Well, that certainly didn’t take long.
Thursday, Washington announced that tight end Joshua Perkins and running back Willis Wilson had been dismissed from the football program for violating unspecified team rules. Friday, however, head coach Steve Sarkisian channeled his inner Frank Drebin.
In a somewhat unexpected move, Sarkisian confirmed Friday to media covering the team that both of the players have been reinstated.
“We gathered some more information on the situation and it felt like the right thing to do,” Sarkisian said. “We met with some of the leaders on the team. … Their punishment will be handled in-house and I think that they are thankful for the opportunity to get back and I think that their teammates are happy to have them back.”
Both Perkins and Wilson were back practicing with those teammates Friday. The Tacoma News Tribune reported that the two players took several reps with the No. 2 offense in their first practice back.
Perkins, a redshirt freshman, was recently moved from wide receiver to tight end. He was a three-star member of UW’s 2011 recruiting class.
The sophomore Wilson is a walk-on who, at the time of the dismissal, was described as the No. 4 running back, but also “was being counted on to provide some depth this season with Deontae Cooper again out for the year with a knee injury.”
Colorado State played in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, and afterward the players were released to return home to their families for Christmas break.
For freshman offensive lineman Luis Lebron, that meant a cross-country trip to Jacksonville. And, like many a trip cross-country, that required a stop at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
That quickly turned into a problem when the entire airport shutdown due to a power outage on Sunday. Without any other options, Lebron started walking. He said he walked six miles before he ran into a reporter from the local Fox affiliate.
The story comes with a happy ending: Lebron eventually hitched a ride.
I could say something snarky here, but it’s Christmas so instead I’ll just say this: the Colorado State program and the Lebron family should be proud of how Luis carried himself on a day that would cause many of us to snap. And I’ve no doubt they are.
The final open job in FBS is no longer open. According to a report from FootballScoop, Syracuse co-offensive coordinator Sean Lewis will be the new head coach at Kent State. (Full disclosure: I also work for FootballScoop.)
Lewis’s ascension to head coach completes a meteoric rise through the FBS coaching ranks. He was a graduate assistant at Akron in 2011, then joined Dino Babers‘s staff at Eastern Illinois in 2012-13. He followed Babers to Bowling Green where he served as wide receivers coach in 2014 and as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in ’15, then did the same at Syracuse from 2016-17.
The site also reported that former Babers staffer and current Chattanooga defensive coordinator Tom Kaufman will join the staff as defensive coordinator.
Lewis is set to take over one of the most down-trodden programs in FBS. The Golden Flashes carry a lifetime record of 321-500-8 and have three all-time bowl appearances, all of them losses. Kent State has one MAC championship in its history, coming under Don James in 1972.
The 2017 Flashes went 2-10 and ranked 129th nationally in yards per play and scoring, beating out UTEP for the cellar for both spots.
Florida State tight end Mavin Saunders will pursue a graduate transfer to Kansas, according to a report from Bud Elliott of SBNation.
Saunders did not record a statistic as a redshirt junior in 2017. He caught 10 passes for 182 yards in 12 appearances in 2016, and made two starts as a redshirt freshman in 2015.
A native of the Bahamas, Saunders graduated from The Kinkaid School in Houston before enrolling at Florida State. The Jayhawks are losing their top tight end from the 2017 team. Senior Ben Johnson finished second on the club with 30 receptions for 363 yards and one touchdown this fall. He was the only tight end to catch a pass this season.
Scott Frost will have to make room for a little more hardware as he moves to Nebraska. On Monday, the Associated Press named Frost its coach of the year for the 2017 season.
Frost received 21 first-place votes and 100 total points in the voting consisting of 57 voters in the AP Top 25. Frost beat out Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney for the award following an undefeated 12-0 season at UCF that ended with an AAC championship and a berth in the Peach Bowl as the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion. Despite already being hired to be the head coach at Nebraska and UCF hiring a new head coach, Frost has stayed committed to coaching the Knights in the bowl game even if it makes for some long days flying between Lincoln and Orlando as he pulls double duty.
Frost turned UCF football around in short order. After inheriting a team that had gone 0-12 just prior to his arrival, Frost reinvigorated the mindset of the program and led UCF to a 6-7 season in his debut as UCF head coach in 2016. To follow that up in 2017, Frost led UCF to an undefeated season and conference championship to help return the program to a big bowl game for the first time since facing Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl with Blake Bortles at quarterback.
Frost already collected a few coach of the year honors with the Eddie Robinson Award from the Football Writers Association of America and the Home Depot Coach of the Year award.