For the second time this afternoon, a Pac-12 defensive back has made a somewhat surprising decision regarding his football future.
Cal announced Tuesday afternoon that cornerback Steve Williams intends to forego his senior season at Cal and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Williams joins Stanford’s Terrence Brown, who announced a short time ago he was making the same move as well.
“I want to thank the University of California and all of the terrific people I met during my four years there,” Williams said. “I had a tremendous experience at Cal and was given a wealth of opportunities both in football and in life. This was a difficult decision to make, but my family and I felt it was in our best interest and that this is the right time to take advantage of another set of opportunities we feel will be presented to us in the NFL.”
The past three years, Williams played in all 37 games and started 28 of those contests. His 25 career pass breakups rank sixth in school history.
Williams is the second Cal player to announce his intentions to enter the 2013 NFL Draft with eligibility remaining. Wide receiver Keenan Allen made the same announcement on Dec. 5, 2012.
Maybe the third time will be the charm for Freddy Canteen?
Canteen spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons at Michigan before transferring to Notre Dame. After spending the 2016 and 2017 seasons at Notre Dame, the wide receiver announced on Twitter last month that he would be transferring from the Fighting Irish as well.
Wednesday, Tulane confirmed in a press release that Canteen has been added to its 2018 football roster. As a graduate transfer, Canteen will be eligible to play for the Green Wave immediately in 2018. In fact, the upcoming season could be the first of the receiver’s two years of eligibility he’ll have available, although that has yet to be confirmed.
Canteen was a four-star member of U-M’s 2014 recruiting class, rated as the No. 45 receiver in the country and the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Maryland.
In the span of 15 games and three starts in two seasons with the Wolverines, Canteen caught six passes for 22 yards. After sitting out the 2016 season, Canteen played in just three games for the Fighting Irish this past year — one catch for seven yards — before suffering what turned out to be a season-ending shoulder injury.
With summer camp set to kickoff in less than two months, Jonathan Smith officially has a hole to fill on his Oregon State coaching staff.
Wednesday, it was reported that Mike Riley was expected to be named as the first head coach of the Alliance of American Football’s San Antonio franchise. Thursday afternoon, it was confirmed by the spring pro football league that Riley had indeed been hired to guide the fledgling team.
“There already is tremendous interest from coaches around the country to join our team,” the Beavers head coach said in a statement. “We will hire the right coach who will help us build on the significant momentum we have underway in recruiting and student-athlete development.
“I want to thank Coach Riley for his contribution to our program and wish him best in his new challenge.”
Riley, who spent two stints totaling 14 years as OSU’s head coach, returned to Corvallis in December of last year, two weeks after he was fired as the head coach at Nebraska. He was hired to serve as the Beavers’ assistant head coach and tight ends coach, for which he would be paid the princely sum of $50,000.
One of the top players in the Class of 2016 is on the move.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday afternoon, Demetris Robertson announced that he has “decided not to continue my education and football career at UC Berkeley.” The Cal wide receiver said he made his decision to leave the football program because of unspecified personal matters.
Robertson will have to sit out the 2018 season if/when he transfers to another FBS program. He would then have two years of eligibility at his disposal beginning with the 2019 season.
A five-star member of the Golden Bears’ 2016 recruiting class, Robertson was rated as the No. 1 receiver in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Georgia; and the No. 13 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Robertson’s initial recruitment was an unusual one as he didn’t sign until May 1, nearly three months after National Signing Day, and then stunned the college football recruiting world by picking Cal over Notre Dame and home-state Georgia.
Given the fact that he’s from the state and described “personal matters” as his reason for leaving the Golden Bears, the Bulldogs will likely be viewed as the initial favorite to land one of the fastest players in college football.
At Cal, Robertson, at least initially, lived up to the recruiting hype as he was second on the team as a true freshman with 50 receptions for 767 yards and seven touchdowns. His 15.3 yards per catch were tops on the team. After catching seven passes for 70 yards the first two games of the 2017 season, however, he was sidelined for the remainder of the year by what turned out to be a season-ending lower-body injury.
College football, y’all.
Suffice to say, Lane Kiffin‘s departure from Rocky Top after one season as head coach at Tennessee for the same job at USC left a bad taste in the mouth of many members of Vols Nation. How bad of a taste? From ESPN.com in January of 2010:
But the real trick for Kiffin was figuring out a way to leave the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center late Tuesday night in one piece.
Groups of angry students and fans began surrounding the football complex after the news leaked that Kiffin had taken the USC job. Eventually, it evolved into a mob-like scene, with police moving in and barricading Johnny Majors Drive in front of the football complex.
Every time a car moved anywhere in the vicinity of the complex, the mob ran in that direction, shouting and chanting, “F— you Kiffin!
Fast-forward nearly five years, and Kiffin made his return — a triumphant, winning return as it turned out — to Neyland Stadium as the offensive coordinator at rival Alabama in October of 2014. Ahead of that return, security was fearful for Kiffin’s life. So fearful, in fact, that they wanted the former Volunteers head coach to wear a bulletproof vest into the famed stadium.
At least that’s what the current Florida Atlantic head coach claimed on Marty Smith‘s podcast, by way of 247Sports.com:
It’s crazy. They were literally talking about like — from the bus in — a bulletproof vest. I’m like, ‘Come on, guys. This is football.’ They said, ‘No, really.’ They had security with me the whole way, even walking on the field and stuff like that,” Kiffin said. “I’m just like ‘I’m not wearing a vest, guys. All right?’ That’s a little bit over the top. It was all in fun. There was a lot of mean words said — four-letter words. That speaks of Tennessee’s fans, just how passionate they are. I think Phillip Fulmer said it the other day, ‘We have the most passionate fans in the country.
Of course, all that angst and anger had waned by the time UT’s next search for a head coach kicked off as a small but very vocal portion of the fanbase actually wanted the one-time Knoxville pariah to replace Butch Jones late last year. Hell, it was even reported that, in the midst of what was a circus of a search, “Lane is definitely on board if Tennessee gives him a call” about returning as head coach.
Ah, what could’ve been…