Football

Tebow laughs off Sooner's critique

Oklahoma cornerback Dominique Franks walked into Dolphin Stadium alongside teammates Monday, took a seat in the stands and politely declined every interview request.

Franks probably wished he would have been as quiet the day before.

Franks stirred things up at the Bowl Championship Series title game Sunday by calling Florida's Tim Tebow the fourth-best quarterback in the Big 12.

Tebow and top-ranked Florida responded Monday during media day for the championship game. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner laughed it off and hinted it could motivate him in the title game Thursday night. His teammates weren't nearly as diplomatic.

"How could you say something like that when he won the Heisman as a sophomore?" linebacker Brandon Spikes said. "We really didn't think too much of it. When you talk about Tim, he's going to try to come out and make you pay. It's kind of like deja vu all over again. Last time a guy talked about him, he came out and put 50 on him."

Spikes was referring to LSU defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, who said the Tigers were going to try to knock Tebow out of their matchup earlier this season. Tebow brushed aside those comments, too, then accounted for three touchdowns in a 51-21 romp.

"I like it. It's fun," Tebow said of pre-game banter. "It makes it more competitive, and I'll enjoy it. You can say whatever you want. That's fine. We still get to go play. That's what I like I do."

Florida receiver Percy Harvin had a much different take.

"What people don't realize is you never want to wake up a sleeping giant," Harvin said. "Tebow, you kind of want to leave him alone because now you have to deal with him running even harder than he would have before. So good luck."

Chavis to coach LSU 'D'

John Chavis, a veteran defensive coordinator with 20 years of experience in the Southeastern Conference, was chosen as LSU's new defensive coordinator on Monday.

Chavis, who will also coach linebackers, is replacing co-defensive coordinators Bradley Dale Peveto and Doug Mallory. Peveto has been named head coach at Northwestern State, while Mallory is headed to New Mexico as defensive coordinator.

"John Chavis is a tremendous coach," Coach Les Miles said. "The defense that he runs speaks to the fact that he knows what he's doing."

During his 14 years as Tennessee's defensive coordinator, the Volunteers ranked among the SEC's top four in total defense 10 times.

Yale to hire black coach

Jacksonville Jaguars assistant Tom Williams has been hired at Yale, becoming the first black head football coach at the Ivy League school. A person familiar with the decision confirmed the choice Monday on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement had not been made. The school called a news conference for 2 p.m. Wednesday to introduce the new coach.

The 38-year-old Williams has spent the past two seasons working with the Jaguars defense and has been an assistant at Hawaii, Washington, Stanford and San Jose State.

Around the nation

Georgia: Recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Rodney Garner said he turned down an offer to coach at Tennessee. Garner said he was "flattered" and "sincerely appreciative" of the interest from Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin but said he based his decision on "the positives at Georgia."

Garner has been a Georgia assistant since 1998.

Auburn: Trooper Taylor was named assistant head coach in charge of wide receivers. Taylor was Oklahoma State's co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach last season. He was an offensive assistant for Tennessee before that.

North Carolina: Hakeem Nicks said he plans to skip his final season and enter the NFL Draft after setting 14 school receiving records. The junior wide receiver leaves Chapel Hill as the program's all-time leader in catches, yardage and touchdown receptions.

Iowa State: Coach Paul Rhoads hired former Auburn assistant Terry Price as defensive ends coach. Price coached Auburn's ends from 1999-2008.

Southern Miss: Linebacker Gerald McRath declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft, the school said Monday. McRath made 137 tackles (78 solo) during his junior season.

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