Free-agency commences: USC reportedly interested in Silas Redd

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Wading through the aftermath churned up in the wake of the NCAA’s sanctions on Penn State, we wrote that “the NCAA has declared it’s open season on any and all current or incoming Penn State players, essentially creating a free-agent frenzy that has the potential to utterly dwarf what transpired at USC three years ago.”

CBSSports.com‘s Bruce Feldman wrote that “a feeding frenzyhas already begun in major college football, with FBS programs openly — albeit anonymously — acknowledging that their programs have already faxed to Penn State the names of current players in which they’re interested.

Ironically enough, the first specific reference connecting a current PSU player to a potential transfer destination is to a school that, up until today’s penalties were announced, had faced the most punitive measures handed down by the NCAA since SMU’s death penalty.

As ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad writes, “USC has notified Penn State of its interest in running back Silas Redd.”

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That, of course, would be the same USC that’s coming off a two-year bowl ban and a reduction of 30 scholarships over three years thanks to the Reggie Bush impermissible benefits fiasco.  And a Trojan program that saw, as a part of the NCAA’s punitive measures in that case, players who were either juniors or seniors in 2010 being permitted to transfer and play immediately at a new program.

A half-dozen or so Trojans took advantage of that loosening of transfer restrictions, none of them projected starters.  It remains unclear how many Nittany Lions, starters or otherwise, will take advantage of a similar loosening, although Penn State is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to that part of the punitive measures; any and all current players regardless of class standing as well as incoming freshmen are permitted to transfer without restriction.

The immediate eligibility for Redd, and the immediate need for help at the running back position for USC, however, would appear to make this speculation an on-paper match made in football heaven.  And a match that someone very close to Redd would not be adverse to in theory, with the back’s father reportedly stating that it’s his son’s decision whether or not to transfer and he will not stand in the way of whatever’s decided.

Last season, Redd led the Nittany Lions in rushing yards (1,241) and rushing touchdowns (nine).  So, yes, given a team with title aspirations and a glaring hole at the position, a player the caliber of Redd — with two years of eligibility remaining to boot — would make perfect sense to pursue.

Staffer-attacking Alabama LB one of four FBS players to officially transfer to FCS Tennessee State

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One of the more infamous figures from this year’s national championship game has officially found a new home.

Earlier this week, it was reported that linebacker Mekhi Brown, who drew a personal foul for punching a Georgia player in the title game shortly before going after a ‘Bama staffer on the sidelines, would be transferring to Tennessee State. Friday, the FCS school confirmed that Brown is one of four transfers from FBS programs who have been added to its football roster.

Prior to his departure, Brown had appeared in 12 games in 2017 as a redshirt sophomore for the Crimson Tide.

The other three FBS transfers added are linebacker Christion Abercrombie (Illinois), quarterback Demry Croft (Minnesota) and defensive back John Robinson IV (UConn).  As TSU is an FCS program, all four players will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

Brown’s nationally-televised outburst notwithstanding, Croft is actually the most noteworthy of the additions.  In his last year with the Gophers, Croft started the last six games of the regular season.  Perhaps the most noteworthy moment of his Gophers career, though, was posting a negative quarterback rating in a mid-November loss to Northwestern two weeks before he decided to transfer.

Croft will have two seasons of eligibility left.

Abercrombie, who has three years of eligibility, played in 11 games in 2017 for the Fighting Illini.  Robinson played in five games last season for the Huskies, and he too has three seasons of eligibility at his disposal.

After leaving Miami, Darrion Owens lands at Houston

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Nearly three weeks after leaving Miami, Darrion Owens has found himself a new college football home.

Friday, Houston confirmed that it was officially added Owens to second-year head coach Major Applewhite‘s roster.  As the linebacker joins the Cougars as a graduate transfer from The U, he can immediately bolster UH’s defense in 2018.

This coming season marks the Florida native’s final season of eligibility.

Owens joined the Hurricanes as a three-star 2014 recruit.  247Sports.com had him rated as the No. 30 outside linebacker in the country.

After playing in 12 games as a true freshman, Owens opened 2015 as a starter but suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 2.  The past two seasons, Owens played in 25 games. In 13 games in 2017, he was credited with 35 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss.

In announcing Owens’ transfer from The U, head coach Mark Richt stated that, after the two had talked, “he informed me that he feels his best opportunity to get the most playing time would be at another school.”

RB Tre Watson leaving Cal as grad transfer

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Cal lost one of their top running backs to a season-ending injury last year.  Now, they’ve lost him for good.

Tre Watson took to Twitter late Friday night to announce that, “after many months of discussion with my family and lots of prayers,” he has decided to transfer from the Bears.  He will be pursuing a master’s degree elsewhere, meaning he can play for another FBS school in 2018.

The upcoming season will be Watson’s final year of collegiate eligibility.

In a Week 2 win over Weber State this past season, Watson sustained a serious knee injury and didn’t play the rest of the year.  Prior to the injury, Watson’s 83 yards in less than five quarters worth of work this season were leading the team.

In 2016, Watson was second on the Bears in rushing yards with 709 and led the team with four rushing touchdowns.  he finishes the Cal portion of his playing career with 1,390 yards and eight touchdowns on 274 carries.

Frisman Jackson hired as Baylor’s WRs coach

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Matt Rhule has officially been reunited with one of his former assistant coaches.

Baylor Friday confirmed that Rhule has hired Frisman Jackson to be his next wide receivers coach.  In 2015 and 2016, Jackson served as Rhule’s receivers coach and passing-game coordinator at Temple.

This past season, Jackson was the receivers coach for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.

“We are blessed to get Fris fresh off a successful playoff run at Tennessee,” Rhule said in a statement. “After having worked with him before, I know there is no one better suited to take our receivers group to the next level. His experience as both a college and pro player and coach gives him a unique perspective on developing our young men as elite football players, great students and quality men. His ability to teach and develop receivers is second to none. We are excited to welcome Fris, Lindsey, Anya and Forrest to the Baylor family.”

Jackson, who spent six seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver, has previously spent time on FBS coaching staffs at North Carolina State (2013-14), Northern Illinois (2012) and Akron (2010-11).  At each of those stops, Jackson was a receivers coach.

“I’m very excited to be back with Coach Rhule,” Jackson said. “I had a great time working with him at Temple. He’s a smart coach, he’s a fair coach and he’s a true family guy. I know he is going to do things the right way.

“Getting back with coaches I have worked with before makes the transition easy and smooth. Those two years at Temple were some of my best years as a coach. We had a great run and I’m looking forward to doing the same things at Baylor.”