Big Ten Conference

LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 29: A football helmet on the field for the South Carolina Gamecocks against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on September 29, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky.    (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Ex-Florida DB J.C. Jackson won’t head to South Carolina after all

Leave a comment

It appears Will Muschamp‘s Columbia reunion with one of his former Florida players won’t come to fruition as first thought.

Last months, reports surfaced that J.C. Jackson could be headed to South Carolina to join Muschamp’s first-year Gamecocks football program.  However, 247Sports.com is now reporting that Jackson will not enroll at USC.

“Sources indicate Jackson is not eligible to transfer to the Gamecocks in a ruling that’s beyond South Carolina’s control,” the site wrote.

Instead, sources indicated to the recruiting website that Jackson will likely end up at Maryland.  The Terps’ first-year coach, D.J. Durkin, was Muschamp’s defensive coordinator with the Gators when Jackson was a defensive back with the team.

Facing three felony charges in connection to an armed home invasion robbery, Jackson “transferred” from UF in May of last year.  He was ultimately acquitted on all of those charges, and is currently enrolled at a California junior college.

A four-star member of the Gators’ 2014 recruiting class, Jackson was rated as the No. 21 corner in the country; the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 243 recruit overall by Rivals.com.  He played in the 2014 opener, but missed the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.  Exiting the spring, Jackson was expected to take a starting job into summer camp in 2015 prior to the legal issues arising.

If Jackson lands at Maryland, or any other FBS program for that matter, he would be eligible to play immediately in 2016.  The redshirt sophomore would then have three seasons of eligibility at his disposal.

Looking for ‘more stable program,’ Teko Powell to transfer from Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, IL - NOVEMBER 16: Carlos Hyde #34 of the Ohio State Buckeyes drags tacklers Houston Bates #55 and Teko Powell #93 of the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on November 16, 2013 in Champaign, Illinois. Ohio State defeated Illinois 60-35.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Citing significant coaching turnover during his time in Champaign, Teko Powell has decided to start over on another campus elsewhere.

In a conversation with the Champaign News-Gazette, the defensive lineman (pictured, No. 93) confirmed that he has decided to transfer from Lovie Smith‘s Illinois football program. According to Powell, upheaval on the coaching front triggered his decision to move on from the Illini.

“I had four different head coaches that either recruited me or coached me,” Powell told the News-Gazette. “I’m looking for a more stable program with the last two years of eligibility that I’ll have.”

Powell, as a grad transfer, will be permitted to begin using that remaining eligibility immediately if another FBS program is his landing spot. Per Powell, he’s already received interest from, among others, Kentucky and Miami (Fla.).

After appearing in seven games as a true freshman, Powell played in 10 games as a sophomore in 2013, starting six of those contests. He started the first three games of the following season before he was sidelined with a season-ending foot injury. Thanks to another foot injury sustained during summer camp, he also missed the entire 2015 season.

Those injuries led to Powell being granted fifth and sixth seasons from the NCAA.

Once committed to Wazzu, ex-Michigan OL Logan Tuley-Tillman says he’s Akron-bound

Logan Tuley-Tillman
Michigan athletics
Leave a comment

It appears that Logan Tuley-Tillman‘s long odyssey will bring him back to the Midwest after a flirtation with the Great Northwest.

On Twitter Wednesday night, the erstwhile Michigan offensive lineman announced that he has decided to move on with his life at Akron and play his college football for Terry Bowden‘s Zips. The announcement comes five months after Tuley-Tillman appeared ticketed for Washington State, and three months after he put a sordid legal chapter of his life in the rear-view.

In September of last year, Michigan announced that Tuley-Tillman had been dismissed from the football program for “conduct unacceptable for a Michigan student-athlete.”  A month later, it was revealed that the offensive lineman had been charged with three felonies stemming from a Sept. 4 incident in which he was accused of filming a sex act with a woman without her knowledge.

Tuley-Tillman was a four-star member of Brady Hoke‘s second-to-last UM recruiting class, rated as the No. 24 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Illinois.  He played in one game as a redshirt freshman in 2014, the season opener against Appalachian State.

Prior to his dismissal, he had been listed as the No. 2 left tackle and played in the 2015 opener.

In January, Tuley-Tillman announced that he would be transferring to Wazzu.  However, the lineman was said to still be considering other schools, including Houston and Ole Miss.  Because he graduated from Michigan in May, Tuley-Tillman will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.  He will also have two years of eligibility remaining.

Pair of transferring ‘Bama DBs could be headed for the Sunshine State

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Maurice Smith #21 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates a stop in the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Getty Images
5 Comments

On the move from Alabama, a pair of former (maybe, in one case) Tide defensive backs could remain in the South to continue their collegiate playing careers.

Earlier this week, al.com reported that senior Maurice Smith (pictured, No. 21) has decided to leave ‘Bama and move on as a graduate transfer. In a subsequent interview with SBNation.com, Smith said he is “highly considering” a transfer to Miami. From the State of the U website:

According to our conversation, Smith loved the outlook of Coach Richt, and already has a relationship with Diaz, from his days at Texas. He felt that Miami was on the “come up”.

However, in a statement attributed to the Smith family, a return to Tuscaloosa is not out of the question. “[Smith] has chosen to entertain options for his senior season of college football… [having] positioned him[self] with the option to either complete his college football career at Alabama, or exercise his graduate-transfer option to play his true Senior season at another institution.”

Oregon, Oregon State and Wisconsin have also reportedly been in play for the defensive back.

One of Smith’s former Tide teammates, Shawn Burgess-Becker, had announced earlier this month his decision to transfer from the school. According to a report from al.com, there’s a “98-percent” chance Burgess-Becker transfers to UCF. The same source added that “[o]ne of the only things that could lead to Burgess-Becker going somewhere other than Central Florida is a scholarship offer from Miami.”

A final, public decision from the rising sophomore is expected to come no later than Friday.

A four-star member of the Tide’s 2015 recruiting class, Burgess-Becker was rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 10 athlete in the country; the No. 24 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 166 prospect overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.

As a true freshman, Burgess-Becker played in 13 games, mainly on special teams. He was credited with three tackles.

Also a four-star recruit, albeit in the Class of 2013, Smith was rated as the No. 9 corner in the country and the No. 84 prospect overall. All told, Smith played in 41 games for the Tide. He started a pair of those contests.

Smith will be eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer. Burgess-Baker will be forced to sit out the 2016 season, then have three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

Mike Riley issues statement after gang-rape victim spoke to his Nebraska players

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 17: Head coach Mike Riley of the Nebraska Cornhuskers looks on during the fourth quarter of the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on October 17, 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Nebraska defeated Minnesota 48-25. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Getty Images
11 Comments

When it comes to college sports in general and football specifically, sexual assaults and how to raise awareness to the escalating problem have been front and center of late. Wednesday, Mike Riley put his Nebraska Cornhuskers face-to-face with one such victim.

Nearly two decades ago, Brenda Tracy, a single mother to two young kids at the time, was gang-raped by four men, two of whom were football players on Riley’s Oregon State Beavers. The details, suffice to say, are disgusting.

“[W]hile visiting the apartment of her friend’s boyfriend,” the Lincoln Journal-Star wrote, “[Tracy] accepted a drink of gin and orange juice she will forever believe was drugged, and lost consciousness while she said four men took turns sexually assaulting her over the span of seven hours. In the morning, she said there were condoms and garbage stuck to her naked body.”  The Oregonian described the assault as Tracy having been “gang raped, sodomized, [and] robbed.

The four men were arrested but never charged, and Riley came under fire for suspending the players involved for just one game each. He also came under fire, especially from the alleged victim, for referring to their actions as merely “a bad choice.”

In 2014, however, Riley, following the publishing of Tracy’s story in a powerful article from The Oregonian, invited the victim to speak to his OSU football team.  While Tracy didn’t accept the invitation at the time, the two stayed in touch following Riley’s move to the Cornhuskers, with that long-distance relationship culminating in first a face-to-face meeting Wednesday followed by Tracy speaking to the Cornhuskers football players and sharing her story.

Following what was most certainly an emotional experience for all involved, Riley issued the following statement:

As part of our ongoing educational efforts, I invited Brenda Tracy to Lincoln, to share her experiences with the young men in our program. Brenda has suffered immeasurable pain and has shown the strength and willingness to share her story. Her story today was powerful and I know that it left an indelible imprint on our student-athletes, staff, and myself.

“Sexual assault and harassment are serious issues on campuses across America. We try to recruit young men of character with core values, and once they are here, we educate them on making good decisions and treating all people with the utmost of respect.

“Prior to speaking with the team, Brenda and I had a chance to meet at length. I expressed my sincere gratitude for her willingness to come and I offered my support in her efforts to impact others around the country. Out of respect to Brenda, I will not share details of our conversation but I hope to have the opportunity to continue our dialogue.

“This has been an important day for me and for our football program and we must keep the focus on the victims, and on preventing inexcusable acts in the future.

On her own Twitter account, Tracy posted a photo of her with Riley.