With Penn State just about to get started with spring football practices, head coach James Franklin wasted no time in naming his captains for the 2017 season. Quarterback Trace McSorley, linebacker Jason Cabinda, and safety Nick Scott have been voted captains by their peers on the team.
“These three young men have been leaders in our program, on and off the field,” Franklin said in a released statement. “They live our four core values and act with the program’s best interest in mind. Our team is in good hands with these guys!”
McSorley took over the offense as Penn State’s starting quarterback in 2016. A bit of a mystery to most entering the season after being the backup to Christian Hackenberg, McSorley ended his 2016 season with a Big Ten-leading 3,614 passing yards and 29 touchdown passes with eight interceptions and played a key role in guiding Penn State to a late run to a Big Ten championship and an appearance in the Rose Bowl. He enters the 2017 season as one of the top quarterbacks returning to the Big Ten, along with Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett.
Cabinda, an All-Big Ten third team player in 2016, was Penn State’s third-leading tackler last season with 81 tackles. He accumulated that many tackles despite missing five games due to injury. He is slated to be the leader in the middle of the Penn State defense with a starting role already locked down and will look to help guide some younger linebackers stepping into key roles in the defense this upcoming season, such as Manny Bowen and Koa Farmer.
Scott has been a special teams leader for Penn State and is expected to continue to lead the special teams effort once again this season.
A suspension for unspecified team rules kept Noah Beh from playing for Penn State for most of the 2016 season. Now, the offensive tackle has decided to ply his football wares at a lower rung on the collegiate ladder.
Citing program sources, 247Sports.com is reporting that Beh will transfer to Delaware to finish out his collegiate playing career. The Nittany Lions released their spring roster Tuesday morning, and Beh wasn’t listed on it.
The football program has thus far declined to address the lineman’s status with the team moving forward.
A three-star member of PSU’s 2014 recruiting class, Beh was rated as the No. 14 player at any position in the state of Pennsylvania. After taking a redshirt his true freshman season, Beh played in 13 games in 2015.
After working as a starter last spring, the suspension derailed Beh’s rise up the depth chart as he never played another down for the Nittany Lions. Despite the suspension, he was still permitted to practice with the team last year.
As Delaware plays at the FCS level, Beh will be eligible to play immediately in 2017. Counting this season, Beh will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Former Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis has been charged with pushing his girlfriend, dragging her and putting his hand to her throat, culminating in misdemeanor domestic assault charges.
According to an Ann Arbor police deport obtained by Land of 10, officers were called early Wednesday morning after Lewis and his live-in girlfriend got in an argument over who pays the bills at their apartment. He began throwing pillows and a blanket at her when, after moving to the closet, he grabbed the woman by the hair, dragged her, grabbed her by the neck and held her to the floor “for about three seconds.” (Officers on the scene did not see visible marks on her neck.)
“When asked if Lewis had grabbed (the woman’s) throat he stated that he may have grabbed it while trying to get her off him but had no intentions to hurt (her),” the police report said. “Lewis stated at no time was he trying to assault (her), he was trying to leave.”
Police located Lewis near the Wolverines’ football offices and arrested him, but did not pursue charges. After reviewing police files, but the prosecutor reversed that decision the next day. Lewis pleaded not guilty. The charges carry maximum penalties of 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Lewis was a consensus All-American in 2016 and a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back. In 48 career games, Lewis collected 133 tackles, six interceptions, 8.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble during his time in maize and blue.
“It’s sad that somebody would want to control you so bad they would ruin your life over it,” Lewis tweeted hours after the incident, but later deleted the message.
He is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on April 12. The NFL Draft begins April 27.
Urban Meyer has made a couple of high-profile, albeit temporary, additions to his Ohio State coaching staff.
OSU announced Tuesday morning that Nike co-founder Phil Knight and College Football Hall of Famer Lou Holtz will serve as guest coaches for the Buckeyes’ spring game next month. The Buckeyes will close out their 15 sessions with the annual spring game April 15 at Ohio Stadium.
Holtz was an assistant at Ohio State in 1968 before moving on to his fist head-coaching job, William & Mary. The former ESPN college football analyst went on to lead five Power Five programs — North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina — as well as one ill-fated season with the New York Jets. In 2008, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
From 1996-2000, Urban Meyer served as Holtz’s wide receivers coach at Notre Dame before leaving for his first head-coaching job at Bowling Green.
OSU athletics, including the football team, has been clad in Nike apparel for more than two decades. In January of 2016, the university announced a new deal with Nike that’s the largest in collegiate athletics.
As the release noted, this will be Knight’s second visit to Ohio Stadium in less than six months. Previously, he was at the Nov. 26 game between Ohio State and Michigan, and he spoke to the team following the 30-27 double overtime victory for the Buckeyes.
“I am very close to each of these individuals and I have enjoyed their friendship over many years,” Meyer said in a statement, “but even more I respect the impact they have had on Ohio State and college football. I am looking forward to having Coach Holtz and Phil Knight on our campus as guest coaches, and I am very appreciative they want to take part in and support our spring game.”
OSU kicked off spring practice earlier today as they begin preparing for the sixth season under Meyer.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is already the highest paid head coach in college football and it seems the school is sparing no expense when it comes to his staff either.
Mlive.com obtained the offer letters for three new staff members and interestingly two of them will make a whopping six-figures as part of two-year deals with the school.
Former Hawaii defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa was brought on board in Ann Arbor as a “senior defensive analyst” and will be paid $150,000 in base salary as part of his two-year deal. A bit of staff shuffling resulted in the need for a new director of player personnel for the Wolverines this offseason and they’ll pay a pretty big price as Sean Magee will fill that role for a cool $200,000 a year over two seasons.
About the only one not cashing in is new offensive analyst Scott Turner, who will make $50,000 on a one year deal. MLive notes that the reason the recent NFL offensive coordinator isn’t receiving a hefty salary right now could be because he is in line to become a 10th on-field coach if the NCAA approves a new rule adding the position.
With new Big Ten television deals and plenty of cash in the school’s coffers, it’s probably not surprising to see the Wolverines pay big bucks on the football staff as they compete with the Alabama’s and Clemson’s of the sport. Still, such a report only further underscores there’s a bit of a gap between the have’s and the have-nots’ in college football in this area.