It’s been in the works for several days but finally became official on Saturday afternoon: Justin Wilcox is the new head coach at Cal.
“It has been a dream of mine to lead a college football program and there’s no better place than here at Cal where I got my start and at a school that means so much to me,” Wilcox said in a statement. “I would like to thank Director of Athletics Mike Williams and his staff for putting their trust in me with the Cal football program. I’m looking forward to getting to know our team and hiring our staff, and we will get to work immediately recruiting student-athletes of high character who are good fits for Cal both academically and athletically. I can’t wait to get started.”
This is Wilcox’s first head coaching position but will be his second stint in Berkeley after coaching linebackers at the school from 2003-2005. He most recently spent the past season as the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin but has plenty of Pac-12 experience from stops at Washington, USC and as a player at Oregon.
Just minutes after the news was officially released about Wilcox, West Virginia also announced that that former Bears offensive coordinator Jake Spavital was taking the same position in Morgantown. As a result, it will be interesting to see what kind of staff Wilcox puts together over the coming weeks as recruiting ramps up in the days and weeks leading up to National Signing Day.
Not surprisingly, Alabama is losing handful of underclassmen to the NFL — albeit a smaller handful than some had projected.
At the schools annual press conference for junior NFL announcements, a trio of Crimson Tide football players — cornerback Marlon Humphrey, offensive tackle Cam Robinson, wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (pictured) — confirmed that they will be leaving Tuscaloosa and make themselves available for the April NFL draft.
Robinson has been an All-American the past two seasons after earning Freshman All-American as a true freshman in 2014. He was a consensus All-American this season. Humphrey was also a Freshman All-American his redshirt season in 2015 before joining Robinson this season as an All-American.
This season, Stewart led the Tide in receiving yards (864), receiving touchdowns (eight) and yards per catch (16). His 54 receptions were second on the national title runners-up. The 6-1, 204-pound receiver finishes his ‘Bama career with 129 catches, 1,713 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Both Robinson and Humphrey were given first-round grades from the NFL Draft Advisory Committee. Stewart received an “other” grade.
There was some good news on the early-entry front as defensive backs Anthony Averett and Tony Brown, who both had considered leaving early, ultimately decided to return to Tuscaloosa for another season.
It was reported Thursday that the 2016 season was the last for Travis Rudolph at Florida State. A day later, that’s been confirmed.
FSU announced via a press release that Rudolph is foregoing his remaining eligibility and declaring for the 2017 NFL draft. “This was a very difficult decision and one that I didn’t take lightly,” Rudolph said in a statement, adding, “It has truly been an honor to wear the Garnet and Gold.”
Rudolph will leave Tallahassee seventh on the football program’s all-time charts in career receptions with 153 and eighth in receiving yards with 2,311. This past season, he led the Seminoles with 56 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns.
The 6-1, 192-pound wide receiver’s best catch, though came when, on a trip to a Tallahassee middle school by the FSU football team, he noticed an autistic boy eating lunch by himself and joined him.
Torrance Gibson may have left Ohio State, but he’s not leaving the state of Ohio.
Back in August, it was announced that Gibson had been suspended for the entire 2016 season, a suspension with which Urban Meyer didn’t agree. In December, even as Gibson signed with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, the head coach left the door open for the wide receiver’s return.
That appears to have since been shut as Gibson tells ESPN.com that he has committed to Cincinnati and will play for new Bearcats head coach and former Buckeyes defensive coordinator Luke Fickell. Instead of MGCCC, though, Gibson is enrolled at Cincinnati State in pursuit of an associate’s degree that would allow him to play for UC in 2017.
“I’m confident about what is happening in the Queen City,” Gibson told the website. “I’m just ready to roll.”
A four-star 2015 recruit, Gibson was rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 12 player at any position in the state of Florida. Coming to OSU as a dual-threat quarterback, Gibson was moved to wide receiver. At least at first, Fickell will move Gibson back to quarterback.
Mike Williams‘ Robin to Deshaun Watson‘s Batman was indeed one hell of a final act at the collegiate level for the dynamic duo.
As most of the universe had expected, Williams announced via Twitter Wednesday that he is leaving Clemson early for the NFL. The announcement comes one day after Williams’ partner in passing crime, Watson, confirmed the same.
Both decisions come after their Tigers staked its claim to the football program’s first national championship in 35 years.
After a serious neck injury cost him the vast majority of the 2015 season, Williams came back in 2016 to finish with 98 catches for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the title game, Williams caught eight passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, including a huge 24-yard reception on the game-winning drive.
At this point, Williams is viewed by most as the top wide receiver in the April draft.