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Vanderbilt football hiring ND assistant

The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt has hired Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea as its new football coach, bringing back a Nashville native and former Commodores fullback to revive the program.

Lea will be introduced next week at a news conference. He currently is busy helping No. 2 Notre Dame (10-0) prepare to play No. 4 Clemson on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a spot in the College Football Playoff on the line.

Vanderbilt athletic director Candice Lee thanked Notre Dame’s president, athletic director and coach Brian Kelly for their cooperation during the hiring process. Lee said it’s important to everyone, including Lea, that he fulfill his obligations to Notre Dame.

“Clark Lea is the leader we trust to continue the challenging but exciting work that will elevate the Vanderbilt football program to unprecedented heights,” Lee said in a statement.

The 38-year-old Lea is a Nashville native who played baseball at Birmingham-Southern and Belmont before walking on as a fullback at Vanderbilt, where he played from 2002-04. He is a two-time graduate of Vanderbilt, having earned a graduate degree in political science.

He started coaching at UCLA and also has coached at South Dakota State, Bowling Green, Syracuse and Wake Forest.

Lea has been Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator for the last three seasons and has coached in eight bowl games. The Fighting Irish made the College Football Playoff in 2018 behind a defense that ranked eighth in the nation in yards allowed per play (4.53).

Deion’s son leaving South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Shilo Sanders, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, is leaving South Carolina.

The younger Sanders, a 6-foot, 195-pound defensive back from Cedar Hill, Texas, who played in nine games this season, has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal, team spokesman Steve Fink said in a text Monday.

Sanders was tied for seventh on the Gamecocks with 32 tackles. He becomes the latest defender to leave South Carolina hired Oklahoma assistant Shane Beamer earlier this month to replace Muschamp.

Deion Sanders was hired as the Jackson State head football coach in September.

Two QBs on their way out

McKenzie Milton committed to transfer to Florida State as the former Central Florida quarterback looks to complete his comeback from a serious leg injury.

A Twitter post on Milton’s account, complete with a photoshopped image of him in a Florida State uniform, said he was committed to the Seminoles. Milton confirmed his intentions to ESPN.

Also, Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer posted on Twitter that he was leaving the Bears and intends to play elsewhere as a graduate transfer next season.

Milton finished in the top 10 of Heisman voting in 2017 and ’18, leading UCF to consecutive undefeated regular seasons and a victory against Auburn in the Peach bowl after ’17 season.

In the regular-season finale of 2018 against rival South Florida, Milton suffered a gruesome injury to his right leg that included ligament, nerve and artery damage.

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