Slowly but surely, Scott Shafer is filling the holes in his first Syracuse coaching staff.
On the heels of adding a linebackers coach over the weekend, Shafer announced Monday that DeAndre Smith has been hired to coach the Orange’s running backs. Smith will replace Tyrone Wheatley, who is one of four assistants to follow Doug Marrone to the Buffalo Bills.
“DeAndre Smith is a dynamic recruiter who has experience covering all parts of the nation to bring in some of the best student-athletes.” Shafer said. “He has a proven track record, year after year, after year, tutoring several high-profile running backs every team he has coached in college football.”
Smith spent last season at New Mexico and as RBs coach and held the same title at Illinois the two years prior to that. He also spent time on coaching staffs at Northern Illinois, UNLV and Miami of Ohio.
The release announcing Smith’s hiring noted that he has mentored nine 1,000-yard rushers in 14 years of collegiate coaching.
“Our running backs will be physical and very intelligent on the field,” Smith said. “We have to secure the football and we have to make plays. It is an honor to be part of the great running backs tradition at Syracuse. When you walk through the Carrier Dome and see the history and tradition of running backs it is inspiring. I want to continue to build on that and continue the tradition of great Orange running backs.”
Shafer now has two spots on his nine-man staff left to fill.
(Photo credit: New Mexico athletics)
Aside from his feet, Demetrius Knox simply can’t catch a break.
In February of 2015, the Ohio State offensive line broke his foot and miss all of spring practice. A year and a half later, ElevenWarriors.com initially reported that Knox had again sustained a broken foot and would be sidelined for the foreseeable future.
An OSU spokesperson subsequently confirmed the redshirt sophomore recently underwent surgery and will be out for eight weeks, although it’s unclear if it’s the same foot he broke last year. Such a timeline means Knox’s regular season is all but over, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll play in the postseason.
A four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2014 recruiting class, Knox was rated as the No. 5 guard in the country and the No. 15 player at any position in the state of Texas. On 247Sports.com‘s composite board, Knox was rated as the No. 97 player overall in that class.
After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Knox played in 13 games in 2015, mostly on special teams. This season, he’s been listed as a backup at right guard while maintaining a role on special teams.
The personnel situation in Arizona’s backfield has gotten dicey all of a sudden.
J.J. Taylor picked up the injured Nick Wilson‘s carries in last weekend’s loss to Washington and rushed for 97 yards, but will be lost for a significant period of time because of a broken left ankle sustained in the same game. Now Wilson, who missed the UW game because of an ankle injury, is listed as questionable for the UCLA game because of that lingering injury issue.
Wilson originally sustained the injury early on in the Week 3 win over Hawaii, meaning the dreaded high-ankle sprain may be in play.
Taylor and Wilson are currently 1-2 amongst Wildcat running backs in rushing yards with 261 and 257, respectively. Wilson was UA’s leading rushers the first two games of the season, with Wilson taking that honor in Week 3.
Overall, though, quarterback Brandon Dawkins leads the team in yards (391), rushing touchdowns (seven) and yards per carry (8.9).
Dawkins will be making his fourth straight start in place of Anu Solomon, who began the season as the starter but hasn’t played since injuring his knee during practice leading into Week 2.
Unfortunately, it appears the dreaded high-ankle sprain has bitten one of the most snake-bitten running backs in the country.
In Georgia’s Week 4 loss to Ole Miss, Nick Chubb sustained an ankle injury in the second quarter and couldn’t return. Kirby Smart has held his cards close to his vest this week when to came to Chubb’s availability for the Week 5 game against Tennessee, even as most, if not all of the signs pointed to the running back being sidelined for the key SEC East matchup.
Friday, Chubb’s father all but ended the mystery over his son’s availability, while simultaneously indicating that a Week 6 return should be in the cards — provided it’s not the usual lingering high-ankle sprain.
“I don’t think he’s going to play,” Henry Chubb told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He’s got that high-ankle sprain. He twisted it trying to make a cut against Ole Miss. He’s in good spirits and all. He understands it. The doctor said he’d need a couple weeks, so he’ll probably play next week.”
Chubb returned from a devastating knee injury that knocked him out for more than half of the 2015 season, rushing for career regular-season high of 222 yards in the 2016 opener in his first game back. In his three games since the opener, however, Chubb has run for just 200 yards total.
Still, his 422 yards are far and away tops on the Bulldogs. With Chubb out for at least this weekend, the running-game load will fall to Brian Herrien (184 yards) and Sony Michel (106).
The 2016 presidential election could be coming to a college football stadium near you.
According to the Kansas City Star, a women’s advocacy group, UltraViolet Action, will fly airplanes over five stadiums this Saturday to protest what the group describes as “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s ‘long record of misogyny.'” The five stadiums are Michigan Stadium, Ohio Stadium, Kinnick Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field and Wallace Wade Stadium.
The most high-profile of the five games will be in the Big House, with No. 4 Michigan playing host to No. 8 Wisconsin.
The planes that the group have commissioned to do the flyovers will tow behind them banners that read “Trump Says Women R Pigs. Disagree? Vote.” The stadiums selected reside in the so-called swing states of Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
The Star writes that “UltraViolet describes itself as a ‘powerful and rapidly growing community of people from all walks of life mobilized to fight sexism and expand women’s rights, from politics and government to media and pop culture.'”