Former Arizona Cardinals assistant defensive backs coach and Mississippi native Deshea Townsend interviewed today with Mississippi State for the open defensive backs coaching position, the Clarion Ledger reported earlier this afternoon.
Townsend, the former South Panola and Alabama star cornerback, was a part of Kent Whisenhunt's staff with the Arizona Cardinals for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, but the Cardinals fired Whisenhunt following the past season. Deshea began his coaching career with the Cardinals in 2011 following a 13 year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers (12 years) and Indianapolis Colts (1 year).
If the hire earlier today of David Turner to coach the defensive line was deemed a good hire for State, then the Townsend hire would certainly be labeled as a great one. Deshea, as we mentioned, is a Batesville native, and could presumably give the Bulldogs a foot in the door with South Panola talent that traditionally has gone down the road to Ole Miss. Townsend is also just two years removed from the NFL, and that is a big selling point with eighteen year old four and five star athletes who want to end up there themselves someday. Just take a look at current 5-star South Panola defensive back Tony Connor. Connor has been considering Ole Miss and Alabama, but told the Clarion Ledger this with regards to a potential Townsend hire at MSU:
"It would make a huge impact. He has been there (to the NFL) and he knows what it is like and knows what it takes. I would have to talk to him."
So how close are we to a potential hire? Although nothing is guaranteed unless you count message board "book its", the signs seem to be there for the Townsend hire to be close. As we wait for final word, fans aren't just leaving the recruiting of Townsend to coach Mullen, as many have been tweeting to Townsend's twitter account, pleading for him to come to Starkville. And it's not just fans, as even MSU WR coach Tim Brewster got in on the action earlier tonight:
SO to one of Miss finest....@desheatownsend! Hope it's all good my man!! #HailState— Tim Brewster (@TimBrewster) January 9, 2013
While we all await word on Townsend's decision, it doesn't appear that Deshea is State's only target to fill the void defensive backs coaching position. Earlier today, prior to any news on the Townsend interview, Paul Jones at Bulldawgs 247 reported ($) that MSU was expressing interest in Nebraska defensive backs coach Terry Joseph. There was no indication if State had offered Joseph the job, but with the Townsend news that followed soon after, it would seem that either no offer has been made or that Nebraska made its push and kept Joseph on staff.
As the final dead period of the 2013 recruiting season gets set to end tomorrow, we could see a hire for the dbs coach position pretty soon before the final stretch of the recruiting season begins. Hang in there folks, we should have word soon.