Sadly, tragedy has struck yet another college football program.
Arizona officials confirmed Monday that offensive lineman Zach Hemmila died suddenly either Sunday night or Monday morning. A cousin discovered Hemmila’s body at his residence earlier today.
No cause of death is known at this time.
Hemmila, who would’ve been a senior in 2016, was just 22 years old.
“The only thought on my mind right now is with Zach Hemmila’s family,” a tearful Rich Rodriguez said in confirming the awful news. “We lost a great young man. Everybody in our program is hurting.”
According to the Wildcats head coach, he had just spoken to the lineman following a team meeting Sunday. Rodriguez had also spoken to Hemmila’s father, who, along with Hemmila’s mother, were visiting with their son the past few days.
“As Coach said, he’s a great young man,” said athletic director Greg Byrne. “We’re just so deeply saddened. Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, the team, his teammates, the coaches and everybody involved.”
Hemmila started six games last season. He was slated to start at center for the Wildcats this season.
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to anyone impacted by Hemmila’s passing.
After stumbling to a 1-3 start to the season, Oklahoma could be looking at a fresh start as they kick off Big 12 play this weekend. Unfortunately for the Sooners, at least defensively, they’ll do so at less than full strength defensively.
Wednesday, it was confirmed that, despite coming off a bye weekend, linebacker Tay Evans and defensive end Matt Dimon (pictured, left) will not play in Saturday’s game against TCU. Both will be sidelined with unspecified injuries.
Evans was injured in the second quarter of the Week 3 loss to Ohio State and didn’t return. Dimon didn’t play at all in the second half of that game because of his unspecified injury.
Evans has started all three games of the season thus far for the Sooners. Dimon started the opener against Houston and the OSU game, missing the Louisiana-Monroe game sandwiched in between.
It’s not all negative news on that side of the ball as all signs are pointing to defensive tackle Matt Romar is back at practice and on track to play against TCU. Romar, a key part of OU’s line rotation who started 12 games last season, overcame a concussion sustained during summer camp to play the first two games of the season. He didn’t see the field against the Buckeyes because of, you guessed it, an undisclosed injury.
With injuries decimating its own linebacking corps, Penn State may have caught a break on the other side of the ball.
With the Week 5 game against Minnesota still three days away, the Gophers have already announced that Tai’yon Devers has been ruled out against the Nittany Lions. Devers is dealing with an ankle injury that will sideline the freshman through at least this coming Saturday.
The defensive end currently leads the Gophers in sacks with three, including one in last week’s game against Colorado State. That one proved to be an absolute smothering of the Rams’ unfortunate quarterback.
In addition to the sacks, Devers also leads the Gophers with three forced fumbles in three games. According to head coach Tracy Claeys, Dever being more aware of his on-field surroundings could’ve allowed him to add to those totals this weekend.
From the St. Paul Pioneer-Press:
The Rams tried to cut Devers, who has wreaked havoc off the edge.
“He has to learn to protect himself,” Claeys said. “He’s going to see that a little more.”
One of the biggest open secrets in all of college football has been confirmed (?) by a person who purportedly had a front-row seat to the spectacle.
Shortly after Rich Rodriguez was fired following the 2010 season, Michigan put on the full-court press to land Les Miles as his replacement. It was known at the time that then-UM athletic director David Brandon and other school officials flew down to Baton Rouge to meet with Miles, who played his football for the Wolverines in the mid-seventies and was an assistant at his alma mater a decade later.
The open secret many still swear by? That on that trip south Brandon had offered the job, along with a significant raise to what he was making at LSU, to Miles, who ultimately decided to turn it down and stay with the Tigers.
During a radio interview Wednesday, Skip Bertman, LSU athletic director from 2001-2008, confirmed that version of events
“Les Miles turned that job down for more money at Michigan. He turned it down,” Bertman told the ESPN Radio affiliate in Baton Rouge. “He would never say that because he’s a very humble guy. But I was there; he turned it down.”
Renowned Michigan historian John Bacon, however, disputes not only the 2011 claim, but the 2007 claim by Kirk Herbstreit and one made in 2014 as well.
The football program hired Rodriguez in 2007 and Brady Hoke in 2011, then stuck with Hoke through a rough 2014 season that had Miles-to-Ann Arbor speculation flying yet again. Ultimately, though, the university finally landed its Michigan Man in Jim Harbaugh. I’m thinking that’s working out just fine for the program, regardless of how exactly things transpired with Miles in the past.
Tributes to Nebraska punter Sam Foltz and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler have seemingly been a weekly occurrence across college football the first four weeks of the season, and the players’ conference will get on board in Week 5.
A commemorative coin will be used to honor both Foltz and Sadler at all seven Big Ten games this weekend, the league announced Wednesday. As this is the first full weekend of conference action, the coins, with Foltz on one side and Sadler on the other, will be used for the coin flip prior to each league matchup.
The Cornhuskers have decided to use the coins for the remainder of the season.
Folks and Sadler were killed in a July car accident on their way home from a kick camp in Wisconsin. LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye was injured in the wreck, but is kicking this season for the Tigers and honoring both by wearing special cleats.
Below are the coins that will be used, courtesy of the Big Ten: