Mark Dantonio guarantees win over Ohio State

30 Comments

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio  has done a tremendous job in building up the Spartans football program to the level it currently stands. After winning a Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl last season, Dantonio’s Spartans are now respected as the class of the Big Ten and look to be the conference’s best hope to crack the College Football Playoff at the end of the season. If there is anything Dantonio is lacking, it sure isn’t confidence in his team. Dantonio, appearing on ESPN’s First Take, went on record saying Michigan State has a win waiting for them tomorrow when the Spartans take on Ohio State.

Saturday night’s contest between Michigan State and Ohio State is essentially an elimination game for the Spartans and the Buckeyes, at least as far as the College Football Playoff is concerned. The Spartans are the highest-ranked one-loss team from the Big Ten and can easily move up at least one spot with a win with TCU and Kansas State playing tomorrow night as well. For Ohio State, this is the last chance to prove to anyone watching or paying attention the early-season loss to Virginia Tech should not be considered a true example of what this team is. Both teams have improved since their early losses, and now a chance to seriously enter the playoff discussion is up for grabs.

The Big Ten is still lingering in the playoff hunt, but the conference may be in need of either one of these two programs (or Nebraska) to rise up and come through with a big performance.

Louisville football staffer reinstated after theft charge dropped

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Never mind, I guess.

Louisville football staffer Cortney Braswell was arrested earlier this month on one count of theft of property and subsequently extradited to Chattanooga, Tenn., where the crime was allegedly committed. This week, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported, the charge was dismissed by the presiding judge.

It was alleged that Braswell stole more than $2,000 that had been ticketed for a high school at which he worked at the time. Braswell was subsequently indicted by a grand jury in Hamilton County (Tennessee) in May following an investigation into the theft allegations.

No reason was given for the charge against Braswell, who had continued to maintain his innocence, being dropped. The staffer subsequently released a statement in which he thanked the Louisville program for their support throughout the process.

I am grateful that the University of Louisville’s Athletics Administration was willing to be patient while all the facts came to light despite the negativity surrounding this story. I am grateful to the numerous friends, coaches, parents, students, and community members who wrote letters of support on my behalf and stood behind me. In this case, the justice system worked as it was intended to, and I am glad that the truth prevailed.

I am extremely thankful to Head Coach, Scott Satterfield, Director of Athletics, Vince Tyra, and the entire U of L Athletics Administration and football coaching staff for their continued support of me throughout this ordeal. I look forward to continuing my work with Cardinal Football.

Braswell was hired earlier this year as a quality control assistant as part of Satterfield‘s first Cardinals’ extended football staff. Shortly after his arrest, Braswell had been placed on administrative leave, although he has since been reinstated.

Four-star 2017 DE Nathan Proctor leaving Virginia Tech

Getty Images
Leave a comment

If Nathan Proctor is to live up to his recruiting pedigree, he’ll be doing it somewhere other than Blacksburg.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday, Proctor announced that he has decided to transfer from Virginia Tech for unspecified reasons. The defensive lineman’s name is already listed in the NCAA transfer database, although he could decide to withdraw from the portal and return to the Hokies.

“Virginia [T]ech is an outstanding institution and has a great football program and I am very thankful to have called it my home the past two years,” Proctor wrote as part of his goodbye missive. “Thank you to all of the coaches that helped me along the way and all of my friends and family for the support.”

A four-star member of Tech’s 2017 recruiting class, Proctor was rated as the No. 10 outside linebacker in the country and the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Maryland. Only one signee in the Hokies’ class that year, defensive back Devon Hunter, was rated higher than Proctor.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Proctor played in eight games this past season and was credited with three tackles.

As for a potential landing spot? Three Virginia Tech players have already transferred to Maryland this offseason, and Proctor is from Maryland.

Two Georgia Tech players retire because of medical issues

Getty Images
Leave a comment

So much for the positives on the personnel front for Geoff Collins.

After seeing three transfers this month denied immediate-eligibility waivers, Georgia Tech confirmed this week it had officially added a transfer from Notre Dame. The same day, however, the football program also announced that two players, senior defensive lineman Brad Morgan (back) and redshirt freshman wide receiver Tija’i Whatley (unspecified), have both been forced to retire from the sport because of medical issues.

The sliver of a silver lining, though, is that the school stated both Morgan and Whatley will remain on scholarship — neither will count against the program’s 85-man limit, it should be noted — and involved with the team in non-playing capacities.

“I feel for both Brad and Tija’i,” the head football coach said in a statement. “It goes without saying that they will continue to be a part of the Georgia Tech football family and we’re looking forward to the contributions that they continue to make to our organization and the Institute.”

Morgan played in 28 games the past three seasons, starting three games at right guard this past season. This offseason, he moved from offensive to defensive line and was expected to be part of the Yellow Jackets’ rotation prior to being forced to walk away.

Whatley was a three-star 2018 signee who took a redshirt as a true freshman.

Nick Saban brings in Ray Rice to speak to Alabama players

Getty Images
3 Comments

If you’re trying to show your players how to avoid doing the wrong things, bringing in someone who did one of the most absolutely vile and abhorrent things — and is successfully turning his life around — is probably not the worst way to go about your business.

Already this offseason, Nick Saban has brought in Mike Tyson to speak to his Alabama football team.  On Thursday, Ray Rice was in Tuscaloosa as the Crimson Tide head coach’s “Title IX speaker” to touch on subjects such as domestic violence.

Then a member of the Baltimore Ravens, the former Rutgers running back was suspended by the NFL in 2014 after videos surfaced of Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer and dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator.  Initially suspended, Rice never played another down in the NFL because of an incident Kyle Flood, then the Scarlet Knights’ head coach and now an assistant coach at Alabama, described at the time as a sad day for RU football.

Rice, who is now married to Janay Palmer, has since turned into a motivational speaker of sorts, speaking in front of football players at programs such as Georgia (HERE) and Ohio State (HERE).

Prior to Rice’s latest appearance, Saban explained his reasoning for bringing Rice in.

Well, he’s obviously going to talk about how to treat the opposite sex and having the proper respect for other people,” Saban said when asked about Rice’s appearance. “And I think that’s important to relationships. It’s important as a person to be able to do those things in a very respectful manner.

I think a lot of the players can relate to (Rice’s) circumstance,” Saban said. “And it will be interesting to hear a guy that has had issues that now has turned a corner and has really done everything he can to help other people not have the same problem that he has. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him doing that and we’re certainly glad to have him here.