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.

Despite commitment to Tennessee, Shaq Wiggins visits Mississippi State

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Hit the pause button on Shaq Wiggins and his intent to transfer to Tennessee. There appears to be a new contender in the running. The Clarion-Ledger reports Wiggins is visiting Mississippi State even after previously committing to the Vols last month as he pursues a graduate transfer destination from Louisville.

Wiggins arrived at Mississippi State on Sunday and the visit will reportedly go through at least Monday night, according to The Clarion-Ledger‘s report. Wiggins is a graduate transfer so he will be eligible to play immediately for any other FBS program this fall.

Wiggins announced his intent to transfer out of Louisville in March. His previous connections to former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was a key reason why he ended up transferring to Louisville from Georgia. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Grantham is now at Mississippi State. However, Mississippi State was initially reported to be on a short list of schools Louisville was blocking Wiggins from considering, likely because of the Grantham connection after Grantham left the Louisville staff. Other schools reported to be blocked included Kentucky, Notre Dame, Purdue and Western Kentucky (a mix of future opponents and regional rivals). Fortunately for Wiggins, an appeal to be able to consider Mississippi State was approved.

Wiggins previously announced his commitment to Tennessee in late April. Now that remains in question as Mississippi State was initially going to be high on Wiggins’ personal list when he decided to transfer. With the Bulldogs once again a potential option, they could swipe Wiggins from the Vols at the 11th hour.

San Jose State safety Chad Miller recovering from stabbing in brawl

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San Jose State safety Chad Miller is recovering in a hospital after being stabbed in a fight in San Jose this weekend. Early reports suggest Miller is expected to recover from the injury.

“He is hospitalized and is expected to recover,” a statement from San Jose State said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Chad and his family for his prompt recovery.”

According to a report from NBC Bay Area, Miller was stabbed in a brawl that involved at least 12 people. The incident occurred off campus from San Jose State, according to The Mercury News. At this time, San Jose police have not commented on the situation and are thought to be investigating the manner. No charges have been filed at this time.

Miller played in all 12 games, starting in three, for the Spartans last season. He recorded 25 tackles and forced a fumble.

Auburn’s John Franklin III may not be completely done playing QB after all

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Auburn quarterback-turned-wideout John Franklin III may not be completely done taking snaps behind center after all.

The Tigers’ new offensive coordinator tipped that the speedy receiver likely would be the best option to fill the team’s emergency quarterback spot in 2017 while speaking to AL.com during a meeting with a booster club over the weekend.

“I think he definitely could be (the emergency option), for sure,” Chip Lindsey told the site. “He’s done it his whole life, so I think he could definitely do that if we needed him to, for sure.”

Auburn suffered a host of injuries at the position last season, which prompted some extended playing time for Franklin as he appeared in all 13 games of the 2016 campaign and threw for 204 yards and a touchdown. He was moved to wide receiver during spring practice following the arrival of highly touted Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham and seems likely he’ll see the bulk of the action catching passes during the year instead of throwing them.

However, transfers out of the Plains have changed the equation a little bit at quarterback for Auburn. On top of former starter Sean White still recovering from a broken arm, redshirt freshman Woody Barrett decided to move to a JUCO and fellow backup Tyler Queen dropped all the way down to a Division II school this offseason. That leaves just Stidham and White with any experience at the position this year and true freshman Malik Willis behind them on the depth chart.

You can bet that Lindsey and head coach Gus Malzahn want to preserve Willis’ redshirt in 2017 so it certainly makes sense to have Franklin slot in behind the team’s unquestioned top two quarterbacks if either were to go down with an injury. Even if everybody stays healthy, it seems likely we’ll even get to see Franklin in a few Wildcat packages for the Tigers given his skillset so his days behind center don’t appear to be fully over just yet.

Ex-UCF lineman sues athletic department over use of his name and likeness

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Central Florida is involved in yet another lawsuit with a former player only this time it’s over the use of a former lineman’s likeness.

Jah Reid, who played at UCF from 2006-10, has sued the school’s non-profit athletics association as well as a separate corporation led by football coach Scott Frost for “improper use of his likeness,” the Orlando Sentinel  reports. He is apparently seeking some $200,000 in royalties and a whopping $600,000 in damages over the case.

At the heart of the matter is apparently how Frost’s summer camps advertised using Reid’s likeness to promote it to future recruits. The former offensive lineman’s picture was reportedly used and the lawsuit brings up the fact that a brochure used the line: “come to camp and have a chance to earn an offer like Jah Reid.”

Reid did not play for Frost during his time on the team and instead was recruited and coached by former Knights coach George O’Leary. Reid was later drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and is currently a member of the Kansas City Chiefs organization heading into the 2017 season.

The use of an athlete’s name and likeness have been litigated quite in recent years, notably in the O’Bannon vs. NCAA case that continues to make its way through the court system. It will be interesting to see if the Reid lawsuit against UCF even makes it to trial in light of that or if the parties eventually settle out of court before it gets to that point.

Either way, probably not the offseason news that Frost and the UCF athletics brass wanted to see this summer.