NCAA rules allow college football teams to sign up to 25 players in a recruiting class.In recent years, early entry by some students that graduate high school early has let schools sign extra players, and count those early entrants towards the previous year’s limits. And while over-signing by a few prospects has been common at programs where there are bound to be academic casualties among prospective student-athletes, over-signing is getting out of control. And there is no better evidence of that then Houston Nutt‘s recruiting class at Ole Miss.All 38 recruits.As Bruce Feldman mentioned in his Friday mailbag, and Chip Towers wrote in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the fact that Ole Miss inked 13 extra kids, a maximum recruiting class AND a half, openly mocks the entire purpose of the rule.While Nutt conceeded that the number was high, his rationale for the over-signings is confusing. “I know it seems like a high number,” Nutt told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger of the Rebels’ 2009 class. “But it helps Mississippi. It helps out junior colleges… . I’ve got some guys who want to be a part of our program, but probably won’t make it academically. They’ve got a chance to go to a (junior college) and still be a part of our family.”While “placing” a recruit at a junior college is a common tactic among certain SEC schools, offering and executing a contract (an athletic scholarship) that can’t be honored completely mocks the system that’s in place and makes an already uneven recruiting playing field more skewed.And signing 13 extra players, whether it’s because it’s good for the state of Mississippi or the morale of guys who want to be a part of the family, but can’t makes the grades, doesn’t do anyone any good.
They may be winless, but at least Baylor will be getting some much-needed reinforcements for their game against No. 3 Oklahoma this weekend.
According to head coach Matt Rhule, three projected starters — running back Terence Williams (pictured), safety Taion Sells and cornerback Grayland Arnold — are all expected to play in the Week 4 game against the Sooners. Neither Williams nor Arnold have played this season because of injury, while Sells completed a three-game suspension last week.
Williams led the Bears last season with 1,048 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. The junior underwent offseason shoulder surgery, leading to his absence for the first quarter of the year.
With Williams rehabbing the injured joint, John Lovett currently leads the 0-3 Bears in rushing with 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns. As a team, BU is averaging just 150 yards per game and slightly less than five yards per rush; last season, they were at 241.8 and 5.0.
“I think it takes a little bit of the pressure off the young guys,” the first-year head coach, by way of the Associated Press, said of Williams’ much-anticipated return. “I think Terence gives us the physicality and a presence running the football that you can clearly see on tape. … He brings us that ability to run you over and make you miss.”
Arnold started four games last season and was listed as the starter heading into summer camp before breaking his left arm in August. After starting four games in 2015, Sells sat out the 2016 season because of an injury. Prior to the suspension for unspecified violations of team rules, Sells too had been listed as a starter in camp.
Initially, there was no known reason for one of the top recruits in the Class of 2015 left his original college football home. Not long after, the window of insight was cracked a bit.
Tuesday, Byron Cowart was granted a release from his Auburn scholarship, one day after requesting it from the football program. In an interview with al.com, the defensive lineman revealed that his mother in Florida is going through an unspecified health situation and, as an only child, he wanted to be closer to her to help her through it.
Additionally, he acknowledged that, yes, his playing time, or lack thereof, played a role in his decision to leave The Plains.
“I’m happy with my decision and I know that this ain’t it for me,” Cowart told the website. “My main reason was my mother’s health is more important. Me being an only child, got to get back to home to her. Plus I already wasn’t playing enough and contributing to the team.”
In a separate interview with 247Sports.com, Cowart also acknowledged that he has twice previously considered leaving the Tigers, the last coming this past summer.
Cowart also indicated that, very soon, he will be starting up classes nearer his home in Seffner, Fla., presumably at a junior or community college. After that, he’ll decide where to continue his collegiate playing career at the FBS level.
“I’ll see what options I have and what the NCAA allows me to do,” the junior lineman told al.com. “This isn’t over for me and this definitely is not the end of my college career. … I can guarantee you football is not over for me. I still love the game, I love everything about football.”
A consensus five-star signee, Cowart was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2014 while 247Sports.com had Florida product as the No. 3 player overall on its composite board. In 26 career games, Cowart was credited with 15 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. He was one of four Tigers arrested for marijuana possession in May of last year.
This past spring, Cowart was moved from end to tackle in an attempt to jumpstart his career. In three games at his new position this season, he had three tackles and half a tackle for loss in three games.
There’s horribly sad news to note today as Midwestern State University football player Robert Grays passed away Tuesday, the Division II school in Texas confirmed Wednesday morning.
Grays sustained a serious neck injury attempting to make a tackle during this past Saturday’s game against Texas A&M-Kingsville. After initially being taken to a local hospital in Wichita Falls, he was life-flighted to a hospital in Houston, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
“Robert touched many lives while attending the university, but perhaps he will be remembered best for his smile,” a statement from university president Suzanne Shipley said, in part. “He was an inspiration on and off the field to those around him, and he will be remembered with love and affection by his friends, classmates, coaches, and teammates.”
— Midwestern State (@MidwesternState) September 20, 2017
Grays was listed as a 5-8, 160-pound sophomore cornerback on the Mustangs’ official roster.
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Grays’ way-too-soon passing.
In a stunning development, it turns out that Wisconsinites (gasp!) like their beer.
Of course, it’s neither stunning nor a development that the state of Wisconsin tends to imbibe more than most others, as survey after survey after survey has suggested. This past weekend, a pair of Provo bars — in fact, the only two bar bars in the entire Mormon-heavy city — bore witness to the alcohol monolith that is the state in general and its college football fans in particular.
The Wisconsin Badgers invaded Provo Saturday for its Week 3 matchup with the BYU Cougars. With its fans in tow, it seemed as if the whole of the college football world was just daring Badger Nation to drink the city dry, a challenge from which they didn’t back down.
Wisconsin fans: hold our beers… https://t.co/y6DSo6VtUL
— CollegeFootballTalk (@CFTalk) September 16, 2017
The damage? Both bars reported that they had their best financial weekends ever, thanks in very large part to the thirst of Badger Fan.
“Financially, it‘s the biggest day I’ve ever had here,” ABG’s Libation Emporium owner Gary Whitling told the Salt Lake Tribune, stating that he did triple the amount of business he would’ve normally done. For those curious, Wisconsinites mostly quenched their collective thirsts with Bud Light and Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey.
Despite the copious amount of imbibing, there were few if any incidents involving the out-of-towners, which serves s a significant testament to the fan base.
“It was a wonderful thing,” Whitling said. “The people from Wisconsin are fabulous. They‘re the nicest, funnest people we’ve ever had here.”