With the Aaron Hernandez story still very much on the minds of reporters this week, coaches have been getting questions during SEC Media Days about their thoughts on the subject of player behavior. Florida’s Will Muschamp said Tuesday that coaches are “100 percent responsible” for their players, but stopped short of saying they can know what their players are doing 24/7.
Similarly, Alabama’s Nick Saban explained Thursday that a coach can only provide guidance to a player; what the player does with that guidance is up to them.
“We can be the moral compass for our young people but we cannot always be there to drive the ship,” Saban said during his Q&A with media.
The opinions on the responsibility of coaches when it comes to player behavior vary quite a bit. Some think a coach is there solely to win games and graduate their players. Others think it’s a coach’s place to be a role model. As with most things, it falls somewhere in between.
Coaches can give players every opportunity to be successful in football and in life, but ultimately, the athlete has to decide for himself if that’s what he wants. Will coaches take a risk on certain players or give them more chances because of talent? Of course. They still have a job to do.
But it should be considered that, for some of these players, football is more of an escape than a privilege. Sometimes, a coach has to consider if the alternative — a life without the structure of football — is actually worse for the athlete. Not every light bulb turns on at the same time for everyone.
There are obvious exceptions — murder, rape and the like — and each coach handles their personnel differently. But when it comes to player behavior, there is no easy answer.
Matt Rhule has officially been reunited with one of his former assistant coaches.
Baylor Friday confirmed that Rhule has hired Frisman Jackson to be his next wide receivers coach. In 2015 and 2016, Jackson served as Rhule’s receivers coach and passing-game coordinator at Temple.
This past season, Jackson was the receivers coach for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
“We are blessed to get Fris fresh off a successful playoff run at Tennessee,” Rhule said in a statement. “After having worked with him before, I know there is no one better suited to take our receivers group to the next level. His experience as both a college and pro player and coach gives him a unique perspective on developing our young men as elite football players, great students and quality men. His ability to teach and develop receivers is second to none. We are excited to welcome Fris, Lindsey, Anya and Forrest to the Baylor family.”
Jackson, who spent six seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver, has previously spent time on FBS coaching staffs at North Carolina State (2013-14), Northern Illinois (2012) and Akron (2010-11). At each of those stops, Jackson was a receivers coach.
“I’m very excited to be back with Coach Rhule,” Jackson said. “I had a great time working with him at Temple. He’s a smart coach, he’s a fair coach and he’s a true family guy. I know he is going to do things the right way.
“Getting back with coaches I have worked with before makes the transition easy and smooth. Those two years at Temple were some of my best years as a coach. We had a great run and I’m looking forward to doing the same things at Baylor.”
Miami lost a pair of underclassmen starting defensive tackles to the NFL draft, putting a serious dent in the interior of its line. A couple of weeks later, however, it appears The U has somewhat softened that early-entry blow.
247Sports.com reported Friday that Tito Odenigbo has decided to transfer from Illinois to Miami. As Odenigbo would be coming to the Hurricanes as a graduate transfer, he would be able to play immediately for the ACC team in 2018.
The upcoming season would be the defensive tackle’s final year of eligibility.
This past season, Odenigbo started four of the 10 games he played for the Illini, and his 4½ tackles for loss were tied for second on the team in 2017. All told, Odenigbo played in 21 games at Illinois, starting five of those contests.
Prior to the NFL’s deadline, tackles RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton confirmed that they would be leaving Miami early for the NFL draft.
The strange journey of Cordarrian Richardson has taken yet another twist.
The running back confirmed to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal late this past week that he has decided to leave UCF and transfer to Texas A&M. The true freshman will have to sit out the 2018 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, but will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2019.
Last season, Richardson ran for 161 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 47 carries for the unbeaten Knights.
On National Signing Day in 2017, Richardson announced via a weather balloon in outer space that he would be signing with Maryland. A day later, however, Richardson faxed in a signed NLI… to a school that wasn’t even in his final four — UCF. Maryland, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Ole Miss, were the top four teams that appeared in his original “commitment” video.
Richardson was also heavily recruited by Florida State, which at the time was coached by new A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher.
A four-star 2017 signee, Richardson was rated as the No. 9 back in the country; the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Tennessee; and the No. 157 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. He was far and away the highest-rated signee in the Knights’ class that year.
And you can pardon the whole of the state of Arkansas if they let out a collective “thank goodness.”
Citing multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, Brett Vito of the Denton Record-Chronicle is reporting that Cole Hedlund is transferring to North Texas. After redshirting as a true freshman in 2014 at Arkansas, Hedlund spent the next three seasons as a placekicker for the Razorbacks.
The Argyle, Tex., native opted to transfer from UA for his final season of eligibility. He’s the youngest son of UNT women’s soccer coach John Hedlund.
For his career with the Razorbacks, Hedlund hit on 14 of his 24 field goal attempts. He also connected on all 91 extra point attempts. His best season came in 2015 when he led the team in scoring with 85 points.
The past season, however, was a rough one. After missing both field goal attempts in a Sept. 9 loss to TCU — the misses came from 20 and 23 yards out — Hedlund never attempted another kick for the Razorbacks the rest of the season.
“It was basically a PAT, and it was a perfect protection and a perfect snap. It’s inexcusable,” then-head coach Bret Bielema said at the time.