It’s been assumed by just about in and around the college — and NFL — game that Teddy Bridgewater would leave a year of eligibility on the table and make himself available for the April draft.
While that appears likely to be the case a month or so ahead of the NFL deadline for draft-eligible players to declare their intentions, it seems as if the Louisville quarterback is at least leaving the door cracked for a return to school.
In a tweet posted by former NFL scout and current Bay Area radio /CSN personality John Middlekauff Friday afternoon, sources tell him that Bridgewater is indeed considering a return to the Cardinals, although a final decision on which path his football future will take has yet to be made.
Shortly after Middlekauff’s tweet, Gil Brandt, the long-time Dallas Cowboys director of personnel and current NFL.com analyst, tweeted the following:
Louisville will face Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl Dec. 28,. at which point Bridgewater will be expected to announce whether he’s returning to the UofL or leaving early.
If it’s the former, draftniks across the country will be stunned… and forced to adjust the very top of their mock drafts. From Rotoworld to CBSSports.com to FOXSports.com to Sports Illustrated to SBNation.com to just about all other points in between, Bridgewater is projected to be the first player taken in the NFL draft next April. To say that Bridgewater returning would serve as a surprise is an understatement.
The fact that he’s reportedly even considering it, however, is just as big. And potentially huge for the Cardinals football program, as unlikely as it is.
When it comes to Notre Dame’s radio booth on football gamedays, it’ll apparently be out with the old and in with the new.
Earlier this offseason, it was announced that JMI Sports had taken over as Notre Dame’s multimedia partner. As part of that partnership, JMI Sports would have control over, among other entities, the football program’s national radio broadcasts.
Since 2006, there’s been a two-man radio booth consisting of play-by-play voice Don Criqui and color analyst Allen Pinkett. Come the 2018 football season, the latter confirmed, there will be a complete makeover of the Fighting Irish’s radio broadcasts.
“Their plan is they want someone more local — like ‘live in South Bend’ local — because they want to do some packages during the week, and they wanted somebody who was there,” Pinkett told the South Bend Tribune. “So it was a good run. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to do it since 2001, but this thing comes to an end, so I just wish whoever’s going to do it next the best of luck.”
The “whoever” Pinkett mentioned is still in question as the radio replacements have yet to be announced.
The 54-year-old Pinkett was a star running back at Notre Dame in the eighties, twice earning All-American honors. He was the first Fighting Irish player to ever rush for 1,000-plus yards in three straight seasons.
The 78-year-old Criqui is a Notre Dame graduate as well. Prior to this 2006-17 stint, he was also the play-by-play voice of the Fighting Irish from 1974-76.
One running joke that’s made numerous laps around the college football world this month has officially run its course.
After being taken ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the June Major League Baseball draft, Kyler Murray reached an agreement on a contract with the stick-and-ball club that will not only allow him to play football for Oklahoma in 2018, but will pay him a signing bonus of nearly $4.7 million for good measure. As Lincoln Riley was paid $3.1 million in 2017, there was a very real possibility that the Sooners’ starting quarterback would earn more in 2018 than OU’s head football coach.
Tuesday, however, that particular plotline was put to bed as the university’s Board of Regents confirmed a long-expected revised contract for Riley. The coach’s 2018 salary? $4.8 million (plus bonuses).
Take that, Kyler Murray.
The new salary figure would’ve made Riley the third-highest paid head coach in the Big 12 last season, behind only Texas’ Tom Herman ($5.5 million) and TCU’s Gary Patterson ($5.1 million). His actual salary last year was seventh in the conference.
In his first season at the helm for the Sooners, the 34-year-old Riley guided OU to a 12-2 record, a Big 12 championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff. In addition to a raise coming off that wildly successful year, Riley also had his contract extended through the 2023 season.
Not surprisingly at this point in the offseason, it’s once again time to push the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker back to double zeroes.
The latest to trigger a reset is New Mexico’s Rayshawn Boyce, with KOB-TV in Albuquerque reporting that the linebacker was arrested over the weekend on multiple charges stemming from an incident involving an ex-girlfriend last month. Specifically, Boyce has been charged with one count each of aggravated battery, battery of a household member, criminal damage to private property and negligent use of a deadly weapon.
From the television station’s report:
According to a criminal complaint, he attacked a man inside his ex-girlfriend’s home back in May and then hit his ex-girlfriend in the face. Boyce then left the house and fired shots at her vehicle.
Police interviewed Boyce, who admitted to being at the home but says he never went inside. He claims he fought the man outside of his ex-girlfriend’s apartment.
As a result of the incident, Boyce has been indefinitely suspended from the Lobos football by head coach Bob Davie, who’s had his own off-field issues this offseason.
“I want to emphasize that we have standards and expectations of conduct for all UNM student-athletes that include civility and mutual respect,” UNM athletic director Eddie Nunez said in a statement. “We cannot, and will not, accept anything less.”
After transferring in from a California junior college, Boyce played in eight games for the Lobos this past season. He was credited with 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack.
Hokie Nation, it appears you can unofficially breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Rumors were swirling earlier this month that Josh Jackson‘s eligibility at Virginia Tech for the 2018 season was up in the air over unspecified academic issues. While there is nothing yet official from the school, multiple media outlets in the area are now reporting that whatever issues there were have been resolved and the starting quarterback remains a part of the team.
Bitter went on to write in an online story on the situation that “[t]here’s no indication he’ll face any type of suspension, meaning he most likely will be the starter for the Hokies’ opener at Florida State on Labor Day night.”
Suffice to say, this is a sizable development for the Hokies’ football fortunes in 2018.
As a redshirt freshman last season, 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 yards were the most for an FBS freshman in 2017, while the touchdowns passes were the second-most at this level.
If Jackson had been ruled ineligible for the upcoming season, head coach Justin Fuente would’ve then turned to either redshirt freshman Hendon Hooker or redshirt junior Ryan Willis. The former hasn’t attempted a pass at the collegiate level, although the latter, a transfer from Kansas, passed for 2,530 yards on 432 pass attempts while with the Jayhawks. Willis sat out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.