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February 14, 2013

Two in mix for Alabama OL job

TUSCALOOSA | University of Central Florida assistant head coach and offensive line coach Brent Key has interviewed for the University of Alabama's vacancy for an offensive line coach, Tidesports.com has confirmed, while South Carolina offensive line coach Shawn Elliott is a candidate for the position as well.

Key has been at UCF for eight seasons, beginning as a graduate assistant in 2005. From there, he was promoted to tight ends coach, special teams coach, and eventually took over the Golden Knights' offensive line in 2009. Elliott has been South Carolina's offensive line coach for the past three seasons. Prior to that, he coached at Appalachian State as an assistant, and was a candidate for Appalachian State's head coaching job when it came open in December.

GamecockCentral.com's David Cloninger asked South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier about Elliott and Alabama's vacancy Thursday. Spurrier's response, Cloninger reported via Twitter, was ""There's a little bit of interest there."

Alabama lost two-year offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland after national signing day. Stoutland took the same position with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. Alabama's next offensive line coach will be the school's third under UA coach Nick Saban. Former offensive line coach Joe Pendry retired from coaching after four years at UA following the 2010 season, and was replaced by Stoutland. Elliott earned $300,000 last year with the Gamecocks. Stoutland made $395,000 in each of his two years at Alabama.

Alabama loses three starters from last year's offensive line - Barrett Jones, D.J. Fluker and Chance Warmack - each of whom is expected to be an early pick in the April NFL draft.

Key was named among 29 nominees for the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach last year. Key was a four-year starter at offensive guard for Georgia Tech from 1997-2000, earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors as a senior. Key played for George O'Leary at Tech, and eventually joined O'Leary in the coaching ranks at UCF.

Key also serves as UCF's recruiting coordinator under O'Leary. CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler first reported Key's interview via Twitter. Elliott's name was first linked to the Alabama offensive line job at coachingsearch.com.

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.

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