Greg Schiano

Report: Schiano, Munchak would be interested if Bill O’Brien bolts Penn State for NFL

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If, as the mounting speculation goes, Penn State loses its head coach to the NFL, the school could turn to the same level for a replacement.

It was reported earlier this month that Bill O’Brien — and/or his agent — had already been approached by the Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings about a potential return to the NFL.  As was the case last year, O’Brien’s name will likely be connected to other professional openings as well, in large part because an NFL buyout in his amended contract went from $19. 3 million last year just under $6.5 million this year.

David Jones of the Patriot-News wrote Monday that, if O’Brien were to leave the Nittany Lions after two seasons, current Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano is one of “three other head coaches [who] have had their intermediaries inquire about the Penn State job.”  Schiano is rumored to be on an extremely hot seat with the Bucs, and could “part ways” with the organization at season’s end.

Prior to his time in Tampa, Schiano spent 11 years as the head coach at Rutgers.

Schiano spent six seasons (1990-95) as an assistant at Penn State.  After Joe Paterno‘s dismissal in November of 2011, he was mentioned as a potential successor.

The reported interest on Schiano’s part may not be reciprocated if — and, yes, it’s still an if — the job comes open, however, as Jones writes that “Schiano is not thought to be high on the would-be PSU contingency list.”

The two others mentioned by Jones as being “curious about the chances [the Penn State job] might come open” are Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak and Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin.

The former played his college football with the Nittany Lions, although that was back in the late-seventies/early eighties and the whole of his 20-year coaching career has been spent at the NFL level.  Like Schiano, Munchak was mentioned as a potential successor to Paterno.  Unlike Schiano, the job was Munchak’s to have before he opted to remain with the Titans.  Also unlike Schiano, Jones notes that PSU “money men… would again lean toward the dignified and straight-shooting Munchak as the favorite.”  Again, that’s provided there’s even a job to fill.

Franklin is a favorite of the coaching rumor mill, having already been one of the reported front-runners for the USC job as well as being a potential candidate at Texas.  Based on the job he’s done with the Commodores, you can expect his name to be mentioned just about anytime a high-profile position comes open.

Western Michigan’s leading tackler granted release, will transfer

KALAMAZOO, MI - NOVEMBER 19:  Robert Spillane #10 of the Western Michigan Broncos sacks Grant Rohach #19 of the Buffalo Bulls in the third quarter at Waldo Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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The most productive player on the defensive side of the ball during Western Michigan’s breakout 2016 season is moving on.

The football program announced via its official Twitter account that Robert Spillane has asked for and been granted a release from his scholarship. A rising true senior, it’s unclear if the linebacker will be leaving WMU as a graduate transfer.

If he is, he’ll be eligible to play at another FBS program in 2017. If not, he’d have to sit out the upcoming season before using his final season of eligibility in 2018.

Last season, Spillane led the Broncos in tackles with 111 — next closest was Asantay Brown‘s 95 — while he was second in tackles for loss with 10.5 and tied for third in sacks with three. His three interceptions were tied for second as well. The last of those three picks came at the end of the MAC championship game that helped seal WMU’s win over Ohio.

The past three seasons, Spillane started 28 games for the Broncos. He started all 14 games last season.

Surgery knocks out MTSU starting QB Brent Stockstill for the spring

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 10:  Quarterback Brent Stockstill #12 of the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders throws a pass during the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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In early November, a right shoulder injury knocked Brent Stockstill out for the remainder of Middle Tennessee State’s season.  Four months later, a procedure on the other side of the same area has sidelined the starting quarterback yet again.

MTSU announced Tuesday that Stockstill will miss the whole of spring practice, which is set to kick off March 15.  The rising junior recently underwent surgery on his left (throwing) shoulder.

The procedure is not expected to have any impact on his availability for the upcoming season.

“The doctors just went in and cleaned some stuff up in his shoulder but he should be ready to go this summer,” Rick Stockstill, MTSU’s head coach and the player’s father, said in a statement. “He will be held out of spring drills.”

After just two seasons as the starter, Stockstill already owns school records in touchdown passes (61), 300-yard passing games (14), 400-yard passing games (2) and passing yards per game (303.3).

Idaho suspends LB Charles Akanno after shoplifting arrest

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Head coach Paul Petrino of the Idaho Vandals signals in the game against the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Idaho may be bolting for the FCS after this coming season but they’re still in the FBS for now, which makes them the latest to trigger a resetting of the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker to double zeroes.

According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, redshirt freshman Charles Akanno was arrested Sunday on a charge of receiving/possessing stolen property. The charge stems from an alleged Feb. 20 shoplifting incident involving two other males, including a former Vandals football player.

As a result, the linebacker has been indefinitely suspended from the football program.

“We have high expectations for every member of our program,” head coach Paul Petrino said in a statement. “It is an honor and a privilege to represent the University of Idaho. Until this matter is resolved by the courts, Charles will be suspended from all team activities.”

A three-star 2016 signee, only three other members of that year’s class for the Vandals were rated higher.

Akanno took a redshirt as a true freshman. He has been expected to compete for a starting job in 2017.

LSU hoops player might make move to Tigers football

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 13:  Craig McFerrin #15 of the McNeese State Cowboys shoots over Darcy Malone #22 and Brian Bridgewater #20 of the LSU Tigers during the second half of a game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on November 13, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Brian Bridgewater appears willing to attempt to become the latest student-athlete to make the transition from the hardwood to the gridiron.

A basketball player at LSU, Bridgewater (pictured, No. 20) confirmed Monday that he will look to make the transition to football for the Tigers this fall. While Bridgewater, who is scheduled to graduate in August, has spoken to unnamed LSU staffers about the transition, he has yet to speak to head coach Ed Orgeron regarding any move.

Based on his comments, it appears he might look to another football program if LSU falls through.

“That’s a possibility, if things go according to how they’re supposed to,” Bridgewater said of joining the Tigers football team. “Hopefully that’s an option. If not I’ll have to see what door opens for me.”

A 6-5, 282-pound power forward in basketball, Bridgewater would likely make his football hay as a tight end. He last played football in 2012 at the high school level.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune writes that “[d]espite only playing one season of high school ball, Bridgewater was ranked as the No. 27 tight end in the country by 247 Sports.”

Bridgewater is expected to finish out the 2016-17 college basketball season before turning his focus to football.