Randy Edsall had to call 911 in a recruiting horror story

15 Comments

Outside of one mother confiscating her son’s national letter of intent, Signing Day was relatively quiet. But Maryland coach Randy Edsall had and interesting (and somewhat scary) story to tell about recruiting four-star defensive back Will Likely. Likely, from Belle Glade, Fla., signed with the Terps this afternoon.

Specifically, Edsall was on a recruiting trip with Terps assistant Brian Stewart. Here’s a portion of the story, which involved calling 911 and getting chased by a shady pickup truck. You can read the full account HERE. It’s pretty wild.

“So we’re driving up this road and it’s leading us toward Pahokee and I said ‘Brian, I’ve been down here. I’m just telling you, where we’re going isn’t where we want to be going.’ We keep driving and he says ‘The GPS says it’s right up here in a couple miles.’ I said ‘OK, I’m just telling you, this isn’t the right way.’

“All it is is sugar cane fields. There’s no lights. It’s dark. It’s 7, 8 o’clock at night. It’s in December. I’m like ‘This isn’t right.’ There’s a railroad track there and alll the sudden there’s this development and there’s probably 10 houses. It’s like ‘OK, here it is.’ Take a left. Take a right. There’s a church and some nice homes there. You go down and take another left and he says ‘It’s on this street.’

“It’s so dark out you can’t even see the numbers on the houses and he’s going real, real slow. I said ‘Brian, I’m telling you, this is not right, you know?’ So he gets on the phone — true story — and he says ‘Will, is your address this?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Well, we’re here. Which one is your house?’

“We’re looking and sitting there for probably five, seven minutes and he said ‘It’s not there,’ so we start to go. We’re going to take a left and here comes a pickup truck in this development and they’re staring at us like ‘What the heck are you guys doing in here?’ Then we have a car that comes up behind us and I said ‘Brian, I think we ought to get out of here.’

“We go and take a left and the next thing you know, we have both of them on our bumper in this little development as we get out on thus highway. Brian says ‘Randy, hold on.’ So we come flying out of this development and take a right. The pickup truck tries to rear-end us. The other one tries to go outside of us. He says ‘Call 911.’

“I’m calling 911 and I’m getting on the phone and I say ‘I’m the head coach of the University of Maryland, I’m out here. I know where we’re at. We’re getting chased. I didn’t do anything. We need a police officer to come out here and make sure nothing happens.’ We drive two and a half, three miles with these people chasing us and finally we get to this light and Brian outran them a little bit and get to the light and took a right and they stopped following us.”

The lengths some coaches will go for a player, eh?

(Hat tip: Patrick Stevens) 

Conference USA releases 2018 schedule

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Conference USA released its 2018 schedule on Tuesday, confirming that once again the league will play football this fall.

The league slate kicks off Sept. 8 with FIU’s visit to Old Dominion, while the first game involving a C-USA team is set for Aug. 25, when Rice hosts Prairie View A&M. Conference games are scattered throughout the month of September, with the first full Saturday slate coming on Oct. 6 with Old Dominion at Florida Atlantic, UAB at Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee at Marshall, North Texas at UTEP and UTSA at Rice.

While the MAC has opted for a full embrace of midweek football, Conference USA has gone in the exact opposite direction. Not one C-USA game is scheduled as of today for a weeknight — Thursday or Friday included — and only one game will be played on a day other than Saturday, a Friday, Aug. 31 visit to Wisconsin by Western Kentucky.

The most-anticipated non-conference games involving C-USA teams are Florida Atlantic’s opener at Oklahoma and on Sept. 1 and the Owls’ Sept. 22 visit to reigning American and Peach Bowl champion UCF. North Texas also has two shots to win nationwide respect for the league in its opener against SMU on Sept. 1 in Denton and a Sept. 15 visit to retooling Arkansas.

The highlight of the league schedule comes on Nov. 17 with a rematch of the 2017 title game when Florida Atlantic visits North Texas. The Owls won both meetings last season by a combined score of 110-48.

The 14th C-USA Championship will be held on Dec. 1 at the home of the division winner with the best conference record. FAU will look to become the second straight back-to-back C-USA champion, joining Western Kentucky in 2015-16.

Former LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada reportedly lands at Maryland

Getty Images
2 Comments

It’s good to be Matt Canada.

He parachuted into Baton Rouge for a year, got paid a bunch of money, then got paid even more money to leave. And now he’s set to get paid from another school.

According to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, Canada is set to join the Maryland staff as offensive coordinator. Rittenberg notes that Canada signed a multi-year agreement with the Terps, though salary terms were not revealed. Walt Bell, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Florida State, made $500,000 in 2017, according to USA Today.

Maryland will be Canada’s seventh school to call plays for in this decade alone. He spent 2010 (and three years before that) at Indiana, then moved to Northern Illinois in 2011. He parlayed that into one season at Wisconsin, three at NC State, and then one season stints at Pittsburgh, LSU and now Maryland.

Report: Oklahoma State signs 27-year-old Australian punter

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Australian punters are the hot new commodity in college football, and word has made it back to the Land Down Under: punt the ball far and high enough and you, too, can receive a full scholarship to an American university.

According to the Latrobe Valley Express — which you now is legit, because its header as of press time already reads Wednesday, January 24 — 27-year-old Australian punter Tom Hutton has signed with Oklahoma State. Hutton hails from Newborough, Australia, about a two hour ride from Melbourne, and in December attended a training session at Prokick Australia.

“I was told about [American football] a few years ago so I thought ‘I’ll probably be too old for it now’, thinking that it was like Aussie Rules and that if you were over 21 then you had no chance,” Hutton told the paper. “But then I saw a few older blokes getting scholarships so I thought I may as well give it a go.”

Prokick Australia claims the last five Ray Guy Award winners as alums, including 2017 victor Michael Dickson of Texas. Oklahoma State saw his ability up close, as Dickson punted 11 times for a 50.9-yard average in October, nearly booting his way to victory in a 13-10 Cowboys overtime victory. “Their punter is — did he win the Ray Guy Award last year?” Mike Gundy said after that game. “He should have won it. He changed the field on us. I don’t know what the yardage is, I just know that every time we go a little bit of field position, he changed the field … he was fantastic for them.”

The story of how Hutton was approved for an Oklahoma State offer doesn’t go into details, but Hutton’s recollection of how Hutton, who works overnights at a paper mill in addition to playing Aussie rules football in the Mid Gippsland Football League, received the offer is perfect.

“I woke up after night shift on two hours sleep and this person said ‘we know where you’re going, you’re going to Oklahoma State and we’ve got the coach on the phone,'” he said. “I thought ‘Jesus Christ, can you give me half an hour? I need to have a shower and actually wake up and make sure this is not a dream.'”

According to the Oklahoma State blog Pistols Firing, Hutton will arrive in Stillwater in July and have four years of eligibility.

Arkansas adds TCU signee who signed with New York Yankees

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Austin Aune‘s circuitous sports journey, one which Chris Weinke and Brandon Weeden would approve, has taken its next stop in Fayetteville.

According to 247Sports.com, Aune has joined the Arkansas football program and is enrolled in classes at the university.  At least initially, the quarterback will be a part of the Razorbacks as a walk-on; it’s expected he’ll take the field with the rest of his new teammates when spring practice kicks off month after next.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Aune had also considered TCU and North Texas before the SEC’s mystique proved to be too much.

“The allure of the SEC and the SEC West and Chad [Morris] and Coach [Joe] Craddock, and everybody being on the same page up there as far as the opportunity goes,” the player’s father, Greg Aune, told the Democrat-Gazette. “He likes their system. It’s a fast-paced system, wide-open system. That’s what he played in high school. It’s a pass-oriented offense. He’s a read-run oriented guy, so that’s a lot of what those guys do.”

The fact that Aune considered TCU as a potential landing spot before settling on Morris and UA shouldn’t come as a surprise as he actually signed with the Horned Frogs back in 2012.  However, he was drafted by the New York Yankees that same year and, after signing a contract that included a $1 million signing bonus, embarked on what turned out to be a six-year career in the minor leagues.  Despite that financial commitment, Aune never made it past Single-A ball.