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Bronco Mendenhall comments show Virginia still rebuilding


Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall knew coming to Virginia he was going to have a tall order to rebuild the football program. After two straight losing seasons, Mendenhall seems to still think there is a good amount of work to do in putting together a football roster capable of competing in the ACC.

“I believe we have 27 ACC-caliber football players on our roster today,” Mendenhall said in a story published by The Daily Progress. Mendenhall chose to address the current state of the team in such a direct and honest fashion rather than allow the so-called fake news to run wild with its own speculation.

“You don’t have to rely on any other source,” Mendenhall said. “What I’ve learned in the world of college football and through the world of reporting is if all areas of the world and all topics are reported on as they are in sport, I would question the authenticity and sincerity and accuracy.”

Virginia was a young team last season, so maybe the experience of getting on the field will pay off a little more this season. Virginia did increase its win total from two wins in Mendenhall’s first season to six and a bowl trip last fall. Virginia ended the year with a losing record following a loss in the Military Bowl.

According to the Rivals team recruiting rankings, Virginia had the 13th-ranked recruiting class in the Class of 2018 among the 14 ACC programs. The 2017 and 2016 classes ranked 11th in the ACC. Virginia hasn’t finished in the top half of the ACC recruiting rankings since 2013. As a result, Virginia has created an uphill battle to being able to compete for a division title, let alone the ACC championship. At the same time Virginia has fallen behind in recruiting talent, Miami has seemingly bounced back and Virginia Tech remains a viable threat. Florida State and Clemson will always land quality classes as well and programs like Louisville and NC State will pull in some good talent as well.

Georgia early enrollee arrested on disorderly conduct charge

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Georgia cornerback Tyrique Stevenson was arrested Sunday morning on charges of disorderly conduct, according to Athens-Clarke County jail records obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A 5-star early enrollee from Homestead, Fla., Stevenson was booked at 2:42 a.m. and released on $1,000 bond at 3:26 a.m.

Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor.

While the events that led to the arrest remain light and Georgia has not commented on the incident, it is part of a concerning trend for the program.

Stevenson is the third Bulldog arrested in the past month, joining linebacker Jaden Hunter and defensive back Latavious Brini. Hunter was arrested for a traffic violation and driving with a suspended license, while Brini was charged with simple battery for allegedly slapping a man outside an Athens bar on Feb. 28.

All three charges are misdemeanors.

Georgia Tech DT Brandon Adams dies

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Georgia Tech defensive tackle Brandon Adams has died, the program announced on Sunday. He passed Saturday in Atlanta, though no other details are known at this time. He was 21 years old.

“On behalf of the entire Georgia Tech athletics family, I offer my deepest condolences to Brandon’s family and friends, including his past and present coaches, and his brothers in the Georgia Tech football family,” Georgia Tech AD Todd Stansbury said in a statement. “As we mourn the loss of such an incredible young life, we are also here to support Brandon’s family and friends, his past and present coaches and his brothers within the Georgia Tech football family in any way that we can. Please join us in keeping Brandon and everyone who loved him in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

A rising senior, Adams (middle) played in 33 games in three seasons as a Yellow Jacket, including all 24 of the team’s games over the past two seasons. Adams started three games as a junior in 2018 and collected a career-high 24 tackles, five TFLs, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery while playing primarily at nose tackle. He was named a player to watch for Georgia Tech’s spring practices by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday.

“Just getting out there and playing,” former teammate Anree Saint-Amour told the paper. “He put more downs together. I feel like he was more in shape, he was using his hands more. I feel like he figured out how dominant he was.”

A native of Brentwood, Tenn., and a graduate of Brentwood Academy, Adams was a business administration major and interned for the Georgia Tech Research Institute last summer.

“Our entire Georgia Tech football family is heartbroken by the news of Brandon’s passing,” said Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins. “In the short time that I have had the privilege and honor of knowing Brandon, I admired and respected him, first and foremost as a terrific human being, but also as an outstanding teammate and leader. Jennifer and I offer our thoughts, prayers and unconditional support to his parents, Lisa and Reginald, his sister, Rian, and all of his family and friends, especially his brothers in our football program.”

Gary Patterson wants names of NCAA employees approving transfer waivers

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Unless I’m missing someone, the coaches that have spoken out about the glut of high-profile transfer waivers that have been approved lately are all against them. Florida Atlantic’s Lane Kiffin said just one day ago that players are transferring because it’s “sexy” and now TCU’s Gary Patterson has cannonballed into the pool with some strong comments of his own.

“I want the names of all those people [at the NCAA] that are deciding to do that, so everybody knows their names when they ruin the game,” Patterson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I don’t care if there’s lawyers involved. I don’t care if any of that’s involved. The bottom line to it is we need to do what’s best for the game.

Patterson’s point, and it’s not necessarily a wrong one, is that coaches who believe tough love is the best way to mold players — i.e. Gary Patterson — will then see all their players leave before that love can appropriately toughen them up.

“After they get away from here, as a general rule, they come back as they mature and understand, they figure out what we were trying to do and accomplish,” Patterson said. “If you can’t go through that process with a young man, and grow them up just like a parent does, then we’re cheating them to be honest with you. That’s my personal opinion about it.”

The good news for Patterson and his ilk: if free agency is truly here, it’s likely not here for long. The NCAA announced last month it will take another look at its loosened transfer protocol, and it’s unlikely you’d make such an announcement if you planned on loosening those restrictions even more.

North Carolina CB KJ Sails, Jr., embarks toward transfer portal

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North Carolina cornerback KJ Sails, Jr., is sailing away from Chapel Hill and voyaging toward a new destination.

The Tampa native on Friday announced he will enter his name onto the transfer portal for his final collegiate season. “Thank you to my Carolina family for giving me the opportunity to play the game that I love this is a great school and I will forever love the university,” he wrote in an iPhone note posted to his Twitter account. “My family and I have decided that it is best for me to seek other opportunities.”

After playing sparingly as a true freshman in 2016, Sails started 11 games for the Tar Heels in 2017, collecting 30 tackles while ranking ninth in the ACC with 13 pass break-ups.

He started three games in four appearances in 2018, but an injury knocked him out for the remainder of the year.

Given that he played in only four games, Sails can use last season as a redshirt and play a second senior season elsewhere in 2019, provided he receives a waiver or graduates from North Carolina.