Maryland Announces Move to Big Ten Conference

Randy Edsall had to call 911 in a recruiting horror story

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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) 

Houston Nutt steps out of the shadows following Ole Miss Notice of Allegations

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Ole Miss dropped its long-awaited Notice of Allegations, which revealed the spin of the majority of the 28 allegations being against non-football sports and former head coach Houston Nutt‘s staff to be technically true but also just that — spin.

Of the 13 allegations against the Rebels’ football program, nine came against current head coach Hugh Freeze and his staff. However, the majority of those were relatively minor in nature (free rental cars, comped hotel rooms), and the largest did come against two former assistants. Former defensive backs coach Chris Vaughn and former operations staffer David Saunders were accused of setting up a fraudulent ACT system to get players into school.

“We usually know about who is going to make it in by May,” Nutt said of the players whom those ACTs got into school. “We were gonna place them in junior college.”

Still, Nutt told Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports he felt a twinge of validation from Friday’s release.

“It’s the most frustrating thing there is,” Nutt said, “to be on the sidelines and hear your name keep getting mentioned and mentioned. It’s hurtful. It makes you mad.

“I don’t have a major violation in 30 years of coaching.”

Nutt won 75 games at Arkansas and led Ole Miss to a 19-8 mark and back-to-back Cotton Bowl victories in his first two seasons in Oxford — read: with Ed Orgeron‘s players — and fell to 6-18 (1-15 SEC) in his final two seasons. That, plus the sting of these violations falling on his record, is likely to continue to keep Nutt out of coaching — at least at the highest levels of FBS.

Still, he remains optimistic.

“I’m going on five years without a team,” he said. “There were a few opportunities I went after. I’d love to coach again. I feel like I’ve got 10 more seasons in me.”

Former Texas Tech OL Robert Castaneda arrested on burglary charge

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 25:   The Texas Tech Red Raiders flag flies outside the stadium before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys September 25, 2014 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Cowboys defeated the Red Raiders 45-35.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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Former Texas Tech offensive lineman Robert Castaneda was arrested Friday in Lubbock, Texas, jail for burglary of a habitation.

Bond was set at $5,000 but he was out of jail within four hours of booking according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

A three-star prospect out of Round Rock, Texas, Casteneda redshirted in 2014 and appeared in all 13 games as a reserve last fall before being kicked off the team May 5 for “failure to uphold student-athlete expectations.”

Sophomore linebacker Dakota Allen and redshirt freshman offensive tackle Trace Ellison were also dismissed at that time.

Sun Belt adds affiliation with Arizona Bowl

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The Sun Belt is consolidating its membership to the south and east, but its postseason profile has struck far out west.

The conference has announced an affiliation with the Arizona Bowl, bringing the New Orleans-based league’s bowl roster to five.

The inaugural Arizona Bowl infamously could not find two conferences to pit against each other, so Nevada and Colorado State faced off in an all-Mountain West affair. That embarrassing scenario will be avoided moving forward as the Sun Belt will play opposite the Mountain West from 2016-19.

The 2016 Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl will be played on Dec. 30. Time is still to be determined, but organizers think an afternoon kick will lead to a better experience. “If you were at the game last year, the suites were packed,” bowl organizer Ali J. Farhang told the Tucson Citizen. “It was warm and comfortable. If we can get that kind of environment in the stadium too …”

The 2015 game kicked at 5:30 p.m. local time, with a temperature of 44 degrees. This year’s game will kick off between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

As recruits jump ship, Baylor WR KD Cannon, RB Terence Williams stick with Bears

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One of the more interesting subplots to follow as Baylor moves into the post-Art Briles era will be the reaction from recruits and current players.

Speculation exists the NCAA will — or at least should — allow current Bears out of their scholarships without penalty, similar to how the NCAA treated Penn State players in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. But, for now, the NCAA has offered no such provision, and as such players are still bound to remain at Baylor or sit out a year.

On Friday night, wide receiver K.D. Cannon announced he will remain in Waco for what will most assuredly be his final season as a collegian. A rising junior, Cannon caught 50 passes for 868 yards and six touchdowns, and figures to gobble up much of the 74 grabs, 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns Corey Coleman left behind.

Running back Terence Williams made a similar proclamation as well on Friday. A rising sophomore, Williams rushed 88 times for 556 yards and three touchdowns in 2015.

While current players are compelled to remain in Waco, recruits are under no such obligation. An already light 2017 class has seen two defections with decommitments from three-star offensive lineman Jayden Peevy and four-star tight end Kedrick James, a Waco product.

It may also be a matter of time before the prize of this year’s class, four-star quarterback Kellen Mond, succumbs to an avalanche of pressure to leave as well.

Caught somewhere in between the current and future Bears is the class of 2016, players who have inked themselves to Baylor but have yet to enroll in the school. The top two players from the Bears’ 17th-ranked class have publicly wavered on their desire to play for Baylor. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement; one player has wavered, and one has outright refused to report.

Four-star offensive lineman Patrick Hudson, the second-ranked offensive lineman in Texas, tweeted Friday he is reconsidering his stance with Baylor.

(Update: Gerry Hamilton of ESPN reports Hudson will not enroll.)

Meanwhile, four-star running back Kameron Martin will not enroll according to Max Olson of ESPN.

Whether Baylor grants Martin’s release will perhaps set a precedent for other 2016 Bears who may be inclined to join Martin but have not spoken out yet.

One thing is certain, though: the mess in Waco is only just beginning to sort itself out.