Tommy Tuberville

Cincinnati announces 22-member signing class

Leave a comment

(Below is Cincinnati’s press release on the players added as part of its 2013 recruiting class.)

CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati football added 22 student-athletes to its roster, including five who enrolled in January 2013 and will participate in spring football, head coach Tommy Tuberville announced Wednesday, the beginning of the NCAA initial signing period for football.

“Our coaches did an outstanding job of catching up,” Tuberville said. “We are bringing guys in who can help the team win. I don’t want to give offers and scholarships out just to give them out. We have immediate needs at starters and backups so there is no better way than doing that than bringing in some junior college players. The players we have signed will be able to help the team in the near future and we are looking forward to getting started this spring.”

One need Tuberville and his staff were able to address was speed.

“I feel good about the qualities for the players we signed,” Tubervile said. “Speed is one of the main ingredients of the class. We felt it was something that needed to improve as a whole. I don’t look at size as much as much speed and quickness of the players.”

DB Darren Doston (Daytona Beach, Fla./Seabreeze/College of the Sequoias), DB Zach Edwards (Middletown, Ohio/Middletown), ATH Javon Harrison (Dayton, Ohio/Huber Hts. Wayne), DL Jerrell Jordan (Alta Vista, Va./Alta Vista/Copiah-Lincoln CC) and OL Kyle Williamson (Madiera, Ohio/Madiera) made up the early enrollees. Edwards, Harrison and Williamson have freshman eligibility while Doston and Jordan enter with junior eligibility and two seasons to play.

The class is comprised of five defensive backs, three tight ends, four defensive linemen, three athletes, two offensive linemen, two running backs, a pair of wide receivers and a quarterback. Seven junior-college players dot the ranks along with 15 high school student-athletes.

Five are Ohio natives with four, Edwards, OL Ben Flick (Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton), LB Rasheen Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/Northwest) and Williamson coming from the greater Cincinnati area.

TE Travis Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Jesuit) is the No. 162 player in the ESPN 300 and he is listed as the nation’s sixth-best tight end and the No. 33 player in the State of Florida.

RB Rodriguez Moore was ranked as the No. 1 junior college running back by 247Sports.com and RB Hosey Williams (Miami, Fla./Southridge/ASA College) was an NJCAA First-Team All-American in 2012. Totaling their individual statistics, the pair combined to rush for 3,687 yards and score 36 touchdowns at the junior college level.

QB Brent Stockstill (Murfreesboro, Tenn./Siegel), a left hander, threw for 2,690 yards and 32 touchdowns while rushing for 653 yards and 10 scores as a senior. His father Rick is the head coach at Middle Tennessee State University and a former All-American QB at Florida State.

DL Terrell Hartsfield (Wake Forest, N.C./Rolesville/Copiah-Lincoln CC) a four-star recruit, was a teammate of Jordan at Copiah-Lincoln CC. The duo combined for 105 tackles and 12.5 sacks as freshmen. They were part of a Wolfpack team that won their first MACJC State Championship since 1985 this past season.

Tshumbi Johnson (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee) totaled 6,468 yards passing for 57 touchdowns and 2,111 yards rushing for 41 TDs as a prep. Immokalee was the 2012 Class 5A State Runner-up, Region 3 Champions and District 5A-12 Champions with Johnson earned Associated Press Honorable Mention Class 5A All-State honors.

2013 Cincinnati Recruiting Class

Mitch Leidner shares gruesome post-surgery foot photo

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 7:  Joshua Perry #37 of the Ohio State Buckeyes hits quarterback Mitch Leidner #7 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers just as Leidner releases the ball forcing him to throw an interception in the second quarter at Ohio Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. The interception was returned for a touchdown for the Buckeyes.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

If you’re the squeamish type, you might want to do your best to avoid the picture that appears in this post.

Mitch Leidner has been dealing with foot issues since the 2014 season, specifically ligaments that he’s torn on multiple occasions.  Following Minnesota’s win over Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl this past December, the quarterback underwent surgery to repair the ligaments in his left foot but returned in time for spring practice.

Leidner was one of the Gophers’ player representatives at the Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, and decided he’d share a post-operation picture of his surgically-repaired foot.  Again, if your squeamish, look away.

As if the photo doesn’t paint this picture, head coach Tracy Claeys acknowledged that the starter was worse off health-wise than the football program let on last year.

“We hid his injuries pretty good a year ago,” Claeys said according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He was banged up pretty good. The foot injury he had was tough and really limited him.”

Now, though, Leidner proclaims himself, “[p]hysically, I’m in the best shape of my life, by far.” The fifth-year senior, projected by some to be a first-round quarterback prospect in the 2017 NFL draft, added that he feels “like I’m throwing the ball better than I ever have before.”

VIDEO: Body cam footage shows Iowa football player’s encounter with police

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Christian McCaffrey #5 of the Stanford Cardinal runs past Faith Ekakitie #56 and Cole Fisher #36 of the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 102nd Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2016 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The story of an Iowa football player, Pokemon Go and Iowa City police now has some visuals to go along with the oral narrative.

Over the weekend, officers in that police department were searching for a suspect in a bank robbery. Hawkeyes defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie (pictured, No. 56) just happened to be in a park in that area and seemingly matched the description of the suspect — black man in black clothing wearing something on his head — prompting the officers to approach the lineman. When Ekakitie failed to respond to the officers’ commands, because he was wearing headphones, weapons were drawn.

According to Ekakitie in his Facebook accounting of the incident, he had “four gun barrels staring me in the face” at that point.

Because of the national attention the incident has received, the ICPD on Tuesday released two body cam videos that shows exactly how the encounter between their officers and Ekakitie went down.

“I think it’s critical we get the information out so people can actually see the events as they actually occurred in real time,” says ICPD Sgt. Scott Gaarde in regards to releasing the videos.

In his social media missive, Ekakitie thanked the police officers involved for how they handled the situation.

“I would like to thank the Iowa City Police department for handling a situation very professionally,” the lineman wrote. “I would also urge people to be more aware of their surroundings because clearly I wasn’t.

“Lastly, I would urge us all to unlearn some of the prejudices that we have learned about each other and now plague our minds and our society.  I am convinced that in the same way that we learned these prejudices, we can also unlearn them.”

Arrest on UCLA campus led to USC CB’s suspension for opener vs. Alabama

BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 13:  Wide receiver Jay MacIntyre #14 of the Colorado Buffaloes is tackled after a reception by cornerback Isaiah Langley #14 of the USC Trojans during the first half at Folsom Field on November 13, 2015 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Getty Images
2 Comments

Alabama may or may not suspend players involved in off-field incidents this offseason for their highly-anticipated opener, but their opponents already have.

The Los Angeles Times reported that USC cornerback Isaiah Langley was arrested back in May at a frat party at rival UCLA on three misdemeanor charges — suspicion of trespassing, intoxication and resisting arrest. USC head coach Clay Helton subsequently confirmed that Langley will be suspended for the opener against Alabama because of the incident.

From the Times on the events surrounding the arrest:

Langley was attending a fraternity party at UCLA when he was arrested, according to Greenstein. She said Langley gave responding officers the wrong age and resisted arrest.

“When he was asked to leave, he refused,” Greenstein said. “Police were called and he was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing.”

As a true freshman last season, Langley appeared in 11 games as a backup corner.  He was credited with 12 tackles in limited action.

On his official bio, the school wrote that “Langley will battle for key playing time at cornerback as a sophomore in 2016.”

Five-star Miss. St. signee Jeffery Simmons sees resolution to legal issues

Jeffery Simmons
Rivals.com
Leave a comment

At least when it comes to the legal system, the saga of Jeffery Simmons has come to an end.

According to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, the touted Mississippi State signee pleaded no contest to a charge of simple assault while he was found guilty on one count of malicious mischief Tuesday.  A disturbing the peace charge he had been facing was dismissed.

Simmons’ restitution consists of $711 for medical bills and $175 for the alleged damage to the victim’s car. Simmons will also pay fines of $175 for the simple assault and $300 for the malicious mischief.

Controversy swirled in late March after a video that showed Simmons violently striking a female several times while she was on the ground went viral. In a Facebook apology, Simmons claimed that the woman had spoken ill of a deceased relative, although he stated that didn’t excuse his actions.

The woman on the receiving end of Simmons’ fists, Sophia Taylor, was subsequently found guilty of disorderly conduct.

The controversy was renewed and grew in early June when Mississippi State announced that Simmons would only be suspended for the opener against South Alabama.  Based on the video, many observers thought that Simmons shouldn’t be permitted to enroll in school let alone see the field at all in 2016.

“I would caution people to be careful about judging a man and his character through 10 or 20 seconds of a video,” Simmons’ attorney, Jay Perry, said according to WTVA.com. “He’s a fantastic young man who made a poor choice but he’s really looking forward to carrying on at Mississippi State.”

Simmons was the only five-star member of the Bulldogs’ 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 1 player at any position in the state of Mississippi and the No. 15 player overall by Rivals.com.  On National Signing Day this past February, Simmons, in what some recruitniks considered a surprising development, opted for MSU over Alabama and in-state rival Ole Miss.