FAU Owls

AJ McCarron, Ryan Kelly
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57 centers named to Rimington Award spring watch list

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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  The first watch list of the offseason has arrived.

The first for that honor this year is the Rimington Award, which on Tuesday released its spring watch list that is 57 players strong.  The Rimington Award, named in honor of former Nebraska standout Dave Rimington, is presented annually to the top center in the nation and is determined by the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America teams — Walter Camp. Sporting News and FWAA.

None of the finalists for the 2015 award, won by Alabama’s Ryan Kelly, are included on this year’s initial watch list as all three have since moved on with expired eligibility.

The ACC and SEC pace all conferences with eight watch listers apiece, followed by the AAC and Big 12 with seven each.  The Big Ten placed six, while the Pac-12’s three was the least of all of the Power Five programs.

All 10 of the FBS leagues, plus one independent (Notre Dame), are represented on the spring watch list, the full roster of which appears below.

AAC
Deyshawn Bond, Cincinnati, senior
Ryan Crozier, UConn, redshirt sophomore
Will Noble, Houston, sophomore
Drew Kyser, Memphis, sophomore
Evan Brown, SMU, junior
Brendan McGowan, Temple, redshirt senior
Chandler Miller, Tulsa, sophomore

ACC
Jay Guillermo, Clemson, senior
Alec Eberle, Florida State, redshirt sophomore
Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech, redshirt senior
Nicholas Linder, Miami, junior
Lucas Crowley, North Carolina, senior
Alex Officer, Pittsburgh, redshirt junior
Jason Emerich, Syracuse, redshirt senior
Jackson Matteo, Virginia, senior

BIG TEN
Joe Spencer, Illinois, senior
Sean Welsh, Iowa, junior
Brendan Moore, Maryland, sophomore
Mason Cole, Michigan, junior
Dylan Utter, Nebraska, senior
Michael Dieter, Wisconsin, sophomore

BIG 12
Kyle Fuller, Baylor, senior
Dalton Risner, Kansas State, sophomore
Jonathan Alvarez, Oklahoma, junior
Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State, junior
Austin Schlottman, TCU, junior
Tony Morales, Texas Tech, senior
Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia, redshirt senior

CONFERENCE USA
Michael Montero, FIU, senior
Dillon DeBoer, FAU, redshirt senior
Daniel Stephens, Middle Tennessee State, senior
Nick Clarke, Old Dominion, sophomore
Cameron Tom, Southern Miss, senior
Max Halpin, Western Kentucky, redshirt senior

MAC
Tim McAuliffe, Bowling Green redshirt junior
James O’Hagan, Buffalo, sophomore

MOUNTAIN WEST
Jake Bennett, Colorado State, junior
Asotui Eli, Hawaii, redshirt sophomore
Nathan Goltry, Nevada, senior
Arthur Flores, San Diego State, senior
Austin Stephens, Utah State, senior

PAC-12
Toa, Lobendahn, USC, junior
Coleman Shelton, Washington, junior
Riley Sorenson, Washington State, senior

SEC
Frank Ragnow, Arkansas, junior
Brandon Kublanow, Georgia, senior
Jon Toth, Kentucky, senior
Ethan Pocic, LSU, senior
Jamaal Clayborn, Mississippi State, senior
Robert Conyers, Ole Miss, senior
Alan Knott, South Carolina, redshirt junior
Coleman Thomas, Tennessee, junior

SUN BELT
Devin Mondie, Arkansas State, senior
Andy Kwon, Georgia Southern, senior
Gabe Mobley, Georgia State, sophomore
Steve Matlock, Idaho, senior

INDEPENDENTS
Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame, junior

Construction delays could send Miami out of Sun Life Stadium for home opener

Aerial photography of Dolphin Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLI, on January 18, 2007 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
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Upgrades to Sun Life Stadium are several weeks behind schedule. With the Miami Marlins now playing in their own facility, this is not an immediate problem. But eventually it will be.

The Miami Dolphins have stated they fully expect the stadium to be operational in time for their Aug. 25 preseason opener but, as the Miami Herald reports, Miami athletics director Blake James has been forced to scrounge together a contingency plan in the event the stadium is not ready for the ‘Canes’ Sept. 3 opener opposite Florida A&M.

That would likely call for Miami to use Florida International’s FIU Stadium with the Golden Panthers hosting Indiana two nights prior.

Miami is also home the following week against Florida Atlantic which, as Tom Fornelli points out, could lead to the entertaining scenario of Miami hosting FAU in FAU’s own stadium. (Marlins Park is not an option either night.)

Still, that would be more than two weeks beyond the scheduled complete date. The Dolphins say they have every assurance the project will be done in time. Should the contractor not understand the seriousness of the end-of-August deadline, here’s betting someone from the Dolphins or the NFL office takes him out to Biscayne Bay to explain what’s at stake here, if you know what I mean.

After leading team in rushing TDs, Trey Rodriguez dismissed by FAU

BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 31: Trey Rodriguez #22 of the Florida Atlantic Owls reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Fiu Golden Panthers at FAU Stadium on October 31, 2015 in Boca Raton, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Trey Rodriguez‘s first season at FAU began with a substantial suspension.  Before he can get to a second season, Rodriguez’s time on the campus is done.

In a terse and brief statement posted to its Twitter account, FAU has announced that Rodriguez has been dismissed from the Owls football program. “He failed to abide by the standards we require and failed to meet the necessary obligations to be a member of the team,” a portion of the statement read.

Rodriguez was suspended for the first four games of his true freshman season for unspecified violations of team rules, but came back with an off-field vengeance.

Despite missing one-third of the regular season, Rodriguez led the Owls in rushing touchdowns with five and a yards per carry average (6.0) that was a full on yard better than the No. 2 man.  His 419 yards in eight games were third on the team, behind only Greg Howell’s 598 and Jay Warren’s 449.

Illinois adds Central Michigan to future schedule

Kent State running back Myles Washington (26) loses his helmet after being tackled by Illinois defensive back Chris James (12), defensive back Dillan Cazley (25) and defensive back Cedric Doxy (26) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Champaign, Ill. Illinois won the game 52-3. (AP Photo/ Stephen Haas)
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For those planning ahead, Illinois has added a future game against Central Michigan to the 2022 football schedule. The Illini will reportedly host the Chippewas on September 24, 2022 in a one-game scheduling agreement. Illinois will pay Central Michigan $1.5 million for the game. The two schools have never faced each other on the football field, so this could very well end up being the first meeting barring any potential postseason matchups.

Big Ten teams are required to schedule at least one power conference opponent each year as part of its non-conference scheduling commitment. Central Michigan does not satisfy that commitment, but the Illini are already covered that season with a home game against Virginia. Illinois is scheduled to host Virginia from the ACC on September 10, 2022 in the second of a two-year home-and-home series. Virginia will host Illinois on September 11, 2021. Illinois has its power conference non-scheduling commitment fulfilled from 2021 through 2026, but will have to do some schedule tweaking if it is to satisfy the commitment before 2021. The Big Ten also already granted exemption status for some games due to schedules being booked years in advance. Illinois has their non-conference slate booked for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020 and has just one vacancy to fill in 2019.

Central Michigan has also added a future series against FAU. FAU will host Central Michigan on September 21, 2019 and Central Michigan will serve as host to the Owls on September 18, 2021.

Helmet sticker to the always schedule-aware FBSchedules.com.

Gophers look to Ragin’ Cajuns for new offensive coordinator

DETROIT MI - DECEMBER 28: Minnesota Golden Gophers head football coach Tracy Claeys watches the action during the game against the Central Michigan Chippewas on December 28, 2015 during the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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Nearly a month to the day after ridding himself of the old offensive coordinator, Tracy Claeys has officially found himself a new one.

Minnesota Wednesday confirmed that Claeys has hired Jay Johnson as his coordinator as well as quarterbacks coach.  Johnson spent the past five seasons as the coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette.

Johnson, a native of Lakeville, Minn., will replace Matt Limegrover, who was fired late last month.

“I am extremely excited,” said Johnson. “It’s a great opportunity to come home. I grew up there and have been a Gopher fan all my life, so to come back home and be closer to family and to be part of a great institution like Minnesota is certainly a very exciting opportunity for me.”

Johnson hasn’t coached at a Power Five program since being in charge of tight ends at Louisville. He’s also coached quarterbacks (1999-2001) and running backs (2001-03) at Kansas in a career that stretches back to the early nineties.

The school also announced the hiring of Bart Miller as offensive line coach.  Miller had spent the past two seasons coaching the same unit at FAU.

Limegrover also coached the line in addition to his coordinating duties, triggering the need for two replacements.

“Jay and Bart are both tremendous people and will fit in naturally with our staff,” said Claeys. “These are two individuals we identified early in the process, and I am thrilled that they are headed to Minnesota. They are great coaches with proven track records and will help our student-athletes improve on and off the field.”