The hottest name on Mississippi State message boards and twitter has been Louisiana head coach Billy Napier. Reports have said that Napier is not interested in the Mississippi State job, however that could be all smoke and mirrors as his team plays in the Lending Tree Bowl on Monday.
Offense is Billy Napier’s speciality, he has coached positions or been a coordinator at seven different schools including Clemson, Alabama, and Arizona State. His offense currently is one of the best units in the country and that will be on full display Monday against Miami (OH). Looking back at the first game of the season for Napier, which was against the Bulldogs in the Super Dome, his offense moved up and down the field for 27 first downs, 28 points, and 430 yards. The opening performance was just the primer for the season to come, as the Ragin Cajuns would put up 39 points per game and were 6th in the nation in rushing yards per game at 265.3. However, his team had a very balanced attack averaging 236 passing yards per game.
Billy Napier is also regarded as a great recruiter, and has had fantastic classes at Louisiana. Napier has signed two top 3 classes in the Sun Belt Conference and had the #1 class in 2019. Napier seems to be just what Mississippi State fans would be looking for as he knows the area very well and has recruited a ton of guys from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama. Most of Mississippi State’s 2020 class has signed, so Napier could instantly get to work on the 2021 class for the Bulldogs, since almost all of the signees plan to stick with Mississippi State even after the coaching change.
Napier has never been regarded as a “defensive” coach, so this would be a very important hire to watch for as Napier builds his staff. Rumors have circulated that John Cohen is willing to really open the check book up for assistants this time around, so we should expect at top notch hire from Napier, to coach up the Bulldog defense.
Mississippi State fans might be wary about bringing in a coach that focuses on offense after that was Joe Moorhead’s calling card when he was hired, but Napier is different. He has done this for two seasons as a G5 head coach, and did not have the wealth of talent that Moorhead had at Penn State.