A college football Saturday can be a very long day. You get up early, eat some breakfast with the sun peeking through and, depending on your time zone, won’t go to bed until it gets dark — in Hawaii.
But let me tell you, no matter how long the day can drag on, watching Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate should be on your list of things to absolutely tune in for every single week. I mean it, every single week.
The Heisman contender had another stellar outing on #Pac12AfterDark this week, which should come as no surprise given that the Wildcats were playing a pretty bad Oregon State team at home (they won 49-28) and set a new school record for rushing yards in the process. The opponent doesn’t really matter though because Tate is just so fun to watch and might be the closest thing we have to a human cheat code in the real life version of NCAA Football.
Just watch this 71 yard touchdown run he had and pay attention to that extra gear the final 30 yards or so he uses to simply blow past some defenders that had an angle on him:
According to the school, that was Tate’s fifth rush of 70 or more yards on the season and his 11th rushing touchdown on the year, which ties him for 8th all-time (Trung Canidate) in single-season school history. Keep in mind he’s only been the starter — at quarterback — for six games.
All told he finished the game against the Beavers with 206 yards on the ground and two scores in just three quarters-worth of work, while also throwing for 68 yards on 5-of-7 passing. That puts him at 1,293 yards for the season — on just 111 carries for what would be an FBS record 11.6 yards/carry if he keeps things up.
We were all pretty impressed with the video game numbers that Louisville’s Lamar Jackson has been putting up but Tate has been just as good if not more so after taking over as the starter for Rich Rodriguez. There are still two games left in the regular season for the Wildcats (against Oregon and in-state rival Arizona State), which gives us two more opportunities to see if anybody can stop the most dynamic player in the country right now.
Welp, so much for that.
In mid-December, Bailey Granier (pictured, No. 75) announced on Twitter that he would be transferring from Vanderbilt to Tulane after graduating. However, on the same social media site this month, Granier revealed that, instead of Tulane, he would instead be transferring to UCF to finish out his collegiate playing career.
The offensive lineman, who attended the Green Wave’s spring game this year, gave no specific reason for the about-face.
Granier played in 27 games during his time with the Commodores, starting five of those contest during that time. All of those starts came at right tackle — two this past season, three in 2015.
As you’re likely well aware already, it’s not just Power Five programs who see a roster reshuffling this time of the year.
The latest Group of Five school to experience that personnel phenomenon is Bowling Green, with Cam Jefferies announcing on his personal Twitter account that, “[a]fter a countless amount of prayer and conversation with those closest to me,” he will be transferring from that Falcons. The cornerback gave no specific reason for the decision to move on from the MAC school.
According to his tweet, Jefferies is set to graduate from the university in August. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
A two-star recruit coming out of high school in Ohio, Jefferies took a redshirt as a true freshman in 2015. The past two seasons, the defensive back started 12 of the 21 games in which he played. Seven of those starts came this past season.
Clemson has officially bid adieu to a highly-touted member of its 2017 recruiting class.
Earlier in the day Monday, reports surfaced that Hunter Johnson had decided to transfer from the Tigers, with a couple of Big Ten schools already listed as potential landing spots. Not long after that news made the rounds, Dabo Swinney acknowledged the reports, calling the quarterback “one of the best young men I’ve ever coached” in sending his former player his well-wishes.
“While it is always disappointing to lose a great person and a great player, I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Hunter and watch him grow and develop over the last year and a half,” the full statement attributed to the head coach began. “Hunter is one of the best young men I have ever coached and has a very bright future ahead of him.
“I wish him all the best as he decides on his destination.”
Johnson himself issued his own statement through the school’s sports information department addressing the development.
“I want to thank Coach Swinney and the Clemson family for giving me the opportunity to be a part of something special,” said Johnson. “I’ve met some amazing people who I will forever call family. I am a better man and a better football player because of my time spent at Clemson. Go Tigers!”
The composite board on 247Sports.com had Johnson rated as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 30 player at any position for the Class of 2017. As a true freshman, Johnson completed 21 of his 27 passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in seven appearances.
It’s believed that Johnson, who will have to sit out the 2018 season but would then have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2019, is eyeing Northwestern or Purdue as potential transfer destinations.
By a vote of 9-3, former USC running backs coach Todd McNair has lost his defamation lawsuit against the NCAA. Following six days of deliberation, the verdict brings to a close the Reggie Bush scandal that began more than a decade ago, a scandal that saw the Trojans lose their 2004 BCS national championship and Bush be stripped of his 2005 Heisman Trophy.
McNair sued the NCAA after it found him guilty of unethical conduct while Bush received impermissible benefits. He was given a 1-year show-cause penalty, and has not worked since his contract expired in the summer of 2010.
McNair sought $27 million in damages from the NCAA.
McNair’s attorney Bruce Broilett told ESPN his team was “very disappointed … disappointed in the result. Assessing the situation and considering our next steps.”