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ASU names Billy Napier as offensive coordinator

Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage (7) celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the first half against Washington State in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona State has found its new offensive coordinator, as the team officially announced Tuesday that former Alabama assistant Billy Napier will fill the role.

The 37-year-old will also be the new quarterbacks coach, taking over both openings left by former ASU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Chip Lindsey. Lindsey departed from the program to become the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Auburn.

Newly-hired offensive line coach Josh Henson will now serve as the co-offensive coordinator.

The news of Napier’s hiring was first reported on Saturday.

Napier served as the wide receivers coach at the University of Alabama since 2013. He is widely regarded as one of the best recruiters in college football, highlighted by his time as a coach at Clemson when he led the Tigers to the No. 2 overall recruiting class in 2008.

During his time at Alabama, Crimson Tide receivers flourished under the guide of Napier. He developed players such as first-round pick Amari Cooper and talented receivers ArDarius Stewart and Calvin Ridley.

Napier bounced around the college football coaching landscape. After playing football at Furman University, Napier held coaching positions at South Carolina State, Clemson, Colorado State, Alabama and now Arizona State.

With the inclusion of Napier to the coaching staff, the Sun Devils add another former member of the Crimson Tide. Former Alabama quarterback Blake Barnett announced his transfer to ASU in December.

Since signing day is Wednesday, Napier won’t have much time to make an impact on the recruiting trail. He’ll have his work cut out for him, however, as the offensive coordinator.

Napier will have to judge a bevy of quarterbacks, with Barnett and Ryan Kelley entering their first year in Tempe, Bryce Perkins and Brady White returning from injury, and Manny Wilkins and Dillon Sterling-Cole as the two most experienced signal callers.

On the bright side, Napier will have skill players he can count on. Running backs Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage will stay for their senior seasons and wide receiver N’Keal Harry will enter his sophomore year.

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