It was expected that Utah State would expand Rayshad Lewis‘ role with the Aggies to the defensive side of the ball. Instead, the son of former Miami All-American standout Ray Lewis has decided to look for a new college football home.
According to Scout.com, Lewis (pictured, No. 9) has decided to leave USU and will transfer to an undetermined location. The wide receiver seemingly confirmed the pending movement as he retweeted several well-wish tweets on his Twitter timeline. He also posted the following cryptic tweet Friday morning.
If Lewis lands at another FBS program, he’ll have to sit out the 2017 season. He’d then have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.
Lewis was a two-star member of the Aggies’ 2016 recruiting class, opting for USU over offers from, among others, Appalachian State, Ball State, FAU, Idaho, Old Dominion and Toledo.
As a true freshman last season, Lewis started seven of the 12 games in which he played. The 5-10, 165-pound receiver finished second on the team in catches (40) and receiving yards (476), while his two receiving touchdowns were tied for second. The receptions and yards were second-most in the school’s history for a freshman.
For good measure, he added 110 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
This spring, the football program flirted with making Lewis a two-way player, with the rising sophomore logging time as a defensive back. He was also penciled in as a punt returner.
Just one day after resetting the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker, it’s time to reset it again.
According to the Cache Valley Daily, two Utah State football players, cornerback Jaylan Brown and linebacker Troy Murray, were arrested Thursday and being held on suspicion of burglary and theft. The arrests are the culmination of an investigation that reaches back to late last year.
From the website’s report:
Logan City Police Capt. Curtis Hooley said officers had been investigating two burglaries that allegedly occurred in December. In both cases, the victims reported their video game consoles had been stolen, along with some games.
In March, one of the consoles was traced to a person in Salt Lake. Police officers interviewed the person and learned that the console had recently been purchased from a video game store in Sugar House.
When officers contacted the store they found the rest of the stolen merchandise that had allegedly been pawned by Murray and Brown.
This latest run-in with the law could prove especially problematic for Murray. From the Utah Statesman:
Murray, a linebacker, was arrested in December on drug charges. He was given a Plea in Abeyance — meaning he is required to complete community service, educational programs and meet monthly with a probation officer through Professional Probation Services. After he completes his requirements, he is eligible to have the charges removed from his record.
However, if convicted for the theft and burglary charges, Murray’s Plea in Abeyance could be revoked.
The USU football program has yet to publicly comment on the legal developments.
Both of the players took redshirts for their true freshman seasons and have yet to appear in a game for the Aggies.
One of the more obscure remnants of the realignment era in college athletics is the way the Mountain West distributes television revenue. Most notably, Boise State was allowed to keep a certain slice of the pie (slightly less than $2 million) as part of the condition that they would stay in the league, then the rest of the remaining members would split what was left — with a catch.
That catch turned out to be a form of a bonus system that gave a little extra to schools who appeared on national television on conference partners like ESPN and CBS Sports Network. It appears the MWC has had a change of heart about how things are being distributed because that is changing going forward next season.
Per the Idaho Statesman:
The conference determined the formula and bonus structure was not performing as it had been intended. Now, Boise State’s membership agreement and its ESPN deal were honored, meaning the school gets $1.8 million up front annually. That’s the average bonus payout Boise State got from 2013-15 under the contract it agreed to when deciding to stay in the Mountain West. The remaining revenue will be divided among the 11 football-playing schools outside Hawaii, worth approximately $1.1 million per year, meaning a total of $2.9 million for Boise State.
The bonus system was a bit of a sore spot for many schools in the league, something commissioner Craig Thompson conceded in an interview last July. The new deal looks to be a little more fairer to everybody in the league and probably won’t draw as many complaints as before (though that Boise State sweetheart deal from realignment remains). While the overall figures aren’t anywhere close to their Power Five peers, it’s still a nice chunk of change for many of the Mountain West athletic departments.
Needing to fill a single spot in some future schedules, both Michigan State and Washington have come calling to the Mountain West for an opponent. Utah State was happy to oblige.
Michigan State will host Utah State on September 1, 2018. The Aggies will travel to Washington on September 19, 2020. For their travels, Utah State will collect $2.9 million between the two games, according to FBScheduels.com ($1.4 million from Michigan State, $1.5 million from Washington).
The Big Ten and Pac-12 each use nine-game conference schedules, leaving three spots open for non-conference games. The Big Ten requires all conference members schedule one game per season against another power conference opponent (the Pac-12 has no such requirement of its members at this time), although exceptions are made. Utah State, as a member of the Mountain West Conference, would not satisfy that requirement for the Big Ten, but the Spartans already have a road game against Arizona State (Pac-12) on the schedule in 2018. Michigan State and Arizona State will play again in 2019 in East Lansing. Michigan State also has future power conference matchups with Notre Dame (2017, 2026, 2027) and Miami (2020, 2021). Michigan State will also play BYU in 2020 in Provo.
Washington has future power conference matchups with Rutgers (2017), Auburn (2018, in Atlanta), and Michigan (2020, 2021). The Huskies will also face Mountain West Competition from Fresno State (2017), Hawaii (2019), and Nevada (2027).
Utah State will face power conference opponents on the road in 2017 (Wisconsin, Wake Forest), 2018 (Michigan State), 2019 (Wake Forest, LSU), 2020 (Washington), and 2021 (Washington State). Utah State will also host Washington State in 2020 as part of a home-and-home deal. Utah State also has an annual series against BYU running through 2020.
Yep, time to reset that “Days Without an Arrest” ticker. Again.
Utah State’s student newspaper, the Utah Statesman, is reporting that Wesley Bailey was arrested Monday for failing to appear at a required probation meeting. The paper writes that “[c]ourt documents also state Bailey failed to appear for a drug and alcohol screening and failed to make the payments required as part of his probation.”
Since January of last year, Bailey has twice been arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. Both of those charges were misdemeanors.
A USU official declined to comment on the latest arrest and what it may do to the defensive back’s status with the football program moving forward.
A junior college transfer, Bailey took a redshirt his first season with the Aggies in 2015. Last year, the 6-1, 195-pound rising senior started six of the 11 games he played at cornerback.