Arkansas v Mississippi

Three more Razorbacks arrested, charged, suspended

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A woeful offseason for Arkansas off the field continues Saturday, with word that a couple more Razorbacks have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

According to ArkansasNews.com, three UA football players were arrested this afternoon and charged with residential burglary.  The three facing charges are wide receivers Marquel Wade and Maudrecus Humphrey and redshirt freshman tight end Andrew Peterson.

The trio was booked into the Washington County Detention Center on the single charge each earlier today.

There are no details available as to what led to the arrests, nor has the school commented on the development.

Wade, Humphrey and Peterson are the fourth, fifth and sixth UA football players arrested since the middle of March on charges ranging from felony theft of property (offensive lineman Jason Peacock) to possession of a controlled substance/paraphernalia (wide receiver Michael Whitehurst) to aggravated burglary and theft of property (linebacker Tyler Gilbert).  Additionally, Bobby Petrino was ousted as head coach for, well, ya know, while another wide receiver, Quinta Funderburk, and another linebacker, Brock Hamandecided to transfer out of the program.

Also, starting linebacker linebacker Alonzo Highsmith missed all of spring practice with a left pec injury, and his status for the start of the 2012 season remains up in the air.

Other than that, it’s been a relatively quiet offseason in Fayetteville.

As far as the latest players arrested are concerned, Wade, a sophomore, had eight receptions for 62 yards last year, while Humphrey, a junior, had one catch for nine yards.  Both players were listed as No. 2 wide receivers on UA’s pre-spring depth chart.

Peterson redshirted as a true freshman last season.

UPDATED 2:53 p.m. ET: According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Humphrey and Peterson were each charged with nine counts of burglary, while Wade was charged with one count.  It’s unclear whether all or just some of the charges are misdemeanors.

The Democrat-Gazette, citing a university police report, writes that the three are accused of stealing multiple items – including cash, laptops, DVDs and textbooks – from university dorm rooms.  Arkansas360.com notes that the value of the property allegedly stolen exceeds $4,800, which could bring the “f” word into play.

UPDATED 3:08 p.m. ET: Head coach-for-2012 John L. Smith announced shortly after the arrests surfaced that all three players have been suspended indefinitely from the football program.

“We have high standards for our student-athletes and I expect them to conduct themselves appropriately,” Smith’s statement read. “Poor conduct and misbehavior will not be tolerated and is not what we expect from the University of Arkansas football program.”

The newly-arrested trio join White Hurst and Gilbert on the suspended list.  Peacock was reinstated a couple of weeks after his arrest.

Further details have also emerged on what led to the players’ arrests:

UAPD responded to a call regarding a residential burglary from a dorm room on May 1. The female victim started she had a laptop stolen from her unlocked room, according to the report.

Over the next seven days, UAPD took a total of 10 reports from the Northwest Quad buildings. …

UAPD reviewed video from the locations, according to the report. Three suspects identified as Peterson, Humphrey and Wade walked through hallways, checked doors and entered rooms.

A clerk in the Campus Bookstore later identified Peterson, Humphrey and Wade as having been in the store “multiple times” selling textbooks. Textbooks and other stolen property also were recovered from Peterson’s suite in the Northwest Quads.

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.