- North Carolina State isn’t doing itself any favors with this video.
- A K-State O-lineman is fighting to get his scholarship release.
- A former USC safety started an apartment fire with a blunt… because God told him to.
- Michigan great Bob Chappuis passed away yesterday at the age of 89.
- Former Sooner Jerry Tubbs passed away as well.
- Mike Krzyzewski criticizes Joe Paterno‘s firing.
- Harvey Updyke is ready to begin his trial next week, his lawyer says.
Friday offseason one-liners
Two years later, the defensive tackle is on the move yet again.
RedRaiderSports.com is reporting that Simmons has decided to transfer out of the Tech football program. Apparently this doesn’t come as a shock to those who cover the team on a daily basis as Chris Level of that Rivals.com website wrote on Twitter that the player has “gone back and forth on wanting to transfer several times; this time, it’s happening.”
The Tech athletic department has yet to publicly confirm the defensive lineman’s impending departure.
As for potential transfer destinations, Simmons is already slated to visit USC this weekend. Simmons was close to signing with the Trojans coming out of high school before (briefly) opting for the Tar Heels.
Additionally, Simmons is reportedly considering Miami, Penn State and Pittsburgh.
Simmons, who will be forced to sit out the 2013 season if he stays at the FBS level, will have two years to use two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2014.
For the 2011 recruiting class, Simmons was a four-star recruit rated as the No. 1 player in the state of Pennsylvania; the No. 5 defensive tackle in the country; and the No. 80 player at any position in the country. He started all 13 games for the Red Raiders in 2012 after playing in 10 games as a true freshman in 2011.
Ladies and gentlemen, the college football offseason!
According to FOX8-TV in Cleveland, Akron football player Seth Cunningham is facing a charge of aggravated robbery following an incident late Thursday night. And by “incident,” we mean the cornerback allegedly held up a tobacco pipe store at gunpoint.
Per the television station, “Cunningham, 21, entered the 24-hour store on Pearl Road Monday and waved a 9mm handgun in the air. He stole a water pipe worth $447 before taking off.”
Brunswick (Ohio) police caught up with and arrested Cunningham, who they allege admitted to the robbery. He was taken to a county jail but was subsequently released after a $30,000 bond was posted.
The Zips subsequently confirmed that Cunningham has been indefinitely suspended from the football program.
The senior played in nine games in 2012.
Meandering our way through the offseason, a single one-liner at a time…
– The Omaha World-Herald says all the talk of more neutral site games in college football is a bunch of hot air.
– Graduating from Texas, former UT great Vince Young says the sheepskin trumps any pigskin glory he achieved with the Longhorns.
– Polynesian players are prospering at Utah.
– PennLive.com: Michael Mauti‘s rise to Penn State icon was about so much more than his play.
– al.com: Auburn legend Terry Beasley fights back during week of despair, health scares
– With Nick Saban set to be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame this weekend, some of the Tide coach’s knickknacks (get it?) will be on display.
– More than $91,000 raised for Mott Children’s Hospital by Michigan football.
In December, it was announced that Daniel Jenkins would be transferring out of the Arizona football program after finishing second among Wildcat running backs in rushing yards last season. In January, the running back took to Twitter to announce that he would be transferring to Washington State to continue his collegiate playing career.
Four months later?
Lt. Frank Drebin, take it away…
Friday night, UA head coach Rich Rodriguez announced that Jenkins had decided to leave Wazzu and transfer back to the Wildcats. No reason was given for Jenkins’ decision to transfer back into the program from which he had left just five months ago.
Jenkins participated in spring practice at WSU and would’ve been eligible to play for the Cougars in 2013 as he had graduated from UA in December. Now, he will be eligible to play for the Wildcats this season as a graduate transfer.
In 2012, Jenkins was third on the team in rushing behind the nation’s leading rusher Ka’Deem Carey (1,929 yards) and quarterback Matt Scott (506) with a career-high 293 yards. As a four-star member of UA’s 2009 recruiting class, Jenkins was rated as the No. 12 all-purpose back in the country by Rivals.com.
UNC confirmed Friday that the quarterback is again enrolled at the school and is attending classes. Academics prevented Williams from enrolling for the spring semester, which kept the player from participating in spring practice.
Last season, the former four-star recruit served as the primary backup to starter Bryn Renner, who returns to the Tar Heels this fall for his senior season.
Mitch Trubisky exited spring as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart as a true freshman. Trubisky was an early enrollee after signing on as a member of the Tar Heels’ 2013 recruiting class.
As a redshirt freshman last season, Williams accounted for 127 yards passing and 186 yards rushing. He scored four total touchdowns.
Two months after being slapped with a suspension, Darius Millines, along with a teammate, has seen his career at Illinois come to an untimely end.
An Illini official confirmed to the Associated Press that Millines and defensive end Darrius Caldwell have been dismissed from the football program. As expected, the only reason given was an unspecified violation of team rules.
The school has yet to offer up any public comments on what led to head coach Tim Beckman‘s decision to dismiss the duo.
In early March, the wide receiver was indefinitely suspended for the same set of reasons. As a junior last season, Millines was second on the team with 319 receiving yards on 32 catches.
Caldwell played in 12 games as a redshirt freshman last season, credited with 17 tackles, five tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
According to Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com, Oklahoma State is restricting the quarterback from transferring to Southern Miss as well as any SEC school. Such restrictions would severely limit desirable destinations for Lunt as he had been considering five schools; three of them — Southern Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt — are now off-limits because of his former school in general and his ex-coach specifically.
Still on Lunt’s radar are Illinois and Louisville. Lunt either has or will in very short order visit the Illini, who are currently considered the front-runners by default.
A school spokesperson confirmed the head-scratching restrictions to Fowler, and stated it was between OSU head coach Mike Gundy and Lunt when asked why the player would not be released to that set of schools. It’s unclear why Gundy — ya know, the “I’m a man, I’m 40″ rant guy when it came to defending one his players from the sharp barbs of the mean ol’ media — placed such restrictions on Lunt.
The Southern Miss football program is now headed by Todd Monken, who served as Gundy’s offensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012; the Cowboys and Golden Eagles are not slated to face each other during the regular season at any point over the next nine years. After sitting out the 2013 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Lunt will have three years of eligibility remaining; the only SEC school Oklahoma State will face in the regular season during that four-year timeframe is Mississippi State in 2013.
Ironically, Gundy spoke to at least two different schools this offseason about their head coaching vacancies, and would’ve been free to move to those programs without restriction. The two schools he’s known to have spoken with about their openings? Arkansas and Tennessee, both members of the SEC.
Excellent work, Coach Gundy. You and your university and T. Boone should be very proud of the pettiness and double-standards on full display. Stay classy, Stillwater.
UPDATED 6:26 p.m. ET: According to Zach Kerker, sports director at 1450 in Springfield, Ill., Lunt’s high school coach stated that his former player is also restricted from transferring to Pac-12 schools as well as Central Michigan (on OSU’s non-conference schedule in 2015 & 2016). The reason behind the restrictions? ”They could play in bowl games,” the coach said.
Pitiful. Absolutely pitiful situation.
FSU announced Friday that defensive end DeMarcus Walker has been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse following months of uncertainty. Walker was an early enrollee at FSU but did not participate in spring practice due to the Clearinghouse issue.
Reportedly, the issue stemmed from an online course he had taken in high school.
“Nole Nation I just got the best news ever I’m cleared academically now,” Walker wrote in a tweet posted to his Twitter account. “I swear ever(y) school on the schedule is in trouble now. #FEAR THE SPEAR.”
Walker was a four-star member of FSU’s recruiting class this year, rated as the No. 5 strongside defensive end in the country and the No. 11 player at any position in the state of Florida. He was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 57 player in the country.
In part because of attrition and in part because of his talent, Walker is expected to contribute immediately to the Seminoles’ line rotation.
Thanks in large part to it being a (very) low point in the offseason college football news cycle, another blast directed at Nick Saban has dominated the headlines over the past couple of days.
The Alabama head coach was referred to as “the devil himself” as well as accused of lacking a personality by Florida assistant Tim Davis at a booster function. What differentiates this from Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin‘s “Nicky Satan” blast earlier this year is the fact that Saban and Davis had a previous working relationship, leading the former to label the latter’s comments as “terribly disappointing” and seemingly being left hurt by the jabs.
During an appearance via the telephone on the Dan Patrick Show Friday, Saban addressed that topic as well as multiple other issues — including the acknowledgement that preparations for the rematch with Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M are already ongoing. Check out the video below.
Meandering our way through the offseason, a single one-liner at a time…
– al.com: While you’re going after Nick Saban, he’s going about his business.
– Speaking of Saban, have you ever wondered what the Alabama head coach would look like with Dana Holgorsen‘s hair? If so, today’s your lucky day.
– Losing U.S. Open tennis could lead to CBS televising early-season SEC games.
– Charlie Weis likes the hope fans have in the Jayhawks, but doesn’t want their faith to be blind.
– Auburn’s defensive line going back to basics in order to shore up its run defense.
– Eric Weddle has become an unofficial ambassador for the Utah football program.
– Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer and ESPN sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards are engaged to be married.
– Former Ole Miss quarterback Tom Luke has returned to his alma mater as the football program’s assistant athletics director for player development.
– This Georgia Tech grad assistant’s attempt at recruiting via photoshopping is bad. “Not bad meaning good but bad meaning bad,” says Run DMC.
– Not football-related, but Ohio is the most swearingest f—–g state in America. O-F’N-H!!!
An early enrollee has decided to take an early leave of the West Virginia football program, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting.
Citing Chavas Rawlins‘ high school coach, the paper has confirmed that the quarterback will be transferring from the Mountaineers. It appears as though the departure of WVU assistant Jake Spavital played a significant role in the player’s departure.
“Everyone at West Virginia was great to him, but as you know he came in right when Jake left,” Monessen (Penn.) high school coach Andy Pacak told the Post-Gazette. ”His initial decision was I’m gonna go down there and make the most of it, but that (loss of Spavital) weighed on him a little bit.”
Spavital, WVU’s quarterbacks coach the past two season, left in January for the same job at Texas A&M, plus the additional title of co-offensive coordinator. Rawlins’ decision also comes a couple of weeks after Clint Trickett transferred in from Florida State and entered the Mountaineers’ quarterback fray.
Rawlins, a three-star member of WVU’s 2013 recruiting class and the only QB signed this year by the Mountaineers, participated in spring practice as an early signee but did not play in the spring game as all of the reps went to Paul Millard and Ford Childress.
“Chavas has been getting reps in practice and slowly we’ve been moving him along, but obviously he’s got a long ways to go,” said head coach Dana Holgorsen after the spring game.
If Rawlins transfers to another FBS school — there’s no early indication as to which direction he might be headed — he would have to sit out the 2013 season but would retain all of his eligibility.
You know what this means, right? Yep, we’re slowly inching closer to the start of a new season.
While that remains a little under four months away, one major postseason award has released its first watch list of the offseason, with the Lott IMPACT Trophy releasing its group of 42 players on the defensive side of the ball. No finalists or semifinalists for last year’s award, won by Notre Dame Manti Te’o, are represented on this year’s watch list.
A total of seven conferences — the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, MAC and Sun Belt Conference being the lone exceptions — and three independents — Army, BYU and Notre Dame — are represented this year, including a total of 37 different football programs.
Of the seven schools with two players on the list, three come from the Pac-12: Stanford (DL Henry Anderson, S Ed Reynolds), UCLA (LB Anthony Barr, LB Eric Kendricks) and Washington (DT Danny Shelton, LB John Timu). Baylor (S Ahmad Dixon, LB Bryce Hager), Northwestern (DB Ibraheim Campbell, LB Damien Proby), Ohio State (CB Bradley Roby, LB Ryan Shazier) and Virginia Tech (CB Antone Exum, LB Jack Tyler).
The Pac-12 led all conferences with 11 players on the list, followed by the ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 with seven apiece. Players from the SEC and Mountain West (two) were also part of the initial grouping.
The Lott Trophy is named in honor of former USC and San Francisco 49ers great Ronnie Lott, and is given out to the player who has the biggest IMPACT — Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity – on their teams both on and off the field.
For the complete Lott Trophy watch list, see below:
Henry Anderson, DL, Stanford
Geoffrey Bacon, LB, Army
Calvin Barnett, DL, Oklahoma State
Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
Nat Behre, DB, San Diego State
Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin
Max Bullough, LB, Michigan State
Ibraheim Campbell, DB, Northwestern
Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke
Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
Scott Crichton, DL, Oregon State
Alden Darby, DB, Arizona State
Aaron Donald, DL, Pitt
Steele DiVitto, LB, Boston College
Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech
Jake Fischer, LB, Arizona
Chase Garnham, LB, Vanderbilt
Bryce Hager, LB, Baylor
Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
A.J. Johnson, LB, Tennessee
Lamarcus Joyner, S/CB, Florida State
Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
Devon Kennard, DL, USC
James Morris, LB, Iowa
C.J. Moseley, LB, Alabama
Damien Proby, LB, Northwestern
Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford
Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
D.T. Shackleford, LB, Ole Miss
Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Spencer Shuey, LB, Clemson
Derron Smith, DB, Fresno State
John Timu, LB, Washington
Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
Jack Tyler, LB, Virginia Tech
Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Avery Williamson, LB, Kentucky
Ty Zimmerman, S, Kansas State
Brace yourself: what you’re about to see is some (gasp!) feelings and a hint of emotion coming from future college football Hall of Famer and current cyborg Nick Saban.
Earlier in the week, Florida assistant Tim Davis was quoted at a booster function as referring to the Alabama head coach as “the devil himself.” That was the second time this offseason that the Prince of Darkness has been brought up in reference to Saban, with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin referring to the four-time BCS-title-winning coach as “Nicky Satan” in January.
This time, though, it was a little personal for Saban as Davis was a member of his Miami Dolphins staff for two years and spent another year on his Tide staff. That familiarity led to some unexpected — and refreshing — honesty on the part of the coach prior to a Crimson Caravan event Thursday.
“It really is a little terribly disappointing,” Saban said according to al.com. “I try to do right by the people that work for me,” he said. “It’s a tough, demanding job. And at the same time, if anybody had an issue or problem with me, I would want them to just tell me. …
“It’s just disappointing. If somebody has a problem with me, I’d appreciate it if they’d tell me. If I’m doing something to offend somebody, I’d certainly like to do whatever I have to do to fix it. It’s not our intention. It’s not what we try to do.
“We’re in a tough business. It’s very competitive. Sometimes you’ve got to demand that people do things that maybe they don’t want to do, but it’s not personal.”
Also included in Davis’ standup routine — which Saban apparently took to heart way more than we had assumed he would — the Gator offensive line coach took a jab at Saban’s personality, or lack thereof, in propping up his current boss Will Muschamp.
“[Muschamp's] like [Saban], only he’s got a personality,” the Gator assistant said. “He’ll smile at you. He’ll talk to you. You understand?”
Muschamp also worked under Saban for five years, four at LSU and one with the Dolphins, and the two have a level of respect for the other that goes beyond the football field. It’s that respect that left Saban seemingly biting his tongue when it came to Davis’ personality shot.
“I know it’s not representative of Will Muschamp and the University of Florida and the way they do things,” he said. “I know that, because I’m close enough to Will to know that.”
What will be interesting to see is Muschamp’s response to one of his assistants taking digs at someone who is both a friend and conference competitor, albeit in a different division. Even more interesting? When the damn season gets here so this kind of stuff moves to the background.
Just a handful of weeks following the end of spring practice, Virginia’s depth and experience at the running back position has taken an unexpected hit.
In a press release, Cavaliers head coach Mike London announced that Clifton Richardson has been granted a release from his scholarship and will leave the football program. No specific reason for the departure was given, although it appears to be an amicable parting of ways.
“Clifton Richardson has been granted permission to seek a release from his scholarship to pursue opportunities elsewhere,” said London in a statement. “Clifton will be leaving the University in good academic standing. I wish the best for Clifton as he pursues his academic and athletic goals.”
The release stated that Richardson will have two years of eligibility remaining plus a redshirt season.
Richardson appeared in 20 games during his Cavaliers career, rushing for 425 yards and two touchdowns. In seven games last season, Richardson ran for just 59 yards as he battled an injury to his lower extremities.
A four-star member of Virginia’s 2011 recruiting class, Richardson was rated as the No. 20 RB in the country and the No. 6 player at any position in the state of Virginia.
Meandering our way through the offseason, a single one-liner at a time…
– Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith supports the idea of playing the Big Ten championship game in Detroit when the contract with Indianapolis runs out in three years.
– Newark Star Ledger: New athletic director Julie Hermann needs to prove she can be a visionary for Rutgers.
– While an agreement in principle has been reached to renew the Memphis-Tennessee hoops rivalry, a continuation of the football series remains up in the air.
– Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium North end zone project involves Homeland Security issue.
– At least for now, former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is looking forward to bringing his Colorado State team to Bryant-Denny Stadium this fall.
– Having an East Coast recruiting presence is being embraced by Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi.
– Safety Ebo Makinde posted the fasted 40-yard dash time (4.24) at Boise State’s spring testing day.
– Speaking of Boise State, Bronco Stadium will be getting a new 60-foot-by-33-foot video board to replace the one installed in 2001.
– Class of 2014 Kentucky football recruits banding together on Twitter.