Please allow me to beat you to the punch: “well, duh!”
With that out of the way, it appears Deon “D.J.” Johnson’s connection to the Alabama football program has come to a not-exactly-unexpected end.
Five months after verbally committing to Alabama’s 2013 recruiting class, the 19-year-old Spanish Fort (Ala.) high schooler was arrested on second-degree rape and sodomy charges stemming from some type of relationship with the alleged victim, who is a juvenile. Less than three weeks after that arrest, Johnson was again arrested, this time on a first-degree rape charge in an incident separate from the first.
As a result of one or both of those incidents, and citing multiple sources close to the situation, TideSports.com is reporting that Alabama is no longer recruiting the athlete.
The Tide will be able to neither confirm nor deny the development as NCAA bylaws preclude them from speaking publicly about a potential student-athlete who has not signed a Letter of Intent. Johnson’s high school coach has thus far refused to comment on his player’s recruitment.
Johnson is out on bail but has been placed under house arrest, with the exception of school hours during the week. As a result of the restrictions placed on him by the courts, which prevents him from playing football for his high school this season.
Rivals.com had Johnson rated as the No. 13 player at any position in the state of Alabama. As a junior last season, Johnson caught 63 passes, 19 of them for touchdowns.
In addition to the Tide, Johnson also held offers from, among others, LSU, Auburn and Mississippi State. It’s unclear if any of those schools have continued recruiting the player.
Baylor’s on-going scandal over reported sexual assaults looks like it is about to get even uglier.
Former head coach Art Briles has filed a lawsuit for libel and slander against three school regents and a vice president, according to the Associated Press, accusing them of falsely stating he knew of sexual assaults by players and didn’t report them.
Perhaps most eyebrow-raising is that the lawsuit also accuses the officials of conspiring to keep him from getting another coaching job. Briles has been connected to openings such as the one at Houston but school officials quickly denied reports that he was formally considered for the vacant head coaching spot.
Briles was fired in the spring by Baylor after an investigation from law firm Pepper Hamilton determined the school mishandled reports of alleged sexual assaults, some of which involved numerous football players. The coach denied he knew about the alleged assaults but several regents — including the three named in the recent lawsuit — told the Wall Street Journal on the record that Briles failed to report alleged assaults.
While the football team may be looking to move on from all of this with the recent hire of Matt Rhule as the new head coach, it appears the school itself will continue to deal with the fallout from one of the worst scandals in college football history.
College football recruiting has kicked into full gear the past few weeks and one of the more interesting decisions this month that could have a big impact on next season is finding out which school former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham will be playing for in 2017.
The signal-caller threw for 12 touchdowns and over 1,200 yards after taking over as the Bears starter midway through last year but he opted to transfer away from the program this summer when Art Briles was fired as the result of a sexual assault scandal at the school. While many have considered SEC schools such as Auburn, Texas A&M and Florida to be the favorites to land the coveted junior college QB, there may be another school that is in the running too: whichever program hires Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles.
“KB is my dude,” Stidham told ESPN.com. “I’m super tight with him. I still talk to him all the time. I’m still waiting to see what happens with him and where he might go and just take it into consideration.”
It remains to be seen if new head coach Matt Rhule will retain the younger Briles but it seems unlikely given the events in Waco the past six months and the school likely wanting a complete divorce from the previous regime. Kendal Briles own job prospects seem a bit unknown given everything at play but it could be an interesting combination for a head coach looking to jump start an offense.
There’s always talk of package deals in college basketball but this would be a potential one in football that may draw some interest.
And that’s the way it was, at least as it pertains to the Florida portion of Jordan Cronkrite‘s collegiate playing career.
Thursday, the Gators announced that Cronkrite has been granted permission to pursue other opportunities. The release from his scholarship will afford the running back the opportunity to transfer elsewhere.
If that elsewhere is at the FBS, the sophomore would have to sit out the 2017 season. He’d then have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.
Cronkrite was a four-star 2015 recruit who was rated as the No. 34 player at any position in the state of Florida.
As a true freshman, Cronkrite ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries. This past season, he carried the ball 31 times for 145 yards and a touchdown. His 20 receptions were fourth on the Gators.