Vols indefinitely suspend Bonner


After initially being the lone suspect in the theft of an iPhone, Tennessee freshman Deion Bonner was not arrested as the alleged victim declined to pursue charges against the player.

That, though, did not end the defensive back’s problems.

The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that Bonner has been indefinitely suspended by the Vols for unspecified violation of team rules.  It’s unclear at this time whether the suspension is in any way related to the early-November incident.

The suspension is the latest misstep for Bonner over the past year and a half.

In April of last year, Bonner was one of three high school students — two of them football recruits — charged with stealing iPhones and iPods from the University of Georgia football locker room during an open-house event.  Bonner, a four-star member of the Vols’ 2012 recruiting class, eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in the UGA incident, which involved the theft of nearly $1,900 worth of iGadgets.

This season as a true freshman, Bonner has played in nine games.

Report: Ohio State had Bob Stoops, Dino Babers, two others on short list to replace Urban Meyer

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On the day Urban Meyer confirmed his retirement and Ohio State revealed Ryan Day would replace him, Gene Smith acknowledged that he had considered launching a national search before opting to stay in-house with the 39-year-old offensive coordinator. It was subsequently rumored that a pair of current college football head coaches, and one retired from the sport, were three of the four that had been on the athletic director’s short list.

Over the weekend, one report shed light on the specific names that were a part of Smith’s preliminary coaching to-do list.

Citing an industry source, David Briggs of the Toledo Blade reported that retired Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops; current college head coaches Dino Babers of Syracuse and Matt Campbell of Iowa State; and an unnamed current NFL coach were on OSU’s radar’s before the university pulled the trigger on promoting Day as Meyer’s replacement. While the name of the NFL coach was not revealed, it’s believed to be former Ohio State player/assistant coach and current Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel.

Stoops’ former boss, OU athletic director Joe Castiglione, may have played a significant role on a couple of fronts in the direction in which Smith ultimately headed, from serving as a sounding board in the present to how he handled his own football program’s in-house transition last year from Stoops to offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.

From Briggs’ report:

Smith made his lists and privately leaned on fellow members of the playoff committee, including Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione, a close friend. For such an A-list job, he wondered if it was his obligation to conduct a true national search and allow one of his candidates the chance to wow him in an interview. He appreciated the risk of “not allowing them to give the pitch.”

My suspicion is Castiglione’s success with a similar transition clinched the deal. “I asked him a lot about it,” Smith said. Just as a wunderkind offensive coordinator (Lincoln Riley) replaced a retiring legend (Stoops) two years ago — and won big with the infrastructure and staff already there — Smith envisioned Day doing the same with the existing foundation in Columbus.

Stoops, who has already offered up some retirement words of wisdom to Meyer, was born and raised in Youngstown, while Campbell was born about 70 miles west in Massillon. Babers lone connection to the state of Ohio, meanwhile, was serving as the head coach at Bowling Green for two seasons (2014-15) before taking over at Syracuse.

Interestingly enough, it was announced in a three-day span earlier this month that both Babers (HERE) and Campbell (HERE) had signed contract extensions with their current schools.

NCAA grants sixth season to Kent State’s leading tackler

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The early signing period is still a day away, but Kent State’s defense for next season has already been bolstered.

On his social media accounts recently, Matt Bahr announced that he has been granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA.  The linebacker will be able to use that sixth season in 2019, which will serve as his final year of eligibility.

Bahr didn’t play at all as a true freshman in 2014, then was sidelined for all but two games of the 2017 season because of injury.

Bahr’s 91 tackles this season were tied for the team lead, while his 5½ tackles for loss were tied for third and his three sacks tied for second.  He was also tied for third on the Golden Flashes in pass breakups with six and led with a pair of forced fumbles.

This year, Bahr was named as a semifinalist for both the Wuerffel Trophy and Campbell Trophy, the latter colloquially referred to as the “Academic Heisman.”

Starting Nevada safety transfers to BYU

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Nevada’s secondary loss will turn into BYU’s gain.

In early December, it was reported that Nephi Sewell will be transferring from Nevada.  Less than two weeks later, Sewell took to Twitter over the weekend to announce that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at BYU.

The move serves as a homecoming for Sewell as the defensive back played his high school football in the state of Utah.

As a sophomore this season, Sewell started all 10 games in which he played after starting eight games in 2017. His 53 tackles in 2018 were good for sixth on the team.

Sewell’s older brother, Gabe Sewell, is a junior linebacker for Nevada and currently leads the Wolf Pack in tackles with 85.  His younger brother, Penei Sewell, is a freshman offensive lineman at Oregon.

Kentucky’s Josh Allen adds fourth national trophy honor

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When it’s all said and done, Josh Allen is going to need a bigger trophy cabinet — or at least significantly expand his current one.

Monday, it was announced that the Kentucky senior was named as the 2018 recipient of the Jack Lambert Award. That trophy is handed out annually by the Touchdown Club of Columbus (OH) and given to the national linebacker of the year.

Previously this awards season, Allen had been named as the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award (HERE) and Chuck Bednarik Award (HERE) as well as the recipient of the Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy (HERE). He also earned unanimous first-team All-American honors.

Allen’s 14 sacks this season set the football program’s single-season record, while his 28.5 career sacks are the most ever for a member of the Wildcats.