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Washington State’s Tracy Claeys makes cut as one of 15 semifinalists for Broyles Award

WSU's new defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys watches his players during a spring practice on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – The Broyles Award reduced its list of names from 53 to 15, but Washington State defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys is still in the running for the award given to the nation’s top assistant coach, making the cut as a Broyles semifinalist Tuesday morning.

Under their first-year DC, the Cougars rank fourth in the Pac-12 Conference in total defense (33.8 yards per game allowed), fourth in scoring defense (22.6 points per game), third in pass defense (208.3 ypg) and third in run defense (125.5 ypg).

WSU leads the conference and is tied for 13th in the country with 3.09 sacks per game and 34 total on the season.

Claeys’ defense had not been among the Pac-12 leaders in turnovers forced, but the Cougars have had 11 in their last three games – including nine in the last two – and are now tied for second in the league with 17 turnovers. WSU recovered seven fumbles in wins over Colorado and Arizona and had an interception in each game.

Joining Claeys as semifinalists are UAB DC David Reeves, Alabama OC Michael Locksley, Army DC Jay Bateman, Cal DC/OLB coach Tim DeRuyter, UCF OL coach Glen Elarbee, Clemson Co-OC/WR coach Jeff Scott, Georgia OL coach Sam Pittman, LSU DC/LB coach Jeff Aranda, Michigan DC Don Brown, Mississippi state DC/safeties coahc Bob Shoop, Notre Dame OC Chip Long, Oklahoma Co-OC/OL coach Bill Bedenbaugh, Utah State OC/QB coach David Yost and West Virginia OC/QB coach Jake Spavital.