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Texas’ second-leading receiver transferring from Longhorns

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On a day of comings, there was one noteworthy going from the Lone Star State.

In the midst of National Signing Day, Reggie Hemphill-Mapps took to Twitter to announce that he has decided to transfer out of the Texas football program. “Thank you,” the wide receiver wrote in a very brief missive, adding, “Texas will always be in my heart.”

The announcement comes a couple of weeks after a report had surfaced that the redshirt freshman was seeking a transfer.

Hemphill-Mapps was a three-star member of the Longhorns’ 2016 recruiting class.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Hemphill-Mapps finished tied for second on the team in receptions with 37.¬† His 402 receiving yards were good for third on the ‘Horns.¬† He also added eight carries for 31 yards for good measure.

In the season-opening loss to Maryland, Hemphill-Mapps returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown.  He ended up averaging just under 11 yards per punt return, a number that was second in the Big 12 and 16th nationally.

It’s expected the Texas native will have to¬†sit out the 2018 season if he ends up at another FBS program.¬† That would then leave him with two more seasons of eligibility at his disposal beginning with the 2019 season.

Former TCU player sues TCU, Big 12 for alleged abuse and harassment

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Kolby Listenbee, a former wide receiver at TCU, has filed a lawsuit taking aim at the university and Big 12 for alleged abuse and harassment he claims never allowed him to fully recover from an injury that may have impacted his professional career outlook in the NFL. In the lawsuit, Listenbee mentioned TCU head coach Gary Patterson and former offensive coordinator Doug Meachum in accusing the members of the football coaching staff of pressuring him to get back on the field as quickly as possible.

TCU has not specifically commented on the lawsuit, which is the standard operating procedure for any university in this situation, but did issue a brief statement saying the school “takes pride in its long-standing tradition of excellence in providing a positive experience for its student-athletes, especially in the areas of care, prevention and rehabilitation of athletic injuries,” per The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas.

Per Listenbee’s lawsuit, the¬†former Horned Frog claims he injured his pelvic bones in a game against SMU in 2015. The injury involved¬†torn cartilage that is said to take a minimum of six months to rehab. Listenbee claims members of TCU’s training staff injected him with pain medications and steroids to ease the pain and allow him to continue playing. The pain meds and what Listenbee claims to be a “lack of rest and abuse from the coaching staff” eventually led to having to have metal plate inserted in his bone, which effectively hurt his chances of getting off to a successful NFL career.

Listenbee was drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills after previously suffering a groin injury at the NFL Scouting Combine. Listenbee was waived by the Bills a year later due to ongoing injury concerns. Listenbee later signed with the Miami Dolphins in October 2016 and was again waived in early December. A week later, Listenbee signed with the Indianapolis Colts to be on the practice squad, where he currently is under contract as a reserve.

The lawsuit also takes aim at the Big 12 for what Listenbee claims to be a failure to review TCU’s compliance with NCAA rules and policies regarding injury practices.

Texas Tech taps Western Michigan’s Kevin Johns as new OC

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A little piece of MACtion has found its way to Lubbock.

Tuesday morning, Texas Tech announced the hiring of Kevin Johns as Kliff Kingsbury‘s new offensive coordinator. In addition to coordinating duties, Johns will also serve as the Red Raiders’ inside wide receivers coach.

Johns replaces Eric Morris, who left Tech to take over as the head coach at Incarnate Word.

“We’re excited to have Coach Johns join our staff,” Kingsbury said in a statement. “He has a tremendous record as one of the top offensive minds in college football, and I know he will be a great resource for our staff and players. We’d like to welcome him, his wife Krista and his three sons to Lubbock.”

Johns comes to Tech after spending one season as the coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Western Michigan.¬† Prior to that, he was on Kevin Wilson’s Indiana coaching staff for six seasons — co-coordinator from 2011-13, solo coordinator from 2014-16.¬† he also coached quarterbacks and receivers during his time with the Hoosiers.

From 2004-10 Johns was an assistant at Northwestern.

“It’s a privilege to join the staff Coach Kingsbury has assembled,” Johns said. “Texas Tech has long been known as one of the top offenses in the country, and it’s an honor to work alongside Coach Kingsbury in continuing that tradition. I’m fortunate for the opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”

J.K. Dobbins races past Bryce Love as Bovada’s updated Heisman favorite

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Remember yesterday when we shared the initial 2018 Heisman Trophy odds from Bovada? Well, scrap that already because the people have come in with enough bets to warrant some quick changes to the Heisman odds. Ohio State running¬†back J.K. Dobbins soared up four spots to climb into the top spot on Bovada’s board after just 24 hours.

Dobbins was initially given 12/1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy, and the bettors went scrambling for those odds. Bovada’s updated odds see Dobbins as the way-too-early favorite with 6/1 odds. Tied for the best odds with Dobbins is another Big Ten running back, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor. Taylor didn’t move up quite as dramatically to 6/1 after having 8/1 odds a day ago. The¬†short-lived preseason favorite from Bovada and 2017 Heisman Trophy runner-up, Stanford running back Bryce Love, has slipped into third on the board with 7/1 odds. Alabama’s national championship hero, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, tied Love with 7/1 odds.

Some other notable dramatic changes include the addition of Missouri quarterback Drew Lock (25/1). Lock, the SEC’s top passer returning in 2018, was initially left completely off the board. He is the only newcomer to the updated odds from Bovada at this moment. The most notable drop in the odds was from Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver, who fell from 55/1 odds to 66/1. Most other drops were just by a few spots, including Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate falling from 9/1 to 14/1, West Virginia quarterback Will Grier falling from 12/1 to 16/1 and Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley dropping from 18/1 to 20/1.

Here are the updated Heisman odds as relayed by Bovada:

J.K. Dobbins (RB Ohio State) 6/1
Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) 6/1
Bryce Love (RB Stanford) 7/1
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama) 7/1
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) 12/1
Khalil Tate (QB Arizona) 14/1
Will Grier (QB West Virginia) 16/1
Jarrett Stidham (QB Auburn) 16/1
Kelly Bryant (QB Clemson) 18/1
Justin Herbert (QB Oregon) 18/1
Trace McSorley (QB Penn State) 20/1
Cam Akers (RB Florida State) 25/1
Rodney Anderson (RB Oklahoma) 25/1
Jake Browning (QB Washington) 25/1
Ryan Finley (QB NC State) 25/1
Drew Lock (QB Missouri) 25/1
McKenzie Milton (QB UCF) 25/1
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson) 35/1
Nick Fitzgerald (QB Mississippi State) 35/1
D'Andre Swift (RB Georgia) 35/1
Brandon Winbush (QB Notre Dame) 35/1
David Sills (WR West Virginia) 45/1
Ed Oliver (DL Houston) 66/1
Nick Bosa (DL Ohio State) 75/1

With Tua Tagovailoa lurking, Bryce Love is Bovada’s way-too-early 2018 Heisman favorite

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The 2018 season doesn’t kick off for another seven-plus months, but it’s never too early for a little wagering action.

Two weeks after the 2017 regular season ended, Bovada.lv released its first set of odds as to who will win the 2018 Heisman Trophy.  Not surprisingly, running back Bryce Love, who stunned most observers by returning to Stanford for another season, has been listed by the sportsbook as a slight 7/1 favorite.  Love is the only returning finalist for the 2017 award, and he finished a distant second to winner Baker Mayfield.

Two other players who finished in the Top 10 in the 2017 Heisman voting,¬†Wisconsin running back¬†Jonathan Taylor¬†(6th) and¬†UCF quarterback¬†McKenzie Milton¬†(8th), are listed in Bovada‘s initial set of odds — Taylor right behind Love at 8/1 and Milton at 18/1.

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate, who could greatly benefit from the hiring of Kevin Sumlin as head coach, is at 9/1.  National championship game hero Tua Tagovailoa, who has never started a game at the collegiate level, is at 10/1, with the Alabama quarterback ahead of the likes of Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins (12/1), Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (12/1), Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant (15/1) and Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley (18/1).

West Virginia’s David¬†Sills (45/1) is the only wide receiver listed.¬† There are also two defensive linemen on the board — Houston’s¬†Ed Oliver (55/1) and Ohio State’s Nick Bosa (75/1).

And, for those who are curious, here are the top four in the odds Bovada released for the 2017 Heisman exactly one year ago today: Mayfield (11/2), Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett (6/1), Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (7/1) and USC quarterback Sam Darnold (9/1).¬† The Oklahoma quarterback won the award, of course, while Jackson, the 2016 Heisman winner, was one of three finalists.¬† The other two didn’t crack the Top 10 in votes.

Below are the complete set of odds for the 2018 Heisman Trophy, again courtesy of Bovada.lv:

Bryce Love (RB Stanford) 7/1
Johnathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) 8/1
Khalil Tate (QB Arizona) 9/1
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama) 10/1
J.K. Dobbins (RB Ohio State) 12/1
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) 12/1
Jarrett Stidham (QB Auburn) 12/1
Will Grier (QB West Virginia) 12/1
Justin Herbert (QB Oregon) 15/1
Kelly Bryant (QB Clemson) 15/1
McKenzie Milton (QB UCF) 18/1
Trace McSorley (QB Penn State) 18/1
Cam Akers (RB Florida State) 22/1
Jake Browning (QB Washington) 22/1
Rodney Anderson (RB Oklahoma) 25/1
Ryan Finley (QB NC State) 25/1
Brandon Winbush (QB Notre Dame) 35/1
D'Andre Swift (RB Georgia) 35/1
Nick Fitzgerald (QB Mississippi State) 35/1
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson) 35/1
David Sills (WR West Virginia) 45/1
Ed Oliver (DL Houston) 55/1
Nick Bosa (DL Ohio State) 75/1