In the past week or so, UCLA has reportedly been rejected by big names such as Boise State’s Chris Petersen and Houston’s Kevin Sumlin as they continue their quest to replace Rick Neuheisel.
In the next day or so — if they haven’t already — the Bruins will very likely be rejected by yet another big-name target.
According to the Los Angeles Times, and citing people familiar with the situation, UCLA has approached Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian about their coaching vacancy. The Bruins’ overtures have apparently not made much of an impression on Sarkisian; the Times writes that “those efforts have fallen on deaf ears, as the Huskies’ coach remains committed to staying at Washington.”
UW officials would neither confirm nor deny to the paper that UCLA has been in contact with Sarkisian or his representation.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes “all indications to date are that this is strictly a one-way deal” and “that while Sarkisian may be on UCLA’s list, he’s not interested in leaving.” Following practice Friday, Sarkisian refuted the report, saying that he hasn’t been contacted by UCLA.
There’s no mention of whether Sarkisian was asked if his agent had fielded any calls from the Bruins.
Sarkisian has spent the past three years pulling the UW football program out of the deep hole dug by his predecessors, Tyrone Willingham and Keith Gilbertson. That rebuilding effort is beginning to bear fruit on the field as Sarkisian has won more games the past three years (19) than Willingham and Gilbertson won in the six previous years (18).
Prior to coming to the Huskies, Sarkisian had spent seven of the eight previous seasons as an assistant at UCLA’s crosstown rival USC.
John Franklin III has had a ton written about him for a player going on his fourth program in five years but here’s a little more.
The quarterback-turned-wide receiver recently gave an interview to Matthew DeFranks of the Florida Sun Sentinel on his decision to transfer to Florida Atlantic for his senior season and seemed to lob a subtle shot at his former coaching staff at Auburn while doing so.
The not “having too much fun” line will probably draw most of the attention but don’t discount the issue Franklin has with playing every snap. While he arrived on the Plains as a signal-caller, he gave way to Sean White as the starter last year and was moved all over the field in a variety of packages. This spring he changed positions to wide receiver full time as a result but decided to transfer before catching passes for the Tigers.
The former ‘Last Chance U’ star will now head to Boca to play for former coach Clint Trickett with the Owls. It’s not super clear what exact role he will have in the offense but hopefully for Franklin he can have a little more “fun” this season along the way.
A running back is on the loose in Tuscaloosa and no, that’s not as good as it sounds for the Crimson Tide.
Beat reporter Alex Byington noted on Saturday that star tailback Bo Scarbrough was noticeably absent from Alabama’s practice on Saturday when it came time for media viewing periods, the second straight time that he’s been out of sight on the field.
The Tuscaloosa News followed up on the matter and reports that Scarbrough’s attendance (or lack thereof) was “nothing serious” and Nick Saban confirmed as much later in the afternoon by saying the running back was sick with an illness that kept him out.
Sophomore Josh Jacobs also missed the viewing period on Saturday.
Scarbrough has had a light work load the past several months as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered in the national championship game. The presumed starter is still expected to be good to go for the season opener against Florida State but the absences at practice will at least make things interesting in the next two weeks at a crowded position on the depth chart.
The state of Louisiana’s top recruit will not be playing for the state’s top football team this fall.
Four-star defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin will enroll at LSU next week, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate, but will not be eligible to play in 2017 following a ruling from the NCAA on his status. The news is a big blow not only to Shelvin, but to the Tigers who are thin on the interior defensive line and were hoping to rotate in the 380-pounder this year.
Shelvin’s high school coach told the paper that the NCAA “partially denied” the defender’s eligibility, forcing him to redshirt in his first year on campus. He reportedly took several classes over the summer in order to meet requirements but apparently fell short of hitting the association’s standard to be cleared.
The loss of Shelvin’s services is a tough one after he turned into one of the center pieces of head coach Ed Orgeron’s top 10 recruiting class from February. The Tigers have had a history of talented defensive tackles running into eligibility issues in the past but the rather thin depth chart in the middle of the defensive line made bringing in Shelvin a priority.
That is not to be the case however, as LSU will move forward sans the big defender just two weeks out from the start of the season.
Nebraska coach Mike Riley has the well-earned reputation of being the nicest guy in college football and his players can probably give him a wholehearted endorsement after this week.
That’s because the Cornhuskers were able to attend rapper Kendrick Lamar’s concert in Lincoln on Friday night after their coach surprised the whole team with tickets to the show. Naturally, said players were quite pumped to be going.
As cool as taking the team to a Kendrick Lamar concert is, I personally can’t wait to see what one-upmanship this inspires across college football. One can already imagine Jim Harbaugh taking the team to see Migos in London next summer…