Agent tweeted of March dinners with four current Longhorns

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And the plot thickens.  Or the ship gets deeper.  One of the two.

Tuesday brought word that Texas was facing NCAA scrutiny after it self-reported a pair of current but unnamed Longhorns had meals paid for by an NFL agent, a bylaw no-no.  Now, as first reported by Orangebloods.com and subsequently confirmed by the Austin American-Statesman, it’s been found that a St. Louis-based agent, Justin Bingman, tweeted back in March of having dinners with four Longhorn football players.

And, unbelievably, Bingman tweeted them out by name at the time: defensive end Cedric Reed, defensive tackle Desmond Jackson and linebackers Steve Edmond and Jordan Hicks (pictured), all between March 22 and March 24. The tweets have since been deleted, but, through the magic of copy-and-paste, the American-Statesman has saved them for posterity’s sake:

“Just had a great dinner with @Ced_Reed88 He and his dad are great guys!” Bingman tweeted on March 22.

“Had dinner with @TexasBoy99tank and his Dad last night. They are both great guys and looking forward to the next time,” he tweeted about Jackson on March 23.

The next day, Bingman tweeted, “Had dinner with @SteveBigMoney33 last night, MLB for Texas. We all had a great time with many stories. #Longhorns”

Bingman’s next tweet read: “Just had dinner with a great young man that is going to do great this year for Texas @JHicks_3 #Longhorns #LonghornsNation”

Bingman, incidentally, is the agent for former UT offensive lineman Mason Walters.  All four of the players mentioned by Bingman are seniors.

While Bingman acknowledged having dinner with the four players, it’s unknown who paid for the meals. If it’s the agent in all four cases, all four players could face anywhere from a one-game suspension after making restitution in the form of a charitable donation all the way up to (unlikely) having their eligibility stripped. It could also be a case where the UT compliance department is already aware of the four dinners and have determined that only two players had theirs paid for by the agent.

And, hopefully, none of the four pull/pulled a Dez Bryant and make/made the situation exponentially worse than what it is for all involved.

Regardless, it’ll be an issue first-year head coach Charlie Strong would prefer not to deal with during his first Big 12 Media Days next week.

Illinois DT Tito Odenigbo reportedly transferring to Miami

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Miami lost a pair of underclassmen starting defensive tackles to the NFL draft, putting a serious dent in the interior of its line.  A couple of weeks later, however, it appears The U has somewhat softened that early-entry blow.

247Sports.com reported Friday that Tito Odenigbo has decided to transfer from Illinois to Miami.  As Odenigbo would be coming to the Hurricanes as a graduate transfer, he would be able to play immediately for the ACC team in 2018.

The upcoming season would be the defensive tackle’s final year of eligibility.

This past season, Odenigbo started four of the 10 games he played for the Illini, and his 4½ tackles for loss were tied for second on the team in 2017.  All told, Odenigbo played in 21 games at Illinois, starting five of those contests.

Prior to the NFL’s deadline, tackles RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton confirmed that they would be leaving Miami early for the NFL draft.

A&M the landing spot for UCF RB Cordarrian Richardson

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The strange journey of Cordarrian Richardson has taken yet another twist.

The running back confirmed to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal late this past week that he has decided to leave UCF and transfer to Texas A&M.  The true freshman will have to sit out the 2018 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, but will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2019.

Last season, Richardson ran for 161 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 47 carries for the unbeaten Knights.

On National Signing Day in 2017, Richardson announced via a weather balloon in outer space that he would be signing with Maryland.  A day later, however, Richardson faxed in a signed NLI… to a school that wasn’t even in his final four — UCF.  Maryland, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Ole Miss, were the top four teams that appeared in his original “commitment” video.

Richardson was also heavily recruited by Florida State, which at the time was coached by new A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher.

A four-star 2017 signee, Richardson was rated as the No. 9 back in the country; the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Tennessee; and the No. 157 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  He was far and away the highest-rated signee in the Knights’ class that year.

Arkansas kicker Cole Hedlund reportedly transfers to North Texas

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And you can pardon the whole of the state of Arkansas if they let out a collective “thank goodness.”

Citing multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, Brett Vito of the Denton Record-Chronicle is reporting that Cole Hedlund is transferring to North Texas.  After redshirting as a true freshman in 2014 at Arkansas, Hedlund spent the next three seasons as a placekicker for the Razorbacks.

The Argyle, Tex., native opted to transfer from UA for his final season of eligibility.  He’s the youngest son of UNT women’s soccer coach John Hedlund.

For his career with the Razorbacks, Hedlund hit on 14 of his 24 field goal attempts.  He also connected on all 91 extra point attempts.  His best season came in 2015 when he led the team in scoring with 85 points.

The past season, however, was a rough one.  After missing both field goal attempts in a Sept. 9 loss to TCU — the misses came from 20 and 23 yards out — Hedlund never attempted another kick for the Razorbacks the rest of the season.

“It was basically a PAT, and it was a perfect protection and a perfect snap. It’s inexcusable,” then-head coach Bret Bielema said at the time.

Longtime BYU defensive assistant Steve Kaufusi steps down

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A constant on BYU’s defensive staff for nearly two decades has taken himself out of the football program’s equation.

The Cougars announced Friday that Steve Kaufusi has stepped down from his post as linebackers coach.  Per the school, Kaufusi’s departure was triggered by his desire to pursue other unspecified interests.

Kaufusi, whose wife Michelle is the mayor of Provo and has two sons who will play for the Cougars this season, had spent the past 16 seasons with BYU.  From 2002-16, he coached the defensive line; he took over linebackers in 2017 and spent one season overseeing that position.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to coach at BYU for the past 16 seasons,” Kaufusi said. “I’m honored to have had the opportunity to represent the University and everything it stands for. I will always be a Cougar and look forward to watching my sons play at BYU.”

“Anyone who knows Steve knows he is an exceptional coach and mentor to young men, which you can see in the players he has coached over the years and also in his own family,” head coach Kalani Sitake said. “I wish Steve nothing but the best for his future.”

In tandem with the Kaufusi announcement, the program also confirmed that Preston Hadley has been hired.  Hadley, who played defensive back for the Cougars and coached at Weber State the past two seasons, will coach safeties in his return.

Ed Lamb, who was responsible for safeties, will take over Kaufusi’s linebackers.  All other coaches on the defensive side of the ball will maintain their current positions.