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Tennessee’s Kahlil McKenzie declares for NFL draft

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Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie will have the chance to select his son a year earlier than expected.

On his Instagram account Sunday, Kahlil McKenzie confirmed that he will be leaving Tennessee early and making himself available for the April NFL draft. “I want to say thank you to the city of Knoxville and the ENTIRE VolNation for embracing me through the ups and downs through these past 3 years,” the defensive lineman wrote. “Knoxville will always be my second home and I will love y’all tomorrow as much as I do now and have my entire life.”

Where do I start… I still remember the first time I put on my dads old beat up Bowl Jersey and helmet; coming to Knoxville for whatever reason to spend time with family; going to the rooftop of Neyland Stadium and getting chills looking into that empty stadium… Well, first things first, Lord thank you for everything you have blessed me with, thank you for a family that loves me, supports me and guides me, thank you for your never-ending love and the lessons you teach me everyday. Secondly, I want to say thank you to the city of Knoxville and the ENTIRE VolNation for embracing me through the ups and downs through these past 3 years. Knoxville will always be my second home and I will love y’all tomorrow as much as I do now and have my entire life. Third, I want to thank my coaches for the opportunity they gave me to attend this amazing University. I also want to thank my teammates for pushing me everyday, I love every last one of y’all. The memories I have with y’all make me smile and proud to have been your teammate. I have so much love in my heart for all of y’all and hope that you can have that same love for me at the next level. I will be foregoing my senior season and entering the 2018 NFL Draft. Lord, the rest is in Your gracious and powerful hands. Now I’m on to the next chapter!

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McKenzie played in 31 games the past three seasons, starting one of those contests. A pectoral injury limited him this past season.

During his time in Knoxville, McKenzie was credited with credited with 72 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.

McKenzie is the third Volunteer player to leave early this year, joining running back John Kelly and defensive back Rashaan Gaulden.

In statement, K-State ‘deeply saddened’ over death of Bill Snyder’s grandson

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In a statement, Kansas State has confirmed the passing of head coach Bill Snyder‘s grandson and assistant coach Sean Snyder‘s son.

Emergency personnel were called to the home of Matthew Snyder Wednesday afternoon for what was described as a medical emergency.  Other than the 22-year-old was deceased, no further details of the events surrounding his death have been released.

While neither of the long-time Wildcats coaches have, understandably, addressed the tragedy, K-State athletic director Gene Taylor did in a statement.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Snyder family during this very difficult time. We are deeply saddened to learn of this news and ask that the family’s privacy continue to be respected. Sean, Wanda, and the entire Snyder family are greatly appreciative of the outpouring of support displayed by the K-State Family as they cope with this tragedy.

FAU QB Jason Driskel announces he is retiring from football

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This one seemingly comes from out of nowhere.

The starting quarterback for Lane Kiffin‘s resurgent FAU program for most of 2017, Jason Driskel was hoping again to trigger one of the most potent offenses in the country in 2018.  Instead, Driskel announced on his personal Twitter account that he is retiring from the sport.

“After a lot of thinking, talking with friends and family, and prayer, I have made the decision to end my college football career,” Driskel, who has one year of eligibility remaining, wrote in the social media missive. “I undoubtedly will miss my teammates and the game with all of its trials and tribulations; but I will not regret the decision to move into the next chapter of my life.”

After going 1-2 the first three games of the 2017 season, Lane Kiffin benched starter Daniel Parr and inserted Driskel.  After losing his first start at Buffalo, Driskel proceeded to help lead the Owls to 10 straight wins to close out the regular season with a school-record 11 wins.  FAU won the Conference USA championship and also claimed the program’s first bowl win since 2008 for good measure.

Driskel passed for 2,247 yards, five touchdowns and just four interceptions in what turned out to be his last season at the school.  He was also third on the Owls with 427 yards rushing, while his eight rushing touchdowns were second on the team.

With Driskel out, a pair of transfers, Florida State’s De'Andre Johnson and Oklahoma’s Chris Robinson, will likely battle for the starting job beginning in the spring.  Even if he hadn’t retired, Driskel would’ve had to beat out that duo for the starting job, his head coach confirmed after the Boca Raton Bowl rout of Akron.

Bill Snyder’s grandson, Sean Snyder’s son dies at age 22

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Tragedy has struck at the heart of the Kansas State football program.

According to the Manhattan Mercury, 22-year-old Matthew Snyder died Wednesday in Manhattan.  Snyder is the grandson of legendary K-State head coach Bill Snyder and the son of longtime Wildcats assistant Sean Snyder.

Scant details surrounding the younger Snyder’s death have been released.  From the Mercury‘s report:

Emergency personnel responded to a medical call Wednesday afternoon in the 3300 block of Claflin Avenue in Manhattan. Riley County police confirmed that there had been a death but declined to give any further information.

The house at 3309 Claflin Ave. belongs to KTMW LLC, which is owned by Sean and Wanda Snyder, according to county records.

The football program is expected to release a statement or statements on Matthew Snyder’s passing later on Thursday.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those affected by the young man’s death.

In the retiring Chayce Crouch, Illinois loses second QB in one day

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Wednesday evening, Jeff George Jr. announced that he was leaving the Illinois football program as a graduate transfer.  A short time later, another of his fellow Fighting Illini quarterbacks confirmed his exit as well — albeit with a twist.

On his personal Twitter account, Chayce Crouch announced that not only is he leaving the Illini but he’s leaving the sport, period. “I don’t think there’s anything left to give,” the redshirt junior wrote. “I have decided to hang up the cleats and end my career as a Fighting Illini.

“At this point in my life, this is what is best for me.”

Crouch started the first four games of the 2017 season before being benched in favor of George Jr. in early October; he started another game later on in the year.  The Ohio native finishes his collegiate career completing 78 of his 157 passes for 852 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions.  He also ran for 360 yards and another four touchdowns on 108 carries.

With the departures of Crouch and George, rising sophomore Cam Thomas is the only scholarship quarterback currently on the Illini’s roster.  A three-star recruit signed last December, MJ Rivers, won’t enroll until the summer.  There’s also the possibility of adding another recruit during the “usual” February signing period, and there’s also the possibility (probability?) that a graduate transfer at the position will be added as well.