Minnesota has seen its quarterback position undergo a significant shift over the last 48 hours or so.
Fifth-year senior Conor Rhoda began the 2017 season as the Golden Gophers’ starter under center, although he split time with sophomore Demry Croft in the opener. In Week 2, however, Rhoda accounted for every pass thrown in the win over Oregon State.
Monday, first-year head coach P.J. Fleck announced that Rhoda would be the full-time starter moving forward for his team. In a development that the coach said did not play a role in that announcement, Fleck revealed a day later that Croft will not be available to the team for the Week 3 game against Middle Tennessee State because of what were only described as personal issues but sure sounded a whole lot like disciplinary measures.
“He is dealing with some personal issues that are way, way more important than football, so it’s my job as a head football coach to get him what he needs,” Fleck said according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “We are going to help him any way we can. I’m not going to get into that, in respect to his privacy and his personal life. …
“If you do not do the right thing academically, athletically, socially and spiritually, and you do not uphold the high, high expectations of our culture on and off the field, you will not play. And it does not matter who you are.”
It’s decidedly unclear how long Croft will be unavailable as he attempts to get his academic/athletic/social/spiritual house in order.
With Croft out for the foreseeable future, Seth Green will likely serve as Rhoda’s backup. A redshirt freshman, Green was a three-star member of the Gophers’ 2016 recruiting class who was rated as the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the country. Not surprisingly, Green’s next pass attempt will be his first at the collegiate level
Unlike how his 2017 season ended, Greg Dortch‘s 2018 offseason is trending much more positively.
In Wake Forest’s late-October win over Louisville, Dortch went down with what turned out to be a season-ending abdominal injury. Four months after sustaining the injury, and with spring practice right around the corner, the wide receiver has been medically cleared to fully participate in practice.
Despite missing the last month of the regular season as well as the postseason, Dortch still led the Demon Deacons in receiving yards with 722. His 53 receptions and nine receiving touchdowns were tied for tops on the team as well.
In the game in which he was injured, he set the school record with four touchdown catches.
When it came to filling out his Purdue coaching staff, Jeff Brohm didn’t have to look very far.
Kevin Wolthausen, the football program confirmed in a release, has been hired as the 10th of Brohm’s allotted 10 Boilermakers assistant coaches. Per the school, Wolthausen will be working with the team’s special teams and defense.
This marks a positional homecoming of sorts for Wolthausen as he spent the 2012 season as the defensive line coach at Purdue. Last season, Wolthausen served as a quality control coach for both special teams and defense for the Boilermakers.
In between his two stints in West Lafayette, Wolthausen was the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at UConn in 2016; the two years prior, he was the Huskies’ defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.
In 2013, Wolthausen was the special teams coordinator at Florida International. The 60-year-old long-time college football assistant has also spent time on staffs at Louisville, Arizona, USC, Arizona State and Oklahoma.
For the most recent addition to his Troy coaching staff, Neal Brown has dipped into the Football Championship Series.
The Sun Belt Conference program confirmed Tuesday that Brandon Hall has been hired by Brown as his new linebackers coach. Hall had spent the past four seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at FCS Jacksonville State.
“Brandon is an outstanding defensive coach and has experience coaching at a lot of different levels,” a statement from Brown. “He is relentless on the recruiting trail and already has developed strong relationships in the areas that we believe are key. Looking at his track record, it comes as no surprise that Brandon helped build one of the top defenses in the FCS at Jacksonville State over the last four years.”
Prior to JSU, Hall had spent time at Arkansas State, Auburn and Oklahoma.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to join this program and coaching staff,” Hall said in his statement. “You can’t help but get excited as a coach when you look at what Coach Brown and the rest of this staff has done over the past three years with the Troy program. My family and I are looking forward to becoming part of the Trojan Family and continuing the strong tradition of Troy football.”
The departure of a longtime UCLA staffer has officially been confirmed.
Late last week, reports surfaced that Angus McClure was leaving UCLA for a position at Nevada. Tuesday, the Mountain West Conference football program confirmed that McClure has been hired as Jay Norvell‘s new offensive line coach.
McClure had been with the Bruins since 2007, serving at various times as position coach for both sides of UCLA’s lines as well as special teams. Most recently, McClure had served as recruiting coordinator for the Pac-12 school.
McClure and Norvell have a prior working relationship as they were both on the same staffs at Nebraska and UCLA.
In addition to McClure, David Lockwood was announced as Nevada’s new safeties coach. Lockwood was on the UNLV staff last season after spending the previous three years as the cornerbacks coach at Arizona.
“I think we made our staff stronger with these two veteran hires,” Norvell said in a statement. “I’m excited about the experience and expertise that we have added to the Wolf Pack coaching staff.”