along, Diaz’s unit actually paved the way from Starkville to Jacksonville’s Gator Bowl. In fact, we at MrSEC.com believe Diaz should have won the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s best assistant coach. (The award went to Gus Malzahn, who also did a fine job at Auburn.)