After Sun Devils divorce, touted JUCO signee becomes part of the Herd

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A touted 2015 signee has decided to head east in an attempt to restart his collegiate career — and repair his battered image in the process.

Marshall confirmed in a press release late this past week that Davon Durant has joined the Thundering Herd football program. He will be forced to sit out the 2015 season but will be permitted to practice with his new Herd teammates.

Beginning in 2016, he will then have two years of eligibility remaining.

“We are fully aware of Davon’s situation at Arizona State and take very seriously all of the issues he once faced,” Herd head coach Doc Holliday said in a statement. “We have done our due diligence in reviewing all available information, as we do with any student-athlete who enters our program. We are comfortable with the information we have gathered and all of the individuals with whom we have spoken are confident that Davon will embrace this opportunity to represent Marshall Athletics and this university with class.”

While Holliday and the program may be comfortable with the addition, there may be others who aren’t as much.

The 2015 Arizona State signee was involved in a March domestic violence incident in which he was initially charged with one count of felony aggravated assault and three counts of misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Three months later, he reached a plea agreement in which he was sentenced to two years of supervised probation.

It was alleged at the time of the incident that the female victim was hit by Durant “in the face once and grabbed… around the neck,” leading to “visible injuries, including a bruise below her left eye and bruising around her neck that was consistent with finger marks.” The victim, Durant’s still-girlfriend Kelsi Langley, had previously recanted her initial claims even as there were multiple eyewitnesses who corroborated her original story.

Despite the plea deal that reduced the charges down to a single misdemeanor, ASU head coach Todd Graham confirmed in mid-July that he and the player had “parted ways,” saying that “[n]o matter what the legal system does, our standards are high, and our guys know that.”

Coming out of Butler County Community College, Durant was a four-star member of ASU’s 2015 recruiting class. Durant, a South Carolina native, had actually been a verbal commitment to South Carolina during part of his time at the Kansas JUCO, but flipped his commitment to ASU in October.

An early enrollee who participated in spring practice, Durant was viewed as a player who could’ve made an immediate impact on the Sun Devils’ defense in 2015.

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

Braden White named prestigious 12th Man at Texas A&M

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The 12th Man is a big, big deal at Texas A&M. In fact, it’s pretty much the brand of not just the football program, but the entire athletics department. Case in point, A&M’s athletics department website is 12thman.com.

For the uninitiated, in 1922 the Aggies found themselves short of players in a football game against Center College, the No. 1 team in the country at the time, after multiple players sustained injuries over the course of the game. Down to just 11 players, A&M student E. King Gill volunteered to suit up and stand on the sidelines in case the team needed him. Gill now has a statue outside of Kyle Field, and A&M’s student section is collectively referred to as the 12th Man.

As such, it’s a tremendous honor for an active Aggie player to be awarded the No. 12 and, after fullback Cullen Gillaspia donned the jersey for a record-tying 39 games, it’s time to hand it off to a new player.

On Tuesday, Jimbo Fisher awarded the No. 12 jersey to Braden White, a walk-on linebacker from Florence, Ala.

“I’m honored just to be able to represent this great university and everything about it,” White said. “It’s a true blessing.”

White is a redshirt junior who has checked all the boxes of a player who checks all the 12th Man boxes. He was named Defensive Scout Team MVP during his redshirt year of 2016 and was honored as the Top Conditioned Athlete at the Aggies’ 2018 team banquet. He has appeared in 18 career games, recording 16 career tackles playing primarily as a special teams contributor.

White will wear No. 12 for the first time next when Texas A&M — ranked, ironically, No. 12 in the preseason AP poll — hosts Texas State next Thursday night (8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network).

UConn begins building out independent schedules with BC home-and-home

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Until they tell us otherwise, Connecticut is going to try to make it as an FBS independent. This upcoming season will be the Huskies’ final one as a member of the American Athletic Conference, as the Huskies’ Olympic sports will return to the Big East and the football team will go it alone.

This will require lots (and lots and lots) of scheduling work, and quickly. As of now, the Huskies have four games on the schedule for a season that begins 12 months from now.

While it does nothing to help the 2020 slate, UConn began chipping away at the mountain in front of it on Wednesday by announcing a home-and-home with Boston College. The first game will be Oct. 29, 2022 in Storrs, with the return game going down Oct. 28, 2023 in Chestnut Hill.

The two programs have met 14 times previously; BC leads the series 12-0-2. The Eagles took the most recent meeting 39-16 in 2017.

Additionally, BC announced a 2023-28 home-and-home with Army and a Sept. 9, 2023 home game with Holy Cross.

Safety graduate transfers from Penn State to Pitt

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Penn State safety Johnny Petrishen has left State College for Pittsburgh, where he is now a Panther.

Petrishen announced the transfer on Tuesday evening, and Pitt confirmed his addition on Wednesday morning.

Petrishen has two years of eligibility remaining thanks — if you want to use that term — to two medical redshirts.

A Lower Burrell, Pa., native, Petrishen appeared in 17 career games as a Nittany Lion, including all 13 last season. Primarily a special teams player, he posted eight career tackles and one TFL in State College.

NC State transfer Tim Kidd-Glass tweets move to Liberty

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Hugh Freeze may be dealing with what was a significant health issue, but he’s still working his first-year roster at Liberty.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday evening, Tim Kidd-Glass announced that he “would like to thank God for allowing me to have another opportunity to further my football career… at Liberty University.” The announcement comes a couple of weeks after the safety triggered a move from North Carolina State by entering his name into the NCAA transfer database.

As a graduate transfer, Kidd-Glass will be eligible to play for the Flames in 2019.

The past three seasons, the Virginia native played in 33 games for the Wolfpack.  He started nine of those contests, all of which came during the 2017 season.