As he was the #4 rated player at any position in the entire nation by Rivals.com, the whole of Missouri Nation let out a collective sigh of relief when heavily-recruited in-state player Sheldon Richardson chose the Tigers — barely — over Miami of Florida this past February.Now, though, those sighs of relief have turned into yet another round of anticipation. And, perhaps, another round of recruiting.According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Richardson failed to qualify academically and will attend a California junior college for the next two seasons in order to get his grades in order. In order to maximize his eligibility at Missouri, the paper reports, Richardson will redshirt this season before playing the College of the Sequoias in 2010.Richardson said he worked on this plan of attack with the Missouri football program, and has every intention of honoring his commitment to the university.”I’m not opening up my recruiting: It’s still Mizzou,” the defensive end/tight end told the paper. “It’s going to hold up. Me and (assistant coach Cornell) Ford and (head coach) Gary Pinkel and Coach (Curtis) Allen (in California) planned a year-and-a-half and then I’ll be back.”Of course, it’s very easy to say what one intends to do nearly two years from now. It’s quite another, however, to follow through on said actions.Especially when said player, when asked how close he was to signing with the Hurricanes this past February 4, told the reporter that it was “fifty-fifty. It was up in the air.”
Nebraska punter Sam Foltz and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler were killed in a car accident overnight in Wisconsin, both programs have confirmed. The pair were on their way home from a kicking camp, according to the Lincoln Journal-Star. LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye was also injured in the crash but is no longer under the care of Waukesha Memorial Hospital according to the Baton Rouge Advocate.
“Last night, we lost one of the best young men who I have ever had the honor to coach and who has ever worn the Nebraska uniform,” Huskers head coach Mike Riley said in a statement. “Sam was universally loved and respected by everyone he touched and on whom he had a positive influence each and every day. His tragic loss is immeasurable to his family, his friends, his classmates, his teammates and his coaches and our thoughts and prayers are with all of them. The young men in our football program are hurting but I know that their strength of character and resolve will bring us together and we will honor Sam every day moving forward.”
Kohl’s Kicking Camp director Jamie Kohl also released a statement on the pair’s passing.
Foltz, 22, was named the Big Ten’s punter of the year in 2015 and was named a First Team All-Big Ten performer. A three-year starter for the Huskers, Foltz earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy in May.
Sadler, 24, occupied the Spartans’ punter position from 2011-14 and earned recognition as the first four-time Academic All-American in the history of Michigan State’s football program. A finalist for the William V. Campbell Award, college football’s highest academic honor, in 2014, Sadler ranked among the top six in Spartans history for punts, punting yardage and punting average.
Sadler announced in April he had been accepted to Stanford Law School. “So I woke up at 8 o’clock in the morning, just had nothing going on that day, so like any good nerd I started watching physics lectures online, because I had nothing else to do with my time, got through two separate ninety minute lectures um actually from Stanford on String Theory, so as soon as I was about to start the third ninety minute session, I get a call from a Palo Alto number and I’m thinking, there’s no way this has anything to do with law, this is the physics department saying get off our website ah but sure enough it was the dean of the law school telling me that I had gotten in and I was ecstatic at that point,” he told WLNS of learning his acceptance.
Nebraska has announced that it will not partake in Big Ten media days festivities this week.
Details of the crash are still oncoming from officials in Waukesha, Wisc.
Iowa defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie (No. 56, above) nearly became a tragic combination of two of this nation’s hot button topics, according to a post on his Facebook page.
Ekakitie says he was in an Iowa City park playing Pokemon Go when officers approached him with guns drawn, suspecting him of being involved in a nearby bank robbery. Ekakitie wrote his profile — a large black man dressed in black clothes — led five Iowa City officers to approach him, but the Hawkeye defender did not hear their approach due to having headphones in his ears — which led the officers to draw their guns. Ekakitie wrote police searched him before letting him go.
“My pockets were checked, my backpack was opened up and searched carefully, and I was asked to lift up my shirt while they searched my waistband,” Ekakitie wrote. “Not once did they identify themselves to me as Iowa City Police officers, but with four gun barrels staring me in the face, I wouldn’t dare question the authority of the men and woman in front of me. This is what happened from my point of view.”
Iowa DE says he was held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go pic.twitter.com/7BHFQ4GT0p
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 24, 2016
Sgt. Jorey Bailey confirmed Iowa City offers stopped Ekakitie, and an Iowa spokesman confirmed Ekakitie’s version of events.
“In this situation, what the media would fail to let people know is that the suspect had his headphones in the entire time the Police Officers approached him initially,” Ekakitie wrote. “The suspect had actually just pulled up to the park because he was playing a newly popular Game called Pokémon Go. The suspect didn’t realize that there were four cops behind him because his music was blaring in his ears. The suspect had reached into his pockets, for something which was his phone, but for all the cops could have known, he was reaching for a gun. The suspect could very well become another statistic on this day.
“I am not one to usually rant on Facebook or anywhere else, but with all of the crazy things that have been happening in our world these past couple of weeks it is hard to stay silent. I am thankful to be alive.”
A senior from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, Ekakitie recorded 13 tackles in 12 appearances last season.
Former LSU kicker Trent Domingue announced Sunday he is now a Texas Longhorn.
Domingue left LSU earlier this month under cloudy circumstances as the Bayou Bengals did not renew the senior’s scholarship despite the fact he was the only kicker the Tigers used last season.
“He was probably going to end up with a grant-and-aid,” LSU head coach Les Miles told the (Baton Rouge) Advocate following Domingue’s transfer. “He never came here with a promise of grant-in-aid. He walked on. He competed, did what he was supposed to do and he earned a grant. I told him, ‘If we’re in a position where we have a grant, it’s going to be yours.’ He just didn’t want to give me time to do that.”
Domingue booted in 13-of-17 field goal attempts and 49-of-50 extra points, good enough to earn him a nod as a Lou Groza Award semifinalist.
Domingue arrives to a team in desperate need of his services. Kicker Nick Rose, who also connected on 13-of-17 tries last season, graduated in 2015, leaving the Longhorns to sort among a collection of walk-ons until today’s news.
Georgia Southern has vacated three wins from the 2013-14 seasons stemming from a two-year investigation into its football program, the school has announced.
The violations occurred when the Eagles played an ineligible athlete in three games over those seasons. The wins came against Savannah State and St. Francis in 2013 and Louisiana-Monroe in 2014. Georgia Southern’s 2014 Sun Belt championship will not be impacted by the ruling.
“While it is disappointing to vacate these three victories, we get to put this chapter behind us,” Georgia Southern AD Tom Kleinlein said in a statement. “The student-athletes on this year’s football team, and teams moving forward, are not affected by the NCAA’s ruling and our goals are still in front of us. In addition to graduating student-athletes and developing leaders, we look forward to competing for conference championships and bowl berths this season and in the future.
“Compliance and academic integrity are of the utmost importance here at Georgia Southern; we will continue to reinforce these values and ensure that our department is operating in a manner that consistently upholds the proud tradition of this University.”
The player — who was unnamed — will also have his statistics removed from the record books, while Jeff Monken will have his Georgia Southern win total reduced by two and Willie Fritz by one. Each coach has since moved on to a new school; Monken is at Army and Fritz at Tulane.