Tag Archives: John Latina

Elite 2013 OT Mike McGlinchey comes away impressed by Duke visit

6'9" Mike McGlinchey is one of the top OT prospects in the country

As the Duke Football coaching staff works to improve the 2012 Blue Devils on the field this spring, they're also looking forward to the 2013 recruiting class. Already this spring, several top 2013 prospects have toured the Duke campus and football facilities. This past weekend, Duke welcomed 9 top prospects to Durham, headlined by one of the top offensive line prospects in the country. Mike McGlinchey is a 6'9" 275 pound offensive tackle prospect from the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia. His combination of strength and size has placed him squarely at the top of new OL Coach John Latina's recruiting board. Having coached several NFL linemen during his tenures at Notre Dame, Ole Miss, and Clemson, Coach Latina now looks to continue his success with the Blue Devils in Durham. McGlinchey is exactly the type of prospect with the skills to succeed at Duke, both on and off the field. With 20 scholarship offers, however, the big lineman will have his choice of schools; the Blue Devils are among those who have made a good early impression. [private]

BDN: How would you describe your strengths as a player?

I’m getting recruited to play offensive tackle and I guess they like me because of my length and my size and stuff like that. Also, as a player, I’m very physically sound, I have fast, quick feet and I like to finish blocks. It’s a good combination, I guess, for college coaches to look at.

BDN: What are you working on this offseason as you prepare for your senior year?

Just to keep getting stronger as a whole, physically, and being able to move faster and have better feet. I’m just trying to work out on every aspect of my game.

BDN: As you approach your college decision, what are the most important things you are looking for in a school?

I’m looking for a school that has a bunch of great people there. I’m looking for a school that is a great school in itself. I’m looking for a program that is going to be a solid program and help me grow as a player, and somewhere that I know that I’ll fit in and have success.

BDN: Where do you stand with offers and visits now?

I’m at 20 offers now, I’m trying to narrow it down. I’m planning on taking about 3 or 4 more visits and then I’ll probably make a decision after that. I’m really excited about all of the opportunities that I have and I can’t wait to see all of the other schools that I’m going to visit.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit?

I’ve visited Maryland, Virginia, Rutgers, and Boston College so far. And I visited Duke yesterday. I liked all the schools and it’s going to be hard to narrow one down to see what one is right for me.

BDN: Do you know which 3 or 4 schools you definitely plan to visit this spring?

I think I’m going to visit Penn State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and maybe one other school, I’m not sure. Those are the 3 I’m definitely going to visit.

BDN: Can you talk a little bit more about your visit to Duke yesterday?

Duke was awesome yesterday. I loved it there. It was a great experience, obviously, they took us to see the Carolina basketball game and the atmosphere was unbelievable. I really enjoyed the experience and I got to know the coaching staff and I liked them a lot. It’s a great place down there and I’m really excited about the opportunity to have them recruiting me.

BDN: How did your visit to the other schools like Virginia, Maryland, and Boston College go?

They all went well as well. Like I said, it’s going to be tough because everywhere you go you like seeing. I’m just going to have to make a list and think about it pretty long and hard about which school is going to be the best spot for me.

BDN: You mentioned that you plan to take a few more visits and then make your decision. Do you have a date in mind for when you plan to narrow things down or make your final decision?

I think I’m going to make a decision by the end of the school year, if not then, then by a couple months later, if needed. I want to get it done before my senior football season.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Mike, and best of luck.

Alright, thank you so much.


Duke hires new OL Coach. John Latina

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University head coach David Cutcliffe announced on Thursday the hiring of John Latina as an assistant coach on the Blue Devil football staff. Latina, who served on Cutcliffe’s staff at Ole Miss from 1999-2004, will coach the offensive line.

“We’re excited about the addition of John Latina to our staff,” Cutcliffe said. “John is one of the premier offensive line coaches in the country, and his track record for developing young linemen speaks for itself. He is obviously a veteran coach who has had a great deal of success, and given his ties with our staff, I am confident he will be an immediate fit into our program.”

“I’ve worked with Coach Cut before, and I know his expectations,” Latina said. “I know how he operates the program, and I know all the staff. In that sense, to me, it’s a very seamless transition hopefully for me and for Coach Cut and the staff. I think that’s always good – even though you have a new guy, there’s still continuity because we’re so familiar with one another.”

Latina replaces Matt Luke, who served as a graduate assistant coach under Latina at Ole Miss.

“Matt was my graduate assistant, and I’ve helped him through the business,” Latina noted. “We’ve shared a lot of philosophies and teachings over the years. There are going to be some different things as always because we’re two different people, but the core and the philosophy and the base teachings are going to be very similar.”

Latina will direct a Blue Devil offensive front that returns seven players that started multiple games in 2011 including guard John Coleman (9 starts), tackle Takoby Cofield (2), center/guard Dave Harding (9), center Conor Irwin (2), center Brian Moore (3), tackle Perry Simmons (12) and guard Laken Tomlinson (12). Tomlinson was honored as a first team Freshman All-America pick by Sporting News.

“I feel really good and comfortable, and I know they’ve been coached very well,” Latina said. “So I look forward to coming in and helping them continue to improve and continue to get better as a unit.”

Latina joins the Duke staff following two years (2010-11) as the offensive coordinator at the University of Akron. Prior to that, he mentored the offensive line for four seasons (2005-08) at Notre Dame.

During Latina’s stint in South Bend, the Notre Dame offensive front opened holes for a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons for running back Darius Walker, who became just the fourth Irish running back to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in consecutive seasons. In 2006, the line helped protect quarterback Brady Quinn as he surpassed 3,000 passing yards for the second consecutive campaign en route to receiving the Maxwell Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Latina’s six-year (1999-04) tenure at Ole Miss was headlined by five winning seasons and four bowl game appearances. In 2003, the Rebels went 10-3, shared the SEC Western Division championship with LSU and defeated Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl as the offense established school records for points scored (442) and total offensive yards (5,631). That squad was led by quarterback Eli Manning, who earned SEC Player of the Year and first team All-America honors before being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
No stranger to the ACC, Latina spent five years (1994-98) at Clemson, helping the program to three bowl games. While with the Tigers, he coached six All-ACC offensive linemen. Latina also spent five years (1989-93) at Kansas State where, in 1993, the Wildcats went 9-2-1, defeated Wyoming in the Copper Bowl and finished the year ranked 20th in the Associated Press poll. The bowl win capped Kansas State’s most successful season in over eight decades.

Before his time at Kansas State, Latina served on the football staffs at both Pittsburgh (1982) and Temple (1983-88).

A 1981 graduate of Virginia Tech, Latina lettered four seasons as an offensive lineman with the Hokies. The New Castle, Pa., native spent the 1981 season as a graduate assistant coach, helping the squad to the Peach Bowl.

Latina and his wife, Michele, also from New Castle, have two sons, John and Michael.