Zach Arnett appears to have his offensive line coach. Mississippi State has made the hiring of Will Friend official, but notes Friend’s position will be named later.

Arnett noted Friend’s SEC familiarity in welcoming the conference veteran to Starkville. Friend has coached 9 offensive linemen who have been selected in the NFL Draft.

“We’re excited to welcome Will Friend back to his home state,” Arnett said in a program release. “Will is an outstanding coach with a proven record of recruiting and developing players on the offensive side of the ball in the toughest conference in the sport. He knows the SEC inside and out from being a player and a coach and will be another great addition to our staff.”

Friend was a starting guard at Alabama, earning All-SEC recognition twice. He has coached in the conference at Georgia (2011-14), Tennessee (2018-20) and Auburn (2021-22). A native of Philadelphia, Mississippi, Friend is excited to return to his home state.

“My family and I couldn’t be more excited to join the Mississippi State family,” Friend said. “I want to thank Coach Arnett for this incredible opportunity. The state of Mississippi is home for me, and the talent it produces is second to none. I can’t wait to develop relationships with our players and get right to work.”

Friend had recently been linked to Memphis. Friday, FootballScoop reported Friend and Mike Bobo were being targeted by MSU for Arnett’s staff. We’ll see if Bobo is hired now that Friend is officially a Bulldog assistant.