A Texas A&M wide receiver who threw a scare into both his real-life and football families last month has decided to part ways with the program. Whether it’s a permanent departure remains to be seen.
Thomas Johnson, head coach Kevin Sumlin confirmed, has withdrawn from school and is in the process of determining the direction his future, football or otherwise, will take. “[J]ust trying to figure out what his next step is going to be,” Sumlin told the San Antonio Express-News.
One future step could be a return from where he came as Sumlin left the door open for the receiver to come back to the Aggies. Sumlin also acknowledged than a transfer out of the football program is also a possibility.
In mid-November, Johnson failed to show for a midweek practice, part of a development that prompted both a missing person’s alert to be issued and the A&M police department soliciting the public for help in finding the player. Johnson was found, safe and unharmed, nearly two days after he was last seen.
At the time of his disappearance, Johnson was third on the team with 30 receptions. He did not play in the Aggies’ final two regular season games.
Until he gets his academic house in order, Alaric Williams‘ debut on The Plains will, at minimum, be delayed.
The 2017 signee confirmed via his Twitter account that, because he “came up short academically,” he will not play for Auburn this season. Instead, the running back has signed with Garden City Community College and will play for the junior college in 2017.
In his tweet, Robinson intimated that, after his stint at the JUCO level, he’ll make his way to AU; whether that ultimately happens over the next several months remains to be seen. The highly-touted signee also had a message for “the young recruits who are being highly recruited.”
“School is not something you play with,” the Alabama product wrote, adding, “I wish I would’ve realized that from the day I started high school.”
A four-star member of the Tigers’ most recent recruiting class, Williams was rated as the No. 12 player at any position in the state of Alabama. In addition to running back, the 6-0, 195-athlete was also being looked at as a slot receiver in AU’s offense.
Three months after it was initially indicated, Chris Laviano officially has a new college football home.
According to a press release, Laviano has signed an offer-in-aid and is enrolled in classes for the summer session at San Diego State. The move paves the way for the quarterback to join the Aztecs football team for the upcoming season.
As Laviano is moving on to SDSU as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017. This will be Laviano’s final season of eligibility.
In late November of last year, Laviano opted to transfer from Rutgers. Prior to that, Laviano had started 18 consecutive games for the Scarlet Knights until he was benched in October of last year.
In 2015, Laviano completed nearly 61 percent of his passes for 2,247 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The completion percentage was the best for an RU player since 2008, while the yardage was good for eighth in school history.
Overall, he tossed 21 touchdowns and 15 picks during his time in Piscataway.
At SDSU, Laviano will compete with, among others, the incumbent Christian Chapman for the starting job. The 2016 starter missed spring practice this year as he recovered surgery on his thumb he underwent this offseason.
In his first full season as the starter, Chapman completed 153-of-251 passes for 1,994 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. His 149.2 pass efficiency was second among Mountain West signal-callers.
Ratings-wise, Deshawn Raymond was the crown jewel of TCU’s 2015 recruiting class. Two years later, he’s gone.
On his personal Twitter account this week, Raymond announced that he has decided to transfer from the Horned Frogs and continue his collegiate playing career at an undetermined elsewhere. “I want to thank [head coach Gary Patterson] for giving me this golden opportunity and allowing me to be apart [sic] of something special,” the cornerback wrote. “I appreciate everything y’all did for me.”
A four-star 2015 signee, Raymond was rated as the No. 27 corner in the country and the No. 11 player at any position in the state of Louisiana. According to 247Sports.com‘s ratings, no player in the Horned Frogs class was rated higher than Raymond.
In addition to TCU, he held offers from, among others, Arkansas, LSU, Mississippi State, Nebraska and Texas A&M. He took official visits to Nebraska and MSU, and a handful of unofficial visits to LSU.
After playing in 11 games as a true freshman, Raymond didn’t see the field at all in 2016. Should the defensive back land at another FBS program, he’d be forced to sit out the 2017 season. He would then have two seasons of eligibility to use beginning in 2018.
Heading into his sixth season at North Carolina, Larry Fedora will do so armed with a revamped deal.
Early Thursday afternoon, the university announced that a contract extension for Fedora has been formally approved by the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees. Fedora is now under contract through the 2022 season.
“We are pleased that the Board of Trustees has approved the terms of Coach Fedora’s contract, which will allow him to continue our football program’s success into the next decade,” said UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham in a statement. “Under his leadership, our student-athletes are succeeding in the classroom, contributing positively to our community – and competing for championships. We know this was a lengthy process, but we wanted to make sure the terms were appropriate for both Coach Fedora and the University.”
Fedora’s 2016 compensation of just under $2 million was 11th out of the 11 ACC head coaches listed in USA Today‘s salary database. The new deal will pay Fedora $2.29 million in 2017, which would’ve been ninth among conference coaches last season.
Below are the salary breakdowns for each year of the new contract:
In his five seasons with the Tar Heels, Fedora has gone 40-25 overall and 26-14 in ACC play. His wins are already fifth in school history, while his .615 winning percentage is second since UNC joined the ACC in 1953.
In 2015, the Tar Heels played in their first-ever conference championship game en route to an 11-win season that was the program’s best since Mack Brown’s last year in Chapel Hill and tied for the most in school history.
“I enjoy coaching at the University of North Carolina and I appreciate the trust Chancellor Folt and Bubba Cunningham have shown in the leadership of our program,” Fedora said. “Our staff and players have worked diligently over the last five years to build a program that encompasses all aspects of the student-athlete experience, while simultaneously achieving success on the field.”