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CFB notebook: Legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson dies

Sports Xchange

January 13, 2018 at 6:51 pm.

Keith Jackson, who was widely regarded by several generations as the voice synonymous with college football, has died. He was 89.

Jackson died Friday night, according to media reports.

The Georgia-born Jackson’s folksy voice and colorful expressions made him a popular play-by-play personality among college football fans.

Jackson was best known for his signature phrase “Whoa, Nellie” as well as “big uglies” in reference to offensive linemen and holding the last syllable in the word “fumble” for a few seconds.

Jackson is also credited with nicknaming the Rose Bowl as “The Granddaddy of Them All” as well as christening Michigan Stadium with its “Big House” moniker.

Jackson, who began his broadcasting career on the radio in 1952 by calling a Washington State versus Stanford game, was inducted into the American Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 1994. The National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association named him the National Sportscaster of the Year five times.

–Clemson got a boost in its bid for a 2018 national championship when both its star defensive ends, Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell, decided to return to school next season.

Tigers coach Dabo Swinney confirmed Saturday evening that both linemen will be returning to Clemson.

NFLDraftScout.com ranked Bryant as the nation’s No. 21 overall pro prospect, and placed Ferrell in the No. 25 slot.

The NFLDraftScout.com mock draft had Ferrell getting selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 12th pick of the first round.

Ferrell, a redshirt sophomore, led the Tigers this season in both tackles for loss (17) and sacks (8.5). Bryant, a junior, was second in both categories, with 14.5 and 7.5.

–Pittsburgh named longtime Northwestern assistant Randy Bates its defensive coordinator, the school announced.

Conklin spent the past 12 seasons as the linebackers coach at Northwestern. He will succeed Josh Conklin, who was named head coach at Wofford.

Bates does have experience as a defensive coordinator, serving in that capacity during a six-year stint at Louisiana Tech (2000-05).