What Does Diaz Bring to MSU?

From the day it was learned Carl Torbush was leaving Mississippi State, the name Manny Diaz had been mentioned in connection with the defensive coordinator vacancy in Starkille. After a few weeks and close to double digit interivews, Coach Dan Mullen tabbed Diaz as the new linbackers' coach and co-defensive coordinator. As we have learned, there is more than meets the eye with Coach Manny Diaz.

Mississippi State football is best known for it's strong defensive play. Even in down years, the Bulldogs have been pretty stingy on the defensive side of the football.

With an offensive minded head coach, finding just the right fit on defense for MSU was an important decision in the Dan Mullen administration.

Diaz' defensive unit this year finished second in the Sunbelt in total defense and led the league in pass defense efficency. The Blue Raiders also led the conference in interceptions (19) and sacks (38). MTSU was also tops in the league on 3rd downs stopping opponents 64.3% of the time.

MTSU was tied for sixth nationally with 2.92 sacks per contest.

John Turner operates the Middle Tennessee State website on the scout.com network and he believes Diaz has what it takes to bring his success to Starkville.

"There is nothing conservative about Diaz on the football field," notes Turner. "His defenses will always force the action. Middle Tennessee has set numerous school records for sacks and tackles-for-loss since Diaz's arrival. Middle Tennessee was 2nd in the nation in tackles for loss this season."

John notes that there is often a high risk/reward type of situation with the Diaz blitz happy scheme, but more times than not the rewards are well worth the risk.

"Diaz's aggressive style will give up big plays every now and then, but the majority of the time he puts the opposing offense in a hole," said Turner.

Manny is known as a very personable coach with good recruiting skills. John reports that Coach Diaz is well liked by all.

"Manny Diaz is a very well liked and well respected coach," reported Turner. "He is a good speaker and can motivate a group or team.

"When he is not on the football field his passion is spending time with his family, which speaks even more to his character."

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