Earlier this month, Missouri abruptly lost a long-time Gary Pinkel assistant. Less than two weeks later, they’ve apparently filled that coaching void… at the expense of another Power Five football program, as it turns out.
While nothing is official, multiple media outlets reported earlier this week that Mizzou is set to hire A.J. Ricker as Pinkel’s new offensive line coach. Ricker would replace Bruce Walker, who it was announced had decided to retire from coaching at the age of 53 one month before the start of summer camp.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Dave Matter wrote Wednesday that “Missouri is not expected to formally announce Ricker’s hiring for a few days, maybe not until next week.” While neither school has sent out a release confirming the arrival/departure, Illinois head coach Tim Beckman did acknowledge that he now has an opening to fill on his Illini staff.
“He’s going to accept the opportunity to go to his alma mater,” Beckman told the Champaign News-Gazette. “We build a program and we talk about family, and he has an opportunity to go back to his family.”
Tigers fans will certainly recognize the name behind the hire when it’s officially announced.
From 2000-03, Ricker started 47 games at center for Mizzou. He served as the offensive line coach at Western Michigan in 2008 and then again from 2011-12. He spent his one and only season at Illinois in 2013.
(Photo credit: Illinois athletics)
This past week, Texas confirmed four-star 2016 Baylor signee Devin Duvernay had joined Charlie Strong‘s football program, just a couple of days after BU announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent. Shortly after that, another 2016 BU signee, offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez, revealed via Twitter that he too will be moving on to the Longhorns.
Now, another has migrated from Waco to Austin.
According to a report from ESPN.com, Donovan Duvernay has committed to play his college football for Texas. This Duvernay is the twin brother of Devan Duvernay.
The wide receiver will be eligible to play for the Longhorns in 2016.
A three-star member of the Bears’ 2016 recruiting class, Duvernay was rated as the No. 61 athlete in the country and the No. 113 player at any position in the state of Texas.
In the end, Baylor’s loss will turn into Texas’ gain. Again.
Just a couple of days after Baylor announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent, one of those prospects announced their new landing spot. And, to add insult to injury, said landing spot is a fellow Big 12 member.
And the state’s flagship university for good measure.
Pictured with Texas head coach Charlie Strong, that would be offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez announcing that he will begin his collegiate playing career with the Longhorns. And the get for UT, at least when it comes to recruiting pedigree, is a huge one.
Urquidez was a four-star BU signee this past February, rated as the No. 22 offensive tackle; the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 244 player on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.
The lineman becomes the second 2016 Bears signee to join the Longhorns since the sexual assault scandal slammed headfirst into Waco. Late this past week, UT confirmed the addition of four-star wide receiver Devin Duvernay.
Thursday, reports surfaced that two Tennessee offensive linemen would be leaving the Volunteers football program and possibly transferring to the FCS level. Friday, one of those two confirmed he’s looking into it.
Speaking to The Knoxville News Sentinel, Ray Raulerson acknowledged that he’s “exploring options right now,” although he stopped short of confirming a transfer. However, the redshirt sophomore center talked of his time in Knoxville in the past tense, an indication that he is prepared to move on.
“I’m exploring options right now,” Raulerson told the News Sentinel. “…I really loved it at Tennessee, but I’m going to go to a place where I have a better chance to play.”
Raulerson was a three-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class. After redshirting as a true freshman, he played in five games in 2015.
It has yet to be confirmed that the other lineman, fifth-year senior tackle Dontavius Blair, is indeed transferring. Raulerson, though, told the newspaper that his teammate is leaving as well.
Students at Clemson can rest easy; your football fix will still be free of charge this year.
In 2015, tickets for the student sections in both the lower bowl and upper bowl of Memorial Stadium came at no cost to those enrolled in classes at the university. In April, however, athletic director Dan Radakovich proposed levying what was described as a “$225 student donation” for those wishing to sit in the lower bowl on season tickets, while the upper bowl seats would remain free.
Late this past week, tigernet.com reported, Radakovich’s proposal was tabled as the university will “continue to have good conversations with student leaders about the entire ticketing process.”
So, for the 2016 football season, tickets in both bowls will come at no cost to students. As was the case last year, all of those tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
It wasn’t all good news financially for Clemson students — or their parents — as The State news paper writes that “[t]he university’s board of trustees voted almost unanimously via teleconference Thursday to raise tuition rates for the 2016-17 year for in-state and out-of-state students.”