A conversation with… Matt Mayberry

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For the Indiana Hoosiers, the 2009 season ended against bitter in-state rival Purdue University.  The Old Oaken Bucket, the trophy prized by both schools in their rivalry match-up, remained with the Boilermakers after the Hoosiers fell 38-21.

Against Purdue, senior Matt Mayberry concluded his career with one of his most outstanding games.  The Hoosier linebacker finished with nine tackles and two sacks.  Still, the loss in his final game capped a season of disappointment. 

“We did not execute,” Mayberry said during a phone interview this month, “we were never fully satisfied.”

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The Hoosiers struggled to find their form this season and ended with seven losses in the final eight games.  “The results were not quite what we were looking for,” Mayberry said.

Mayberry finished as one of the most accomplished linebackers ever to play at Indiana.  Blessed with top-level speed for the position, he ended his senior campaign with 108 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks. 

“I have good speed for a linebacker,” Mayberry said. “The coaching staff utilized my abilities to get after the quarterback.” 

Adding in his senior totals, the linebacker ended his IU career with 251 tackles.

Much of his success was due to his summer regimen working out with Kevin Kasper.  The former NFL wide receiver/returner is known for his speed training and Mayberry looked to Kasper to maximize his potential.

“Kevin knows his training.  It was a privilege to work with him.  He took me under his wing.”  Mayberry added, “He is a NFL veteran, so when he says something, you listen.” 

The Hoosier completed a battery of exercises including several focused on making him more explosive, a trait that is vital for linebackers looking to make the transition to the pro game.

And the pro game is indeed where Mayberry intends to end up, like his mentor Kasper.  Mayberry is beginning to analyze his choices for where he will train prior to the 2010 NFL Draft.

“Nothing is finalized, but there are a lot of great facilities across the country.”

With his sideline-to-sideline speed, Mayberry should be satisfied come April where he is projected to be selected at the NFL Draft.

[Editor’s Note: This post was actually written by Sean Grybos.  John Taylor — henceforth known as “The Idiot” — forgot to switch authors before apologizing.  The Idiot apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.]

Cory Butler-Byrd ‘partially reinstated’ by Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 10: Wide receiver Trevor Davis #9 of the California Golden Bears catches a touchdown pass in front of Cory Butler-Byrd #16 of the Utah Utes during their game at Rice-Eccles Stadium on October 10, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
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And Cory Butler-Byrd‘s trek out of Kyle Whittingham‘s doghouse has officially commenced in earnest.

Monday, the Utah wide receiver pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal in connection to an incident last month in which he allegedly damaged police property.  The criminal mischief charge will be dismissed if he, among other stipulations, stays clean for the next year.

Butler-Byrd had been indefinitely suspended from the program since the initial incident.  Tuesday, the football program announced in a press release that “Whittingham has reinstated Cory Butler-Byrd to the team for practice and other team activities, effective immediately.”  However, he remains indefinitely suspended from participating in games.

“There is no timetable for his potential return to competition and he will not be available to the media for comment this season,” the release added.

After transferring to the Utes from the junior college ranks, Butler-Byrd began his FBS career as a cornerback.  He began the transition to receiver during the 2015 season, then exited spring practice this year as the starter as a slot receiver for the Utes.

Butler-Byrd started five games last season as a corner/receiver (three at CB, two at WR), intercepting three passes and catching one pass for a 54-yard touchdown.  He also returned eight kicks for 233 yards and a touchdown.

Raymon Minor reverses transfer course, returns to Virginia Tech

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 05:   A cheerleader runs a flag for the Virginia Tech Hokies across the field against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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In mid-August, Virginia Tech announced that Raymon Minor had decided to leave first-year head coach Justin Fuente‘s Hokies football program and transfer elsewhere.  Exactly 11 days later?

Tuesday, Fuente confirmed that Minor has returned to the team and will play for the Hokies in 2016.  The linebacker won’t be returning on scholarship; rather, he’ll continue his career in Blacksburg as a walk-on.

It’s not clear what the impetus was for Minor’s change of heart.

247Sports.com had Minor rated as a four-star prospect in the Class of 2014, with the recruiting website putting him as the No. 19 athlete in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Virginia.  The only recruits rated higher than Minor in the Hokies’ class that year were safety Holland Fisher and running back Shai McKenzie.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Minor played in eight games last season.

PHOTOS: Nebraska unveils new chrome alternative uniforms

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Personally, I think Nebraska’s plain, simple, traditional uniforms were among the best in all of sports but alas, I’m not the target audience.  Nor have I been for 20-plus years.

Regardless, NU’s target audience is likely pleased this afternoon as the Cornhuskers, along with apparel supplier adidas, unveiled Tuesday what is being called Husker Chrome alternate uniforms.  The release states that the new uniforms are “inspired by the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, also know as the “Star City,” and “blend crisp, modernized design with a tribute to Nebraska’s clean, classic signature look.”

Translation: “we’re hoping these appeal to recruits and current players as well as our extremely loyal and rabid fan base.”

The helmets, for what it’s worth, aren’t really that bad. At all.  From the release:

As a tribute to the traditional aesthetic of the Cornhuskers football program, the helmet features a metallic red “N” logo on the sides and is accented with player numbers featured in metallic red and metallic chrome outlining on the back of the helmet, showcasing the Star City’s ability to shine.

The new uniforms, which you can see below, will make their debut for the Sept. 24 game against Northwestern in Lincoln.

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Michigan K Andrew David apparently transferring to TCU

FORT WORTH, TX - DECEMBER 06:  The TCU Horned Frogs mascot, "Super Frog" performs during the Big 12 college football game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Amon G. Carter Stadium on December 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Horned Frongs defeated the Cyclones 55-3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Based on a couple of social media developments, it appears that TCU is gaining a placekicker/punter while Michigan is losing one.

On his protected private Twitter account, erstwhile UM kicker Andrew David changed his profile description to read, in part, “Texas Christian University Football.”  Additionally, someone who’s now apparently a former teammate of David’s took to Instagram to wish him well in his new home.

Neither football program have confirmed David’s departure/addition.

David took a redshirt as a true freshman last season after being expected to be a significant contributor on special teams immediately. Kenny Allen returns as the Wolverines’ primary placekicker after connecting on 18-22 field goal attempts and all 46 PATs last season, while UM also signed Quinn “Sleepover” Nordin this recruiting cycle. Nordin was the No. 1 kicker in the Class of 2016, and also averaged over 40 yards a punt in high school.