Getty Images

WR Chris Godwin opts for NFL over another year at Penn State

Leave a comment

In a stunning development, a talented player with remaining eligibility has decided to go pro.

In a statement sent out through the school, Chris Godwin announced that he has decided to enter his name into the 2017 NFL draft pool. This upcoming season would’ve been the wide receiver’s final year of eligibility.

“It’s been an honor and a blessing to have the opportunity to be a part of the Penn State Football family,” Godwin said at the beginning of a lengthy statement. “I give all the glory to God. I don’t know if words can fully express my gratitude to everyone that played a role in me getting to this point. The success I’ve had is a direct result of my association with the teams and supporting staff that I’ve had. From Middletown High School to Penn State, I have made relationships that will last a lifetime. Those closest to me know the impact this has had on my growth. The special bond with this team is something I’ll hold forever.

“I came to Penn State not only to pursue a degree from the greatest university in the nation, but also to play in the best atmosphere in college football and bring Penn State back to prominence. Through a lot of hard work over the last three years, I’d like to believe that myself and my brothers have successfully accomplished that.

“As a kid from Delaware I could only dream about being in this position. This has been one of the hardest decision in my life, but after praying on it and having many conversations with those I trust the most, I’ve decided to forego my senior year and declare for the 2017 NFL Draft. I believe this is the best decision for myself and my family. I can’t thank my brothers, coaches/support staff and Nittany Nation enough for their constant support throughout my three years here. This year was something special and I’ll be forever grateful to have been a part of it.”

Godwin led the Nittany Lions in receptions and receiving yards each of the last two seasons. In the epic Rose Bowl loss to USC, Godwin set a career-high with 187 receiving yards. The nine receptions in the Jan. 2 game were the second-most of his career.

This past season, his 982 receiving yards were third in the Big Ten.

Godwin finishes his career ranked fourth on PSU’s career receiving yardage list with 2,404 yards, seventh with 153 receptions and tied for fourth with 18 career receiving touchdowns.

“Chris has been a leader in our wide receivers’ room and on this team throughout his Penn State career,” a statement from head coach James Franklin began. “He is one of the top receivers in Penn State history and has made numerous memorable catches throughout his career. We are thankful for all of Chris’ contributions to Penn State Football and look forward to seeing him excel on the next level.”

‘Family reasons’ lead two-year starter at WR to leave Utah

Leave a comment

Suddenly, Utah’s receiving corps is significantly depleted.

The Utes confirmed Thursday that Raelon Singleton has decided to leave Kyle Whittingham‘s football program.  The school cited unspecified “family reasons” for the redshirt junior wide receiver moving on from the Utes.

“We are sorry to see Raelon leave, but understand that his family comes first,” a statement from the head coach read. “We appreciate his contributions to our program over the last four years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Singleton, a native of the state of Texas, will graduate from the university in May.  That would make him eligible to play immediately in 2018 at another FCS school if that’s the route he chooses to take.

The past two seasons, Singleton was the Utes’ second-leading receiver yards-wise.  He had 36 receptions for 531 yards and four touchdowns this past season, and went 27-464-4 in 2016.

With Singleton’s departure and leading receiver Darren Carrington‘s expired eligibility, the Utes will have to replace 106 receptions and 1,511 yards.  That twosome also combined for 10 touchdown catches; as a team, the Utes had 18 this past season.

Peter Sirmon steps down as Bobby Petrino’s DC at Louisville

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s that time of year for a handful of coaching surprises.

The latest such development comes from Louisville, with Jody Demling of CardinalAuthority.com the first to report that Peter Sirmon has stepped down as the U of L’s defensive coordinator.  The football program subsequently confirmed that Sirmon has left Bobby Petrino‘s coaching staff.

“I would like to thank Peter Sirmon for all his work this season at the University of Louisville,” a statement attributed to the head coach began. “I wish him and his family all the best.”

Sirmon just completed his first season with the Cardinals.  In his lone season, the U of L finished 70th in scoring defense (27.4 ppg) and 62nd in total defense (388.1 ypg); in the year prior to arrival, they were 71st (27.1 pp) and 59th (387 ypg), respectively, in those categories.

Prior to the U of L, Sirmon had served as the coordinator at Mississippi State for one season in 2016.

QB Zerrick Cooper announces transfer from Clemson

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Not surprisingly, Clemson’s quarterback room will have one less familiar face in it this season than it did last.

Using Clemson’s official Twitter account, Zerrick Cooper announced Friday that he has decided to transfer from the Tigers.  In his statement, the quarterback indicated that he was moving on in order to find a better opportunity for playing time.

“This is no reflection of the Clemson family,” Cooper wrote, “but rather a direct reflection of my drive to lead, play & compete.”

Cooper was a four-star member of the Tigers’ 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the country.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Cooper, along with Hunter Johnson, served as the backups to starter Kelly Bryant following the competition to replace Deshaun Watson.

Of the two, the strong-armed Cooper saw the most action as he completed 25 of his 41 attempts for 256 yards and a pair of touchdowns in seven games.  Johnson, a true freshman who was a five-star 2017 signee, attempted 27 passes.  However, by the end of the season, Johnson had seemingly become Bryant’s primary backup.

Both Bryant and Johnson will return in 2018.  Perhaps more than anything, however, Clemson signed Trevor Lawrence, the top-rated player in the Class of 2018, as part of the first-ever early signing period last month.

Alabama reportedly raids Penn State staff for new WRs coach

Associated Press
Leave a comment

Nick Saban‘s latest reshaping of his coaching will reportedly come at the expense of a Big Ten school.

Earlier Thursday, a report surfaced that Mike Locksley was being promoted by Saban to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.  As Locksley served as Alabama’s wide receivers coach this past season, it left Saban in search of a new coach for that positional group.

According to FootballScoop.com, that search has ended as Penn State’s Josh Gattis is expected to take the job.  Gattis will also serve as the Tide’s co-offensive coordinator.

A couple of other outlets confirmed the initial report.

Gattis had spent the past six seasons on James Franklin-led coaching staff, the first two at Vanderbilt and the last four at Penn State.  In addition to receivers coach, Gattis held the title of passing-game coordinator and assistant special teams coordinator with the Nittany Lions.