Coming off a Pac-12 South division title in 2013, Arizona State has offered a contract extension of one year to head coach Todd Graham, according to a report by AZCentral.com. The contract extension will also come with a pay raise of $300,000, making Graham one of the highest paid coaches in the conference.
The Arizona Board of Regents must approve the contract extension before it becomes official, but processes like these tend to be just a formality. Once approved, Graham’s contract will run through June 30, 2019. With the pay raise, Graham will receive an annual salary of $2.7 million.
Since Graham’s arrival at Arizona State, the Sun Devils have gone 18-9, won one Fight Hunger Bowl, won one Pac-12 South title and hosted one Pac-12 Championship Game. Last season Arizona State ended the year ranked No. 21 in the final AP poll, marking the first season since 2007 Arizona State ended a season ranked in the AP top 25.
Graham is 67-38 in his eight-year head coaching career. Before arriving at Arizona State, Graham has coached at Rice, Tulsa and Pittsburgh. Graham is 4-2 in bowl games.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa may not be playing in the spring game due to an injury, but there is still plenty of Tagovailoa news coming out of Tuscaloosa today. Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of the national championship game hero, has reportedly committed to play for the Crimson Tide.
The newest commitment for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide is a four-star dual-threat quarterback and will be a part of Alabama’s Class of 2019. Alabama won the recruiting battle against schools like Tennessee, Florida, Nebraska, and Michigan among others. According to Al.com, Lane Kiffin made a push to lure Tagovailoa to FAU as well.
Tagovailoa will go down as an in-state recruit for Alabama because the Tagovailoa moved to Alabama after Tua Tagovailoa enrolled at Alabama. If Tua wins the starting job at Alabama, then it is possible Alabama’s offense could be run by a Tagovailoa for the next six years. A dynasty within a dynasty? That’s dynasty inception, not to put too much pressure on either Tagovailoa brother.
A record-setting crowd at Memorial Stadium had plenty of reasons to cheer on Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska. Aside from a good amount of highlights from Nebraska’s football players, including freshman Adrian Martinez, Nebraska fans celebrated as a student in attendance was given a chance to win $25,000. All he had to do was field a punt during a break in the action.
He nailed it, and the celebration following was pretty good too. After getting his hands on the ball to secure the $25,000 prize, players from both sidelines rushed the field to celebrate.
File this away with all of those fun spring game moments.
Nebraska has generally been one of the traditional heavy hitters when it comes to the not-at-all-important stat of spring game attendance, but never before have so many Huskers fans crammed into Memorial Stadium to see their beloved team play the spring game.
Nebraska is reporting a spring game crowd of 86,818 in Lincoln this afternoon, easily making them the new leader in the nation for spring game attendance this season (other contenders Alabama and Penn State are also in action today, so we’ll see if Nebraska hangs on to this lead). The massive crowd on-hand to witness the spring debut of new head coach Scott Frost also catapulted Nebraska into the top 10 leaderboard for all-time spring game attendance figures. Nebraska’s 86,818 fans is good for the eighth-most fans for a spring game, and Nebraska’s only appearance on the top 10 list.
It’s worth a quick reminder that these are paying fans as well, and the weather isn’t fantastic, although it is far better than a number of spring games have seen this season.
Florida State previously had the highest-attended spring game going into this weekend, but the crowd of 60,934 stood very little chance of staying ahead of some of the schools in action on Saturday, including the combination of Nebraska, Alabama, Penn State, and Georgia.
Wisconsin’s quarterback position looks to be pretty solid heading into the 2018 season with Alex Hornibrook back to lead the offense, but the depth at the position will get a little more shallow with a pending departure. Karé Lyles is set on leaving Madison by way of a transfer, according to a message posted to his Twitter account Friday night.
“Thank you UW for the memories, but it’s time to focus on a new chapter and a new beginning,” Lyles said in his message on Twitter. “The best is yet to come! Just a kid with a dream, and I didn’t come this far just to come this far.”
Lyles would have been floating on the depth chart at Wisconsin this season behind locked-in starter Hornibrook, with Jack Coan rising to be the top backup option ahead of Lyles for the Badgers. Wisconsin has some other younger in-experienced quarterbacks on the roster as well to fill some of the space on the depth chart in the fall.
Lyles, a redshirt sophomore in the fall, will have to sit out the upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will be eligible to play again in 2019 with two years of eligibility to use at another FBS program. If he transfers to a lower division school, then Lyles would be eligible to play immediately this fall.
Helmet sticker to Bucky’s 5th Quarter.