Baylor wide receiver Ishmael Zamora will leave Waco and enter the NFL Draft this spring. Zamora confirmed the news of his decision on Twitter after human performance training company EXOS announced he was joining their NFL Combine training program.
Zamora, a redshirt sophomore, joins fellow Baylor Bear KD Cannon on leaving Baylor a year early for the NFL, which leaves new Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, who has done a good job keeping his inherited roster together outside of early NFL departures, needing to replace Baylor’s top two leading wide receivers in 2017. Zamora played in 10 games and was second on the team in receiving yards (809) and touchdowns (eight) behind Cannon.
Zamora was suspended for three games during the 2016 season after video footage of him beating a dog with a belt and kicking the same dog surfaced. Zamora was forced to give up his dog to an animal-friendly home. He was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to 40 hours of community service for his actions. Zamora caught two first-half touchdowns in his first game back with the Bears against Oklahoma State.
When Rhett Lashlee abruptly departed Auburn for UConn of all places, it left Gus Malzahn in need of a new offensive coordinator. Less than 24 hours into the search, we can safely cross one name off the list.
In the immediate aftermath of Lashlee’s surprise departure, the highly-toxic name of Art Briles came up as a potential replacement. The scandal-stained coach is certainly one of the best offensive minds in the sport, but the sexual assault scandal that resulted in his dismissal from Baylor has, at least for this season, made him an untouchable for almost any college football program.
Not that it’s really surprising, but one of those programs is indeed Auburn.
“No way” Briles becomes the the Tigers’ next coordinator, a high-level source told 247Sports.com. But wait. there’s more.
Whatever direction Malzahn takes with his offense, it apparently — and rightly — won’t include Briles.
With Baylor overhauling its coaching staff in the wake of the highly-publicized sexual assault scandal, Phil Bennett had been left standing in the game of coaching musical chairs — until now.
Arizona State has announced Wednesday afternoon that Bennett has been hired to serve as Todd Graham‘s defensive coordinator. Bennett will replace Keith Patterson, who will remain with the Sun Devils as linebackers coach.
Bennett will be taking over an ASU defense that was 127th (of 128 teams) in total defense and 124th in scoring this past season. In 2016, BU was 81st in the former category and 71st in the latter.
Prior to spending the last six seasons in Waco, Bennett had been the coordinator at seven other FBS programs: Pittsburgh, Kansas State, TCU, Texas A&M, LSU, Purdue and Iowa State. He was also the head coach at SMU for six seasons.
“With that amount of experience in conferences such as the SEC, the Big 12, the Big Ten and the Big East he has had to game plan to defend every offense imaginable. He has been associated with successful defenses everywhere he’s been,” Graham said in a statement. “We are very fortunate to have him bring his level of experience to the Sun Devil program.”
“I’ve known Todd Graham for a long time and I love his passion for the game of football,” said Bennett. “It’s like any situation in that I think I can help get ASU back to championship football. I’ve watched them play and I know ASU is not far away. The program has great support from its administration and fan base. I’m very excited to begin this part of my life.”
Alabama may have seen their dynasty temporarily derailed Monday night in Florida, but at least one wagering establishment expects Nick Saban to get it back on track post-haste.
Bovada.lv released its opening set of 2017 national championship odds very early Tuesday afternoon, with the bookmaker installing Bama as a 4/1 favorite coming off the loss to Clemson. Last year at this time, coming off their fourth title in seven years, the same book had the Crimson Tide as a 7/1 favorite.
The team ‘Bama beat, Clemson, is at 16/1, tied with ACC Atlantic rival Louisville and behind six other teams besides the one they beat on the field last night — Florida State (7/1), Ohio State (15/2), Michigan (9/1), Oklahoma (9/1), USC (9/1) and LSU (12/1). The other 2016 playoff team, Washington, is at 40/1, the same as 4-8 Notre Dame and behind the likes of Texas (28/1) and Miami (33/1).
Boise State, at 75/1, was the highest favorite amongst Group of Five programs.
Below are the complete list of 2018 title odds for the championship following the 2017 season, again courtesy on Bovada.lv:
Oh, if you thought Matt Rhule was doing a good enough job of keeping his inherited roster together since making the move from Temple to Baylor, it gets better. He may be getting set to welcome a pretty significant graduate transfer quarterback; Anu Solomon from Arizona.
According to a report from 247 Sports, Solomon is expected to transfer to Baylor for the 2017 season. As a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately this fall, and would likely be given a good chance to compete for the starting job in Waco.
It was previously suspected UNLV could be a potential landing spot for Solomon, who has seen his college career riddled with injury concerns during his otherwise entertaining run at Arizona, but that appears to have passed. What impact the hiring of Rhule had at Baylor is unknown and based entirely on speculation at this stage, but if Solomon can stay healthy then he should fit in well with Baylor’s offensive identity even under Rhule.
Solomon played in just five games in 2016 for Arizona due to an injury suffered in practice early in the season. As a redshirt freshman in 2014, Solomon passed for 3,793 yards and 28 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He followed that up with 2,655-yards and 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions in three fewer games the following season.
Solomon announced his intention to transfer to another program in 2017 last month.