Steve Kragthorpe

Kragthorpe-to-LSU appears to be a done deal


A week’s worth of speculation, rumor and innuendo has apparently come to an end, with Les Miles finally settling on a replacement for his departed offensive coordinator.

According to Randy Rosetta of the Baton Rouge Advocate, and confirmed by Tom Dienhart of Rivals/Yahoo!, Miles has tabbed Steve Kragthorpe as LSU’s new coordinator.  Kragthorpe, who interviewed for the position earlier this week, will replace Gary Crowton, who left for the same position at Maryland.

CFT has confirmed that the Kragthorpe hiring is all but finalized, and, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, an official announcement by the school should come no later than Friday.  With the number of reports coming out regarding the hiring, however, a release could be issued as early as this afternoon.

Kragthorpe has been the head coach at Tulsa (2003-2006) and Louisville (2007-2009), compiling a 44-43 record at the two schools.  After being dismissed by the Cardinals, he was hired to be Mike Sherman‘s wide receivers coach at Texas A&M.  However, a family medical issue forced Kragthorpe to step down a few months later and before the start of summer camp in 2010.

Now, Kragthorpe will be charged with turning around a moribund Tigers passing attack that finished an embarrassing 107th (155.6) in passing yards per game.  Even more staggering, just seven Div. 1-A schools had fewer than the 10 touchdowns tossed by Tiger quarterbacks in 2010.

So, yeah, Kragthorpe has a helluva job ahead of him.  Fortunately, he’ll also have some talent at the skill positions — Stevan Ridley‘s early departure for the NFL notwithstanding — and some hope at the QB position; Zach Mettenberger, in the running for Georgia’s starting job last spring, has transferred to LSU from the JUCO ranks and, when it comes QB talent, signifies a significant upgrade over Jordan Jefferson.

A paler Cam Newton story, anyone?

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.