Before he was a Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson was still the greatest football player to come out of Pompano Beach, Fla.
Jackson played for Boynton Beach High School, where he was a 4-year starter, but became the first player ever from the city of 99,000 people just north of Fort Lauderdale to win the Lou Groza Award High School Player of the Year in 2014.
He then matriculated to Louisville where he, of course, won the most prestigious individual award in sports just two years later.
Over the weekend, Jackson was given the key to his hometown.
Jackson completed 230-of-409 passes for 3,543 yards with 30 touchdowns against nine interceptions while rushing 250 times for 1,571 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore for Louisville in 2016.
Hit the pause button on Shaq Wiggins and his intent to transfer to Tennessee. There appears to be a new contender in the running. The Clarion-Ledger reports Wiggins is visiting Mississippi State even after previously committing to the Vols last month as he pursues a graduate transfer destination from Louisville.
Wiggins arrived at Mississippi State on Sunday and the visit will reportedly go through at least Monday night, according to The Clarion-Ledger‘s report. Wiggins is a graduate transfer so he will be eligible to play immediately for any other FBS program this fall.
Wiggins announced his intent to transfer out of Louisville in March. His previous connections to former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was a key reason why he ended up transferring to Louisville from Georgia. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Grantham is now at Mississippi State. However, Mississippi State was initially reported to be on a short list of schools Louisville was blocking Wiggins from considering, likely because of the Grantham connection after Grantham left the Louisville staff. Other schools reported to be blocked included Kentucky, Notre Dame, Purdue and Western Kentucky (a mix of future opponents and regional rivals). Fortunately for Wiggins, an appeal to be able to consider Mississippi State was approved.
Wiggins previously announced his commitment to Tennessee in late April. Now that remains in question as Mississippi State was initially going to be high on Wiggins’ personal list when he decided to transfer. With the Bulldogs once again a potential option, they could swipe Wiggins from the Vols at the 11th hour.
Everybody in college athletics is making money — outside of the players — but the ACC was one entity that didn’t quite make as much as they did the year prior.
The reason for a slight decline in total revenue in the ACC? It’s members can thank not having the hefty buyout Maryland paid to leave the league and join the Big Ten the year prior.
Ace Daily Press reporter David Teel recently obtained the conference’s tax returns for the 2015-16 fiscal year and they show a still-robust $373.4 million in total revenue. That resulted in a nice $23.8 million distribution to the 14 member schools and a payment of just over $4 million to Notre Dame as part of the Irish’s agreement to house their non-football sports in the ACC.
The ACC was the big winner among the Power Five conference in the prior tax return period, seeing their revenue jump by a whopping $100 million in 2014-15 to $403.1 million. Taking out the $30 million buyout that the Terps paid in order to leave and revenue was essentially flat for the ACC year-over-year.
Despite that, the balance sheet is still a very healthy one and slots the ACC in front of the Big 12’s $313 million in total revenue among the Power Five conferences. That only means a fourth place finish though as the Pac-12 ($488 million), Big Ten ($483.4 million) and SEC ($639 million) all came out significantly ahead.
USA Today reports that ACC commissioner John Swofford didn’t feel the pinch of the decline however, as his salary was just a tad under $3 million in the same reporting period and represented an increase of nearly $300,000 from the year prior. Something says everybody in the league can expect future increases though with Clemson’s back-to-back national title game appearances as well as the upcoming ACC Network launch factoring into the equation in coming years.
After surprisingly announcing in late April that he would be transferring from Texas Tech, Jonathan Giles revealed a week ago his Top 10 list for potential landing spots. Over the weekend, he had whittled that list down to three.
Monday evening, he whittled it down to one.
On his social media accounts, Giles revealed that he has decided to further his education at LSU and continue his collegiate playing career with the Tigers. The wide receiver’s other finalists were Florida State and Oregon.
Those in the Top 10 that were under consideration included Georgia, Louisville, Ohio State, Purdue, SMU, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Giles won’t be of immediate help to the Tigers’ passing attack as he will have to sit out the 2017 season, but he’ll still have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.
The 5-11, 184-pound Giles led the Red Raiders in receptions (69), receiving yards (1,158), receiving touchdowns (13) and yards per catch (16.8) as a true sophomore last season. However, he exited spring practice earlier this year second on the depth chart, which triggered his decision to leave Lubbock.
It goes without saying that Ohio State faces an uphill climb in 2017 to replace three first-round picks in their secondary but this week hasn’t exactly helped out on that front as a second defensive back announced he’s on his way out of Columbus.
Sophomore cornerback Rodjay Burns announced on his Instagram on Friday that he would be headed back to his hometown and will play at Louisville once he’s eligible in 2018.
Burns did see action in six games last year for the Buckeyes and even recorded a pick-six in the team’s opener. While playing time was likely one of the factors involved in the decision to join the Cardinals, he also cited his father’s health as a driving reason for the return to Louisville.
Fellow OSU corner Joshua Norwood confirmed he was leaving the program earlier in the week which, when combined with Burns’ departure, will put even more pressure on Urban Meyer’s stellar 2017 recruiting class to come in and play right away in the secondary for the team this season.
Luckily for the Buckeyes, there’s a pretty solid track record of reloading on the back end of their defense in recent years.