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Attorney: ex-Auburn TE sent apologetic texts to alleged rape victim

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A sordid legal matter involving a former Auburn football player is now very publicly playing out for all to witness.

The attorney Landon Rice, who has been accused of rape but not charged, issued a statement earlier this week in which he labeled the allegations as “false” and that his client has been “vilified” and “unfairly treated” because of them.  In response to that statement, the lawyer for the unnamed 19-year-old allegedly raped by Rice released a series of text messages between the player and alleged victim in which the former apologized to the latter on multiple occasions.

From the Opelika-Auburn News:

Hey so I know this is out of the blue but this has just been on my mind a lot since last week,” the woman wrote to Rice on April 18. “When I came over after Greek sing I said no to having sex. I didn’t say it just to hear my own voice, I said it because I meant it. So the fact that you didn’t respect me enough to listen really hurts. I know you knew better than that,” the woman texted.

“I’m saying this because I want you to know that what you did was wrong. Whether it was 5 seconds or it was 20 minutes, it was still wrong. So I’m texting you about this for two reasons. One because the next time you are in that position, listen and do not make another girl feel disrespected like I do. Two because I want you to just leave me alone from now on.”

Rice responded, saying “Yes I knew it was wrong and I am sorry. There is nothing I can do to make it right. I am really sorry. I should have never put you in that position, I was just in the moment. That is not the person kind of person I am [sic]. (Redacted name) I am really sorry.”

The woman responded by saying she believed Rice but wanted him to leave her alone and he apologized again, saying: “Yes I will can we just put this behind us and don’t tell anyone and I’ll leave you alone. Once again I am really sorry and feel terrible about it.

Subsequent text exchanges between the two grew testy as the woman essentially begged Rice to stop contacting her via texts and social media messages.  After promising to leave her alone as long as they “just let it go and never bring it up again,” the woman responded “Why? Because you don’t want it getting around and possibly affecting football???”

Rice again apologized, saying “I know that it was wrong and I hope you know I’m sorry and I think about how wrong it was a lot.”

The woman’s final text message, at least of the ones provided by her lawyer, was the most heated.

“It’d be in your best interest to stay the (expletive) away from me,” the woman wrote. “You’re a piece of (expletive) to me Landon. Do not come near anything involving my sorority. Stay away from me.”

A temporary order of protection has been granted to the alleged victim and a hearing is scheduled for October 4, although Rice’s attorneys are seeking to have that order dismissed.

Following the Week 2 win over Arkansas State, head coach Gus Malzahn confirmed that the tight end had left his football program for what he described as “personal reasons.” The four-star 2016 recruit was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice earlier this year.  His brother, Logan Rice, plays wide receiver for the Tigers.

After leaving Miami, Darrion Owens lands at Houston

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Nearly three weeks after leaving Miami, Darrion Owens has found himself a new college football home.

Friday, Houston confirmed that it was officially added Owens to second-year head coach Major Applewhite‘s roster.  As the linebacker joins the Cougars as a graduate transfer from The U, he can immediately bolster UH’s defense in 2018.

This coming season marks the Florida native’s final season of eligibility.

Owens joined the Hurricanes as a three-star 2014 recruit.  247Sports.com had him rated as the No. 30 outside linebacker in the country.

After playing in 12 games as a true freshman, Owens opened 2015 as a starter but suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 2.  The past two seasons, Owens played in 25 games. In 13 games in 2017, he was credited with 35 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss.

In announcing Owens’ transfer from The U, head coach Mark Richt stated that, after the two had talked, “he informed me that he feels his best opportunity to get the most playing time would be at another school.”

RB Tre Watson leaving Cal as grad transfer

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Cal lost one of their top running backs to a season-ending injury last year.  Now, they’ve lost him for good.

Tre Watson took to Twitter late Friday night to announce that, “after many months of discussion with my family and lots of prayers,” he has decided to transfer from the Bears.  He will be pursuing a master’s degree elsewhere, meaning he can play for another FBS school in 2018.

The upcoming season will be Watson’s final year of collegiate eligibility.

In a Week 2 win over Weber State this past season, Watson sustained a serious knee injury and didn’t play the rest of the year.  Prior to the injury, Watson’s 83 yards in less than five quarters worth of work this season were leading the team.

In 2016, Watson was second on the Bears in rushing yards with 709 and led the team with four rushing touchdowns.  he finishes the Cal portion of his playing career with 1,390 yards and eight touchdowns on 274 carries.

Frisman Jackson hired as Baylor’s WRs coach

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Matt Rhule has officially been reunited with one of his former assistant coaches.

Baylor Friday confirmed that Rhule has hired Frisman Jackson to be his next wide receivers coach.  In 2015 and 2016, Jackson served as Rhule’s receivers coach and passing-game coordinator at Temple.

This past season, Jackson was the receivers coach for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.

“We are blessed to get Fris fresh off a successful playoff run at Tennessee,” Rhule said in a statement. “After having worked with him before, I know there is no one better suited to take our receivers group to the next level. His experience as both a college and pro player and coach gives him a unique perspective on developing our young men as elite football players, great students and quality men. His ability to teach and develop receivers is second to none. We are excited to welcome Fris, Lindsey, Anya and Forrest to the Baylor family.”

Jackson, who spent six seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver, has previously spent time on FBS coaching staffs at North Carolina State (2013-14), Northern Illinois (2012) and Akron (2010-11).  At each of those stops, Jackson was a receivers coach.

“I’m very excited to be back with Coach Rhule,” Jackson said. “I had a great time working with him at Temple. He’s a smart coach, he’s a fair coach and he’s a true family guy. I know he is going to do things the right way.

“Getting back with coaches I have worked with before makes the transition easy and smooth. Those two years at Temple were some of my best years as a coach. We had a great run and I’m looking forward to doing the same things at Baylor.”

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.