Florida offensive quality control assistant Marquel Blackwell is expected to be the new running backs coach for Toledo coach Jason Candle, according to sources.
This past season was Blackwell’s first in his position at Florida. He replaces former Toledo running backs coach Anthony Johnson, who left last week for the same position at Texas.
Prior to Blackwell’s lone season at Florida, he was offensive coordinator for a year at Lakewood High in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he tutored star quarterback Ryan Davis, now a rising sophomore wide receiver at Auburn. That was after Blackwell was director of player development at his alma mater, South Florida, in 2013.
The 36-year-old Blackwell spent 2012 as a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky following three seasons as a program assistant at South Florida. He was coach of Freedom High in Tampa, Fla., from 2007-08 after being the program’s offensive coordinator for a year.
A St. Petersburg, Fla., native, Blackwell had brief stints as a quarterback with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004 and New York Jets in 2003. He set numerous school records as a signal-caller at South Florida from 1999 through 2002, including career passing yards (9,108) and touchdown passes (67).
A renowned recruiter, Candle was hired as Toledo’s coach in December after being an assistant for the Rockets for the past seven seasons, the last four of which were as offensive coordinator.
Candle’s offense was consistently one of the best in the MAC, ranking third in the conference in scoring offense (35 points per game) this past season and third in total offense (460.9 yards per game). The Rockets topped the MAC in both categories last season.
Candle started his head-coaching career with a win in December, as Toledo rolled past Temple 32–17 in the Boca Raton Bowl. The Rockets finished the season with a 10–2 record, their first 10-win campaign since 2001.