Auburn’s drug policy hints at no games lost for Nick Marshall

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At the SEC Media Days earlier today, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn declined to state one way or the other whether Nick Marshall would be suspended for the season opener against Arkansas following a marijuana citation late last week.

If the head coach goes strictly by the book, however, the starting quarterback won’t miss a down.  Probably.  Maybe.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sifted through AU’s 17-page drug policy in an attempt to figure out if there were any automatic triggers that would result in the loss of playing time for Marshall.  Based on the Journal-Constitution‘s findings, a suspension for any length of games isn’t warranted, with one proviso.

From the paper:

Assuming an arrest for possession qualifies as a positive test and it’s Marshall’s first-such encounter at Auburn, Marshall’s parents or guardians will be informed, he will be required to attend counseling and evaluation and he’ll be subjected to weekly drug-testing for the next 12 months.

And according to item 4 (a), “there will be no loss of playing time (for) penalty level I.”

Again, that’s assuming this is a first offense for Marshall, which there is no way of knowing.

Of course, Malzahn could go against the policy if no suspension is warranted and sit his star player anyway for the Razorbacks game, although that seems highly unlikely given the innocuous nature of Marshall’s legal predicament.  A decision and announcement is expected to take place at some point after the start of summer camp in early August.

Ben Hicks, three-year starter at QB at SMU, to transfer from Mustangs

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The past three seasons, Ben Hicks has been SMU’s starting quarterback.  Thanks to a surprising development, he won’t get the opportunity to make it a fourth next season.

In an interview with 247Sports.com, Hicks confirmed that he has informed head coach Sonny Dykes and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee of his decision to transfer from the Mustangs.  The redshirt junior has one season of eligibility remaining, which he can use at another FBS program next year as a graduate transfer.

As for why he pulled the trigger on a decision to transfer?

“Looking for a new opportunity, new growth,” Hicks told the website. “Just a chance to really start fresh in my last year and move forward with the rest of my life, whether that be football or whether that be finding out where I’m at.

“The decision was obviously very difficult because I’ve been extremely fortunate to play a lot of football here and meet great friends. I’ve always had a great support staff so the decision was very difficult. You got to make some tough decisions sometimes and this was one I felt like I needed to make.”

Hicks will leave the Mustangs as its leader in a significant number of major statistical categories, including passing yards (9,081) and passing touchdowns (71).  Conversely, he also threw 34 interceptions and completed just over 56 percent of his passes.

With Hicks’ departure, the Mustangs are now left with four scholarship quarterbacks, all either true or redshirt freshman, on the roster — William Brown, Derek Green, Jacob Oehrlein and Austin Upshaw.  Brown, who served as Hicks’ primary backup, completed 53-of-85 passes for 625 yards, seven touchdowns and an interception.  Upshaw attempted a pair of passes this past season.

App State DC Bryan Brown officially takes same job at Louisville

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Not surprisingly, Louisville’s new coaching staff under Scott Satterfield will have a decidedly Appalachian State feel at an important position.

Following up on reports that had been making the rounds over the last several days, Louisville confirmed Wednesday that Bryan Brown has been hired by Satterfield as the U of L’s defensive coordinator.  Brown spent the 2018 season as the Mountaineers’ coordinator under Satterfield after serving as cornerbacks coach the previous six seasons.

“Bryan Brown is a young, upcoming star coach,” Satterfield, officially named as the Cardinals’ head coach earlier this month, said in a statement. “He’s an excellent recruiter who knows how to develop relationships with all the players. Defensively, his defense was ranked in the top 10 of many different categories. He’s well-respected among his peers and he will do a great job for us.”

Brown, who played his college football at Ole Miss (2003-06), spent two seasons at his alma mater as a grad assistant and defensive administrative assistant prior to heading to App State for his first on-field job.

In addition to Brown’s hiring, the U of L also confirmed that ShaDon Brown has been added as Satterfield’s safeties coach.  Brown, no relation to the new coordinator, spent the past two seasons as secondary coach at Colorado.

Michigan announces dismissal of RB O’Maury Samuels days after domestic violence arrest

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An alleged off-field incident has proven very costly for one now-former member of the Michigan football program.

In a very brief and terse press release — 11 words to be exact — U-M announced that O’Maury Samuels has been dismissed from Jim Harbaugh‘s team.  While no specific reason for the dismissal was given, it comes just days after the running back was arrested on a pair of charges, including one involving domestic violence.

A four-star member of the Wolverines’ 2017 recruiting class, Samuels was rated as the No. 20 running back in the country and the No. 1 player at any position in the state of New Mexico.  He was the highest-rated of the three backs in U-M’s class that year.

This season, Samuels ran for 66 yards on 13 carries.  As a true freshman last year, he totaled 13 yards on eight carries.

Memphis losing RB Darrell Henderson early to NFL

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Given that it’s one of the most physically-demanding positions in the sport with one of the shortest shelf lives, it’s never much of a surprise when a running back leaves eligibility on the table to make the move to the next level.

Such is the case in Memphis, with Darrell Henderson confirming what most had already expected — that he’s leaving the Tigers early in order to make himself available for the 2019 NFL Draft.  Henderson is a true junior who had one season of eligibility plus a redshirt year at his disposal.

Henderson has led the Tigers in rushing each of the past two seasons, with 1,154 yards in 2017 and 1,909 this season (with a bowl game remaining).  He’s currently second in the nation in rushing to the 1,989 yards put up by Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, while he leads all FBS players with 22 touchdowns on the ground.

His 8.9 yards per carry average is currently third in the country behind a pair of players, Oklahoma’s Kennedy Brooks and UCF’s Greg McCrae, at an even nine.