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

ECU transfer Kurt Benkert wins Virginia’s starting QB job

In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 East Carolina quarterback Kurt Benkert rolls out to pass during NCAA college football practice in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Associated Press
2 Comments

Four months ago, Kurt Benkert was one the losing end of a quarterback competition at East Carolina.  Fastforward to today, and he’s now the trigger man in a Power Five offense.

First-year Hoos head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Wednesday that Benkert will start the season opener against Richmond.  Benkert had been involved in a competition that included returning starter Matt Johns and Texas/Arizona transfer Connor Brewer.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Benkert came to the Cavaliers as a graduate transfer, but is not a one-year stop-gap as he has two years of eligibility remaining.

Named the Pirates’ starter in early August of 2015, Benkert sustained a right knee injury a couple of weeks later that knocked him out for the entire season.  Blake Kemp took over and kept a stranglehold on the starting job through spring practice this year, triggering Benkert’s decision to move on.

Benkert has attempted 10 passes in his collegiate career, all in 2014.

In starting all 12 games for the Cavaliers last season, Johns’ 2,810 passing yards were third in school history while his 20 touchdowns were tied for fourth.  His 17 interceptions, though, were the most of any FBS quarterback in 2015.

Cassius Peat granted release by Mich. St., appears headed to JUCO

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  A Michigan State Spartans helmet on the bench during a college football game against the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium on November 15, 2014 in College Park, Maryland.  The Spartans won 37-15.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Earlier this month, Mark Dantonio stated that Michigan State was giving Cassius Peat “an opportunity to work on his academics and get himself in order” as his status with the program was “in flux.”

A week or so later?  He gone.

MSU confirmed Wednesday that Peat has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer from the Spartans.  And, in fact, the defensive lineman may have already found a new home, one at the junior college level.

Peat, initially a UCLA commit, was a three-star 2015 recruit who was rated as the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Arizona.  He took a redshirt as a true freshman, and had been listed as the No. tackle heading into summer camp.

However, according to mlive.com, Peat did not report for camp amidst his academic issues.

Ex-Oregon St. DB goes home to LaTech as grad transfer

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Running back Justin Davis #22 of the USC Trojans is defended by safety Cyril Noland-Lewis #17 of the Oregon State Beavers in the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. USC defeated Oregon State 35-10.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

A week after transferring from Oregon State, Cyril Noland-Lewis has found a new home that happens to also double as his hometown.

The Ruston News Star, among others, has reported that Noland-Lewis is transferring into the Louisiana Tech football program.  As he is coming to Tech as a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play for the Bulldogs in 2016, his final season of eligibility.

The defensive back, who went to high school in Ruston, was at the Bulldogs’ practice Tuesday as Tech continues preparations for the season opener Sept. 3 against Arkansas.

Noland-Lewis started 10 games for the Beavers last season.  Six of those starts came as a safety, the others as the nickel corner.  OSU moved Noland-Lewis to cornerback this offseason, where he ultimately found himself buried on the depth chart in summer camp.

The 6-0, 198-pound fifth-year senior, who began his OSU career as a linebacker, played in a total of 37 games during his time in Corvallis.

Tyler Rodgers, NMSU’s starting QB, arrested on battery charge

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Tyler Rogers #18 of the New Mexico State Aggies drops back to pass against the LSU Tigers during the first quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s not been a good day for a couple of starting quarterbacks at Group of Five programs.

The Las Cruces Sun-News has reported that New Mexico State’s Tyler Rogers turned himself in last Friday on a warrant that had been issued for him Aug. 14.  The junior was booked on one count of misdemeanor charge of battery against a household member.

The alleged victim is Rogers’ girlfriend. A verbal altercation at a party allegedly turned physical in a vehicle later on. When police arrived, the woman, who was initially crying, “downplayed the incident and said that it wasn’t really anything and that the altercation did not get physical and didn’t consider Mr. Rogers grabbing her arm as being a physical altercation.”

The woman decided against completing a domestic violence supplement report, and, according to the Sun-News, it’s unclear if the woman is cooperating with police.

“I was very disappointed in hearing the news but we are in the information gathering stage,” NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia said in a statement. “These are allegations that we take very seriously and we look forward to getting as much detail as possible so the university can be informed and the athletic department can make an informed decision moving forward.”

Because “it is a misdemeanor, there isn’t a suspension coming forth right now,” head coach Doug Martin said.

Rogers has started 15 games the past two seasons for the Aggies.