Earlier today, Stanford tight end Zach Ertz announced that he was leaving school early. A short time later, a tight end teammate followed suit.
The Cardinal announced in a Facebook posting of all things that junior Levine Toilolo has decided to make himself available for the upcoming draft. Toilolo was fourth on the team in receptions (24), third in receiving yards (393) and tied for second in receiving touchdowns (four).
Here’s Toilolo’s full statement on his departure:
After much thought, prayer, and discussion with my family, I have decided to forego my senior season of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft. It has been a tremendous honor to be a part of this team and University for the past four years. Academics are a great priority for a Stanford man, and I take great pride in being on track to graduate from Stanford University in June.
I would like to thank all of the coaches and staff who have shaped me as both a person and a player, allowing me to be in this position. Writing this brief sentiment has caused me to realize how much I will truly miss this extraordinary University, and more importantly the people here – including the professors, students and fans. I will forever cherish the memories I have made with my friends and teammates, and I thank you all for making my time here special.
To all of my teammates, I wish you all the best of luck next season, and I look forward to being able to cheer for you guys during the National Championship Game!
Never mind, I guess.
Louisville football staffer Cortney Braswell was arrested earlier this month on one count of theft of property and subsequently extradited to Chattanooga, Tenn., where the crime was allegedly committed. This week, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported, the charge was dismissed by the presiding judge.
It was alleged that Braswell stole more than $2,000 that had been ticketed for a high school at which he worked at the time. Braswell was subsequently indicted by a grand jury in Hamilton County (Tennessee) in May following an investigation into the theft allegations.
No reason was given for the charge against Braswell, who had continued to maintain his innocence, being dropped. The staffer subsequently released a statement in which he thanked the Louisville program for their support throughout the process.
I am grateful that the University of Louisville’s Athletics Administration was willing to be patient while all the facts came to light despite the negativity surrounding this story. I am grateful to the numerous friends, coaches, parents, students, and community members who wrote letters of support on my behalf and stood behind me. In this case, the justice system worked as it was intended to, and I am glad that the truth prevailed.
I am extremely thankful to Head Coach, Scott Satterfield, Director of Athletics, Vince Tyra, and the entire U of L Athletics Administration and football coaching staff for their continued support of me throughout this ordeal. I look forward to continuing my work with Cardinal Football.
Braswell was hired earlier this year as a quality control assistant as part of Satterfield‘s first Cardinals’ extended football staff. Shortly after his arrest, Braswell had been placed on administrative leave, although he has since been reinstated.
If Nathan Proctor is to live up to his recruiting pedigree, he’ll be doing it somewhere other than Blacksburg.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday, Proctor announced that he has decided to transfer from Virginia Tech for unspecified reasons. The defensive lineman’s name is already listed in the NCAA transfer database, although he could decide to withdraw from the portal and return to the Hokies.
“Virginia [T]ech is an outstanding institution and has a great football program and I am very thankful to have called it my home the past two years,” Proctor wrote as part of his goodbye missive. “Thank you to all of the coaches that helped me along the way and all of my friends and family for the support.”
A four-star member of Tech’s 2017 recruiting class, Proctor was rated as the No. 10 outside linebacker in the country and the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Maryland. Only one signee in the Hokies’ class that year, defensive back Devon Hunter, was rated higher than Proctor.
After redshirting as a true freshman, Proctor played in eight games this past season and was credited with three tackles.
As for a potential landing spot? Three Virginia Tech players have already transferred to Maryland this offseason, and Proctor is from Maryland.
So much for the positives on the personnel front for Geoff Collins.
After seeing three transfers this month denied immediate-eligibility waivers, Georgia Tech confirmed this week it had officially added a transfer from Notre Dame. The same day, however, the football program also announced that two players, senior defensive lineman Brad Morgan (back) and redshirt freshman wide receiver Tija’i Whatley (unspecified), have both been forced to retire from the sport because of medical issues.
The sliver of a silver lining, though, is that the school stated both Morgan and Whatley will remain on scholarship — neither will count against the program’s 85-man limit, it should be noted — and involved with the team in non-playing capacities.
“I feel for both Brad and Tija’i,” the head football coach said in a statement. “It goes without saying that they will continue to be a part of the Georgia Tech football family and we’re looking forward to the contributions that they continue to make to our organization and the Institute.”
Morgan played in 28 games the past three seasons, starting three games at right guard this past season. This offseason, he moved from offensive to defensive line and was expected to be part of the Yellow Jackets’ rotation prior to being forced to walk away.
Whatley was a three-star 2018 signee who took a redshirt as a true freshman.
If you’re trying to show your players how to avoid doing the wrong things, bringing in someone who did one of the most absolutely vile and abhorrent things — and is successfully turning his life around — is probably not the worst way to go about your business.
Already this offseason, Nick Saban has brought in Mike Tyson to speak to his Alabama football team. On Thursday, Ray Rice was in Tuscaloosa as the Crimson Tide head coach’s “Title IX speaker” to touch on subjects such as domestic violence.
Then a member of the Baltimore Ravens, the former Rutgers running back was suspended by the NFL in 2014 after videos surfaced of Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer and dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator. Initially suspended, Rice never played another down in the NFL because of an incident Kyle Flood, then the Scarlet Knights’ head coach and now an assistant coach at Alabama, described at the time as a sad day for RU football.
Rice, who is now married to Janay Palmer, has since turned into a motivational speaker of sorts, speaking in front of football players at programs such as Georgia (HERE) and Ohio State (HERE).
Prior to Rice’s latest appearance, Saban explained his reasoning for bringing Rice in.
Well, he’s obviously going to talk about how to treat the opposite sex and having the proper respect for other people,” Saban said when asked about Rice’s appearance. “And I think that’s important to relationships. It’s important as a person to be able to do those things in a very respectful manner.
I think a lot of the players can relate to (Rice’s) circumstance,” Saban said. “And it will be interesting to hear a guy that has had issues that now has turned a corner and has really done everything he can to help other people not have the same problem that he has. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him doing that and we’re certainly glad to have him here.