LSU shakes up offensive staff, hires Cam Cameron as coordinator

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The speculation that Cam Cameron would join Les Miles‘ coaching staff at LSU began quietly building two weekends ago and reached a rolling boil by the end of last week.

One week later, and after most of the i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed on the contract, the speculation officially and finally came to fruition.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, Miles introduced Cameron, his long-time friend and coaching contemporary, as his new offensive coordinator.  In addition to coordinator duties, Cameron will also serve as LSU’s quarterbacks coach.

Cameron’s coaching credentials are extensive.  Collegiately, Cameron spent 1997-2001 as Indiana’s head coach as well as a nine-year stint (1985-1993) as an offensive assistant (quarterbacks, wide receivers) at Michigan.  For seven of those seasons with the Wolverines, Miles was on the same Bo Schembechler-led coaching staff.

Especially of late, though, Cameron’s been more well-known for his coaching work at the NFL level.

The past two decades, he has served as the quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins (1994-96); offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers (2002-06); head coach for the Miami Dolphins for a single one-win season in 2007; and the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator for the past five seasons.

Following Week 14 of the 2012 NFL season, Cameron was dismissed by the Ravens.

Greg Studwara had spent the past two seasons as Miles’ coordinator, but will remain on staff and retain the title of offensive line coach that he’s held for the past six seasons.  Steve Kragthorpe, who was hired as coordinator in January of 2011 but was forced to give up those duties after being diagnosed with Parkinson‘s, will step aside as quarterbacks coach and move to an administrative position within the football program.

The fact that Miles decided to shake up his offensive coaching staff is far from surprising as such a move has been a long time coming — especially when viewed in the prism of a woeful passing “attack.”

The Tigers were 106th in passing in 2011 (152.5 yards per game) with the anemic combination of Jordan Jefferson/Jarrett Lee pulling the trigger, although that standing improved slightly to 92nd (200.5 ypg) with Zach Mettenberger under center in 2012.  Scoring, though, took a precipitous drop, going from 17th (35.7 points per game) in Studwara’s first season as coordinator to 58th (29.8 ppg).

Will Cameron be the man to pull the Tigers out of their offensive doldrums?  That’s a question without an answer at the moment, although Miles had no choice but to shake things up on that side of the ball.

Maryland confirms two grad transfer additions, including ex-Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson

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Mike Locksley‘s reshaping of his initial roster at Maryland continues, with a pair of previously expected additions officially coming to fruition.

Tuesday afternoon, the Terrapins confirmed that quarterback Josh Jackson and tight end Tyler Mabry have joined Locksley’s football program.  Jackson comes to College Park from Virginia Tech, Mabry from Buffalo.

As they have graduated from their respective universities, both Jackson and Mabry will be eligible to play immediately in 2019.  Jackson has two seasons of eligibility remaining, while Mabry has just one.

After going through a tumultuous offseason, Jackson began 2018 as the Hokies’ starting quarterback only to suffer a season-ending injury in mid-September.

As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Jackson started all 13 games for the 9-4 Hokies. He passed for 2,991 yards and ran for another 324 yards while accounting for 26 touchdowns — 20 passing, six rushing.  The passing yards were the most for an FBS freshman that season, while the touchdowns passes were the second-most at this level.

Given the fact that he’ll be immediately eligible, Jackson will head into summer camp as the favorite to lay claim to the Terrapins’ starting job under center.

The past three seasons, Mabry has totaled 567 yards and three touchdowns on 60 receptions.  The Michigan native totaled 27 catches for 230 yards and two touchdowns this past season for the Bulls.

Mabry and Jackson are two of four FBS transfers Locksley has added this offseason, joining Virginia Tech wide receiver Sean Savoy (HERE) and Ohio State linebacker Keandre Jones (HERE).

After pulling out of transfer database, Auburn WR Kolbi Fuqua no longer with Tigers

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Never mind that initial never mind.

In early April, it was reported that Auburn wide receiver Kolbi Fuqua had entered the NCAA transfer database; nearly a month later, that first never mind arose as it was reported that Fuqua had pulled his name from the portal, seemingly signaling a desire to remain with the Tigers. Monday, however, an AU official confirmed that Fuqua is no longer a part of Gus Malzahn’s squad.

247Sports.com‘s Brandon Marcello writes that “Fuqua did not return to the Auburn football program following the conclusion of spring practices, a source close to the team tells Auburn Undercover. The circumstances surrounding his departure are not clear.”

The development comes a little over a week after Auburn added a commitment from Zach Farrar, a wide receiver who began his collegiate career at Oklahoma but heads to The Plains from the junior college level. Farrar comes to the Tigers with two years of eligibility he can begin using immediately this coming season.

A three-star member of the Tigers’ 2018 recruiting class, Fuqua was rated as the No. 28 player at any position in the state of Alabama. Fuqua played in one game this past season, and didn’t catch a pass in that very limited action.

JUCO next step for LSU transfer Dominic Livingston

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When Dominic Livingston announced in mid-February that he would be transferring from LSU, the defensive tackle indicated that the move was being made so as to be closer to his home in Texas because of unspecified family issues.  Monday, Livingston followed through on that plan of attack.

Speaking to 247Sports.com, Livingston confirmed that his collegiate playing career will continue at Kilgore College.  A community college in Kilgore, Texas, Livingston’s new college football home is roughly 200 miles from his hometown of Houston; his old home of Baton Rouge is roughly 270 miles from that same hometown.

Not surprisingly, Kilgore told the same website that he “will play a semester at Kilgore and go from there,” an obvious indication that he expects to be back at the FBS level in 2020.

If that is indeed the case, Kilgore would have three years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2020 season.

A three-star member of the Tigers’ 2018 recruiting class, Livingston was rated as the No. 38 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 74 player at any position in the state of Texas.  As a true freshman, Livingston appeared in exactly one more game than I did.

Illini DE who suffered severe spinal injury speaking, eating and sitting up

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There is some positive news when it comes to a distressing situation that developed over the weekend.

Illinois true junior defensive end Bobby Roundtree sustained what was described as a severe spinal cord injury in a swimming accident Saturday and underwent surgery a day later.  According to the Associated Press, Roundtree is progressing well following the surgery and, while he remains hospitalized, is speaking, eating and sitting up.

Several members of the Illini football program, including Lovie Smith, traveled to Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor, Fla., to be with the injured player.

“Bobby Roundtree is exactly what you want in a student-athlete,” a statement from the head coach began. “He is a hard worker, dependable, a dedicated student and a leader.

“This is devastating to his teammates, the entire Fighting Illini family and his family and friends. We will give Bobby all the support possible as he battles through his recovery. Please keep Bobby and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Roundtree, who played his high school football in Largo, Fla., has started 20 games the past two seasons since coming to the Illini as a three-star member of their 2017 recruiting class.  This past season, the 6-5, 245-pound end led the Illini in tackles for loss with 12.5 and pass breakups, and was second in sacks with 7.5 and quarterback hits with four.

For that, the media named Roundtree honorable mention All-Big Ten for the 2018 season.