In the latest in a string of announcements, Syracuse became the latest FBS-level program to lose an underclassman standout to the NFL.
The Orange announced via ye olde press release Thursday evening that standout offensive tackle Justin Pugh (pictured, No. 67) has decided to forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the April draft. The decision comes after an injury curtailed the early portion of Pugh’s 2012 season.
“Coach Marrone and Coach Adkins have been great throughout my career, including through this process,” Pugh said in a statement. “I wanted to be honest with everyone as I made this decision and they were the same with me. My Syracuse career was the best four years of my life. My teammates, coaches, the staff and the fans have been great. I would not change anything about my decision to attend Syracuse or my career. I am so happy I came to Syracuse University. I will always be active in the Orange football program and the Syracuse community. I love the Orange. Go ‘Cuse.”
All told, Pugh started 34 games the past three seasons.
“Justin is a big part of this program turning the corner,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “He came in with us four years ago and gave us everything he had. We are proud of him for earning his degree and for what he has accomplished on the field as a leader of this team. He has earned it. I believe he will be very successful at the next level and in everything he does outside of football. Justin will always be part of the Orange football family.”
Pugh becomes the first offensive lineman to officially declare early for the draft. How’d I know that? By clicking HERE, of course.
After UCLA, Baylor visits, ex-LSU lineman opts for Texas JUCO
In the end, a former highly-touted high school prospect will start over at a much lower rung on the college football ladder.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Willie Allen has decided to attend Tyler Junior College and play football this season for the Texas JUCO. The offensive lineman told the Baton Rouge Advocate that he decided to take the JUCO route so as not to miss out on another season of eligibility as he had previously burned his redshirt.
Prior to settling on the Texas JUCO, Allen had taken visits to, among others, Baylor and UCLA. TCU had also been given serious consideration by Allen, but he was blocked by LSU after that Big 12 program reportedly had contact with the player before he had formally requested a transfer.
A four-star 2016 signee, Allen was rated as the No. 10 player at any position in the state of Louisiana and the No. 17 tackle in the country. Only one lineman in the Tigers’ class that year, guard Donavaughn Campbell, was rated higher than Allen.
An unspecified leg injury suffered in the midst of summer camp sidelined him for his true freshman season and led to Allen taking a redshirt for 2016.
Just a little over a month before the start of summer camp, Cal’s offensive line has taken what some might consider a rather significant hit.
In a very short and terse press release, the football program announced that “Dwayne Wallace is no longer associated with the school’s football program.” No reason was given for what could be best described as an eyebrow-raising departure.
The first two years of the 6-5, 330-pound Wallace’s collegiate playing career were spent at the junior college level in Riverside, California. He transferred to Cal in January of 2016.
In his first and what turned out to be only season with the Golden Bears, Wallace started nine of the 12 games in which he played. Exiting spring practice, Wallace was firmly entrenched as Cal’s starting right guard.
With Wallace’s departure, Cal’s offensive line will now have four new starters for the 2017 season.
Ole Miss, Texas Tech to open 2018 season in Houston
As opening weekend of the 2017 season grows larger and larger on the horizon, there’s some news for the same weekend the following year that’s been confirmed.
As expected, both Ole Miss and Texas Tech announced Friday morning that the two football teams will open the 2018 season at Houston’s NRG Stadium, home of the NFL’s Texans. The game that will be a part of the annual Advocare Texas Kickoff series does not yet have a specific date or time for its kickoff.
The two programs have met in football five times previously, the first coming in 1986 and the last in the 2009 Cotton Bowl. The Rebels hold a slight 3-2 edge in the miniseries.
“We are excited to be part of this great event and play a tradition-rich opponent like Texas Tech,” said Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork in a statement. “In our scheduling process, we seek out marquee matchups at premier venues, and this is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our program on a grand stage. Houston and the state of Texas have become quite the hot bed for Rebel Nation, and we know our fans will continue our stellar reputation of supporting our team and filling up NRG Stadium.”
“We’re excited to return to Houston and take part in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff,” Bjork’s Tech counterpart, Kirby Hocutt, said. “The support of Red Raider Nation helped set a new Texas Bowl attendance record in our last trip to Houston, so we look forward to NRG Stadium being filled with scarlet and black once again to kick off the 2018 season.”
This year’s Advocare Texas Kickoff will feature LSU squaring off against BYU in Houston.
Scholarship offer for a 9-year-old? Nevada says sure, why not
Assuming young Mr. Finney just completed the fourth grade — fourth grade!!! — that would make him a member of the Class of 2026. And you all thought that scheduling way-into-the-future home-and-home series was getting out of hand.
If nothing else, it has people talking about Nevada’s program at a time when not many are talking about college football in general and Wolf Pack football specifically. Besides, what possible harm could come from entitling pre-teens with scholarship offers, right?