Quarterback isn’t the only position under a cloud of uncertainty for Rutgers.
Starting linebacker Jamal Merrell surprisingly did not play in the Scarlet Knights’ win over Eastern Michigan. Head coach Kyle Flood had declined to discuss Merrell’s absence, which included the fifth-year senior not even being on the sidelines for the non-conference game.
Monday, the Newark Star-Ledger reported, the mystery was solved as Flood acknowledged that it was a kidney issue that knocked Merrell out of the game. The specific nature of the issue, obviously, was not divulged.
Merrell’s absence will likely bleed into this weekend as he’s doubtful for the game against Arkansas.
“I don’t really want to discuss it but it is a kidney situation and Jamal was with us (Sunday) in the meetings, but he is not at this point able to practice,” Flood said. “I do expect him back after the bye week.”
RU will have a bye week the Saturday after the Razorbacks game.
Losing Merrell would be a significant blow to a Rutgers’ defense that will be charged with the task of stopping a Razorbacks’ rushing attack that’s No. 11 in the country (294.3 yards per game) and feature a pair of running backs who have each rushed for 100-plus yards the first three games of the season.
Merrell has started 28 of the past 29 games for the Scarlet Knights, finishing the 2013 season third in tackles (83) and fourth in tackles for loss (8.5).
Another day, another senior deciding to use his final season of eligibility elsewhere.
The latest to do as much is Delshawn McClellon, who took to Instagram Tuesday to confirm that he has decided to leave Utah and finish his collegiate career at an undetermined locale. While the wide receiver gave no reason in the post for his decision, it’s likely based in part at seeking a better opportunity for more playing time.
McClellon will be leaving the Utes as a graduate, meaning he could play immediately in 2016 if another FBS school is his next stop.
You have been good to me Utah, met some real people and created great memories over the past four years. Couldn’t be more thankful for them helping me out with my situation years back. Crazy to think I’ll be suiting up with someone else next season but, I got to do what’s best for me.
“You have been good to me Utah, met some real people and created great memories over the past four years,” the receiver wrote on the social media website. “Couldn’t be more thankful for them helping me out with my situation years back. Crazy to think I’ll be suiting up with someone else next season but, I got to do what’s best for me.”
McClellon, who’s listed in his official bio as Utah’s fastest player (4.37 40), played in 31 games the last three years after redshirting as a true freshman. The California native finishes his Utes career with eight receptions for 110 yards.
Health issues played a significant role in Pat Haden‘s decision earlier this month to step down as USC’s athletic director later this year. Similar issues, unfortunately, have arisen yet again.
According to multiple media outlets, Haden sustained some type of medical event outside of Heritage Hall this morning and was treated by paramedics called to the scene. He was ultimately transported to a local hospital, but is reportedly doing better physically after feeling lightheaded and being forced to sit to prevent a collapse.
In October of last year, Haden experienced a similar episode prior to USC’s game against Notre Dame. That prompted the athletic director to step down from his position on the College Football Playoff selection committee.
Haden has served in his capacity at his alma mater since 2010. He’s scheduled to officially step down from his post June 30 of this year.
A couple of tweaks to coaches already in the building as well as an addition from outside the program has given Matt Wells‘ Utah State a different look heading toward spring, the school announced Tuesday.
Passing-game coordinator and wide receivers coach Jovon Bouknight has been promoted co-offensive coordinator of the Aggies. Bouknight, entering his eighth season at USU, will continue to coach receivers.
The other co-coordinator, Luke Wells, brother of the head coach, will continue to serve in that capacity, but will give up his job as tight ends coach. Instead, the co-OC will take over as quarterbacks coach from Josh Heupel, who left Logan last month to become the coordinator at Missouri.
“We are excited to announce Jovon and Luke as our co-offensive coordinators,” said Matt Wells in a statement. “They both have extensive experience in our offense and have been successful position coaches during their time at Utah State.
“As we move forward with our offense, I will be heavily involved in the game planning and will call the plays during games. We have time during spring ball to work through this and I am excited to work with Jovon and Luke in making our offense better.”
In addition to the shuffling on the offensive side, Wells made an addition on that side as Steve Farmer was introduced as USU’s line coach. The past six seasons, Farmer served as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Louisiana-Monroe.
“We are excited to announce the hiring of Steve Farmer as part of our coaching staff,” said the head coach. “Steve has an extensive background in playing and coaching the offensive line, as well as success as an offensive coordinator. He fits very well into our scheme and has had experience in spread offenses and coordinating the run game. We welcome Steve, his wife Amy, and their two children to the Aggie family.”
Say what you want about Jim Harbaugh, but he certainly makes college football a more interesting sport. And, arguably more importantly, he keeps his Michigan football program front and center in the 24/7/365 news cycle that the game has become.
Case in point? Spring practice.
During National Signing Day last week, UM revealed that they intended to spend a portion of spring practice this year parked at a locale in Florida. Specifically, Harbaugh would haul his Wolverines to the Sunshine State during the school’s spring break to conduct a handful of practices in the heart of SEC country.
Suffice to say, that’s not sitting well with the SEC as the conference has asked the NCAA to block teams from holding spring practices over that school’s spring break. The league’s commissioner wants to “draw a line and say ‘that’s not appropriate.'” The media in that part country has followed suit.
Harbaugh has proven in his one year in Ann Arbor that, if there is a line, he’s going to push it. And if there are buttons to be pushed in the southern part of the country? He’ll gladly take care of that as well.