In late December, the rest of the college football world found out what few outside of Florida State knew: that the mother of quarterback EJ Manuel had been diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
In a regular season-ending loss to Florida, Manuel had a tough game with three interceptions. According to Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher, Manuel was affected by his mother’s appearance when he saw her in the pregame ceremonies for senior day.
“It all culminated,” Fisher said. “His mama wasn’t supposed to come to the Florida game, and she walked out there on the field and he hadn’t seen her in eight weeks and she looked a lot different.”
Thankfully, it appears Manuel’s mother will return to a more normal life. She was scheduled to have surgery Friday, and in a tweet, Manuel said that his mother is now officially cancer free.
Congratulations to Manuel, his mother and their entire family. Here’s to a long, healthy life.
On Sunday the end of the line for Mark Richt at Georgia was finally reached. The Bulldogs and the head coach will go separate ways after a 15-season run in Athens, but this will not be the final stop for Richt as a head coach. On Monday, during a press conference with the media to address the coaching change, Richt was asked whether he will coach again.
“Oh yeah, no doubt,” Richt said in his response. “I’m going to listen to anybody that’s interested in talking to me,” Richt said when again asked about what’s next for the now former head coach of Georgia.
The press conference with Richt was a bit unusual for these types of settings. First, Richt continued to show his Georgia pride by wearing a black coat and red tie and had a Georgia pin on his coat. Second, he sat right next to Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity, who offered no insight whatsoever on what’s next for Georgia. When asked about the coaching search or the status for assistants, McGarity continued to shift the focus on Richt.
Richt expressed his enthusiasm for getting to coach one final game for Georgia. He will coach Georgia’s bowl game, wherever that may be, giving him one last chance to end a season with a bowl victory, which he has done nine times previously.
Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles will transfer, he announced in an Instagram post Sunday afternoon.
Towles leaves school as Kentucky’s sixth-most prolific passer, completing 427-of-759 passes for 5,099 yards with 24 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.
Once compared to Ben Roethlisberger, Towles’ career peeked in a 2014 game with then-No. 1 Mississippi State, as he completed 24-of-43 passes for 390 yards with two touchdowns in a 45-31 loss to the Bulldogs.
But Kentucky stumbled down the stretch, starting 5-1 and finishing 5-7, and Towles stumbled through a 2015 campaign in which he threw nine touchdowns against 14 interceptions.
He’d been passed by freshman Drew Barker by the end of the season, and threw only four passes in a loss to Louisville on Saturday.
A junior, Towles will complete his political science degree in December and be eligible for immediate playing time at a new destination in 2016.
Penn State has fired offensive coordinator John Donovan, the program announced Sunday.
“I have tremendous respect for John and the work he has put in the last five years,” head coach James Franklin said in a statement. “I wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future.”
Donovan originally hooked up with Franklin when the two were at Maryland, then coordinated his offenses at Vanderbilt and later Penn State.
Despite playing with what many project to be a future first-round pick in quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Penn State ranked 101st nationally in scoring, 108th in total offense and 80th in yards per play.
Penn State dropped its final three games of the regular season and averaged only 14.6 points in its five losses.
It’s never a good thing when a head coach has to fire both of his coordinators on the same day. Of course, it’s never a good thing to be 6-30, either.
Both are realities at Purdue, as the Boilers announced Sunday head coach Darrell Hazell will return for a fourth season in 2016, but offensive coordinator John Shoop, defensive coordinator Greg Hudson and defensive line coach Rubin Carter will not.
“I appreciate the efforts of each of those guys over the last three years,” Hazell said in a statement. “They are quality men who are well respected by their players and their peers, and I am disappointed that things didn’t work out better. But I believe that in order to turn around this program, we need to make some significant changes and move in a different direction at those positions.”
Purdue, 2-10 in 2015, ranked 115th nationally in yards per play and 112th in yards per play allowed.