Brandon Willis

UNC’s Brandon Willis to seek third transfer in less than a year


In the past two years or so, Brandon Willis has done the following: verbally committed to and decommitted from Tennessee — twice*.  Signed a Letter of Intent with North Carolina in February of 2010, then requested a release from UNC six months later so that he could transfer to UCLA.  Seven months later, in March of this year, Willis requested a release from his UCLA scholarship so that he could transfer back to the Tar Heels.

Unbelievably, although not exactly unexpectedly this time around given the coaching change at the school, the defensive lineman is looking to hit the transfer trifecta in less than one full year.

In a press release, UNC announced that Willis will be transferring from the Tar Heels for a second time.  No reason was given for the departure, although it wouldn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that the dismissal of Butch Davis played a significant role in the decision.

Additionally, due to the health of a grandmother he was close to, Willis was seeking a waiver from the NCAA that would’ve allowed him to play for UNC in 2011.  It’s unclear if that appeal was denied and that played a role in his decision as well.

What’s also unclear is where Willis will move to next.  In March of this year, after Willis announced he was transferring once again to UNC, UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel stated that his program would welcome the lineman back if his waiver wasn’t granted by the NCAA.

Willis was a member of UNC’s 2010 class, and was the No. 7 defensive end in the country according to

(*Thanks to Bryan Fischer for that little recruiting tidbit)

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.