Texas Longhorns Football: Mississippi State DC Manny Diaz in Austin to Interview

Kris HughesCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2011

Is Manny Diaz a Top Candidate for DC at Texas?
Is Manny Diaz a Top Candidate for DC at Texas?

***UPDATE*** Manny Diaz has been confirmed as the new defensive coordinator for the Texas Longhorns according to a post on TexasSports.com***

Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has arrived in Austin to interview with Mack Brown and the Texas administration for the defensive coordinator job recently opened with Will Muschamp's departure to take over as head coach of the Florida Gators.

Interestingly, Diaz's name had not been a part of the speculation surrounding the defensive coordinator opening, which has focused on coaches including Teryl Austin of Florida, Everett Withers of North Carolina and the Seattle Seahawks' Jerry Gray, a former Texas Longhorn.

Manny Diaz's coaching career spans a total of 11 years at the collegiate level, with his most recent position prior to Mississippi State being as the defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee.

The Middle Tennessee defense led the Sun Belt Conference in sacks and tackles for loss twice, and finished no lower than third in the league in either category during Diaz's four years with the Blue Raiders.

In 2009, the Blue Raiders finished second nationally in tackles for loss, stopping eight-and-a-half plays per game behind the line of scrimmage. Diaz's defense also ranked sixth nationally in quarterback sacks during the 2009 season, posting nearly three per game.

Diaz is recognized in the coaching community as an up-and-coming defensive mind with a high-energy approach to both technique and recruiting, as these statistics would attest. Could it be possible that his stop at Mississippi State was merely a stepping stone?

It will be intriguing to see if Mack Brown makes the decision to continue with the "youthful approach" when it comes to the defensive coordinator post. While this approach has its rewards, it also has its risks.

Diaz could inject some great energy to the Longhorns defense. If Darrell Wyatt's recent press conference comments are any indication of where this Texas staff is headed, energy is the new theme.

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