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Report: Mike Locksley promoted to OC

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Alabama Offensive Coordinator Hot Board

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama’s fourth offensive coordinator in three years won't be a stranger. According to a report from ESPN on Friday, Mike Locksley was promoted to the offensive coordinator position after spending last season as the co-offensive coordinator/ wide receivers coach.

Locksley, 48, replaces Brian Daboll, who left to take the offensive coordinator position with the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Under Daboll last season, Alabama’s offense ranked No. 15 in scoring (37.1 points per game). The Crimson Tide also ranked No. 29 in total offense with 441.1 yards per game, No. 13 in rushing offense (250.64 ypg) and No. 91 in passing offense (193.4 ypg).

In his first season as an on-the-field coach for Alabama, Locksley also shared plenty of success. The Crimson Tide’s receiving unit accounted for 126 receptions for 2,031 yards with 19 touchdowns. Most of that came from first-team All-SEC member Calvin Ridley who caught 63 passes for 967 yards and five touchdowns. However, Alabama will also return a talented trio of freshmen receivers in Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and DeVonta Smith who combined for 33 receptions for 659 yards with 11 touchdowns.

A more pressing topic is how Locksley will handle the person throwing to those receivers. Perhaps the biggest decision Alabama will have to make this offseason comes at the quarterback position where there will most likely be a battle between starter Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, who earned offensive MVP honors in the Crimson Tide’s 26-23 overtime victory over Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

While Locksley worked primarily with the receivers, Daboll credited him with helping to incorporate much of the quarterback read-options concepts last season.

Generally, offensive coordinators at Alabama have also worked with quarterbacks. With the addition of a 10th on-field assistant this year, it is unknown whether or not Alabama will have Locksley oversee the quarterbacks or hire another head coach to do so.

Before his role last year, Locksley spent the 2016 season as an offensive analyst. During media day before the national championship game, he told BamaInsider that he viewed the year as a “sabbatical,” sitting in on every offensive meeting while soaking up as much information and knowledge as he could.

“I’ve got pages and pages of notes,” Locksley said. “To have an opportunity to work for a guy like Nick Saban, to see how and why this place is what it is. This has just been a tremendous learning experience for me as a coach.”

Prior to coming to Alabama, he worked at Maryland where he served as the offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks coach from 2012-15 before being named the interim head coach after the firing of Randy Edsall. Locksley posted a 1-5 record in his half season in charge of the Terrapins.

Locksley also served as the head coach at New Mexico where he led the Lobos to a 2-15 record from 2009-11. Before that he spent four seasons at Illinois, working as the offensive coordinator/ tight ends coach in 2005 while keeping his coordinator duties and switching to quarterbacks from 2006-08. Lockley worked as the running backs coach/ recruiting coordinator at Florida from 2003-04 and held the same position during his first stint at Maryland from 1998-2002. During his first season with Maryland in 1997 he worked exclusively as a running backs coach.

A native of Washington, D.C., Locksley played defensive back at Towson State from 1988-91. He coached defensive backs and special teams for his alma mater in 1992. The following year he took a job with Navy Prep where he served as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. In 1994, he kept his coordinator duties while switching over to defensive line. In 2015 he coached outside linebackers at Pacific. Locksley’s first job as an offensive coordinator came in 1996 when he coached wide receivers and tight ends for Army.

On top of his vast coaching experience, Locksley is also known as a top recruiter. He was listed as a top-25 recruiter in the nation three different times (2003, 2005, 2006) and was a finalist for 2007 recruiter of the year by Rivals.com. He also engineered top-10 recruiting classes during each of his two seasons as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida.

Locksley was a popular choice to fill Alabama’s offensive coordinator position with several players advocating for his promotion through social media.