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‘Minor’ procedure on throwing hand will sideline Troy’s first-team all-SBC QB for the spring

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One of the top quarterbacks in the Sun Belt will watch from the sidelines as his teams begins preparations in earnest for the 2017 season.

Troy will kick off spring practice Thursday, and one player will be notably absent — quarterback Brandon Silvers.  By way of the Dothan Eagle, the Trojans confirmed Wednesday that the senior underwent what they described as a “minor procedure” on his right (throwing) hand.

As a result, Silvers will miss all 15 of the spring practice sessions scheduled over the next month or so.  The expectation is that Silvers will be healthy enough for the start of summer camp in early August.

Last season, Silvers passed for 3,180 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Trojans.  The latter total was tops amongst conference signal-callers, while the former was second in the league behind Idaho’s Matt Linehan (3,184).

Following the regular season, Silvers was named first-team All-SBC.

Report: Alabama adds 2019 game vs. New Mexico State

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And let the SEC non-conference schedule whining/bitching/complaining commence… now.

Via a public records request, the outstanding website FBSchedules.com is reporting that Alabama has scheduled a 2019 game against New Mexico State.  The game will be played Sept. 7 and will, of course, take place at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

According to a copy of the agreement obtained by the site, ‘Bama will pay the current Sun Belt Conference school $1.7 million.  NMSU will likely be a football independent when the two teams meet two years down the road.

Given the agreement with NMSU, Alabama now has three of its four non-conference games wrapped up.  UA will open that season in Atlanta against Duke in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Aug. 31, and will also play host to Southern Miss

The fourth non-conference game for the Crimson Tide will very likely be the annual toward-the-end-of-the-regular-season scrimmage game against an FCS opponent.

FCSchedules.com writes that “[a]ccording to the SEC scheduling rotation, Alabama’s 2019 conference opponents include Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, and Tennessee at home and Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and South Carolina on the road.”

Troy rewards Neal Brown with contract extension

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Coming off the best won/loss performance in the football program’s FBS history, Troy’s decided to reward its head coach.

According to the Dothan Eagle, athletic director Jeremy McClain has confirmed that “Troy University and head football coach Neal Brown have agreed in principle to a new four-year extension” through the 2020 season.  The financial particulars were not detailed, although that should come in the next few weeks.

Brown’s salary in 2016 was $660,000. That was third amongst Sun Belt Conference coaches, behind Louisiana-Lafayette’s Mark Hudspeth ($1.1 million) and Arkansas State’s Blake Anderson ($700,000).

In 2014, the Trojans were 3-9.  The following season, the first under Brown, Troy went 4-8.  In 2016, the Trojans posted the program’s first 10-win season at the FBS level.

The Dollar General Bowl win was the program’s first in the postseason since 2010.

Alabama WR Raheem Falkins indicates he’s testing transfer waters

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It appears Alabama’s wide receiving corps will be thinning out prior to the start of spring practice.

On his Facebook page Wednesday, rising senior Raheem Falkins (pictured, No. 88) posted a photo of a letter he received from UA’s assistant director of compliance that grants other school permission to speak to the receiver regarding a potential transfer. The letter also indicates the restrictions that would be placed on any transfer.

In addition to any team in the SEC, Falkins would be barred from transferring to seven of UA’s eight nonconference opponents the next two seasons: Florida State, Fresno State, Colorado State, Louisville, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and The Citadel. The only nonconference opponent to which the player would be permitted to transfer is FCS Mercer, which will travel to Tuscaloosa this season.

A three-star member of the Crimson Tide’s 2013 recruiting class, Falkins was rated as the No. 50 receiver in the country and the No. 15 player at any position in the state of Louisiana. He never caught a pass during is time with the team, and was expected to be buried on the depth chart once again this season.

A desire for a better opportunity at playing time is believed to be the trigger for the transfer decision.

Idaho suspends LB Charles Akanno after shoplifting arrest

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Idaho may be bolting for the FCS after this coming season but they’re still in the FBS for now, which makes them the latest to trigger a resetting of the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker to double zeroes.

According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, redshirt freshman Charles Akanno was arrested Sunday on a charge of receiving/possessing stolen property. The charge stems from an alleged Feb. 20 shoplifting incident involving two other males, including a former Vandals football player.

As a result, the linebacker has been indefinitely suspended from the football program.

“We have high expectations for every member of our program,” head coach Paul Petrino said in a statement. “It is an honor and a privilege to represent the University of Idaho. Until this matter is resolved by the courts, Charles will be suspended from all team activities.”

A three-star 2016 signee, only three other members of that year’s class for the Vandals were rated higher.

Akanno took a redshirt as a true freshman. He has been expected to compete for a starting job in 2017.