Duke head coach David Cutcliffe celebrates in Lane Stadium after winning 13-10 over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 26 2013. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Matt Gentry)
At the expense of its basketball team, Wyoming’s football team has made an early-May addition to its roster.
Austin Conway, a Cowboys basketball player, expressed a desire to play football earlier this year and was given clearance by both head coaches involved, Craig Bohl on the football side, Allen Edwards on the basketball side, to participate in spring practice. With the 15 spring sessions now in the books, Conway has made his decision and will give up basketball in order to concentrate on football.
Conway, a Colorado high school quarterback, will play wide receiver at the collegiate level as well as return kicks for the Cowboys.
“I had nice long talks with Coach Bohl and Coach Edwards at the end of spring football,” said Conway in quotes distributed by the school. “Both coaches were very supportive. The biggest thing was I just had to follow my heart. I felt really comfortable being back out on the football field this spring. It felt like I was at home back on the field.”
Conway, who took a redshirt for the Cowboys basketball team as a true freshman in the 2015-16 season, will be eligible to play immediately in 2016 and will have four years of eligibility remaining. The press release stated that the player’s “scholarship will be shifted from the basketball team to the football team beginning in the summer of 2016.”
As for his football credentials, here is the pertinent 411 from the release:
Conway was an outstanding football and basketball player at Overland High School in Aurora, Colo. He was named to The Denver Post’s All-Colorado team for all classifications as a dual-threat quarterback his senior season of 2014. During his senior season, he passed for 1,341 yards and 13 touchdowns and added 509 rushing yards and five rushing TDs. His junior season, Conway accumulated 1,847 passing yards and 1,130 rushing yards for 2,977 yards of total offense. He had a combined 31 touchdowns, 19 through the air and 12 on the ground.
“Austin showed us during spring football that he has a passion for the game of football and that he had the skills to benefit our team moving forward,” said Bohl. “We were aware of Austin’s football accomplishments in high school. The fact that he has only been away from the game for a year we believe will make his transition a smooth one. He certainly benefitted from going through spring practice with us and will benefit from having a full summer to work with our strength and conditioning staff. We are excited to have Austin as a part of our team.
“Coach Edwards and I have been working together through this process to try and help Austin decide what is best for him. I want to thank Allen (Edwards) for his willingness to help Austin find the path that he feels is best for his future.
And, in related news, I don’t look forward to getting kicked in the testicles.
One of the more fascinating storylines leading up to National Signing Day was Nick Saban and his former right-hand man. After nine years with Saban at Alabama, including the last eight as defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart struck out on his own to become the head coach at his alma mater Georgia.
As both are part of the SEC, their paths crossed more than a couple of times on the recruiting trail in the two months between Smart’s hiring between the hedges and signing day. As al.com explained…
Alabama and Georgia went up against each other for multiple recruits in the final weeks of the 2016 recruiting cycle. Alabama signed Ben Davis and Lyndell Wilson — two major UGA targets — while the Bulldogs flipped receiver Tyler Simmons away from the Crimson Tide. In the class of 2017, Smart flipped four-star quarterback Jake Fromm from Alabama and landed a commitment from one-time Alabama offensive line commit Netori Johnson.
… both the mentor and the protegé scored wins on the recruiting front.
“It’ll be fun,” Smart said upon his hiring in early December when asked about going up against the recruiting juggernaut that is his former boss; two months later, after Saban had pulled in yet another top-ranked class — UGA was seventh in 247Sports.com‘s composite rankings — a couple of months ago, Smart has tweaked his tune.
“I said it would be fun? Oh man, I hope I didn’t say it would be fun,” Smart said on the SEC coaches teleconference earlier today. “I don’t look forward to that because I know Nick does a great job in recruiting. He’s very relentless; he does a really good job, and they have a great product to sell.”
Of course, 2016 wasn’t a one-off battle between the boss and the former employee, with work on the Class of 2017 in full swing. At the moment, both the Bulldogs and Tide have nine commits each to next year’s class, with UGA, at No. 6, three spots behind UA.
Given the fact that the next signing day is still nine months away, Smart will have plenty of time to close that gap — or his boss will have plenty of time to widen it.
With the NCAA’s edict that, at least for now, rescinds the banishment of satellite camps, college football coaches are free to move about the country in the pursuit of recruits away from their own campuses.
The poster boy for these types of “controversial” camps, of course, has been Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. With the rescinding of the ban, Harbaugh and his coaching staff will disperse to camps as far away as California. They are also, in what most certainly can be described as enemy territory, set to invade That School Down South’s state.
— Doug Sangregorio (@DougSangregorio) May 4, 2016
Yep, Harbaugh, the head coach of the hated Wolverines, will be setting up camp in the Buckeyes’ extended backyard, a mere three hours or so from The Horseshoe.
How long before Urban Myer and his coaching entourage shows up somewhere in the general neighborhood of Ann Arbor? Stay tuned…
It appears the battle to back up J.T. Barrett at quarterback for Ohio State has been pared by one.
While there’s nothing yet official from the school, elevenwarriors.com is reporting that Stephen Collier has a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the entire 2016 season. It’s believed Collier sustained the injury during the Buckeyes’ spring game two weeks ago.
A program official declined to confirm any information on the player, saying only that an announcement regarding Collier is expected at some point this week.
Collier, a redshirt sophomore, had been part of a competition with redshirt freshman Joe Burrow for the No. 2 job behind the unquestioned incumbent Barrett. Dwayne Haskins Jr., a four-star 2016 signee rated as the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the country in 247Sports.com‘s composite rankings, will join the signal-calling fray this summer and, presumably, compete with Burrow for the backup job.
A four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2014 recruiting class, Collier was the No. 17 dual-threat quarterback in the country coming out of high school in Georgia. Collier took a redshirt as a true freshman, then played very sparingly in 2015.