After Will Muschamp‘s somewhat surprising decision to allow 2011 signee Mike Blakely out of his Florida scholarship and transfer to another SEC school, it was thought that the touted running back would be forced to sit out his first season at Auburn.
While that will likely be the way the situation ultimately plays itself out, the Tigers are doing their best to have him available for the upcoming season.
Blakely enrolled early at UF but never practiced with the Gators during the spring sessions — a shoulder issue derailed those plans — and, obviously, did not play a down for his original school. He did, however, attend classes, but that’s not stopping AU from seeking a waiver that would allow him to see the field immediately as opposed to sitting out a transfer year.
“We have filed a waiver in an attempt to see if we can have Mike be immediately eligible and we’re in that process right now,” said AU compliance director Rich McGlynn told the Birmingham News. “We’re working with the NCAA and hoping to get a favorable outcome on it. That’s where we are at this time. …
“We need to make an argument based upon the rule. The rule was not put into place based upon an individual in Mike’s situation in order to be eligible here at Auburn. I believe we put together a strong waiver to that. Now it’s just a matter of seeing what the NCAA has to say about it.”
McGlynn, who worked for the NCAA before coming to The Plains, acknowledged that the uniqueness of Blakely’s situation but added “[t]he NCAA takes each case on its merits and looks and reviews those specific facts and makes a decision.”
A decision, McGlynn told the paper, is anticipated in the next couple of weeks. Depending on the outcome of the initial decision, the school could file an appeal.
Rivals.com had Blakely rated as the No. 6 RB in the country this year.
In last year’s opener, Christian Bell suited up for Alabama in their opener against Wisconsin. For this year’s opener, he’ll be on that Big Ten team’s sideline as they take on yet another school from the SEC.
On his Twitter account Thursday, Bell announced that he has decided to transfer into the Wisconsin football program. Over this past weekend, the linebacker announced via the same social media site that he would be transferring from the Tide.
Barring the unexpected, Bell will be forced to sit out the 2016 season and thus won’t be in uniform when UW opens against LSU at Lambeau Field. Then beginning in 2017, though, he would have four seasons of eligibility remaining.
Bell took a “grayshirt” for the 2015 season, ultimately enrolling in classes at UA this past January. The Birmingham, Ala., native participated in spring practice with the Tide this year.
A three-star recruit according to 247Sports.com, Bell was rated as the No. 19 weakside defensive end in the country and the No. 17 player at any position in the state of Alabama.
It appears the brief but up-and-down career of Larry Jefferson in Morgantown has come to an abrupt end.
The former junior college transfer had been suspended from participating in West Virginia’s spring practices for violating unspecified team rules. Now, WV MetroNews is reporting, the defensive lineman was arrested late Tuesday morning and charged with drug possession. “Jefferson was stopped on Clay Street in Morgantown as officers were investigating a brandishing incident at South University Plaza in Morgantown,” the website wrote, and was subsequently found to be carrying small amounts of cocaine and marijuana.
According to the Dominion Post, Jefferson was holding .6 grams of coke and one gram of weed.
While WVU officials have yet to comment publicly on the situation, Jefferson’s name has been removed from the Mountaineers’ online roster. Jefferson had not been reinstated from his spring suspension, but, prior to this incident, he had been expected to be on the field for the start of summer camp early next month and be a part of WVU’s line rotation this season as a pass-rush specialist.
After coming to WVU following two seasons at a Mississippi JUCO, Jefferson played in nine games for the Mountaineers last season.
It appears Alabama’s appeal was a successful one.
Back in April, it was reported that Alabama defensive back Tony Brown had been indefinitely suspended by the NCAA, but that the Tide was appealing what turned out to be a six-game suspension. There was no official word on the reason or reasons behind the suspension at the time, and there still isn’t even as there’s been another development in the situation.
The expectation is that Alabama defensive back Tony Brown’s NCAA suspension is going to be reduced from six games to four, sources told AL.com.
According to the website, Brown’s “suspension stems from something that happened leading up to the Tide’s Cotton Bowl matchup against Michigan State in late December.” If so, it was a very busy month off-the-field for the defensive back.
In December of last year, Brown was sent home from the Cotton Bowl for a violation of team rules. It was subsequently reported that Brown had started a fight with a teammate during the College Football Playoff semifinal and the Tide’s leadership council decided to send him home. That incident, seemingly unrelated to the suspension, also led Brown to miss the win over Clemson in the national championship game.
Brown, a five-star 2014 signee, was arrested in mid-January of last year on charges of failure to obey and resisting arrest, although he managed to escape Nick Saban’s doghouse that time and tie for the team lead in special teams tackles in the 2015 regular season.
As it turns out, it’s USF that will see a prospect gain from Ohio State’s recruiting loss.
Bruce Judson is a four-star 2017 recruit rated as the No. 37 player at any position in the talent-rich state of Florida. He committed to Ohio State in January of 2015, becoming one of the first OSU commitments for the 2017 cycle. In October of 2015, Judson abruptly decommitted from the Buckeyes.
Why? Generally speaking, there was, in Judson’s opinion, a lack of communication between himself and Meyer post-commitment. “Coach Meyer contacted me enough to get my commitment,” Judson said, “[b]ut after a couple months, he just stopped talking to me.”
Specifically, however, there was one incident that seemed to lead to the decommitment — Meyer not recognizing Judson while on a visit. From SECCountry.com‘s early-May interview with Judson:
Long story short, I was walking in the hallway about to go to the indoor field and work out. (Meyer) was like, ‘Hey.’ I looked around. ‘Come here.’ He was like, ‘How you doing, you like your visit?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ Then he’s like, ‘What up Richard LeCounte? Are you showing this guy (Judson) around?’ I was like, ‘Coach, I’m showing him around.’ He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I told him Bruce. He said, ‘Oh, Bruce Judson from Florida. The speedy guy.’ I was like, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I’m glad that you’re on board and glad you got up here.’ After that, I knew I was de-committing.
Fast-forward nearly three months, and Judson has now given a verbal commitment to USF. And, the fact that the Bulls are at least going to take a peek at the athlete at the quarterback position seemed to tilt the odds in the AAC program’s favor.
“USF told me I can come in my freshman year and work into the quarterback rotation and start at another position,” said Judson told the Orlando Sentinel. “I know I got big shoes to fill … going in trying to step in Quinton Flowers shoes at quarterback. I’m ready to fill his shoes and make something special at USF.”