Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio - Wisconsin v Oregon

Montee Ball won’t play in UW’s spring game


There’s only one surefire way a coaching staff can guarantee that one of its star players won’t be injured in an essentially meaningless spring game — don’t put him on the field.

And, as it turns out, that’s exactly the tack Bret Bielema has decided to take.

The Wisconsin head coach announced Monday evening that star running back Montee Ball will not participate in UW’s spring finale this Saturday. While not specifically mentioning the risk of injury, Bielema intimated that said risk simply wasn’t worth it for a player of Ball’s caliber.

“When you see him run in practice, you’ll know why he didn’t need the practice of getting hit,” Bielema said in quotes released by the team. “We will in the fall. He’ll take some shots in the fall.

“But in my six years as head coach, I think there are certain guys that you just realize they’re… Montee Ball’s the hardest worker, the hardest repper in practice. At this point we don’t feel it’s necessary to take him to the ground. He’s been in there, mixing it up, full go, pass protection, all that stuff. Yeah, just don’t need to.”

Coming off a season in which he was a Heisman finalist after leading led the country in rushing yards (1.923) and rushing touchdowns (33), Ball’s name will litter preseason stiff-arm trophy watch lists.  The last thing Bielema needs, especially with the departure of Russell Wilson and utter uncertainty at the quarterback position, is for Ball to sustain any type of injury in an irrelevant exhibition game that would negatively impact what will be the back’s final season with the Badgers.

In Baker Mayfield, Texas set to face yet another QB who wanted to be a Longhorn

Baker Mayfield
Associated Press

Jameis WinstonJohnny ManzielAndrew LuckRobert Griffin IIIJ.T. Barrett. Oh, don’t mind me. Just recounting the number of quarterbacks with ties to the Texas football program that never received a sniff from Bevo’s famous snout.

Add another to the list, perhaps the most inexplicable of all: Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield played at Lake Travis High School in Austin, a powerhouse program in a state that specializes in them. Lightly recruited out of high school (he reportedly held only an offer from Florida Atlantic), Mayfield and his family reached out to the nearby program to see if they’d take him as a walk-on.

They said no.

“They told us he had five scholarship quarterbacks, so there wasn’t any need of ‘Bake’ coming out there,” James Mayfield, Baker’s father, told George Schroeder of USA Today. “I popped off that they had five scholarship quarterbacks that couldn’t even play for Lake Travis. That’s where our relationship stalled out.”

On one hand, it utterly boggles the mind why Texas would decline a successful high school quarterback willing to pay his own way on to the team, especially considering the state of the position at the time. On the other, one would see why Mack Brown‘s staff would pass on a kid with only an offer from FAU who says UT’s quarterbacks couldn’t start for his high school team.

Instead, Texas signed Tyrone Swoopes and Mayfield enrolled at Texas Tech. He won the starting job as a true freshman, transferred to Oklahoma, walked on and then won the starting job there.

And now he’s set to face the hometown team he at one time wished he could play for.

Mayfield has completed 88-of-135 throws for 1,382 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions – good for a 178.52 passer rating, which ranks fifth nationally – while adding 138 yards and four scores on the ground. His counterpart, redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard, has connected on 42-of-76 passes for 661 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (131.74 passer rating) to go with a team-leading 67 carries for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

“As perverse as all this has been, he’s where he wanted to be,” James Mayfield said. “He’s living his dream. If he had to do it all over again, he’d do it, with the same outcome.”

Appalachian State announces five-year extension for head coach Scott Satterfield

Scott Satterfield
Associated Press

One day after it was revealed its head coach was the second-lowest paid in college football, Appalachian State announced a five-year contract extension for head coach Scott Satterfield.

“We have the right coach leading our football program in Scott Satterfield,” Appalachian State AD Doug Gillin said in a statement. “In nearly three years as head coach, he has stayed true to his convictions, built the program the right way and set Appalachian State football up for sustainable success both in the Sun Belt Conference and at the national level.”

Satterfield had earned $375,000 annually, ahead of only Louisiana-Monroe’s Todd Berry at $360,000 a year.

Satterfield, 42, is 14-14 in his third season at the Boone, N.C., school. He led the Mountaineers to a 7-5 mark in their debut Sun Belt season, and has the club at 3-1 to start the 2015 campaign.

“It’s exciting for my family and me to know that we’re going to be at Appalachian for the foreseeable future,” Satterfield added. “I’m living a dream by being the head coach at my alma mater and can’t wait to continue to work hard to help this program reach heights that it has never reached before.”