BYU was the beneficiary of a belated Christmas present in the form of a standout defensive player surprisingly returning for his senior season. The same day, the UCLA Bruins were the beneficiaries of a similar gift.
In a statement, linebacker Anthony Barr stunned many by announcing that he will be returning to UCLA for his senior season. Barr had been projected as a sure-fire first-round draft pick, with some considering him a borderline top-10 talent.
“I have carefully explored my options and have decided to continue my football career with UCLA,” Barr said in the statement. “I felt a strong connection with my teammates and coaches that I do not want to see end. I will continue to pursue my degree and take part in the team drills after the holidays. The time will come soon enough to live my dream of playing at the next level.”
Following a 2012 season that saw him rack up 13.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss in the regular season, Barr was named first-team All-Pac-12. According to the release, Barr’s sack total ranks second on the all-time school single-season list and his tackles for loss rate fourth on that school list.
Said Bruins head coach Jim Mora in his statement, “Anthony considered his options and we are glad he has chosen to stay with his teammates to continue the mission to move Bruin football forward in the new year.”
Remember a couple of years ago when a Michigan football player drove a tent spike into the turf at Michigan State as a rally call for the Wolverines, and then Michigan State got the last laugh with a win? Well, we could have the seeds of a similar incident already in East Lansing this morning.
Michigan’s Devin Bush decided to try and scuff up the Michigan State spartan logo on the field during the pregame warmups this morning at Spartan Stadium. The action was caught on camera by the Big Ten Network, quickly leading to comments about hos disrespectful the action is.
Michigan comes to Michigan State looking to remain undefeated in Big Ten play this season. The Wolverines are the favorites against Michigan State, but the Spartans have held the upper hand in this in-state rivalry over the course of the past decade. After a big win on the road last week at Penn State, you have to imagine this action by Bush will somehow be relayed to Michigan State before kickoff. Will that serve as similar motivation (as if any is needed against Michigan)?
It was Michigan linebacker Joe Bolden who was unapologetic for driving the tent stake into the turf prior to kickoff at Michigan State back in 2014. Former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke apologized for the action, which was called out by Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio.
Michigan and Michigan State square off at noon eastern.
UPDATE: Yeah, the pregame shenanigans are getting heated.
It seems things are beginning to turn around for Oregon under head coach Mario Cristobal. A week after knocking off rival Washington in a key Pac-12 matchup and on the eve of another big division game on the road against Washington State, the Ducks reeled in the verbal commitment of Georgia running back Cross Patton for the Class of 2019. Patton is the son of Outkast’s Big Boi.
Patton announced his decision in front of his teammates on Friday, with his proud father capturing the moment on Instagram.
Although Patton is not rated by the recruiting services, mostly due to his size (5′ 6″, 170 lb according to Rivals), there is value to having a celebrity dad on board with the program that Oregon could take advantage of, especially if Patton develops into a weapon for the Ducks moving forward either on offense or special teams. And for a program looking to continue to move back to the top of the Pac-12 with the kind of swag the Ducks had at the height of the Chip Kelly era, the potential appears to be there.
Patton chose Oregon over a handful of offers to form FCS program including Columbia and Butler. Rivals also listed Georgia Tech as a school Patton was interested in. Florida State, with former Oregon head coach Willie Taggart, also appeared to be making a sales pitch for Patton. Big Boi was invited to perform at Florida State’s home game against Wake Forest today.
UAB and North Texas collide today in a pivotal Conference USA matchup between the 6-1 Mean Green (2-1 in Conference USA) and the 5-1 Blazers (3-0 in Conference USA. The matchup alone is enough to carry plenty of importance moving forward as far as the conference championship race is concerned, but today UAB will be doing something that means something more beyond football by paying tribute to patients at Children’s Harbor, a medical center focusing on assisting children and their families dealing with serious illnesses.
Players for UAB will ditch their own names on the back of their jerseys and instead will wear the names of a young patient at Children’s Harbor. It has become a bit of a tradition for the Blazers and is a nice way to be a part of the community since the football program was resurrected.
“It shows the city how appreciative we were when the program shutdown,” UAB wide receiver Collin Lisa said, via Al.com. “It’s not just the university, it’s about the city, the medical center, and all the little kids. It’s way more than just the game of football here.”
A full list of the children each UAB player will be representing today can be found here.
Morgan Ellison‘s time in Bloomington has officially come to an end.
Friday night, Indiana announced that the running back has been suspended for two and a half years from the university as well as permanently dismissed from the Hoosiers football team. On Oct. 3, an IU panel determined that Ellison had sexually assaulted a female student in mid-August of this year.
IU’s announcement yesterday came after Ellison had appealed the original ruling.
The unidentified victim had alleged at the hearing that she was sexually assaulted in her sleep by Ellison. “It hurt so much and when I woke up I was like stop stop and he wouldn’t stop,” the alleged victim claimed in a text to a friend shortly after the assault, the Indianapolis Star had previously reported.
During the hearing, Ellison had claimed that all sexual activity that night in August was consensual.
Ellison has not been charged criminally in connection to the alleged sexual assault, although it’s unclear if the university’s police department is investigating the allegations.
In late August, Indiana announced that Ellison had been indefinitely suspended from all football activities, including games and practice, by Tom Allen for unspecified violations of team rules. Oct. 2, one day before the panel found him guilty, the head coach revealed that the running back was permitted to practice with his teammates but would remain suspended from playing in games for the foreseeable future.
Last season, Ellison led the Hoosiers with 143 carries for 704 yards and six touchdowns. The true junior had not played in any of the Hoosiers’ games this season before or after the panel’s ruling.