Barry Sanders Jr. whittles list of schools to four

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For those in Cowboy Nation hoping for another/the next Barry Sanders to bring his ankle-breaking abilities to Stillwater someday, there’s some good news this morning as a high schooler with a direct genetic link to Barry v1.0 has the school residing on his short for-the-moment list.

Of course, he’s still two years away from hitting a college football field and all the schools that are in the recruiting mix are at the mercy of the changing whims of a teenager, but still, there’s a chance.  A chance at a player whose DNA apparently did not stray far from that of his father’s.

Speaking to OkBlitz.com, Barry Sanders Jr., one of the top high school running backs in the Class of 2012, said he is currently focused on four schools amongst the multitudes who have offered him scholarships.  His father’s alma mater Oklahoma State is one of them, obviously, as well as defending national champion Alabama, UCLA and Florida State.  He’s also received offers from Auburn, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Texas A&M among others.

When it comes to following in his famous father’s collegiate footsteps or striking out on his own path, though, the younger Sanders is getting no pressure from his family to go either way.

“I haven’t really felt much pressure, because my family hasn’t really been pressuring me,” he said. “I think that when people start feeling the pressure, it’s because it’s coming from the family and the people you’re around. But nobody I’m really close with has been pressuring me into it, so I feel like I can go anywhere I want to.”

Sanders will be in Dallas for the Oklahoma-Texas rivalry game, and also intends to take in the Alabama-Ole Miss game Oct. 16.  It appears that Nick Saban and the Tide are putting a very hard sell on Sanders, impressing upon the young man the success of their running backs of late.

“He told me they get a lot of television exposure, and how Ingram winning the Heisman has a lot to do with it, and how their last four freshmen running backs and have gotten some solid playing time,” Sanders said of a conversation with Saban. “That’s very good to hear when you want to play early and make a contribution to the team. He said Tuscaloosa is a great place, and I look forward to going down there to visit.”

Sanders has no timetable for giving a verbal commitment.

Randy Edsall adds FCS special teams coordinator to UConn staff

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Earlier this month, Randy Edsall lost one of his assistant coaches to the NFL. This week, he’s turned to one from the FCS ranks as a replacement.

UConn announced Monday the hiring of Eddie Allen as the Huskies’ new special teams coordinator. Allen comes to Storrs after spending the past three seasons in the same role at Delaware.

The hire fills a hole a created by the departure of Chris White, who has been named as the tight ends coach for the Detroit Lions.

“Eddie’s aggressive approach to special teams was exactly what I was looking for in our special teams coordinator,” a statement from the head coach began. “His teams have shown the ability to block kicks and be very fundamentally sound in the core four units involving special teams. He has delivered very good results as a special teams coordinator in all the places he has worked.”

Prior to Delaware, Allen spent six seasons as the special teams coordinator at Rhode Island. He was a football staffer for Greg Schiano at Rutgers (2005-07) before that.

This will mark Allen’s first on-field job at the FBS level.

“I am extremely excited to join Coach Edsall’s staff,” the New Jersey native said in his statement. “Being from the Northeast, I have followed the program closely through the years and I am looking forward to getting around our players and doing my part in the future of success of the program.”

Report: departing Miami DL coach could be headed to Alabama

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And now we know a little bit more of the rest of the story.

Just a short time ago, Miami announced that defensive line Craig Kuligowski was leaving the football program after two years to pursue unspecified opportunities elsewhere.  Subsequent to that announcement, Bruce Feldman of SI.com tweeted that Nick Saban and Tuscaloosa could be the assistant’s ultimate destination.

Kuligowski and Saban have a previous connection as the former played defensive line under the latter at Toledo in 1990.  Saban is searching for a replacement to Karl Dunbar, the Crimson Tide’s defensive line coach who left for a job with the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this month.

Other names floated as possibilities have included former FAU head coach Charlie Partridge and former UA assistant and current South Carolina line coach Lance Thompson.

DL coach Craig Kuligowski leaves Miami ‘to pursue other opportunities’

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At one point it appeared that Mark Richt had dodged a coaching-departure bullet.  In the end, however, his Miami staff has been hit.

Reports surfaced earlier in the day Monday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had interviewed UM defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski for the same job.  Not long after the initial speculation first appeared, the NFL club confirmed that it had hired someone other than Kuligowski for the position.

Tonight, however, the Hurricanes announced in a press release that Kuligowski “is leaving the program to pursue other opportunities.” What and where specifically that opportunity is wasn’t divulged by the football program.

Kuligowski had spent the past two seasons with the Hurricanes and is widely considered one of the top line coaches in the country.

Mark Your Calendars: KU, Wazzu reportedly set for 2027-28 home-and-home series

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Are you ready for some good news? Kansas and Washington State are (finally, FINALLY!) going to meet on the gridiron.

Are you ready for some bad news? You’re going to have to wait nearly a decade to see it.

The Jayhawks and Cougars have agreed to a home-and-home series in 2027-28, according to documents obtained by FBSchedules. Washington State is set to host the first game on Sept. 11, 2027, with Kansas returning the favor on Sept. 9, 2028. The programs have met 10 times previously, but not since 1977. Kansas holds a 7-2 all-time advantage.

Washington State is also set to visit Boise State in 2027, but does not have any other games lined up for ’28. Kansas does not have any other agreements for either season.

Interestingly, Wazzu’s Kansas home-and-home is sandwiched around a home-and-home with Kansas State in 2026 and ’29. Washington State has not faced a Big 12 opponent since a 65-17 loss at Oklahoma State to open the 2010 season.

Kansas, who also has future games with Rutgers, Boston College, Duke and Illinois on the docket, has not squared off with a Pac-12 foe — not counting former Big 12 bunk mate Colorado — since a 41-17 loss to UCLA on Sept. 8, 2001.