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.
When it comes to replacing an assistant on his Akron coaching staff, Terry Bowden didn’t have to look very far.
In a press release, Bowden confirmed that he has promoted Brett Ekkens to be his new offensive line coach. The past two seasons, Ekkens has served as a graduate assistant for the Zips.
The 26-year-old Ekkens replaces Darrell Funk, who left last month for the same job at Purdue.
“I am excited to promote Brett to a full-time position at the University of Akron,” Bowden said in a statement. “He has paid his dues over the last two seasons as a graduate assistant and fits in nicely with the family atmosphere that we believe in here at Akron. With his playing time and coaching over the last four years, he is a proven winner.”
“I couldn’t be more appreciative for the opportunity Coach Bowden has given me to stay on this phenomenal staff,” Ekkens said. “I am excited to continue working with the great young men on our offensive line. Akron has been my home for the past two years, and I am blessed to have the chance to remain at this university.
Ekkens played his college football at Div. III power Mount Union, graduating in 2012, and spent the first two years of his coaching career at his alma mater as head football strength & coach and assistant offensive line coach.
In addition to Ekkens’ promotion, Bowden also announced that defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Todd Stroud has added the title of assistant head coach.
Akron wide receiver Andrew Pratt was hospitalized Saturday after being shot in the stomach by teammate Scott Boyett. Boyett shot Pratt as the receiver entered the offensive tackle’s apartment without knocking, leading Boyett to think there was an burglar in his apartment. Boyett rushed his teammate to an emergency room before police arrived on the scene.
Pratt was transferred to Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center and is in stable condition. No charges have been filed after both players admitted to police it was a pure accident, according to a report from Ohio.com. Both players were questioned by police separately and shared the same story.
“We are saddened and concerned to learn of this situation and we hope that Andrew recovers fully,” Akron Athletic Director Larry Williams said in a statement. “While we know the incident occurred at an off-campus location, we will wait to learn more from the Akron Police Department about what occurred. We are keeping Andrew in our thoughts and prayers.”
Pratt was Akron’s third-leading receiver in 2015 with 28 receptions for 280 yards and a touchdown.
Many — nay, most — of you reading this wish the College Football Playoff would expand from four to eight teams. Tomorrow. Marching alongside you in that parade? Akron head coach Terry Bowden.
Bowden spoke with ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich on Wednesday and deposited a dose of reality on the state of Group of 5 teams in this CFP world we live in.
“I don’t think anybody in the Mid-American Conference believes that if you go undefeated they’re going to pick you to be in the final four,” Bowden said. “I don’t think they’re going to pick us. There’s always going to be one or two teams with one loss from the SEC or Big Ten that they’re going to pick over an undefeated team. With four teams? Not a chance.
“I don’t think we coaches believe there’s a realistic chance, and I don’t think our players believe the four-team playoff gives us a realistic chance of playing for a national championship,” he said. “I don’t think we have the same luxury. I don’t think we hoodwink our guys into thinking that, as it now stands, there’s some kind of way that an undefeated G-5 can get in.”
Even still, G-5 teams are in a better spot today than they were in the Bowl Championship Series era. Payouts are up, a guaranteed New Year’s Six spot awaits the highest-rated G-5 champion, and the increased field from two to four at least increases the Cinderella dream for undefeated mid-majors. Like Houston, for example.
“They’ll say, ‘Well, gosh, Oklahoma faced 12 Oklahomas. Y’all played one good game.’ I’m not bucking the system,” he said, “I’m saying go to eight and you probably have a chance for a team to get in at a mid-major level. Go to four and I think we’re pretending.”
Oh, well, nevermind then.
Warren Ball may be leaving Ohio State, but he’s not leaving the state of Ohio.
The OSU running back has decided to transfer out of the Buckeyes football program and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere. Specifically, that continuation will involve a 125-mile move to the northeast as George Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that Ball will enroll at Akron and play his football for Terry Bowden‘s Zips.
As Ball is set to graduate from OSU this semester, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2016. This upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.
Ball was a four-star member of OSU’s 2012 recruiting class, rated as the No. 16 running back in the country; the No. 12 player at any position in the state of Ohio; and the No. 193 player overall by Rivals.com. Ball ran for 189 yards on 41 carries the past three seasons, with 28 of those yards coming on 10 2015 carries.
ElevenWarriors.com writes that “Ball’s apparent transfer has no impact on Ohio State’s scholarship grid for 2016, as he was already on his way out of the program following last season,” adding that “[t]he Buckeyes still sit at 87 scholarships after National Signing Day.”