Lazor to remain at Virginia

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A couple of days after Mike London confirmed he could be losing his offensive coordinator to the NFL, said coordinator confirmed that he’s staying at Virginia.

Bill Lazor has been one of the coordinator candidates being considered by new Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano.  In a statement released shortly after it was reported the Bucs hired New York Giants quarterbacks Mike Sullivan for the job, Lazor spoke of unfinished business with the Cavaliers as well as appreciation for his head coach allowing him to explore the interest displayed by the NFL club.

“Like coach London, I too have had a number of inquires about my future at Virginia and I am excited to let everyone know I am still a Cavalier and will be a part of coach London’s staff for the upcoming season.

“I appreciate coach London recently allowing me the chance to discuss a unique opportunity with an NFL team. I think all of us on his staff appreciate the comments he made the other day about professional growth and development. He truly cares about the people that work with him.

“In my two years in Charlottesville I have grown to appreciate coach London, the University and the things he is doing with our football program. We are all very privileged to work at such a fine University and to coach a really outstanding group of young men. Yes we’ve made some progress, but he have even higher goals we want to achieve and I’m excited that I will be here to be a part of that ongoing process.”

Lazor has been at Virginia the past two seasons, and serves as the Cavaliers’ quarterbacks coach as well.  He had spent the previous seven seasons prior as an NFL assistant.

Suffice to say, London was pleased with the continuity on his offensive staff.

“I was very happy when Bill told me he was still going to be a member of our coaching staff. He has done a wonderful job with the development of our team and I know he believes we can make even more improvement this year. I’m happy he will be here to help us continue to build something special at Virginia.”

It’s unknown at this point in time whether Lazor turned down an offer or the Bucs moved in a different direction.

Nick Saban, on QB controversy: ‘there isn’t one’

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Consider The Nicktator perturbed.  Again.

Jalen Hurts (pictured, right) helped lead Alabama to the national championship game as a true freshman last season and is seemingly the Crimson Tide’s unquestioned starter as we trudge toward summer.  Five-star 2017 signee Tua Tagovailoa (pictured, left), however, had an impressive first spring in Tuscaloosa, capped off with an excellent showing in the annual A-Day game this past weekend.

The true freshman passed for 315 yards and three touchdowns in what amounted to a glorified scrimmage, while the incumbent threw for 301 yards and a pair of scores.  Hurts also tossed the lone interception between the two on the day.

Tagovailoa’s showing throughout the 15 spring practice sessions had led some to wonder whether there could be a quarterback controversy brewing at ‘Bama.  According to Nick Saban, that’s just the media being the media.

“Jalen Hurts played a lot of good football for us last year, and he’s certainly made a lot of progress this spring,” the head coach said by way of al.com. “Even though all of you in the press are trying to make a quarterback controversy out of nothing, which is what you’re doing right now, there isn’t one.”

LOOK: Jim Harbaugh hooks Pope Francis up with Michigan helmet, pair of Jordans

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There’s a series of words I’d never imagined I’d string together in a headline.

As you may have heard, Jim Harbaugh has taken his Michigan football team to Italy for an offseason European vacation.  As part of the trip, the team is in the Vatican City today and took in the Pope’s Wednesday address to the masses in St. Peter’s Square — the players and athletic director Warde Manuel sat amongst the crowd while the head coach and his wife were seated on the same stage as Pope Francis.

Following the address, and after a wait of nearly a half-hour, Harbaugh was able to meet with and speak to His Holiness.  The coach didn’t come empty-handed, either, as Pope Francis was gifted with a Michigan football helmet and a pair of Air Jordans.  Michigan-themed, of course.

“This is as good as it gets,” Harbaugh said according to mlive.com after his meeting with the pope. “This has been the experience of my lifetime.”

Tulane turns to Jonathan Banks as starter at QB

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Last season, there was just one FBS team — Army and its triple-option (967) — that passed for fewer yards than Tulane’s 1,360.  Tulane’s team passing efficiency rating of 93.12 was 128th of the 128 teams at this level of football.  Their completion percentage of 42.2 was, again, 128th in the FBS.  Their 5.3 yards per attempt was… 127th.

This season, the Green Wave’s passing hopes in a run-heavy offense will likely land on the shoulders of a junior college transfer.

Throughout the spring, Jonathan Banks had taken the majority of reps with the first-team offense.  Tuesday, Willie Fritz confirmed that Banks will be his starter under center heading into summer camp and, presumably, for the program’s season opener against Grambling at home Sept. 2.

At least for now, Banks has staked his claim to the job after a competition that included Glen Cuiellette and Jonathan Brantley, the starter and backup, respectively, last season.

“He did a good job this spring picking things up,” the head coach said according to nola.com. “We evaluated practices 1 through 15 and I thought, for a guy coming into a new situation, he did a very good job. He provides us with both a passing and a running threat, which in our offense you need to have.

“We’re excited about his development.”

Drew O’Bryan leaves Western Kentucky, drops down to FCS level

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Another day, another FBS player has transitioned away from his first college football home.

On his personal Twitter account recently, Drew O’Bryan acknowledged his decision to transfer from Western Kentucky. Additionally, he announced his next destination for good measure — Eastern Kentucky.

The linebacker said he made the decision “[a]fter talking with my family and many prayers.”

As EKU plays at the Football Championship Subdivision level, O’Bryan will be eligible to play immediately for the Colonels in 2017.

O’Bryan was a two-star member of WKU’s 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 18 player at any position in the state of Kentucky. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.