Arkansas v Mississippi

Three more Razorbacks arrested, charged, suspended


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, 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. 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.

Kentucky QB Patrick Towles to transfer

Patrick Towles

Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles will transfer, he announced in an Instagram post Sunday afternoon.

Towles leaves school as Kentucky’s sixth-most prolific passer, completing 427-of-759 passes for 5,099 yards with 24 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

Once compared to Ben Roethlisberger, Towles’ career peeked in a 2014 game with then-No. 1 Mississippi State, as he completed 24-of-43 passes for 390 yards with two touchdowns in a 45-31 loss to the Bulldogs.

But Kentucky stumbled down the stretch, starting 5-1 and finishing 5-7, and Towles stumbled through a 2015 campaign in which he threw nine touchdowns against 14 interceptions.

He’d been passed by freshman Drew Barker by the end of the season, and threw only four passes in a loss to Louisville on Saturday.

A junior, Towles will complete his political science degree in December and be eligible for immediate playing time at a new destination in 2016.

Penn State fires offensive coordinator John Donovan

Penn State football practice, Sept 9, 2015

Penn State has fired offensive coordinator John Donovan, the program announced Sunday.

“I have tremendous respect for John and the work he has put in the last five years,” head coach James Franklin said in a statement. “I wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future.”

Donovan originally hooked up with Franklin when the two were at Maryland, then coordinated his offenses at Vanderbilt and later Penn State.

Despite playing with what many project to be a future first-round pick in quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Penn State ranked 101st nationally in scoring, 108th in total offense and 80th in yards per play.

Penn State dropped its final three games of the regular season and averaged only 14.6 points in its five losses.

Purdue retains head coach Darrell Hazell, fires both coordinators

Markell Jones
AP Photo

It’s never a good thing when a head coach has to fire both of his coordinators on the same day. Of course, it’s never a good thing to be 6-30, either.

Both are realities at Purdue, as the Boilers announced Sunday head coach Darrell Hazell will return for a fourth season in 2016, but offensive coordinator John Shoop, defensive coordinator Greg Hudson and defensive line coach Rubin Carter will not.

“I appreciate the efforts of each of those guys over the last three years,” Hazell said in a statement. “They are quality men who are well respected by their players and their peers, and I am disappointed that things didn’t work out better. But I believe that in order to turn around this program, we need to make some significant changes and move in a different direction at those positions.”

Purdue, 2-10 in 2015, ranked 115th nationally in yards per play and 112th in yards per play allowed.

Virginia Tech announces Justin Fuente as head coach; Bud Foster to stay on as DC

Associated Press

Justin Fuente is officially Virginia Tech’s new head coach. A day after reports linked the two parties, the Hokies made the match official by announcing the 39-year-old as their new head coach on Sunday afternoon.

“Justin is a very impressive individual who also happens to be one of the brightest offensive minds in college football,” Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock said in a statement. “He elevated Memphis to unprecedented heights. His recruiting philosophy is progressive and comprehensive. Coach Fuente has displayed tremendous talent in evaluating players and developing young men as they strive to reach their full potential. Simply put, Coach Fuente exudes all the qualities that Hokies hold near and dear. We are excited to officially welcome Justin Fuente as the leader of the Virginia Tech football program.”

Fuente went 26-23 in four years as Memphis’s head coach, but his success runs far beyond a simple won-loss record. After going 7-17 in his first two seasons, Fuente guided the Tigers to a 19-6 mark in 2014-15, which included a 15-game winning streak, a No. 13 national ranking and a win over rival Ole Miss within that run.

Simply put, it was the absolute peak of modern Memphis football.

And now Fuente is tasked with taking Virginia Tech to new heights. The Hokies dominated the ACC throughout much of the 2000’s, taking conference crowns in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2010. But as Florida State and Clemson have risen, Virginia Tech has fallen.

After posting 13 top-25 finishes in 14 seasons, the Hokies are set to conclude their fourth straight campaign outside the national rankings, going just 16-16 in ACC play over that span.

The offensive numbers state exactly why Fuente was hired, and what he must do in Blacksburg; Memphis ranks seventh nationally in scoring offense and eighth in passing efficiency, while Virginia Tech sits at 64th and 59th, respectively.

The cupboard is not bare, though. Virginia Tech is in the midst of a 23-year bowl streak, and Fuente has already secured one key commitment — longtime defensive coordinator Bud Foster has agreed to stay on staff.

“I’ve been privileged to work for a legendary coach who always did it the right way,” Foster said. “I enjoyed that chapter and the success we’ve had, however, I am equally excited for the next chapter and working for Justin. Justin and I share a vision for the future of our program. After spending time together, I’m convinced he’s the right person to continue building on the standard we’ve established at Virginia Tech. I’m truly looking forward to working with him and supporting him.”

Clearly, Babcock and the VT brass believe, a Fuente offense and a Foster defense are what the Hokies need to catch Clemson and Florida State.

Now it’s Fuente’s job to make that happen.