Report: S. Miss., SEC schools are transfer no-no’s for Wes Lunt

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We don’t yet know to where Wes Lunt will transfer, but we do know where it won’t be.  Reportedly.

According to Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com, Oklahoma State is restricting the quarterback from transferring to Southern Miss as well as any SEC school.  Such restrictions would severely limit desirable destinations for Lunt as he had been considering five schools; three of them — Southern Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt — are now off-limits because of his former school in general and his ex-coach specifically.

Still on Lunt’s radar are Illinois and Louisville.  Lunt either has or will in very short order visit the Illini, who are currently considered the front-runners by default.

A school spokesperson confirmed the head-scratching restrictions to Fowler, and stated it was between OSU head coach Mike Gundy and Lunt when asked why the player would not be released to that set of schools.  It’s unclear why Gundy — ya know, the “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant guy when it came to defending one his players from the sharp barbs of the mean ol’ media — placed such restrictions on Lunt.

The Southern Miss football program is now headed by Todd Monken, who served as Gundy’s offensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012; the Cowboys and Golden Eagles are not slated to face each other during the regular season at any point over the next nine years.  After sitting out the 2013 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Lunt will have three years of eligibility remaining; the only SEC school Oklahoma State will face in the regular season during that four-year timeframe is Mississippi State in 2013.

Ironically, Gundy spoke to at least two different schools this offseason about their head coaching vacancies, and would’ve been free to move to those programs without restriction.  The two schools he’s known to have spoken with about their openings?  Arkansas and Tennessee, both members of the SEC.

Excellent work, Coach Gundy.  You and your university and T. Boone should be very proud of the pettiness and double-standards on full display.  Stay classy, Stillwater.

UPDATED 6:26 p.m. ET: According to Zach Kerker, sports director at 1450 in Springfield, Ill., Lunt’s high school coach stated that his former player is also restricted from transferring to Pac-12 schools as well as Central Michigan (on OSU’s non-conference schedule in 2015 & 2016).  The reason behind the restrictions?  “They could play in bowl games,” the coach said.

Pitiful.  Absolutely pitiful situation.

TCU WR Isaiah Graham announces transfer from Horned Frogs

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Sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Graham is leaving TCU behind in search of a new opportunity. Graham announced his intention to seek a new place to call home with a statement on his Twitter account. In it, Graham thanked TCU head coach Gary Patterson and the coaching staff for bringing him into the football program in Fort Worth.

As a freshman, Graham played in nine games, in which he caught six passes for 68 yards. This season, Graham appeared in 10 games and caught two passes for 16 yards. The sophomore was buried on the depth chart and his chances to get on the field had largely been in nothing more than a reserve role the past two seasons. With that outlook not looking to drastically change in 2018, Graham will look for a place where he might have the chance to play more of a contributing role in an offense.

Graham will have to sit out the 2018 season if the former three-star recruit (according to Rivals) lands at another FBS program. He will have two years of eligibility after sitting out the 2018 season. He has yet to use a redshirt season.The Louisiana native chose TCU over offers from a number of programs including Arkansas, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Mississippi State, Nebraska, SMU, Tennessee, and more. Whether any of those programs remain in play for Graham now remains unknown.

Nebraska loads up on FCS cupcakes in future scheduling

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The future of Nebraska football is beginning to look a bit more optimistic with the recent hiring of Scott Frost. Time will tell just how many wins Nebraska will start racking up in Big Ten play under Frost, but Nebraska has made some moves to secure some likely wins in future seasons.

In a scheduling announcement on Wednesday, Nebraska has announced future games against two FCS opponents — South Dakota State and North Dakota — and Georgia Southern of the Sun Belt Conference. Nebraska will host South Dakota State in 2020, 2024, and 2028. North Dakota (NOT North Dakota State) will head to Lincoln in 2022 and 2026. Georgia Southern will occupy a spot on the non-conference schedule in 2022. Per Nebraska;

  • South Dakota State—Sept 12, 2020; Aug. 31, 2024; Sept. 9, 2028
  • North Dakota—Sept. 3, 2022; Sept. 19, 2026
  • Georgia Southern—Sept. 10, 2022

It is important to note Nebraska’s addition of South Dakota State and North Dakota no longer violates the Big Ten’s scheduling initiative to ban FCS opponents. That policy was revised to allow for the addition of these teams in years Big Ten teams only have four conference games scheduled at home (and five road games in conference play). Big Ten teams are still required to schedule a game against another power conference opponent or an approved opponent to satisfy the requirement, however. Nebraska is currently scheduled to play old Big 12 (and Big 8) rivals Oklahoma in 2021 and 2022 and Colorado in 2023 and 2024.Nebraska has also met the power conference scheduling requirement for 2026 (Tennessee) and 2028 (Arizona). Both games are part of home-and-home arrangements.

The 2022 season is an exception for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are scheduled to host South Dakota State, Central Michigan, and Cincinnati. The Big Ten has ruled Cincinnati to be an exception to the power conference scheduling for Nebraska. Nebraska originally scheduled a series with Cincinnati in 2013, prior to the Big Ten adopting its scheduling philosophy to increase the overall quality of strength of schedule across the conference.

Heisman winner Baker Mayfield among 14 to earn unanimous All-American honors

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In order to be considered a unanimous All-American by the NCAA, a college football player needs to earn first-team needs from all five of the following organizations: the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association, the Football Writers Association of America, the Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.  With the release of the AFCA team Wednesday, a total of 14 players have been accorded unanimous All-American honors for the 2017 season.

Heading that pack, unsurprisingly, is Oklahoma quarterback and 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield.  Since those five organizations were established as the criteria in 2002, Mayfield becomes the sixth quarterback to earn that honor, joining Louisville’s Lamar Jackson (2016), Oregon’s Marcus Mariota (2014), Texas’ Colt McCoy (2009), Ohio State’s Troy Smith (2006) and Oklahoma’s Jason White (2003).   Prior to White, the last quarterback named a unanimous All-American was Charlie Ward of Florida State in 1993.

Of the 14 unanimous All-Americans this season — there were the same number in 2016 — exactly half came from Oklahoma (three), Iowa (two) and Texas (two).

Below are the remaining baker’s dozen (no pun intended) unanimous All-Americans:

  • Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews
  • Oklahoma offensive lineman Orlando Brown Jr.
  • North Carolina State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb
  • Texas punter Michael Dickson
  • Texas defensive back DeShon Elliott
  • Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick
  • Iowa defensive back Josh Jackson
  • Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell
  • Stanford running back Bryce Love
  • Notre Dame offensive lineman Quenton Nelson
  • Ohio State offensive lineman Billy Price
  • Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith
  • Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington

UCF to be without starting LT for Peach Bowl matchup with Auburn

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UCF will have its head coach for one of the biggest games in the football program’s history, but they’ll be without their quarterback’s blindside protector.

According to Shannon Green of the Orlando Sentinel, Aaron Evans will not play in No. 12 UCF’s Peach Bowl matchup with No. 7 Auburn New Year’s Day.  The specific nature of the injury that will sideline the offensive lineman wasn’t detailed.

The past three seasons, Evans started 36 of 37 games at left tackle.  12 of those starts came during the Knights run to a perfect regular season and American Athletic Conference championship that helped propel them to a New Year’s Six bowl.

With Evans out, Jake Brown will likely get the start against the Tigers.  Brown started 11 games at left guard for the Knights this season.