Unfortunately for Syracuse, the most highly-rated member of its most recent recruiting class will have to wait to make an on-field impact for the Orange.
In a text message to the Syracuse Post-Standard, head coach Scott Shafer confirmed that talented wide receiver K.J. Williams failed to qualify academically and will not play for the Orange in 2014. Additionally, fellow 2014 signee Treevon Prater is in the same academic boat as Williams and will be on the FBS sidelines this season.
It’s unclear what route either player will take for the 2014 season, be it the JUCO ranks or a prep school. The good news for both is that the door will likely be open once they get their academic house in order, with the Post-Standard writing that “[t]raditionally, Syracuse and Shafer have stood by most recruits who didn’t qualify initially, allowing them to join the Orange after prep school or junior college.”
By far the bigger of the two losses will be Williams.
The Bethlehem, Pa., product was the only four-star member of a recruiting class that was rated 41st in the country and 10th in the ACC. The 6’2″, 188-pound Williams was rated as the No. 31 receiver in the country and the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Pennsylvania.
He chose Syracuse over offers from, among others, Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
Coming out of high school in East St. Louis, Ill., Prater was given a three-star rating by Rivals.com.
ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.
In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.
The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.
Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.
Data dump, begin!
The American Athletic Conference released its 2016 conference schedule highlighted by, oddly enough, non-conference games that pit league gem Houston against Oklahoma (on opening day at Houston’s NRG Stadium) and Louisville (in Houston on Nov. 19).
Those two games, more than any others, will sink or swim the conference’s chances of not only grabbing the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six, but a spot in the College Football Playoff itself.
The 2016 conference slate kicks off with Navy meeting Connecticut on Sept. 10 and concludes with the second annual AAC title game on Dec. 3 at a to-be-determined campus site.
The AAC led the way in scheduling Power 5 opponents — highlighted by a Week 3 schedule that will see the entire East Division punching up a weight class — and includes the likes of Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma (for all intents and purposes) visiting AAC campuses.
View the full AAC slate here:
Just like we all thought when watching him play at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be in the NFL in 2016. Just not as a quarterback.
The San Diego Chargers announced his hiring as an obnoxiously vague offensive assistant, assisting with the club’s offense in some form that they aren’t inclined to elaborate on.
After completing a career in which he threw for 7,670 yards with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions from 2010-13, Rees was cut by the Washington Redskins in 2014, then spent the 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern.
The post-National Signing Day coaching carousel is now in full tilt.
According to a report from Adam Caplan of ESPN, Wisconsin defensive backs coach Daronte Jones is leaving to become the assistant defensive backs coach for the Miami Dolphins.
The Badgers already endured a significant loss this winter after defensive coordinator Dave Aranda took a lateral position with LSU. He was replaced in January by former USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.
Jones spent but 13 months in Madison, a January 2015 addition to Paul Chryst‘s first staff after spending three seasons at Hawaii.
Wisconsin possessed one of college football’s top pass defenses in 2015; the Badgers ranked seventh nationally in pass defense, tied for sixth in yards per attempt allowed, placed third in opponent completion percentage and finished second in pass efficiency defense.