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Three-star 2019 prospect one of five charged with capital murder

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One 2019 football prospect with multiple Power Five scholarship offers has much more pressing concerns than how many more he’ll add in the near future.

According to the Gadsden Times, 17-year-old Alabama high school football player Jesse Altman is one of five individuals who have been charged with capital murder in connection to the shooting death of 18-year-old Aaron “A.J.” Huff last week. Altman and two other teenagers, Broderick Lawrence Pearson and Lonterry Orlando Harrison, were booked into the Etowah County (Ala.) Detention Center Wednesday while two others were taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force; those teenagers, Kalab Blake Whitworth and Tyler Michael Abbott, have been charged as adults.

From the newspaper’s report:

While detectives have not commented on a motive for the shooting, after Abbott’s arrest they said it was believed that he and Huff knew each other and met in a parking lot about 7:30 p.m. last Thursday. There was what police described as an altercation, and the two left in separate vehicles. The vehicle in which Huff was a passenger stopped at the intersection of Hoke Street and Litchfield Avenue, and a gunman got out of the other vehicle and shot Huff. The driver of that vehicle took Huff to a nearby hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries.

All five of those arrested were in the vehicle from which the shooter allegedly emerged; as of yet, police have not publicly identified the person they believe pulled the trigger

Altman is currently rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.com and the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Alabama. According to Rivals.com, the 6-1, 285-pound defensive tackle holds offers from among others, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Alabama and Florida State are also listed as having shown interest.

Iowa State resricts QB Jacob Park from transferring to Iowa, two FCS schools

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Jacob Park has been granted permission to leave Iowa State, but that permission will come with some strings attached.

A little over two weeks ago, Park announced that he would be transferring from Iowa State. That development came two months after Park took a sudden leave of absence due to what were described as “unspecified medical concerns.” Park subsequently confirmed that he was facing a one-game suspension after testing positive for marijuana prior to his sabbatical.

Wednesday, Park took to Twitter once again to reveal that he has been given a release from his ISU scholarship. However, the release comes with restrictions as the quarterback will not be permitted to transfer to another Big 12 school, Iowa and a pair of FCS programs — Northern Iowa and Drake.

Northern Iowa is next on ISU’s schedule in 2019; 2018 will be Park’s final season of eligibility.  Drake is not on any of ISU’s future non-conference schedules. The “Institutions on future schedules” exception would also preclude Park from signing with South Dakota State and Akron as ISU will face them in 2018.

Park had started the first four games of the 2017 season for the Cyclones in his second year in Ames. In his first season at ISU, he became the full-time starter in the latter portion of the 2016 season. During his time with the Cyclones, he completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 2,971 yards, 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also ran for a pair of touchdowns in that span.

With this move, Park will be working on his fourth collegiate program in less than four years.

A four-star member of Georgia’s 2014 recruiting class, Park was rated as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country; the No. 4 player at any position in the state of South Carolina; and the No. 229 player overall according to Rivals.com. Park worked mainly with the scout team during his only season with the Bulldogs.

In mid-June of 2015, it was confirmed that Park would be transferring from Georgia. After spending the 2015 season at the junior college level, Park transferred to ISU in February of 2016.

Texas Tech WR Keke Coutee declares for NFL Draft

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Texas Tech’s defense got good news earlier today, but the Red Raiders weren’t so lucky on the other side of the ball. Junior wide receiver Keke Coutee has announced he will declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.

Coutee made the announcement on his Instagram account.

Red Raider Nation, (w)ith so much thought and prayer through this difficult process, I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft,” he wrote. “This was such a difficult decision I had to make for me and my family. Thank you all for an amazing 3 years at the best University there is. Lubbock will always have a special place in my heart and I will always call Lubbock home. #GUNSUPFOREVER!!”

Listed at just 5-foot-11, the Lufkin, Texas, native led the Big 12 in receiving yards, ranked second in catches and placed fourth in touchdown catches with 93 grabs for 1,429 yards and 10 scores. Beyond the Big 12, his 93 grabs were fifth nationally, his 1,429 yards place second in FBS — with a number of players yet to play their bowl games — and he is one of just 21 players with double-digit touchdown grabs. Only two players with more than 75 receptions bested Coutee’s 15.37 yards per reception average.

Coutee posted four games of double-digit catches for 100-plus yards and at least one touchdown this season, starting with a 12-catch, 186-yard, 1-touchdown effort in a 52-45 win over Arizona State on Sept. 16. He followed that up with 11 catches for 161 yards and a score in a 27-24 win at Houston a week later.

Coutee posted 12 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-35 loss to Kansas State on Nov. 4, and closed his collegiate career with 11 grabs for 187 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s 38-34 loss to South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl.

He also led the club with a 31.5-yard average on 10 kickoff returns, including one touchdown.

 

Texas Tech LB Dakota Allen to return for senior season

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Saturday was a downer for Texas Tech after dropping the Birmingham Bowl to South Florida, but Red Raiders fans do have one gift waiting under the tree for them. Linebacker Dakota Allen will return to harass ball-carriers on behalf of the red and black in 2018.

“Love my team! Love my school! Love these fans!,” Allen (40) wrote on his Twitter account. “I want to thank all the seniors for a memorable year. With that being said, I will be returning to Texas Tech next season.”

Allen posted 87 stops as a redshirt freshman at Texas Tech in 2015, transferred to East Mississippi Community College in 2016 and then returned to Lubbock for his junior year in ’17.

The former Last Chance U. star led the club with 102 tackles while posting six TFLs and two sacks. He was named a Second Team All-Big 12 performer after tying for fourth on the league’s tackle charts in 2017.

Quinton Flowers leads USF to wild come-from-behind victory in Birmingham Bowl

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The 2017 season may not have checked off all of the goals for USF (11-2), but Charlie Strong and the Bulls have reason to celebrate at the end of the season after winning a wildly entertaining Birmingham Bowl with a 38-34 victory over Texas Tech (6-7) on Saturday afternoon. USF quarterback Quinton Flowers was the hero fo the day after putting the Bulls on his back in the second half, shrugging aside a woeful first half to pull USF from behind for the win.

Flowers ended his day with an MVP performance with 311 passing yards and four touchdowns and 106 rushing yards. It was Flowers who had to step things up in the fourth quarter, leading the Bulls to three touchdowns in the final quarter by using his feet and his arm to work the late game heroics.

Early in the fourth quarter, and just one play after an instant replay confirmed a call on the field marking the ball shy of the end zone, USF tried muscling their way across the goal line only to be overmatched by Texas Tech’s defensive effort to keep Darius Tice just out of the end zone on fourth down.

The Texas Tech stop preserved a seven-point advantage, but the battle of field position would still end up helping USF. After forcing a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, USF took over at the Texas Tech 43-yard line and worked their way into the end zone, this time ending the drive with Flowers running off to the right side to find a clear path for a game-tying touchdown.

Texas Tech took a 27-24 lead with just over five minutes to play with a 33-yard field goal by Clayton Hatfield, setting the stage for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers to try and deliver some last-minute heroics in his final college football game. Flowers needed just two plays before giving the Bulls a 31-27 lead on a 64-yard touchdown pass to a streaking Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Texas Tech answered with a touchdown of their own, with T.J. Vasher somehow getting left wide open in the end zone for an easy touchdown pass from Nic Shimonek.

But the Red Raiders left Flowers and the Bulls too much time to strike back, and strike back they most certainly did. Flowers once again delivered the heroics with a key 21-yard run on a 3rd and 10 and followed that up with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tyre McCants to go up 38-34 after the extra point.

The legacy of Quinton Flowers at USF will be one that will be remembered fondly, even if it never saw a trip to a BCS or New Years Six bowl game. But Flowers will leave with a handful of team records and his shoes will be big to fill for whoever is next in line in Tampa. After coming up just shy of an elusive AAC championship after a wild shootout loss against UCF in the regular season finale, it is fitting to see Flowers go out having led his team to a wild back-and-forth victory in a bowl game.

For three quarters, it appeared as though Texas Tech may get by the game using its defense, going against the grain of what is typically expected from a Texas Tech team. All of that crumbled in the fourth quarter, however, despite the goal line stand highlighted above. USF had over 400 yards of offense in the second half after a lackluster first half showing, and the Bulls edges the Red Raiders in first downs with 27 to Texas Tech’s 26.

The AAC improves to 2-1 in the bowl season with the win after Temple took care of FIU on Thursday night. Texas Tech gets the Big 12 off to a 0-1 start in the bowl season with the next games played on Tuesday by West Virginia (vs. Utah in Heart of Dallas Bowl) and Kansas State (vs. UCLA in Cactus Bowl).

Texas Tech’s 2018 season will open with a neutral site game in Houston against Ole Miss of the SEC on Sept. 1, 2018. USF will begin the 2018 season at home on Sept. 1 against FCS opponent Elon. The Bulls will then host Georgia Tech and visit Illinois the following two weeks.