A year ago at this time we took a look at the early success Kansas head coach David Beaty was having on the recruiting trail. At the time, Kansas had a top 10 recruiting class that was highlighted by a nice haul from the state of Louisiana. It seems the Jayhawks coach is continuing to create a pipeline in the state of Louisiana as he continues to build up the Kansas program because he just landed an early commitment from a talented quarterback out of the state.
Lance LeGendre, a four-star dual-threat quarterback from New Orleans, has committed to Kansas by way of a brief statement on Twitter. For the time being, LeGendre is choosing Kansas over offers from programs like Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Missouri and more. LeGendre is the first recruit on the board for Kansas at this point in time, but it is a key one in continuing to build a pipeline of talent from the football-rich state of Louisiana out to Kansas.
Kansas signed two four-star players from Louisiana in the Class of 2018 with DB Corione Harris and RB Anthony Williams. Although Kansas had a handful of players committed from Louisiana last February, a number ended up going to other programs. But keeping Harris and Williams in Kansas was crucial for the effort Beaty has been working on. If he manages to keep LeGendre on the board as well, that effort will only become stronger.
“He’s a good guy and obviously a good recruiter,” Legendre said to Jayhawk Slant following his commitment, referring to Beaty. “He’s bringing a lot of guys from the Boot and he’s doing a lot of good things. When I was in the eighth grade he helped me get into Warren Easton. So we’ve had a good relationship since then and he’s a great guy.”
Beaty is a Texas native and has spent most of his coaching career in the state of Texas, but three years as an assistant at Texas A&M as the Aggies moved into the SEC helped introduce Beaty to the importance of recruiting talent from the state of Louisiana. It is not easy, of course, with LSU historically dominating the top talent and Alabama plucking more and more of the top-tier players away to Tuscaloosa, not to mention the other competition to land talent out of the state. But Beaty has made it a mission to attempt to compete for recruits in the state and hopes to use the players he lands as key figures in elevating the status of Kansas football.
Kansas has gone 3-33 in three seasons under Beaty, including a 1-26 mark in Big 12 play. He has had to build from the ground up, but he seems to have some sort of a plan of attack for recruiting. Beaty’s biggest hurdle is convincing his recruits to follow through on their commitment to a program that has historically been struggling to win much of anything.
Nearly four months after ostensibly being fired as athletic director, John Currie has an official severance agreement with his former employer.
Tennessee announced Thursday evening that “it has completed an amicable resolution parting ways with former… Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics John Currie.” Currie had been earning $75,000 a month during a paid suspension; the university stated in its release that Currie will be paid a sum total of $2,220,454 (and 60 cents, for accounting purposes) no later than April 1 of this year.
Additionally, the release noted that Currie “will be paid his salary through March 22, 2018.”
In the midst of a football coaching search fiasco that included a Mike Leach hire that wasn’t, Currie was ousted as the AD at UT on Dec. 1 of last year and replaced by former Vols head football coach Phillip Fulmer. Between then and today’s announcement, Currie had been technically employed but suspended with pay by the university.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Currie had been hired as an executive-in-residence at Robert Morris University.
That certainly didn’t last long.
Tuesday, after the first day of spring practice, Lane Kiffin revealed that Chris Robison had been indefinitely suspended from the Florida Atlantic football program for unspecified violations of team rules; one report had the suspension connected to skipping a mandatory tutoring session. At the time, the second-year head coach indicated that the suspension was day-to-day and could be lifted at any time.
As it turns out, Thursday was that time as the quarterback returned to the practice field with the rest of his FAU teammates.
“He came in [Wednesday] and actually thanked me for it,” Kiffin said according to the Sun-Sentinel. “He said it really kind of embarrassed him nationally and humbled him that things could kind of be taken away. It was good to see.”
A four-star member of Oklahoma’s 2017 recruiting class, Robison was arrested in April of that year for public intoxication; four months later, OU announced that Robison had been dismissed from the football program. In August of last year, Robison announced his decision to transfer to FAU and ended up taking a redshirt for the 2017 season.
Robison and De’Andre Johnson are expected to compete for the starting job vacated by Jason Driskel, who announced earlier this offseason that he was retiring from the sport. Johnson missed most of the 2017 season after blood clots were discovered in one of his arms.
In the end, it appears to be much ado about (mostly) nothing.
Tuesday, after the reigning national champions had put the finishing touches on its first practice of the spring, Nick Saban confirmed that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had suffered an unspecified injury to the thumb on his left (throwing) hand. It was expected that the quarterback would travel to Birmingham for further evaluation of the injury.
Wednesday, it was reported that the injury was believed to be just a sprain and that Tagovailoa could return to practice soon. That report proved prophetic as Tagovailoa was indeed back at practice Thursday, albeit on a limited basis.
The quarterback was not doing the normal drills with his teammates but was off to the side working with head athletic trainer Jeff Allen. It looked like they were testing Tagovailoa’s ability to grip the football since the injury was suffered on his throwing hand. He replicated a few play-action roll outs with the ball in his left hand. At one point, he rolled over toward where Jalen Hurts was standing and they high fived.
Until Tagovailoa is fully recovered, Jalen Hurts will take the majority of the reps as the Crimson Tide continues its march through their 15 spring practice sessions.
The rising true junior Hurts, who has started every game but one the past two seasons, and the rising true sophomore Tagovailoa, the national championship game hero who replaced Hurts at halftime of the overtime win, are entrenched in a competition for the starting job that, barring a post-spring transfer, is expected to extend into summer camp. That said, most observers outside of the UA football program fully expect Tagovailoa, because of his proficiency in the passing game relative to Hurts, to earn the job at some point before the Tide opens the defense of their title against Louisville in Orlando Sept. 1.
Greene is turning orange. Well, Jalen Greene is at least.
The former USC wide receiver who announced he would pursue a graduate transfer earlier this month announced on Twitter that he would be heading East to play at Illinois in 2018. He will be immediately eligible to play for the Illini.
Greene was originally recruited by the Trojans as a dual-threat quarterback but eventually made the move to receiver. He caught eight passes for 98 yards at USC last season as a partial starter and added another eight receptions for 116 yards the year prior.
Illinois has already begun spring practice and has been trying several new players at wide receiver in the process to find a good complement to Mike Dudek on the outside. It seems Greene could find himself in the mix to be one of those guys when he arrives in Champaign.