Redskins

Auburn names Ellis Johnson defensive coordinator

Auburn names Ellis Johnson defensive coordinator

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Auburn has hired former Southern Miss coach Ellis Johnson as defensive coordinator.

New Tigers coach Gus Malzahn announced the hiring of the veteran Southeastern Conference assistant Thursday two days after getting the job.

Johnson was fired after Southern Miss went 0-12 in his lone season, but has an impressive track record running SEC defenses.

``Ellis is one of the top defensive minds in all of college football. He is very experienced and has tremendous success coaching in the Southeastern Conference,'' Malzahn said. ``He is a man of integrity who will be a great ambassador for Auburn. We're very pleased to have him join our staff and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program.''

Johnson has been defensive coordinator at South Carolina, Clemson, Alabama and Mississippi State and spent 16 seasons at the various SEC stops.

His final Gamecocks defense ranked third nationally in yards allowed and second-best against the pass in 2011, his fourth season.

The Tigers had a frequently shuffling lineup on defense last season. They finished 80th nationally in total defense, giving up 420.5 yards a game.

Malzahn told Gene Chizik's assistants on Wednesday that they wouldn't be retained.

Johnson was also head coach of The Citadel from 2001-03. He called his new job ``truly a home run for me.''

``I'm very fortunate for the opportunity to coach at Auburn and return to the Southeastern Conference, where there is so much tradition and history,'' Johnson said. ``I have a tremendous amount of respect for Gus Malzahn, both as a man and a coach, and I really look forward to working for him.''

Johnson has had two stops at Alabama. He was the defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach from 1997-2000, and his 1999 defense was second nationally against the run and ninth overall.

He coached outside linebackers for the Crimson Tide's 1992 national championship team.

Quick Links

Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

vernondavis.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

Vernon Davis has long been a fan favorite in the D.C. area since his University of Maryland days. The 34-year-old is almost always well-dressed and respectful to the media. 

More recently, he has been outspoken about his interest in acting after his football career. A true renaissance man who just so happens to be a force in the National Football League. 

In April, NBC Sports Washington ran into Davis at the Team USA Awards where he was serving as guest speaker. 

He took his smooth nature to a whole new level Tuesday while vacationing in Ocean City, Md. with his girlfriend Kayla. 

Dressed in all white on the beach, Davis proposed in an epic way. 

The best motivation I ever had. #shesmyrock

A post shared by Vernon Davis (@vernondavis85) on

Check out the whole video produced below. We won't spoil it for you, but there were skydivers involved. Take a look: 

Davis will suit up for his third season with the Redskins when training camp opens July 26 in Richmond. 

Quick Links

Stephen Strasburg returns to Nats lineup after DL stint

strasburg.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Stephen Strasburg returns to Nats lineup after DL stint

Friday night marks the first second-half game of Major League Baseball's 162-game season. 

The Washington Nationals begin 5.5 games out of the first-place Phillies and host the second-place Braves for a three-game series before traveling to Milwaukee. 

One big piece to Dave Martinez's staff who has been missing since June 8 is Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander was activated from the DL and will start on the mound Friday night. 

Ryan Zimmerman was also activated but is not in Martinez's starting lineup. 

Prior to experiencing inflammation in his right shoulder during a June 8 start that forced him out of the game early, Strasburg saw flashes of dominance throughout his 13 starts owning a 3.46 ERA with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. 

Zimmerman hasn't played since May 9 due to a strained right oblique. With the emergence of Matt Adams, it will be interesting to see how Martinez uses both guys throughout the summer. 

Here is a look at Friday night's official lineup: 

According to Byron Kerr, Zimmerman is still happy to be back, despite not being in the starting lineup. 

Catch the Nationals hosting the Braves Friday at 7:05 p.m. on MASN2.