Penn State, WVU reach agreement on future home-and-home

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Back in late July, it was reported that Penn State and West Virginia were close to renewing what was once considered a rivalry.

Today, that’s come to fruition, although the on-field payoff will come quite a few years on down the road.

In a press release, Penn State and West Virginia announced that they have indeed reached an agreement on a future home-and-home series.  Penn State will host the Mountaineers on September 2, 2023, in Beaver Stadium and the Nittany Lions will travel to Morgantown on August 31, 2024.

The two programs last played in 1992.

“We are excited to announce this football series with West Virginia,” PSU athletic director Dave Joyner said in a statement. “The renewal of our West Virginia rivalry is a series our alumni and fans have wanted to see on our future schedules. I am appreciative of the efforts of Oliver Luck in getting our two schools together again. As we prepare to move to a nine-game Big Ten schedule (2016), I am very pleased that we have been to able to schedule old rivals like West Virginia and Pitt and add Virginia Tech in upcoming years.”

The two football programs met every year between 1947-1992, and the first meeting came back in 1904.  All told, the two have met 59 times; that’s the third-most against a single team for both Penn State and West Virginia, with Pittsburgh and Syracuse serving as each program’s most-played rivalries.

The Nittany Lions own a significant 48-9-2 edge in the series.

“I know how exciting it was to play in Beaver Stadium and to have the Nittany Lions come to Morgantown,” WVU AD Oliver Luck said.” I think the renewal of this series will be great for the fan bases of the two schools as both locations provide an easy drive. I want to thank Athletic Director Dave Joyner and Coach Bill O’Brien for their efforts in getting this series renewed. Both Universities have rich traditions and history, and to be able to revive the memories and the fun is what makes college football so special.”

South Carolina’s third-leading rusher enters NCAA transfer database

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Another day, another trip into the infamous portal.

The latest to put his name onto the free-agent market is Ty’Son Williams, who a South Carolina official has confirmed is now listed in the NCAA transfer database.  If Williams follows through with the move — he can always remove his name from the database and return — it would be the running back’s second transfer as he came to USC in August of 2016 after beginning his collegiate playing career at North Carolina.

As Williams would be leaving as a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school if he ultimately decides to leave.

Williams was third on the Gamecocks with 328 yards rushing in 2018, while his four rushing touchdowns tied for the team lead.  The year before, his first on the field at USC after sitting out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, he was second on the team in yards (471) and yards per carry (5.0).

A four-star member of UNC’s 2016 recruiting class, Williams was rated as the No. 21 running back in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the state of South Carolina.

Four-star 2018 WR Marquez Ezzard leaves Miami

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As Miami continues to collect players with steep FBS experience, they’ve also lost a touted member of last year’s recruiting class.

In a press release sent out late Wednesday morning, Miami announced that Marquez Ezzard has decided to leave Manny Diaz‘s football program.  No specific reason for the unexpected departure was given.

That said, the speculation is that a pair of wideout developments — Jeff Thomas did an about-face and returned to Miami after signing with Illinois, Buffalo grad transfer K.J. Osborn was added earlier this month — played a significant role in the decision.

“Marquez and I talked, and we decided that it was in his best interests to pursue opportunities at another school,” the first-year head coach said in a statement. “We wish him all the best in his future plans.”

Ezzard was a four-star 2018 signee who played in three games as a true freshman, catching two passes for 24 yards.

Medically retired in August, Torrence Brown to transfer from Penn State to Southern Miss

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So much for that.

In August of last year, Torrence Brown announced that, “[d]ue to multiple injuries and surgeries, my career at Penn State has come to an end.” The defensive end spent the 2018 season as a student assistant coach for the Nittany Lions, seemingly kickstarting a career in coaching.

While that may ultimately be his employment lot in life, it’s been put on hold as Brown confirmed Tuesday via Twitter that he has decided to transfer to Southern Miss to continue his collegiate playing career.  The lineman was actually committed to the Golden Eagles before flipping to the Nittany Lions in February of 2014.

Brown started four of 14 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2016 and then started the first three games the following year before going down with a season-ending knee injury.

Because of NCAA bylaws, a player who medically retires while at one school is not permitted to play at that same school if he opts to restart his playing career.  He can, though, transfer and continue it elsewhere.

In January of 2016, Adam Breneman ended his playing career at Penn State and medically retired because of chronic knee issues; seven months later, the tight end resurfaced and continued his playing career at UMass.

Second-leading receiver one of two transferring from Virginia Tech

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Virginia Tech’s roster took a one-two personnel punch on Tuesday.

Last evening, wide receiver Eric Kumah announced on Twitter that he has “decided that [it’s] best for me to enter my name into the transfer portal.” A half-hour later, teammate and Hokies tight end Chris Cunningham announced via the same social media site that “I feel as though it is in my best interest to transfer from Virginia Tech.”

The fact that the players’ names are in the NCAA transfer database doesn’t guarantee a departure, although it is normally a sign that the player will ultimately move on to another program.  With the names in the database, other schools can contact them without receiving permission from Tech.  Conversely, Tech has the right to strip both players of their scholarships at the end of the current semester.

Both Kumah and Cunningham have already graduated from Tech and could use their final season of eligibility at another FBS program immediately in 2019.  The former also has a redshirt year available to him.

This past season, Kumah’s 42 receptions, 559 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns were all second on the Hokies.  He started 12 games in 2018 and 20 total during his time in Blacksburg.

Primarily a blocking tight end, Cunningham started a pair of games in 2018 and finished the season with 74 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches.