Before the ink had even dried on Rich Rodriguez‘s Arizona contract, the speculation commenced: Jeff Casteel would be leaving his defensive coordinator job at West Virginia and reuniting with his former boss in Tucson.
Reportedly, those rumors are about to become a reality.
In the midst of multiple reports that have surfaced since WVU’s evisceration of Clemson in the Orange Bowl Wednesday night, the Arizona Daily Star writes that “[s]ometime in the next 48 hours, the UA is expected to announce that it’s hired West Virginia’s Jeff Casteel as its new defensive coordinator.” The Daily Star adds that Casteel is expected to bring at least one current but one unnamed WVU assistant with him.
Casteel was a member of Rodriguez’s first WVU coaching staff in 2001, but did not follow the coach when he left for Michigan.
As for a replacement for Casteel, a source close to the WVU program has informed CFT that former Miami Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon is the top target of the Mountaineers if/when Casteel leaves. A source familiar with Shannon’s situation would only state that there’s a lot of interest in Shannon at the moment.
In addition to WVU, Shannon has been connected to coordinator jobs at Auburn and Tennessee.
One-time Wisconsin commit Marvin Robinson lands at Kentucky
Robinson had been a verbal commitment to Wisconsin and was set to sign with the Badgers in February of 2015. However, the Fort Lauderdale product failed to qualify academically at UW.
The 6-4, 175-pounder sat out the 2015 season, so he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2016. Whether seeing the field actually comes to fruition remains to be seen as the Wildcats return five wide receivers who caught at least 10 passes in 2015, including the top four on the team in receptions and receiving yards — Dorian Baker (55-608), Garrett Johnson (46-694), Jeff Badet (29-430) and Blake Bone (20-210). Ryan Timmons (12-114) is the fifth, with those five also accounting for nine of the team’s 10 touchdown receptions on the season.
Wisconsin will need all hands on deck if they hope to contain LSU’s Leonard Fournette in the 2016 opener at Lambeau field. Unfortunately for the Badgers, a key hand may be unavailable.
A report emerged late last week that T.J. Edwards would be sidelined indefinitely because of a foot injury. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote that “Edwards was seen wearing a walking boot this week and a source confirmed the redshirt sophomore is out” for the foreseeable future.
During the Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, head coach Paul Chryst somewhat addressed the linebacker’s status.
Paul Chryst said in local media session that there isn’t a timetable for ILB T.J. Edwards’ return from an injured foot. #Badgers
Leidner was one of the Gophers’ player representatives at the Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, and decided he’d share a post-operation picture of his surgically-repaired foot. Again, if your squeamish, look away.
Here’s what Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner endured this offseason. It’s amazing he’s healthy. This photo is likely NSFW. pic.twitter.com/3HmVyb9f0x
As if the photo doesn’t paint this picture, head coach Tracy Claeys acknowledged that the starter was worse off health-wise than the football program let on last year.
“We hid his injuries pretty good a year ago,” Claeys said according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He was banged up pretty good. The foot injury he had was tough and really limited him.”
Now, though, Leidner proclaims himself, “[p]hysically, I’m in the best shape of my life, by far.” The fifth-year senior, projected by some to be a first-round quarterback prospect in the 2017 NFL draft, added that he feels “like I’m throwing the ball better than I ever have before.”
VIDEO: Body cam footage shows Iowa football player’s encounter with police
The story of an Iowa football player, Pokemon Go and Iowa City police now has some visuals to go along with the oral narrative.
Over the weekend, officers in that police department were searching for a suspect in a bank robbery. Hawkeyes defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie (pictured, No. 56) just happened to be in a park in that area and seemingly matched the description of the suspect — black man in black clothing wearing something on his head — prompting the officers to approach the lineman. When Ekakitie failed to respond to the officers’ commands, because he was wearing headphones, weapons were drawn.
Because of the national attention the incident has received, the ICPD on Tuesday released two body cam videos that shows exactly how the encounter between their officers and Ekakitie went down.
“I think it’s critical we get the information out so people can actually see the events as they actually occurred in real time,” says ICPD Sgt. Scott Gaarde in regards to releasing the videos.
In his social media missive, Ekakitie thanked the police officers involved for how they handled the situation.
“I would like to thank the Iowa City Police department for handling a situation very professionally,” the lineman wrote. “I would also urge people to be more aware of their surroundings because clearly I wasn’t.
“Lastly, I would urge us all to unlearn some of the prejudices that we have learned about each other and now plague our minds and our society. I am convinced that in the same way that we learned these prejudices, we can also unlearn them.”