In a move that surprises absolutely no one, Louisville Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino named redshirt sophomore Will Gardner the team’s starting quarterback.
After serving at Teddy Bridgewater’s backup a year ago, Gardner will now have the opportunity to be the ringleader in Petrino’s circus.
“I thought Will had an outstanding fall camp,” Petrino said in a statement. “He demonstrated good decision-making and executed our offense.”
Gardner played in five games last season during mop up duty for Bridgewater. Gardner was 8-of-12 passing for 112 yards and two touchdowns in his limited opportunities.
Despite being the team’s primary backup last season, Petrino wasn’t going to hand Gardner the starting job. A new offensive system was being put in place, and the new head coach wanted to give the other quarterbacks on the roster an opportunity to earn the position. Gardner rose to the occasion and the claimed the spot everyone thought was his from the onset of spring practice. Gardner looked spectacular in the team’s spring game and rode the momentum through fall camp.
“He’s a young man who is extremely coachable, very intelligent and really into it,” Petrino told USA TODAY in June. “When you talk about dedication and commitment, Will has done all of that.”
Louisville’s announcement came on the same day its opponent to open the season, the Miami Hurricanes, named their starting quarterback. True freshman Brad Kaaya is the Hurricanes’ new starting signal caller. The Cardinals will now have an advantage — albeit a slight one — in experience at quarterback when playing at home on Labor Day against their first official ACC opponent.
What, did you expect Jim Harbaugh to not make some noise at the Big Ten Media Days?
Earlier this month, the Michigan head coach appeared in the video for a rap song titled “Who’s Got It Better Than Us?” If you were a Wolverines fan, you liked it; if you were not a fan of the program, you more than likely abhorred it. And you were probably a stick-up-the-keister caucasian for that matter.
At least, that’s Harbaugh’s take on the criticism, as he relayed during his time with the media Monday.
There you have it, white people, from, ironically enough, the Pasty Khaki King himself.
And, not surprisingly, Harbaugh’s off-field antics aren’t likely in the past.
“My default is usually yes,” Harbaugh said, from transcripts provided by the conference, when asked about how the video came to fruition and why he did it. “Action, why not? And the reaction has been very good. I’ve gotten multiple texts, phone calls, comments from people that really liked it and I think the cool people liked it.”
Take that, uncool white folk.
Unlike some recent 2016 signee defections, Jarrett Stidham won’t be afforded the opportunity to haunt Baylor — at least not in conference play.
Earlier this month, Stidham confirmed rampant speculation via Twitter that he would be transferring from the Bears and continuing his playing career elsewhere. Fastforward nearly four weeks, and the quarterback confirmed to ESPN.com that he has been granted a release from his BU scholarship, albeit with restrictions.
Specifically, Stidham will not permitted to transfer to any current member of the Big 12. Texas Tech, which had received a verbal commitment from Stidham before he flipped to BU two months before Signing Day 2015, had been mentioned as a potential landing spot for the transfer.
Other than other members of the league, Stidham is free to transfer anywhere he desires, including schools already on BU’s future schedules during his remaining eligibility. Those would include SMU (2016), Rice (2016-2019), Duke (2017/2018) and UT-San Antonio (2017-2018).
If Stidham goes the FBS route for 2016, he would be forced to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws by sitting out the upcoming season, and would then have three season of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017. There’s also speculation that Stidham could take the junior college path for a season and then move back to the FBS for his final three seasons, although his next step is currently unknown.
A four-star member of the Bears’ 2015 recruiting class, Stidham was rated as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Texas.
Last season, Stidham started three games as a true freshman in place of the injured Seth Russell before going down with a broken ankle that ended his own season. He had been penciled in as the Bears’ quarterback of the future when the senior Russell departed after the 2016 season.
For the third time this offseason — a number that could ultimately turn into four — Alabama has seen a player depart Nick Saban‘s football program.
On Twitter over the weekend, Christian Bell announced that, “[a]fter a lot of thoughts and prayers,” he has decided to transfer from the Crimson Tide. The linebacker gave no reason for his departure less than two weeks before the start of summer camp, although al.com has an idea:
Alabama is very deep at outside linebacker and has several other young outside linebackers who were higher-rated recruits than Bell and were ahead of Bell on the depth chart.
Bell took a “grayshirt” for the 2015 season, ultimately enrolling in classes at UA this past January. The Birmingham, Ala., native participated in spring practice with the Tide this year.
A three-star recruit according to 247Sports.com, Bell was rated as the No. 19 weakside defensive end in the country and the No. 17 player at any position in the state of Alabama.
In January, it was reported that Shawn Burgess-Becker had decided to transfer, with the defensive back ultimately moving on to UCF. A month after Burgess-Becker’s departure surfaced, reports emerged that linebacker Adonis Thomas was leaving ‘Bama for a junior college.
Senior defensive back Maurice Smith has also been granted permission to transfer, although Smith’s family at one time indicated that the door was open for a return. Earlier this month, it was reported that UA had thus far denied Smith a release from his scholarship.
Heading into his second season in Gainesville, Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins just received a significant raise.
Collins, who signed a three-year contract paying him $600,000 annually after leaving Mississippi State to join Jim McElwain‘s staff last winter, netted a bump to $890,000 with a $150,000 retention bonus according to contract details obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.
Nine assistants earned at least $1 million in 2015 according to USA Today, with six of those hailing from the SEC.
Additionally, defensive line coach Chris Rumph‘s salary moved to $500,000 with a one-year extension through the 2017 season, offensive line coach Mike Summers will earn $498,500, linebackers coach Randy Shannon‘s $400,000 salary grew by just under $10,000, and new defensive backs coach Torrian Gray signed a two-year deal paying him $335,000 annually.
Florida’s defense ranked eighth nationally in yards per play allowed in 2015, helping the Gators win an unexpected SEC East championship.