Every time a coaching position becomes available in collegiate athletics, dream candidates quickly emerge at the forefront of fan conversation, only to be quelled a short time later when reality of their interest in the job or their availability for it sets in. This time, however, it seems like that dream candidate will in fact be hired.
Mississippi State will hire Deshea Townsend as its new defensive backs coach today, Scout's Steve Robertson reports today.
Sources close to the situation report that former Pittsburgh Steelers CB Deshea Townsend has accepted the CB coaching position at Miss State— Steve Robertson (@ScoutSteveR) January 11, 2013
The report has since been confirmed by Deshea himself via his Twitter account:
Go Dawgs!!!! It's Official!!!— Deshea Townsend (@desheatownsend) January 11, 2013
Townsend is the former 13 year NFL veteran who most recently served a two year stint as assistant defensive backs coach with Ken Whisenhunt's Arizona Cardinals staff. A Batesville native, Townsend played for the South Panola dynasty in high school, and has kept ties in the area over the years by hosting camps and keeping in touch with many around the community. He still has a home nearby in Oxford, Mississippi.
Most if not all Mississippi State fans are overjoyed with this hire, as Townsend brings a wealth of NFL knowledge and clout to the table at the defensive backs position. Although his coaching experience is minimal, his experience in the NFL, which is as recent as three seasons ago, strikes a cord with young recruits who have the goal of making it to that level themselves one day. As mentioned, Townsend is also a Batesville native, so there is hope that he could possibly get MSU in with the talent at South Panola, a school that traditionally has seen its talent go to Ole Miss.
I also call this a dream candidate hire because Townsend's name was one of the first to hit the message board wish lists after Melvin Smith left for Auburn. Often times those first candidates are best case scenario, "pie-in-the-sky" type hires that typically do not come to fruition. But this time, it seems as if the dreams of many fans weren't so far off with the dreams of Dan Mullen and the coaching staff, and all parties are happy as Townsend becomes a member of the coaching staff.
Although we still await official word on the hire, it shouldn't come too far behind the initial report by Robertson. The timing of the hire is perfect for State, who will see the majority of its commitments and remaining recruiting targets visit campus over the next several weekends. It will be interesting to see if his (Deshea's) hiring will have a big, if any, affect on the decisions of Tony Conner, Mackenzie Alexander, Jalen Ramsey, and other defensive back prospects that State has been pursuing. Although all the above have given MSU minimal interest in recent weeks, it will be interesting to see if that changes with Townsend now on board. It may not, and nothing it guaranteed in the world of recruiting, but you'd have to think that many of those prospects would give MSU a harder look with a former NFL player coaching their position.