Central Michigan Chippewas

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Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan’s starting TE, out indefinitely after foot surgery

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It appears Central Michigan will be without a key piece of its passing attack for an indefinite, and potentially extensive, period of time.

CMU announced Thursday that Tyler Conklin underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a broken bone in his foot. The senior tight end sustained the injury earlier on in summer camp.

At this point in time, there’s no timetable for Conklin’s return.

“We’ll continue to listen to the medical professionals,” head coach John Bonamego said in a statement. “What’s most important now is Tyler’s health. Thankfully, this is a position where we have some depth.”

Conklin started 11 of 13 games for the Chippewas last season. His 42 receptions and 560 yards in 2016 were good for third on the team, while his six receiving touchdowns were second.

In the controversial win over Oklahoma State, Conklin had career-highs in catches (seven) and touchdowns (two).

ACC, SEC place most DBs on Jim Thorpe Award watch list

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Another day, yet another watch list as the 2017 offseason barrels towards a merciful death.

This time around it’s the Jim Thorpe Award doing the honors, with the trophy given annually to the nation’s top defensive back releasing a watch list consisting of a mere 45 players from all 10 FBS conferences.  Headlining this year’s list are a pair of semifinalists from a year ago, Louisville’s Jaire Alexander and Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick.

The ACC and SEC lead all conferences with seven players apiece selected, followed by the Pac-12’s six and five each for the Big Ten and Big 12.  Conference USA was next with four, while the AAC, MAC and Sun Belt had three and the Mountain West two.

Alabama, Florida State and Stanford were the only programs with two players each selected.

USC’s Adoree’ Jackson won the 2016 version of the Thorpe Award.  The other finalists for last year’s trophy were Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis and LSU’s Tre’Davious White.  All three of those players were selected in the 2017 NFL draft.

Rimington watch list details list of returning centers

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It’s the dead time of the college football calendar, which means it’s time for this sport’s oldest, most antiquated tradition: watch lists.

First one in line is the Rimington Trophy, given to the best center in college football. And to help voters narrow down their choice for when voting picks up six months from now, the Rimington has helpfully provided this watch list of essentially every returning starting center in college football.

The 2017 list includes (deep breath):

– Aaron Mitchell, Fresno State
– Alan Knott, South Carolina
– Alac Eberle, Florida State
– Antonyo Woods, Florida Atlantic
– Asotui Eli, Hawaii
– Austin Doan, Central Michigan
– Austin Golson, Auburn
– Austin Schlottmann, TCU
– Billy Price, Ohio State
– Blaise Fountain, New Mexico
– Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State
– Brad North, Northwestern
– Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
– Brendan Moore, Maryland
– Brian Allen, Michigan State
– Bryce Holland, Army
– Cameron Ruff, South Florida
– Chandler Miller, Tulsa
– Coleman Shelton, Washington
– Colton Prater, Texas A&M
– Danny Godloveske, Miami (Ohio)
– Dennis Edwards, Western Kentucky
– Drew Keyser, Memphis
– Erick Wren, Oklahoma
– Evan Brown, SMU
– Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
– Gabe Mobley, Georgia State
– Garrett McGhin, East Carolina
– Jake Bennett, Colorado State
– Jake Hanson, Oregon
– Jake Pruehs, Ohio
– James Daniels, Iowa
– James O’Hagan, Buffalo
– Jesse Burkett, Stanford
– John Keenoy, Western Michigan
– Jon Baker, Boston College
– Julian Good-Jones, Iowa State
– Keoni Taylor, San Jose State
– LaVonne Gauthney, Akron
– Levi Brown, Marshall
– Luke Shively, Northern Illinois
– Mason Hampton, Boise State
– Matt Hennessy, Temple
– Mesa Ribordy, Kansas
– Michael Deiter, Wisconsin
– Nathan Puthoff, Kent State
– Nick Allegretti, Illinois
– Nick Clarke, Old Dominion
– Reid Najvar, Kansas State
– Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest
– Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame
– Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
– Sean Krepsz, Nevada
– Sean Rawlings, Ole Miss
– Sumner Houston, Oregon State
– T.J. McCoy, Florida
– Tanner Thrift, Baylor
– Tejan Koroma, BYU
– Tim McAullife, Bowling Green
– Trey Martin, Rice
– Will Clapp, LSU
– Will Noble, Houston
– Zach Shackelford, Texas

Exhale.

Got all that?

Ohio State’s Pat Elflein claimed the honor last season.

Central Michigan pulls from Big 12 to hire new AD

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Central Michigan lost its previous AD to the Pac-12, and hired its new one from the Big 12.

The Chippewas on Monday named Michael Alford its new AD. He arrives from Oklahoma, where he served as senior associate AD for administration and development. He replaces Dave Heeke, who took the same post at Arizona.

CMU listed Alford’s experience in “fundraising and marketing” as the first reasons why it hired him. “Michael Alford has demonstrated leadership in Division I athletics in the Power 5 conferences and in the NFL. He’s worked with coaches, students and athletic supporters,” president George Ross said in a statement.

“I’ve said all along we would name an athletics director who is committed to furthering our championship culture, who agrees athletes are students first, and who has an unwavering commitment to upholding CMU’s reputation as one of just 13 universities without a major NCAA violation,” he said. “Michael Alford is a leader who represents all that CMU is, who is an excellent fundraiser and who will be an integral member of the CMU community.”

Alford has a long list of experience in generating revenue through sports. He previously worked for ESPN, served as the general manager for Crimson Tide Sports Marketing and ran corporate partnerships for the Dallas Cowboys before heading to Norman.

Alford inherits a Central Michigan football program that has reached bowl games in each of the two seasons since John Bonamego‘s hiring in Feb. 2015. The Chips are 13-13 in Bonamego’s two seasons, continuing a now 5-year streak of winning six or seven games and losing six or seven games.

Alford will take over his post as the top Chip on July 3.

Central Michigan AD taking same position at Arizona

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Arizona has its replacement for former athletic director Greg Byrne.

Central Michigan AD Dave Heeke is set to take the same position in Tucson with the Wildcats, the school announced Saturday afternoon.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the Arizona Athletics family. It is truly an honor to be named the new Vice President for Athletics and have the opportunity to return to the prestigious Pac-12 Conference,” Heeke said in a release. “I want to thank Dr. Hart and those involved with the search process for their confidence in my ability to lead one of the premiere athletics departments in the country. This program is about excellence and we will continue to focus on achieving at the very highest level athletically and academically, while creating the finest experience in the country for our student-athletes.

Heeke has been in Mount Pleasant since early 2006 and found plenty of success with the MAC school across numerous sports. In football, he notably hired Butch Jones to replace Brian Kelly when the latter left for Cincinnati and has seen the Chippewas make a bowl game eight times during his tenure.

While he is a Michigan native, he’s no stranger to the way things operate out West having spent 18 years at Oregon. While he held a variety of roles in Eugene, he eventually became a senior associate athletic director with the Ducks before departing for CMU.

Arizona had a vacancy in their athletic leadership ever since Byrne left to become Alabama’s AD not long after the national title game in January.