Unfortunately for three different FBS programs, the wide receiver position has hit the early-entry trifecta Thursday.
This afternoon, Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks and Penn State’s Allen Robinson were joined by Texas A&M’s Mike Evans as receivers leaving eligibility on the table and diving headfirst into the 2014 NFL draft pool. The official word from A&M is far from a surprise; four days ago, it was reported that Evans was leaving after a couple of months worth of speculation that he would do just that.
The past two seasons, Evans has caught 151 passes for 2,499 yards and 17 touchdowns. The 6-5, 225-pound redshirt sophomore averaged a little over 20 yards per reception in 2013.
We’re still awaiting official word on the decision of the triggerman of the Aggies’ offense the past two seasons, Johnny Manziel. The 2012 Heisman winner is widely expected to take the early leap into the NFL as well.
Nick Saban has found his fourth offensive coordinator in 14 months, and he didn’t have to go very far do so.
With rumors swirling around a certain disgraced former SEC head coach, signs had seemingly been pointing to Saban possibly, or even likely staying in-house for his next Alabama coordinator on the offensive side of the ball. According to Chris Low of ESPN.com, the head coach plans to do just that as Mike Locksley is expected to be promoted to offensive coordinator. It’s expected Locksley will assume responsibilities as the Tide’s quarterbacks coach as well.
Locksley would replace Brian Daboll, who left after one season in Tuscaloosa for the same job with the Buffalo Bills earlier this month.
Locksley has spent the past two seasons with the Crimson Tide, the first as an offensive analyst and last year as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
The former New Mexico head coach last served as a coordinator at Maryland from 2012-15. He also spent three seasons (2006-08) in the same job at Illinois.
Yesterday, we noted that the door might be ajar for Jauan Jennings‘ return to the Tennessee football team. A day later, it appears he may have been given permission to walk across the threshold.
While there’s nothing official from the program, Jennings, who is enrolled at UT for this semester at UT, indicated on his private Instagram account Thursday evening that he will be playing “one last season” with the Volunteers.
In November of last year, Jennings went off on a profanity-laced social-media tirade aimed at the coaching staff. The day after, he was dismissed by interim head coach Brady Hoke, who made the decision in concert with then-athletic director John Currie.
Jennings has since met with new head coach Jeremy Pruitt and new athletic director Phillip Fulmer about a return. “I think (Pruitt has) put some parameters around” a return Fulmer stated during a radio interview late last week, “and I guess everybody has got to figure out what those are and if they’re really going to do it.”
In early September, prior to the off-field issue, Jennings suffered what turned out to be a season-ending wrist injury that limited him to three catches for 17 yards in just one game.
Jennings, who originally came to the Vols as a quarterback, was second on the team in 2016 with 580 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. His 40 receptions were tied for second on the team as well.
A familiar face has returned to the Colorado coaching staff.
Following up on reports that surfaced earlier this week, CU confirmed that Mike MacIntyre has hired Ashley Ambrose as the Buffaloes’ new cornerbacks coach. Ambrose spent the 2008-10 seasons with the Buffaloes, first as a defensive assistant and then, after a very brief stint as wide receivers coach, he took over CU’s defensive backs.
“We’re really excited about Ashley Ambrose coming to the University of Colorado, he brings great expertise for our corners that he’ll be coaching,” MacIntyre said in a statement. “He was here before, loved it then and I am glad to have him back now. Not only does he bring great coaching experience over the last few years, but he also brings phenomenal playing experience from being in the NFL, so he’ll add a lot to our secondary.”
Then past two seasons, Ambrose was the defensive backs coach at Boise State. He’s also had collegiate stops at Cal (2011-12), Idaho (2014), Texas State (2015).
Ambrose, a second-round pick in the 1992 NFL draft, spent 13 seasons at that level of football.
Bob Stitt, who has become a bit of a cult hero in the college football coaching world over the last few years, is moving on up. Oklahoma State will reportedly add Stitt as an offensive analyst, according to a report from Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated, via Twitter.
Stitt was fired by Montana after this past season after missing the FCS playoffs for a second consecutive season and a second-round exit in his first season with the program in 2015. Stitt had become a rising star in the lower levels of college football after reshaping the offensive strategies with Colorado Mines in Division 2. The Nebraska native has coached a Harlon Hill Trophy winner (Division 2’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy) and has coached Colorado Mines to three conference championships. Stitt gained notoriety after being given credit for his offensive strategies by West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen.
Stitt being let go by Montana came as a bit of a surprise after just three seasons with the program. Offensively speaking, Oklahoma State rarely needs any assistance in moving the football and scoring, but Mike Gundy is wise to bring in a mind like Stitt to add to the expanding of the offensive schemes in Stillwater.
As an offensive analyst, Stitt will be prevented from doing any on-field coaching and instead will focus on prepping the game plan and breaking down film. However, having Stitt on the staff in some capacity leaves a door open for a future position on the 10-man coaching staff should a position open at some point.