Fans of the Louisville football program can finally and officially breathe a huge sigh of relief. Probably.
Star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a wrist injury in Saturday’s loss to UConn, the Cardinals’ second loss in a row after beginning the season 9-0. Even as he returned to the triple-overtime defeat after injuring the wrist, there was some concern that injury would have an impact in Bridgewater’s availability for the game against Rutgers Thursday, which will decide the Big East’s representative in a BcS bowl game.
During the Big East’s weekly teleconference, head coach Charlie Strong shot down the speculation concerning his starting quarterback.
“Yes, Teddy will play,” Strong said. “It’s nothing different. He finished the game against Connecticut so there’s nothing different. …
“We just know that Teddy is tough. He’s a true competitor. So we’ll be able to go with him.”
The fact that the injury was to Bridgewater’s left (non-throwing) arm will aid the player’s status greatly, although Strong did allow that he “[doesn’t] know how close he is to 100 percent” and the coaching/medical staff is “just going to monitor him this week.”
If Rutgers’ wins Thursday, the Scarlet Knights would claim an outright Big East title and play in a BcS bowl. If Louisville wins, and Cincinnati wins Saturday, it would create a four-way tie. The tiebreaker would then become where the teams place in the final BcS rankings. The team with the highest ranking in that last release next Sunday would earn the BcS bid; barring something unexpected, that would be Louisville.
There’s a new leader in the clubhouse for “Early Entrant With the Most Vowels in his Surname.”
On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, Joel Iyiegbuniwe announced that he is leaving Western Kentucky early and making himself available for the April NFL draft. The linebacker, a native of Bowling Green, Kent., stated that he came to his decision “[a]fter much thought, prayer and discussion with my family, coaches and advisors.”
This past season, Iyiegbuniwe led the Hilltoppers in tackles with 117, tackles for loss with 11.5 and forced fumbles with three. He was named first-team All-Conference USA following the regular season.
Including last season, Iyiegbuniwe had started 27 straight games at outside linebacker for the Hilltoppers.
Today is the deadline for draft-eligible players to inform the NFL of their intentions.
One day after Woody Barrett announced that he has found a new college football home, the school has confirmed as much.
Kent State sent out a press release Monday evening acknowledging that Barrett has signed with the football program. After spending the 2017 season at a Mississippi junior college, the quarterback will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.
Counting this coming season, Barrett will have three years of eligibility remaining.
“We’re excited about Woody’s potential, his ability and his raw tools both throwing and running the football,” new Golden Flashes head coach Sean Lewis said in a statement. “And we’re excited to have him on campus to be training with our team as we get ready for spring ball.”
A four-star member of Auburn’s 2016 recruiting class, Barrett was rated as the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the country that cycle. He took a redshirt as a true freshman, then opted to transfer from the Tigers in May of last year, ultimately ending up at the JUCO level.
At Copiah-Lincoln Community College this past season, Barrett passed for 1,294 yards and eight touchdowns in nine games, adding another 485 and six on the ground.
One hole on Jim Harbaugh‘s coaching staff has been filled.
The football program confirmed Monday that Sherrone Moore has been hired and will serve as Harbaugh’s tight ends coach. Moore will replace Greg Frey, who moved on to a job on Willie Taggart‘s staff at Florida State.
The 31-year-old Moore — he’ll turn 32 in early February — spent the past four seasons coaching tight ends at Central Michigan. This past season, he added the title of assistant head coach as well as taking over as the MAC program’s recruiting coordinator.
Moore began his coaching career as an offensive graduate assistant at Louisville from 2009-12. He was promoted to tight ends coach in 2012, spending that season as well as 2013 in that role.
Ryan Finley announced earlier this month he will return to NC State for his senior season, which means his backup is leaving. Jalan McClendon revealed Monday he will pursue his options elsewhere for his final season of college football as a graduate transfer.
“I’ve enjoyed every bit of this university,” McClendon said in a statement. “My teammates and coaches, the fans, the atmosphere, even the food! I appreciate everything that NC State has done for me and I wouldn’t take it back for anything.”
McClendon appeared in 20 games as a member of the Wolfpack, completing 26-of-47 passes for 262 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions while adding 46 carries for 223 yards.
“Jalan has been phenomenal throughout his career,” head coach Dave Doeren said in a statement. “He’s been a great leader and a great teammate and has done everything we could’ve asked a young man to do. We wish him the best and will always consider him an important part of the Wolfpack family.”
McClendon was a 3-star recruit out of West Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte.