USC has suspended wide receiver Joseph Lewis after the former U.S. Army All-American after Lewis was arrested and charged in a domestic violence-related incident on Monday.
According to a report from USCFootball.com, Lewis was charged with “corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant” due to visible injury to an alleged victim. The charge is a felony offense and Lewis could face up to four years behind bars if convicted.
“USC takes all reports of domestic abuse seriously and is cooperating fully with the law enforcement investigation,” a university spokesperson said in a statement shared by USCFootball.com. “While this student code of conduct issue is being investigated, the student has been suspended from all football-related activities. Student disciplinary records and student conduct proceedings are confidential at USC and protected by law.”
Lewis, a five-star recruit in USC’s Class of 2017, appeared in three games for the Pac-12 champion Trojans last season. He caught four passes for a total of 39 yards in his spare playing time, but three of those receptions were good for a first down. This incident and news obviously puts Lewis’s availability for spring football practices and workouts on the backburner for now, until the legal process plays out. For now, Lewis is still a part of the USC football program despite being suspended.
Thursday, Oregon graduate transfer Khalil Oliver tweeted that he decided to spend his final season of college football at Missouri. A day later, one of Oliver’s former teammates has followed suit.
Alex Ofodile confirmed to Rivals.com Friday that he has decided to transfer from Oregon to Mizzou as well. Like Oliver, Ofodile, who played his high school football in the state of Missouri, will be a grad transfer and can play for the Tigers in 2018. Unlike his teammate, however, he will have two years of eligibility remaining,
According to the wide receiver, the coaching change in Eugene helped fuel the move to Columbia.
“I think it’s just perfect timing,” Ofodile told PowerMizzou.com. “I felt like with Oregon going through so many changes coaching staff-wise over the years, I just kind of felt like I gave my all to them, but it’s kind of time to end my career coming back home.”
A four-star member of the Ducks’ 2015 recruiting class, Ofodile was rated as the No. 12 receiver in the country; the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Missouri; and the No. 120 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Only three signees in UO’s class that year were rated higher than Ofodile.
Despite that lofty recruiting pedigree, Ofodile finished the UO portion of his career with just four catches for 31 yards. Three of those receptions and 23 of the yards came this past season.
Lost amidst some high-profile additions on National Signing Day was a bit of additional attrition for Clemson.
Dabo Swinney confirmed Wednesday that redshirt sophomore tight end Shadell Bell and redshirt junior running back C.J. Fuller have both decided to transfer from the Tigers. Per the head coach, both players will remain in classes at the university until they graduate this spring. As grad transfers, the players would be eligible to compete immediately with another FBS program.
The fact that Clemson’s two leading rushers from 2017 — freshman Travis Etienne (766 yards) and junior Tavien Feaster (669) — return in 2018 likely led Fuller to decide to spend his final season elsewhere.
Last season, Fuller, who began the year as the starter, was fifth on the Tigers with a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll finish the Tigers portion of his playing career with 599 yards and four touchdowns on 147 carries, as well as 18 receptions for 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
One of those touchdown catches came in the College Football Playoff semifinal win over Ohio State in 2016.
Bell, meanwhile, leaves with one reception for eight yards, numbers he posted in 2017.
Fuller and Bell are at least the fifth and sixth Tigers to leave the program this offseason. Two quarterbacks, Zerrick Cooper (HERE) and Tucker Israel (HERE), and a pair of defensive linemen, Sterling Johnson (HERE) and Jabril Robinson (HERE), have previously been confirmed as having left Swinney’s program.
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.
National Signing Day and a strong close for USC is seemingly a fact of life nowadays. The Trojans continued to land top prospects and close strong with the class of 2018 on Wednesday as they landed the signature of Santa Ana (Calif.) linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu.
“I’ll be attending the University of Southern California,” he said on ESPN2. “What sold me on SC was the Trojan family. With Coach (Clay) Helton, it’s faith, family and football.”
Tuliaupupu was awarded the Butkus Award as the top linebacker at the high school level this past season and was listed as a four-star prospect that was a top 10 player in the state of California. He joins a long line of players to make the drive up the gridlocked freeways from Orange County powerhouse Mater Dei High to USC, including five-star teammates in QB J.T. Daniels and top-ranked wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.
The Trojans are not likely to be done as the cardinal and gold will have a shot at several other top 100 players who are announcing later in the day.