Getty Images

Texas Tech WR Keke Coutee declares for NFL Draft

Leave a comment

Texas Tech’s defense got good news earlier today, but the Red Raiders weren’t so lucky on the other side of the ball. Junior wide receiver Keke Coutee has announced he will declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.

Coutee made the announcement on his Instagram account.

Red Raider Nation, (w)ith so much thought and prayer through this difficult process, I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft,” he wrote. “This was such a difficult decision I had to make for me and my family. Thank you all for an amazing 3 years at the best University there is. Lubbock will always have a special place in my heart and I will always call Lubbock home. #GUNSUPFOREVER!!”

Listed at just 5-foot-11, the Lufkin, Texas, native led the Big 12 in receiving yards, ranked second in catches and placed fourth in touchdown catches with 93 grabs for 1,429 yards and 10 scores. Beyond the Big 12, his 93 grabs were fifth nationally, his 1,429 yards place second in FBS — with a number of players yet to play their bowl games — and he is one of just 21 players with double-digit touchdown grabs. Only two players with more than 75 receptions bested Coutee’s 15.37 yards per reception average.

Coutee posted four games of double-digit catches for 100-plus yards and at least one touchdown this season, starting with a 12-catch, 186-yard, 1-touchdown effort in a 52-45 win over Arizona State on Sept. 16. He followed that up with 11 catches for 161 yards and a score in a 27-24 win at Houston a week later.

Coutee posted 12 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-35 loss to Kansas State on Nov. 4, and closed his collegiate career with 11 grabs for 187 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s 38-34 loss to South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl.

He also led the club with a 31.5-yard average on 10 kickoff returns, including one touchdown.

 

Rutgers hires search firm to help find new football coach

Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images
1 Comment

Rutgers has officially been in the market for a new head football coach for over a week, and now the school is going to get some help from a search firm.

Rutgers announced a new partnership with Ventura Partners on Monday. The firm will help Rutgers in searching for a new head football coach and may assist in helping to hire other new leaders in the future as Rutgers looks to revitalize their entire athletics department.

“We are excited to be working with Ventura Partners,” Rutgers Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs said in a released statement on Monday. “They provide a unique range of services, including talent acquisition and development. We will begin working together immediately to ensure excellent leadership for our football program. They will also be working with us throughout the engagement on strengthening our human resources and providing market data and intelligence.”

Rutgers fired Chris Ash as head coach on Sept. 29, which is a costly move thanks to a previous contract extension. The Scarlet Knights have since been dealing with a handful of players redshirting the remainder of the season and an abysmal performance on the road against Indiana in which the team gained just 75 yards of offense while giving up over 500 yards to the Hoosiers.

Mike Aresco expects to hear update on AAC championship game waiver “in the next month”

Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
Leave a comment

With the upcoming departure of UConn from the American Athletic Conference, the staus of the AAC Championship Game is officially in question. Without 12 football-playing members, the AAC does not satisfy the NCAA requirement to play an official conference championship game without a waiver. Not wanting to give up the title game just a few short years after implementing it (and accepting the extra revenue generated in the TV contract), AAC commissioner Mike Aresco is hoping to get some positive word on a waiver request sometime soon.

How soon?

It looks like we may have an update on this situation within the month. The sooner, the better.

UConn is leaving the AAC after this current football season, and Aresco has made it clear the conference still wants to continue playing its conference title game. The current plan is for the AAC to scrap the two-division format entirely and pit the two best teams in a conference championship game at the end of the regular season (an idea that would work well in almost every conference, by the way). The AAC reportedly field a formal waiver to allow for the championship game to live on back in August.

The Big 12 currently only has 10 members and has been granted permission to field a conference championship game on top of the round-robin schedule played during the season. If the Big 12 can have a conference title game without 12 members, then the AAC should be getting confirmation their conference championship game will continue too. But waiting for the official word is needed before the conference can start making plans for 2020 and beyond.

At this point, there remains no sign the conference is looking to add a 12th member for football, which would negate the need for a waiver. But if the waiver is denied, for some reason, then expect the AAC expansion rumors to start flying once again.

Michigan Class of 2018 four-star TE Mustapha Muhammad enters NCAA transfer portal

Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
1 Comment

The NCAA transfer portal has been busy this Monday. Add Michigan tight end Mustapha Muhammad as one of the latest entrants into the transfer portal. Muhammad made the transfer portal news himself with an announcement on his Twitter account Monday afternoon.

Muhammad is a redshirt freshman. He will have to sit out the 2020 season if he lands at another FBS program, and he will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning 2021. By entering the transfer portal, Muhammad is free to have contact with any other football program looking to recruit him out of Ann Arbor. The Texas native signed with Michigan over offers from Ohio State, Alabama, and Clemson, among others. Unfortunately, the highly rated recruit hasn’t been able to establish a key role in the Michigan offense early on, even with the Wolverines offense looking for playmakers.

Michigan’s tight end position appears to be settled with Nick Eubanks and Sean McKeon reaching the midway point of the season as Michigan’s leading tight ends when it comes to receiving yards. Eubanks is fifth on the team overall with 128 receiving yards and a touchdown. McKeon has added 96 yards and two touchdowns. Both players are seniors, however, but Michigan also has redshirt freshman Luke Schoonmaker as an option at the tight end position moving forward.

Oregon DB Kahlef Halassie steps into transfer portal

Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Oregon defensive back Kahlef Hailassie is now officially on the market. Hailassie announced on his Twitter account on Monday afternoon he has officially entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal.

A sophomore and a member of Oregon’s Class of 2018, Hailassie is now eligible to have contact with any other college football program that may be interested in recruiting him to their program. when he committed to the Ducks out of high school, Hailassie chose Oregon over offers from Colorado and Washington State, among others. Hailassie had previously committed to Colorado during his recruiting process, only to de-commit shortly after an official visit to Boulder.

Hailassie played in just three games this season before being sidelined with an injury. Because he has played in fewer than four games, Hailassie can use the 2019 season as a redshirt year. Hailassie played in all 13 games for Oregon as a true freshman in 2018, recording one tackle as a reserve player and a special teams player. Hailassie will have to sit out the 2020 season if he ends up at another FBS program, which would make him eligible to return to the field with two full years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2021.