DeAndrew White

DeAndrew White’s return a boon for Tide receiving corps


On the losing end of a handful of players to early entry into the NFL, and needing to replace its long-time starting quarterback, Alabama will see an experienced member of its offense return for another go in 2014.

As expected, DeAndrew White announced Wednesday that he had opted against an early jump to the NFL and will instead return for his senior season.  Wednesday was the deadline for draft-eligible underclassmen to file their paperwork with the NFL.

“After sitting down with my family and Coach [Nick] Saban, I have decided to return to Alabama for my senior year,” White said in a statement. “I already have my degree and the chance to play in the NFL next year was something that I very much considered, but in the end I didn’t want to pass up my final year at Alabama. I have had the opportunity to speak with Coach [Lane] Kiffin and I’m excited about our offense and what we can accomplish next year as a team.”

In 2013, White was tied for second on the team in receiving touchdowns (four), third in receiving yards (534) and fourth in receptions (32).  His 16.7 yards per catch led all Tide wide receivers.  White’s breakout season came a year after he missed the final two-thirds of 2012 with a torn ACL.

While UA’s leading receiver, Amari Cooper, will return in 2014, the Tide will lose second-leading receiver Kevin Norwood (38-568-7) to expired eligibility.

Prior to the deadline, offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio, linebacker Adrian Hubbard and defensive back Ha Ha Clinton-Dix were all confirmed early departures for the NFL.  It had been reported that defensive back Vinnie Sunseri would eschew another season as well, but that’s not been confirmed.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.

Tulsa loses second-leading receiver to season-ending injury

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 14:   Wide receiver Keevan Lucas #2 of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane just misses a pass against the Oklahoma Sooners September 14, 2013 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Golden Hurricane 51-20.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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One of the most productive pass-catching duos in the country has been cut in half.

Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery confirmed Tuesday that Keevan Lucas sustained a torn patellar tendon  in the third quarter of Saturday’s loss to Houston.  As a result, the wide receiver will miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

“He’s such an emotional leader for us and such a great kid,” the first-year coach said. “We’ll have to make a few adjustments offensively and move some people around and try to make sure we’ve got guys in the right spot but also guys who will step up and be ready to play.”

Lucas is currently second on the team with 26 receptions and 409 receiving yards, behind Keyarris Garrett‘s 33 and 539. His five receiving touchdowns, though, are tops on the team.

Montgomery expects Lucas to be healthy enough to participate in spring practice next year.