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This Week In UAB Football: Looking at new coaches and old Blazers

Jordan Howard prepares for the NFL Draft, while UAB taps into a USA connection in a new offensive coordinator that might be experiencing a tad bit of deja vu right about now.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

***UAB is still in the process of assembling their roster player-wise, but an overlooked aspect of rebuilding the program is the coaching. AL.com had a profile this week on new UAB offensive coordinator Les Koenning, whom head coach Bill Clark called "a huge get."

Koenning and head coach Bill Clark have a deep relationship going back to their days coaching in the same staff at South Alabama, which was just starting up in 2009, so that fire to build a program together is certainly there.

Koenning, known for running an up-tempo offense, will have a good bit of work ahead for him with a lack of depth at receiver currently, but if history is any indication, Mr. Koenning will be just fine on that front. Koenning has over 30 years in coaching experience, with previous stints at Texas, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Houston, TCU, and Alabama.

Koenning also had a stop in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins in 1997. The former Longhorn receiver's specialty is in coaching wide receivers, which will be needed in a program that must develop weapons.

***Jordan Howard is the only former UAB Blazer from 2014 invited to this year's NFL Draft Combine, and has already gone through measurements and speaking with media. NFL scouts seem to be mixed on the running back, with some seeing him having an Arian Foster-like impact for an NFL team, while others call him a "sack-of-potatoes back", which isn't exactly a compliment.

Howard's measurables came back as 6'0" even, 230 lbs., with a 32 1/4" arm length and 9" hands, good for a running back. His tape is rather impressive, though, as Howard never ran under 145 yards in a game when healthy, an impressive accomplishment considering he played both at UAB and Big Ten squad Indiana when posting those numbers.

According to the CBS Sports Big Board, Howard is a 2nd-3rd round selection, just behind LA Tech's Kenneth Dixon, but right in front of Alabama's Kenyan Drake. With a good combine and pro day, Howard could shoot up to the 2nd round, or even the late 1st.

***UAB's Junior Day was a success of February 20th, as many students seemed to enjoy their time at Legion Field. I'll let them speak for themselves:

UAB will be hosting another Junior Day on Sunday the 27th, similar to the first one this past weekend, and the list looks to be pretty steady, including Phillip Brown, Trent Johnson, Genori Parrish, Justin Whisenhunt, Kevin Lamont Renfroe, and a few others. Here's the list of events: