New Georgia head coach Kirby Smart managed to pick up a bit of good news on Tuesday. Class of 2016 quarterback Jacob Eason announced he will remain committed to the University of Georgia and join the Bulldogs in 2016. Eason was also named the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year on Tuesday. It was quite an eventful day for the young quarterback.
Eason is the nation’s top-ranked pro-style quarterback in the nation according to Rivals, and he is the top recruit in the state of Washington and sixth best overall player in the nation. He had originally committed to Georgia when Mark Richt was the head coach in June 2014, but once Richt was forced out as head coach Eason’s status was thought to be in mild danger with the Bulldogs. Eason made a trip out to Athens to check out the scene once again at Georgia and flew home to discuss the situation with his family once more before making any final decision. Eason reportedly chose to stick with Georgia over rising contenders Florida and Washington.
“He said he had a great time down there,” Tom Tri, Eason’s high school football coach, said. “He got meet with the offensive coordinator (Jim Chaney) and Coach Smart and a couple of players. He said he had a great visit. He wanted to sleep on it after talking to mom and dad.”
Eason may have a chance to come right in and compete for a starting job under Smart. Georgia’s quarterback situation has bit a bit unstable the past couple of seasons, with plenty of room for improvement.
A common opponent has been added to the schedules of both the Michigan and USC football teams.
Thursday, Fresno State announced that it has reached an agreement with the Michigan and USC football programs for future games. The Wolverines game will be played in 2024 while the Bulldogs will face the Trojans.
Obviously, both of those contests will be road games for Fresno State.
The game against Michigan will mark the first-ever meeting between the schools. Fresno State and USC have met five times previously, the first coming the first in 1992 and the most recent in 2019. The Trojans own a 4-1 record in the mini-series, with that lone loss coming in the first-ever meeting.
This past season, the Trojans got past the Bulldogs but lost starting quarterback JT Daniels to torn ACL.
Fresno State and USC had also been scheduled to meet again in 2022 and 2025. According to USC, that 2025 game has been moved to 2026.
For its newest assistant, Texas A&M football turned to an ACC school. And, a familiar face for that matter.
Thursday, A&M announced that Tyler Santucci has been hired by Fisher as linebackers coach. Santucci will replace Bradley Dale Peveto, who was still under contract but won’t return for the 2020 season.
Santucci’s hiring marks a homecoming of sorts as the assistant spent the 2018 season as a defensive analyst for the Texas A&M football program.
Last season, Santucci was the linebackers coach at Wake Forest. That was his first on-field job at the Power Five level. His first on-field job at the FBS level came as linebackers coach at Texas State in 2016.
In 2017, Santucci was a defensive analyst at Notre Dame. During that brief stint in South bend, Mike Elko was the Fighting Irish’s defensive coordinator, the same position he’s held with the Aggies since he was hired in January of 2018.
The first coaching job for Santucci, who played his college football at Stony Brook, was at his alma mater as safeties coach.
In Jimbo Fisher‘s second season in College Station, the Aggies posted an 8-5 record. A&M has won both bowl games since Fisher took over the program. After finishing tied for second in the SEC West his Fisher’s inaugural season, the Aggies dipped to fourth in 2019.
After one semester at Michigan, freshman running back Jordan Castleberry has transferred to Maryland. Castleberry announced his transfer decision on his Twitter account on Thursday.
Castleberry originally committed to West Virginia during his recruiting process out of high school. Shortly after his commitment to West Virginia, Michigan became a more likely recruiting victor. Castleberry enrolled at Michigan in July 2019.
Castleberry did not play for Michigan in 2019, so he can use the 2019 season as a redshirt year to preserve a year of eligibility. However, NCAA transfer rules will force Castleberry to sit out the 2020 season. This will not make Castleberry eligible for Maryland until the 2021 season, at which point he will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Family will always be more important than football, which is why Ruffin McNeill will be putting football on hold for an undetermined amount of time. Oklahoma announced on Thursday that assistant head coach and outside linebackers coach McNeill will leave football to help take care of his father.
“This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” McNeill said in a statement released by Oklahoma. “But in the end, being near my dad was a necessary choice. Right now I need to be a son again and I need to help my brother and other family members take care of my dad, who is battling significant health issues. This is not retirement for me. I still want to coach in some form or fashion. But right now that can’t be the case. My focus needs to be on my dad back in North Carolina.”
“Ruffin means so much to me and to my family, and his family means so much to him,” Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said in a statement. “I know his decision to leave OU was a very difficult one, but was one he felt he had to make.”
Although McNeill said this is not a retirement decision and expressed a desire to continue coaching when the time is right, Riley confirmed the Sooners will be looking for a replacement on the staff.
“I still want to coach in some form or fashion,” McNeill said. “But right now that can’t be the case.”
McNeill joined the Oklahoma coaching staff under Riley in 2017.