FRISCO — North Texas coach Seth Littrell arrived at the opening session of Conference USA media days on Wednesday at the Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center fresh off signing a contract extension.
Littrell signed the extension this spring that pushes his deal through the 2023 season and commented on the deal publicly for the first time at the opening session of media days. The contract boosted his total compensation past $1.8 million per season.
“I feel great about it,” Littrell said. “I love North Texas. Our administration, Board of Regents, president and Wren Baker our AD give us the resources we need to be successful as coaches and players.
“They continue to make it better for my family and this program.”
Littrell has led UNT to bowl games in each of his first three seasons with the program. The Mean Green have won nine games in each of the last two seasons and were picked to win the C-USA West Division title in the league’s preseason poll.
Littrell expects transfers to improve secondary
UNT added graduate transfer cornerbacks Dominique Harrison (Arizona State) and Nick Harvey (South Carolina) following spring practice.
Littrell believes both will contribute and help fill the void after UNT lost starters Nate Brooks and Kemon Hall to graduation.
“We have some great young players at that position, but anytime you can get guys who have played at a high level and can make yourself better, great,” Littrell said. “We were willing to take that chance.”
Fine says new OC helping prepare him for NFL
UNT quarterback Mason Fine spent much of the offseason working with new offensive coordinator Bodie Reeder.
Reeder took over after Graham Harrell left for Southern Cal.
The former Eastern Washington offensive coordinator has quickly developed a rapport with Fine, who said Reeder is preparing him for more than just his senior season.
“He is teaching me a lot of things for the next level, NFL wise,” Fine said.
RB Torrey named to Doak Walker watch list
UNT running back DeAndre Torrey was added to the watch list for the Doak Walker award on Wednesday. The honor goes to the nation’s top running back each season.
Torrey burst onto the scene last season, when he rushed for 977 yards and ranked among the nation’s leaders in total touchdowns with 18.
Texas C-USA coaches hoping for rebound
C-USA’s three other Texas teams were not nearly as successful as UNT last season.
Rice, UTEP and UTSA combined to win six games in 2018. UTSA went 3-9, Rice 2-11 and UTEP 1-11.
“It was rare to be in the bottom half during our short tenure,” UTSA coach Frank Wilson said. “At times UTEP and Rice have also had very good teams. I respect both of those coaches [Mike Bloomgren at Rice and Dana Dimel of UTEP] and think they have quality staffs and teams. I don’t know about those other teams, but UTSA will be competitive.”
Clark believes UAB will have staying power
UAB rode a veteran roster to the C-USA West Division and overall conference title last season.
The Blazers’ lineup was loaded with seniors, several of whom stuck around after the program was shut down in 2014 before being revived. UAB’s program played its first season back in C-USA in 2017.
UAB won’t have nearly that same level of experience this fall. Coach Bill Clark believes the Blazers will still have a team capable of challenging for the league title.
“I really feel good about this group based on how hard they work,” Clark said. “Belief is a big motivator. Anytime you have seen something work, it helps. Attitudes and everything you would expect to be good after a good season has been good.”