UCLA athletics

UCLA makes hiring of Michigan assistant Jedd Fisch as new OC official

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Not long after a Michigan assistant and one of his players said their online goodbyes, the former’s move to the West Coast is official.

Following reports that had been swirling for nearly a week, UCLA confirmed that Jedd Fisch has been hired by Jim Mora to serve as the Bruins’ offensive coordinator.  Fisch replaces Kennedy Polamalu, who was let go by the Bruins in late November.

The past two seasons, Fisch had served as the quarterbacks coach/wide receivers coach/passing-game coordinator at Michigan.  Fisch will also hold the title of quarterbacks coach at UCLA.

“Jedd, in a relatively short amount of time, has earned the respect of some of the game’s greatest offensive minds,” said the Bruins head football coach in a statement. “At each of his stops, he has made those teams better while demonstrating a remarkable ability to connect with the young men he has coached. I want to welcome Jedd, his wife Amber and his daughters Zaylee, Ashlee and Kendall to the Bruin family. We couldn’t be more excited and think Jedd is an exceptional fit for this program.”

“Jedd Fisch is a talented offensive mind who groomed a new starting quarterback for us each year that he was at Michigan,” a statement from Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh began. “The UCLA coaching staff will be receiving someone who possesses a wealth of knowledge, great enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Jedd’s reputation as a relentless coast-to-coast recruiter will unquestionably benefit the Bruins going forward. I wish Jedd, Amber and the Fisch family nothing but success and prosperity in the Pac-12 as part of the UCLA Bruins Football coaching staff.”

Prior to his time at Michigan, Fisch also served as the coordinator at Miami of Florida (2011-12) and Minnesota (2009).  Following his time in South Florida, he was the coordinator for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

This will be Fisch’s first college job west of the Mississippi in a 20-year coaching career (he was the quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks in 2010).

“UCLA is known for attracting high-caliber and high-character student-athletes,” said Fisch. “The opportunity to mentor these types of young men is extremely exciting, as is the chance to work with Coach Mora. I’ve said many times how fortunate I have been throughout my career to learn from some tremendous mentors, and this opportunity is no different. My family and I cannot wait to get out to Westwood and hit the ground running.”

Report: Big 12 still raking in SEC-level cash

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It’s a bad time for the Big 12. The conference isn’t signing blue chip prospects at the rate of its peers, isn’t producing draft picks at the rate of its peers and isn’t reaching and winning big games at the rate of its peers.

But the Big 12 is still getting paid at the rate of its peers.

The league’s contracts with ESPN and FOX combined with its 10-team set up have allowed the Big 12 to keep pace with the SEC and Big Ten and remain ahead of the ACC and Pac-12 in financial distribution. The Dallas Morning News‘s Big 12 writer Chuck Carlton tweeted on Friday the league’s per-school distribution will again grow 10 percent to more than $33 million in 2017-18.

The SEC distributed just north of $40 million in 2016-17, while the Big Ten was at $33 million by 2014-15.

However, since the Big 12 does not have its own television network, its conference distributions do not include third-tier rights, which its schools keep and sell on their own — like the Longhorn Network. So schools like Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas are likely getting paid equal or above their SEC and Big Ten peers.

Now if only they could start recruiting and winning like them, too.

Former Texas DT Jordan Elliott headed to Mizzou

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Former Texas defensive tackle Jordan Elliott will now be a Missouri Tiger, he announced on Friday.

Elliott chose Missouri to follow Brick Haley, his defensive line coach in Austin that landed at Mizzou after Charlie Strong‘s firing.

“They’re a program that’s on the come up, SEC ball is the highest level,” Elliott said in an interview with Power Mizzou. “Coach Haley is one of the best D-Line coaches out there. Missouri’s a powerhouse for defensive linemen. They’re coming and going first round every year. That’s real appealing to me.

“I talked to coach Haley and got it rolling.”

Elliott was a Signing Day addition to Strong’s 2016 class who was committed to Michigan before his late flip. He said that his one season in Austin amounted to a year-long version of buyer’s remorse.

“There’s a lot of speculation going around, but at the end of the day I just wasn’t happy there,” he said. “It’s nothing against the coaches at Texas, they’re great coaches. It’s a great program and I really learned a lot of things, but I just never really enjoyed Texas since I first got there.”

Elliott posted eight tackles and 1.5 TFLs in six appearances as a true freshman last season before suffering a torn MCL against Iowa State in October.

He would have been in line for starter’s snaps had he remained on Tom Herman‘s squad this fall. Instead, Elliott will sit out the 2017 campaign and have three years remaining to compete as a Tiger beginning in ’18.

 

WATCH: FCS player paralyzed in 2015 game vs. Georgia walks

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Tired of the continuous stream of negative college football news? Here ya go.

During a September 2015 game against Georgia, Southern wide receiver Devon Gales sustained a severe spinal injury that left him paralyzed and hospitalized for five months. This week, Gales used Twitter to offer up a very encouraging and inspiring update — the former wide receiver, with the assist of a couple of physical therapists, taking a dozen steps.

On the way indeed.

In February, Georgia announced that it was launching “Drive to Build a Dawg House” for Gales and his family.

Nebraska WR Stanley Morgan avoids felony pot possession charge

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One of the top playmakers in Nebraska’s passing game has avoided what was originally a serious legal charge.

According to KETV-TV in Omaha, Stanley Morgan was arrested following a traffic stop May 6 in Port Orange, Fla., for possession of 21.4 grams of marijuana; according to the penal code in the state of Florida, possession of more than 20 grams of weed is considered a felony.  However, the television station wrote, “prosecutors charged the case as ‘possession of cannabis not more than 20 grams,’ making it a misdemeanor.”

Why the the charge against Morgan went from a potential felony to a misdemeanor — or reduced as the Associated Press reported — wasn’t detailed.  A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia charge was dropped as well.

Cornhuskers defensive back Antonio Reed was also in the vehicle that was driven by his teammate and was charged with misdemeanor pot possession as well.

“Head Coach Mike Riley and the Athletics Department are aware of a recent incident in Florida involving Stanley Morgan Jr.,” a statement from the university began. “We will have no additional comment until we have all information regarding this matter.”

Morgan’s 33 receptions for 453 yards were second on the team last season.  With Jordan Westerkamp‘s departure, the junior is the Cornhuskers’ leading returning receiver.

Also a junior, Reed played in 22 games last season.  He was credited with 22 tackles.