Well, this is certainly an interesting if not somewhat expected development.
As one of two five-star members of Florida State’s 10th-ranked 2013 recruiting class, Matthew Thomas was expected to be a linchpin of the Seminoles’ defense for the next couple years. Instead, Thomas told the Miami Herald that he is seeking a release from his FSU scholarship without ever having ever played a down at the school.
A handful of days after signing with FSU, Thomas stated in mid-February that he would’ve signed with USC instead but his mother would not sign the National Letter of Intent.
In essence, the Miami, Fla., product signed with the in-state school to make his mom happy.
“I’ve told them it’s nothing personal. I just didn’t make the decision I really wanted to on Signing Day,” said Thomas, who picked the Seminoles over USC, Georgia and Miami.
“What happened was on Signing Day [was] I wasn’t sure who I wanted to sign with. I had issues with different schools. But when I told my mom I didn’t want to sign with anybody and wait and give it a few days she said I couldn’t do that. She said, ‘FSU is a good school – pick them. It’s close to home.’ I wasn’t agreeing with it. But I felt like I was being disrespectful to her if I didn’t sign. So I made her happy.”
Thomas told the Herald that he informed head coach Jimbo Fisher of his desire to be released late last month. The paper writes that “FSU’s coaches do not want to release him and told him last week they’re planning on visiting him in South Florida to try and talk things over.”
If the 6-3, 205-pound Thomas, the No. 2 outside linebacker and No. 15 player at any position in the country in this year’s class, is granted a release, he confirmed that he would transfer to either Georgia — he says he has family there — or USC.
Maybe the third time, this time at a lower level, will be the charm?
In early December of last year, Hayden Rettig became one of three quarterbacks who had decided to leave Rutgers. Nearly three months later, Rettig has found a new home, with the transferring signal-caller confirming to nj.com that he will continue his collegiate playing career at Tennessee Tech.
As he’s both a graduate transfer and a player dropping down a level, Rettig will be available to play immediately in 2017. This upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.
“It’s a good fit,” Rettig told the website. “I think we can do a lot there. I love the coaches. I just wanted a place where I was needed, and Tennessee Tech was the place.”
Rettig, a four-star 2013 recruit, transferred from LSU to Rutgers in June of 2014. After sitting out that season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws, Rettig played in five games (one start) the next two years; none of those appearances came in 2016.
He was named Academic All-Big Ten following the 2015 season.
Raided by the ACC, UNLV has officially turned its eyes to the Ivy League for its coaching replacement.
Travis Burkett, the football program has announced, has been hired the Rebels’ running backs coach. Burkett will replace DeAndre Smith, who left last week for a job at North Carolina.
Smith had been with Tony Sanchez‘s program for just three months or so, coming to Las Vegas by way of Purdue.
The past 10 seasons, Burkett served as an assistant at Cornell. Prior to that, he was a graduate assistant at Bucknell.
This will be Burkett’s first job at any capacity at the FBS level. His new employer added the following in announcing his addition:
At UNLV, Burkett inherits a rushing attack that stood 15th in the nation last fall with 241.5 yards per game, which ranked fourth in program history and was the most since 1979. All three of the team’s top rushers return in 2017.
With an assistant fighting a significant health issue, Derek Mason has turned to someone very familiar with the Vanderbilt football program to fill the coaching void.
Vandy confirmed Monday that Warren Belin has been hired as the Commodores’ outside linebackers coach. Belin will, at least temporarily, replace Osia Lewis, who stepped down from his job as he battles liver cancer. Lewis will transition into an of-field role within the program as he fights the disease.
The announcement came on the same day Vandy kicked off spring practice.
From 2002 through 2009, Belin was Vandy’s linebacker’s coach under Bobby Johnson. He was at Wake Forest in the same role from 2013-15.
Last season, he was with the Demon Deacons in an off-field role as director of high school relations.
In opting to leave Miami in late January, Gus Edwards was restricted by the university from transferring to two of his top choices in Pittsburgh and Syracuse as they were on this coming season’s schedule. A little over a month later, the Staten Island native, who wanted to transfer and move closer to home as he was a new father, has found his new college football home in the same area of the country.
On its official Twitter account earlier Monday, Rutgers announced that Edwards has transferred into the Scarlet Knights football program. As Edwards will be coming in as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017.
The upcoming season will be the running back’s final year of eligibility.
Edwards was third on the team this past season in rushing with 290 yards. For his Hurricanes career, the 6-1, 230-pound back ran for 977 yards and 12 touchdowns on 186 carries.
A foot injury suffered in summer camp cost Edwards the entire 2015 season. He received a medical redshirt for that season.