On the same day spring practice 2011 commenced, Memphis officially learned they have an unexpected hole at a fairly important position on the offensive side of the ball to fill.
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, starting quarterback Ryan Williams has asked for a release from his Tigers scholarship, which was granted. Williams’ decision, his father confirmed to the paper, was a direct result of head coach Larry Porter moving from a pro-style offense to a spread attack.
Williams met with Porter Tuesday and Wednesday of this week after returning from spring break and, following that extended pow-wow, decided it would be in his best interests to leave the football program.
“Ryan Williams is no longer part of our program,” Porter said after the first spring session Wednesday. “Obviously, the timing of this wasn’t good, but I’d rather talk about the players who are still wearing the Memphis helmet.”
Williams started 10 games for Memphis in 2010. Cannon Smith, son of FedEx CEO and big-time U of M booster Fred Smith, started the first two games of last season, but has since moved to safety.
With Williams’ departure, it leaves Porter with just two QBs to work with this spring — sophomore Andy Summerlin and redshirt sophomore Will Gilchrist. Both players have attempted as many passes in a Div. 1-A football game as I have.
Taylor Reed (no relation) and Dominique Harris are two quarterbacks who make up part of Porter’s 2011 recruiting class and will likely be at least on the periphery of the competition once they get on campus and summer camp begins. Reed was rated by Rivals.com as a two-star prospect out of Arkansas, while Harris was a three-star player out of Mississippi.
It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.
Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass. Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.
Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday. Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.
“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”
Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects. The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.
After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017. All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.
Nearly three weeks to the day he left a Group of Five program, Collin Wilder has landed at a school from a Power Five conference.
On his personal Twitter account, Wilder indicated in a tweet that he has decided to transfer to Wisconsin. The announcement, replete with the defensive back pictured in a UW uniform, comes after he announced on the same social media site that he had decided to leave Houston.
A three-star member of the Cougars’ 2016 recruiting class, Wilder was rated as the No. 94 player at any position in the state of Texas. Just one defensive player in UH’s class that year, five-star defensive lineman Ed Oliver, was rated higher than Wilder.
After playing in all 13 games as a true freshman, the native of Katy, Tex., played in the first two games of 2017 before he suffered what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury.
Wilder will be forced to sit out the 2018 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws. He will then have two years of eligibility at his disposal beginning with the 2019 season.
For the fifth time since Nick Saban took over, Alabama football players have added some serious bling to their personal collections.
At the football team’s annual Steak & Beans dinner Monday night at the Mal Moore Athletics Facility, both the student-athletes and coaches were presented with their 2017 national championship rings. The thrilling overtime win over Georgia in the College Football Playoff title game was the program’s fifth since Saban came to the Crimson Tide in 2007.
The rings are, to say the least, impressive, encrusted with over 150 stones per the school. Of those 53 represents the number of wins for this most recent senior class.
Saban’s six national championships as a coach, including one at rival LSU, are tied the legendary Bear Bryant for the most in the sport’s history. The Crimson Tide has won a total of 17 national championships, the third-most in big-time college football history behind Princeton’s 28 and Yale’s 27.
Of course, numerous Crimson Tide football players took to social media to show off and celebrate their latest title hardware. The best use of Twitter, though, belonged to running back Bo Scarbrough, who took a not-so-thinly-veiled jab at UCF and the Knights’ unveiling “the only 2017 undefeated national championship ring this past weekend.
It appears we can finally, officially, put the Tim Drevno era at Michigan to bed.
In February, three days after Jim McElwain was officially hired as U-M’s quarterbacks coach and amidst rumors that the former Florida head coach could take over play-calling duties, Drevno announced that he would be stepping down as the Wolverines’ offensive coordinator. Drevno also served as the program’s offensive line coach.
Two months later, mlive.com obtained a copy of the coach’s resignation letter through the Freedom of Information Act. Drevno gave no specific reason for his resignation in the letter, stating only that he is “willing to help in any manner needed during the transition phase, but I fully understand if it is more appropriate to amicably sever ties in a more expedient way.”
Eight days after he left U-M, Drevno’s name was connected to a job at USC; two days later, the Trojans announced his hiring as running backs coach. This marks his second stint in the Land of Troy as he was line coach and running-game coordinator in 2014.
Drevno, who was also on Jim Harbaugh‘s staffs at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers, spent the past three seasons in Ann Arbor. Under Drevno’s direction, the Wolverines’ offense was tied for 91st nationally in averaging 25.2 points per game this past season.