It’s still a week and a half or so until National Signing Day, but Willie Taggart has reportedly has reportedly landed his most significant signee since coming to Western Kentucky.
According to the school’s student newspaper, the WKU Herald, quarterback DaMarcus Smith has transferred to the Hilltoppers and is enrolled at the university. Smith reportedly arrived on campus Friday afternoon.
WKU has not yet confirmed Smith’s signing.
If accurate, the reported move would end what’s been a tumultuous year or so for the touted QB prospect. Smith was a long-time verbal commitment to Louisville before — much to the chagrin of those in his home city — flipping his commitment on signing day last year to UCF. He subsequently came down with a case of cold feet over his signing with the Knights, and his request to be released from his scholarship was initially denied by the school.
Smith was rated as the No. 2 player in the state of Kentucky by Rivals.com for the Class of 2011, and was the No. 11 dual-threat QB according to the recruiting service.
Smith will also reportedly see a familiar face on the WKU campus as wide receiver Michael Fluellen is enrolled, the paper writes. Fluellen and Smith, a 2011 recruit who never committed or signed with a school during the last recruiting cycle, were teammates at Louisville Seneca High School.
In addition to WKU, the 6-4, 220-pound receiver had also been connected to Kentucky, UCF and Marshall during recent months.
If you like neon colors on college football uniforms, boy have we got a future series for you.
In an announcement made on Friday, Oregon and Baylor confirmed the two schools have agreed to a home-and-home series on the gridiron in their first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Bears and Ducks will play at McLane Stadium in Waco on Sept. 11, 2027; while the return game will take place at Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Sept. 9, 2028.
The move certainly beefs up the non-conference slate for both sides after years of rather lackluster scheduling for various reasons. Baylor recently scheduled a series with Auburn for 2025/2026 and Oregon was similarly busy over the summer adding an SEC opponent with a future date with Georgia in 2022.
This series between the Ducks and Bears is the first on either team’s schedule for the 2027/2028 seasons so each has a few more slots to fill nearly a decade ago.
TCU will be without a key member of its defense for this weekend’s showdown against Big 12 rival Oklahoma as starting safety Innis Gaines will not play on Saturday — and possibly not again this season.
Speaking on his radio show on Thursday night in the DFW Metroplex, head coach Gary Patterson ruled the junior out against the Sooners and cautioned that he was “likely” done for the year after suffering a leg injury against Texas Tech last week.
Gaines himself seemed to suggest that he also will be out a significant amount of time with the injury in a Twitter post.
Gaines has been a key member of the Horned Frogs defense the past two years and has been one of the program’s best players on defense in 2018, ranking second on the team in tackles (31) and tackles for loss (6.5), as well as recording one interception, a forced fumble and a sack.
Compounding the loss of Gaines is the fact that fellow safety Niko Small has been out since the loss to Texas, leaving TCU fairly thin in the one area that you can typically count Patterson’s defense to be strong in. Freshman La’Kendrick Van Zandt is likely to be elevated into the starting role based on the team’s depth chart but you could also see an increase in playing time for Trevon Moehrig-Woodard as well.
Either way, this is not exactly the kind of news you want to hear just days before facing off against Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma offense.
Arkansas will continue feeling the effects of its Week 7 loss to Ole Miss on into Week 8.
Ty Storey suffered a head injury in the 37-33 loss to the Rebels this past Saturday, although head coach Chad Morris had been optimistic about the starting quarterback’s availability for this Saturday’s non-conference game with Tulsa. Friday, however, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, citing a source with knowledge of the decision, is reporting that Storey will not play against the Golden Hurricane.
Storey has started five games this season — the Week 2 loss to North Texas as well as the last four losses in a row. The junior has thrown for 983 yards and seven touchdowns this season, but his 124.4 pass efficiency rating of 124.4 is 11th among SEC quarterbacks and 89th nationally.
As a team, the Razorbacks are 105th in the country and last in the SEC in passing efficiency at 118.7.
If Storey is indeed sidelined as the reports suggest, either redshirt sophomore Cole Kelley or true freshman Connor Noland would get the start. Kelley started the opener this year as well as a Week 3 loss North Texas before losing the job a second time to Storey. Noland has attempted seven passes on the season.
While Kelley certainly has the edge in experience, the Democrat-Gazette writes that “Noland was seen taking first-team reps as media members left at the end of the viewing period on Wednesday.”
Just past the halfway point of the 2018 season, Florida Atlantic’s defense has taken a very steep and significant hit.
First reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and subsequently confirmed by OwlAccess.com, Azeez Al-Shaair has been diagnosed with a torn ACL. The linebacker suffered the injury during practice earlier this week.
As a result of the injury, Al-Shaair will miss the remainder of the season. Additionally, because this is his final season of eligibility, Al-Shaair will see his collegiate career come to an end as well.
This season, Al-Shaair is second on the team in tackles with 43 and tied for the team lead in quarterback hits with three. The fourth-year senior will finish as the Owls’ all-time leader in tackles.
Al-Shaair was named as the Conference USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year over the summer after leading the league with 147 tackles in 2017.