Greg Schiano

Update: Schiano close to deal to leave Rutgers for Bucs

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UPDATED 2:37 p.m. ET: Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti will address the media at 4:30 p.m. ET this afternoon and discuss the direction the football program will move in regards to the head coaching position. Two unnamed players will be available for comment as well.

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UPDATED 12:57 p.m. ET: A team meeting has been called for 2 p.m. ET Thursday afternoon, at which point the Scarlet Knight players will officially be informed that Greg Schiano is leaving the program for an NFL job.  Schiano is also expected to meet with his coaching staff prior to that meeting.

The school is expected to issue a press release confirming Schiano’s departure at some point shortly after that team meeting.

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UPDATED 10:54 a.m. ET: There is apparently a lot of meat to the Greg Schiano speculation.

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that “Tampa Bay plans to hire Rutgers coach Greg Schiano as the next Buccaneers head coach. Two sides trying to finalize contract.”

CFT has reached out to Rutgers for a comment on the growing speculation, but thus far the school has declined to respond.

This apparently wasn’t Schiano’s first NFL flirtation this offseason; according to Schefter, Schiano interviewed with the St. Louis Rams and was a finalist for the job that ultimately went to Jeff Fisher.

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Reports emerged over the weekend that Chip Kelly had decided to leave Oregon to take the head coaching job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A couple of days after Kelly reversed course, another program at the collegiate level could find itself fending off advances toward their head coach from the same professional organization.

On its Twitter account Thursday morning, WDAE radio in Tampa wrote that it’s “[h]earing whispers that the #Bucs coach could be a college coach.”  Subsequent to that, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted that “620 WDAE in Tampa reporting that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is possibly going to be the Bucs new head coach.”

“I have no confirmation of Rutgers coach Greg Schiano becoming the Bucs next head coach. Is it possible? Anything is,” Stroud wrote in a follow-up tweet.

Jason LaConfora of the NFL Network subsequently confirmed that report, tweeting that Schiano “is under consideration for Bucs job.”

Schiano has been the head coach of the Scarlet Knights since 2001, going 68-67 in his 11 seasons at the school.  His last job at the professional level was in 1998, serving as a defensive assistant with the Chicago Bears for three years.

Following the dismissal of Joe Paterno, Schiano, who coached at the school prior to his time with the Bears, was mentioned as a likely target of the school; he ultimately denied any interest in the opening.  He was also connected to the Illinois vacancy, but those rumors were swiftly knocked down.

Suffice to say, the school has no comment on the latest round of speculation regarding their coach.  As it’s now six days until National Signing Day, they might want to change that tack if there is no truth to the rumors at all.

ECU transfer QB Kurt Benkert moves on to Virginia

In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 East Carolina quarterback Kurt Benkert rolls out to pass during NCAA college football practice in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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On April 25, East Carolina announced that Kurt Benkert had decided to transfer out of the Pirates football program.  Less than a week later, the quarterback has found himself a new football home.

On Twitter Sunday afternoon, Benkert confirmed that he will be enrolling at Virginia and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Cavaliers.  Beckert also acknowledged his decision in a text message to 247Sports.com.

“I’m really excited to be here,” Beckert said in a portion of the brief text.

As Beckert is headed to UVa. as a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play for the Hoos immediately in 2016.  Not only that, but he will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Beckert was named the Pirates’ starter in early August of 2015, but sustained a right knee injury a couple of weeks later that knocked him out for the entire season.  In Charlottesville, Beckert will join a competition that includes returning starter Matt Johns and Texas/Arizona transfer Connor Brewer.

Mark Richt continues to be the classiest of acts in college football

Mark Richt gestures after being introduced as the new University of Miami NCAA college football head coach, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015,  in Coral Gables, Fla.  (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
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In my seven-plus years at CFT, I’ve never been shy in expressing my absolute and utter respect for Mark Richt, whether it was for an honorable against-the-grain stance on transfers or honoring a high school football player who tragically drowned before he could become a walk-on at Georgia or myriad other things.  Sunday, Richt solidified that respect.

As you may know, Richt and UGA parted ways this offseason, with the head coach ultimately moving on to Miami to take over his alma mater’s football program.  As expected, his departure from Athens was classy.

Just as expected, one of Richt’s returns to his old stomping grounds further showed his class.

Not to be outdone, Richt’s replacement showed his class as well.

Bravo to both head coaches.  Sometimes, most times, being classy is the absolute right move — even as Richt’s successor could take some lessons from his predecessor when it comes to transfers.

Ohio State draftees to sign contracts worth in excess of $110 million

Urban Meyer
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Forget about going shirtless at a satellite camp or a sleepover or climbing up a tree or any of the like; this is what you call a recruiting pitch.

During the course of the three-day NFL draft, a dozen former Ohio State Buckeyes were drafted.  While OSU failed to break its own record for most picks in a single draft, the 12 selections in the first four rounds were the most ever.

And, not surprisingly, those players are going to get paid.

According to PennLive.com‘s David Jones, those players will sign contracts that could be worth a total of $120 million.  Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch has the number pegged slightly lower at $111,462,707.  Either way, that’s a lot of cash — and a lot dollar signs for Urban Meyer to flout in front of potential recruits.

Of course, not all of that money is guaranteed, although the guaranteed dollars involved aren’t too shabby either.  From the Dispatch:

Just the signing bonuses alone, which range from Bosa’s projected $17,017,226 to Jones’ $383,393, have an expected total of $60,526,660. Unless a player does something to cause his contract to be voided, signing bonuses are theirs to keep.

Regardless of how you spin it, former Buckeyes did quite well financially the last couple of days.  And, as Jones alludes to when it comes to James Franklin and Penn State specifically and the Big Ten in general, Meyer and the Buckeyes are in an entirely different zip code than the rest of the conference — a fact that will no doubt come up on the vast expanses of the recruiting trail.

The good news for Franklin and Penn State: They had three of those 11. The bad news for them and everyone else in the league: Urban Meyer is probably preparing a recruiting flyer right now with a 9-figure dollar amount printed in big bold numbers.

Veteran NFL assistant reportedly to fill Alabama’s coaching vacancy

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Buffalo Bills
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On the same day some details emerged on an Alabama assistant’s “resignation,” that assistant’s potential replacement has been identified.

Citing unnamed sources, al.com is reporting that Karl Dunbar is expected to be hired as the Tide’s new defensive line coach.  Dunbar would replace Bo Davis, who “resigned” Friday amidst allegations of potential NCAA violations.

Dunbar served as Nick Saban‘s strength & conditioning coach at LSU from 2001-02, and then returned to Baton Rouge as Les Miles‘ line coach in 2005 after spending two years (2003-04) in the same position at Oklahoma State.

Most of Dunbar’s coaching career, though, especially recently, has come at the NFL level.

From 2006-11, Dunbar was the line coach for the Minnesota Vikings, and then held the same job with the New York Jets from 2012-2014.  Hired by Rex Ryan to coach the Buffalo Bills’ line in 2015, Dunbar was fired in March of this year.

Dunbar is a former NFL defensive lineman who played for Arizona in 1994-95, when Ryan was one of his Cardinals assistant.