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Former Oregon player Fotu Leiato II found dead in single car accident

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Former Oregon defender Fotu Leiato II was found dead in a single car accident near Autzen Stadium early Friday morning.

According to KEZI-TV, Leiato was riding in a car when it rolled over and crashed around 2:30 a.m. near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Kinsrow Avenue in Eugene, directly to the east of Autzen Stadium. The driver of the vehicle, 22-year-old Pedro Chavarin, Jr., reportedly told police he was the vehicle’s lone occupant, and the crash was then cleared.

It wasn’t until several hours later, when a woman was walking in the area just before 7 a.m., that she saw a hand and called authorities.

Chavarin was taken to the hospital and cited for DUII, according to KEZI. Obviously, the discovery of Leiato’s body complicates the case tremendously. The coroner will have to determine the approximate time when Leiato’s death occurred and whether Chavarin’s alleged falsehood cost Leiato his life.

Leiato signed with Oregon in 2015 out of Steilacoom, Wash., a southwestern suburb of Tacoma. He played as a true freshman and appeared in 37 of 38 possible games on special teams and at safety and outside linebacker, recording 37 career tackles. He was kicked off the team in April after he was arrested for removing a parking boot from his vehicle, drawing charges of second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree theft.

Leiato was 21 years old.

Nevada, New Mexico State reportedly set for home-and-home in 2021-22

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Nevada and New Mexico State will play a home-and-home series in 2021-22, according to documents obtained by FBSchedules.

The Wolf Pack and Aggies will revive their series on Oct. 9, 2021 in Reno, with a return trip set for Sept. 17, 2022 in Las Cruces.

The pair have played 15 times previously, first in 1992 and most recently in 2011. Nevada holds a 13-2 edge and has won the last three; both of New Mexico State’s wins came in Reno. The pair were both members of the WAC from 2005 through 2011.

Nevada still has one free space remaining in its 2021 non-conference schedule, most likely a home game against an FCS opponent. The Wolf Pack are already slated to visit California (Sept. 4) and Kansas State (Sept. 18) during that season. The 2022 trip to New Mexico State is the only game on that season’s schedule as of yet.

New Mexico State is clinging to life as an FBS independent after getting the boot from the Sun Belt in 2017. In addition to their trip to Reno, the Aggies have road games against San Diego State, New Mexico, San Jose State and Alabama lined up for 2021, while UTEP, Hawaii, Utah State and Massachusetts are set to trek to Las Cruces. Three games are still yet to be scheduled. In 2022, New Mexico State will face San Jose State and New Mexico at home while making visits to Minnesota, UTEP, Akron, Massachusetts, Missouri and Liberty with three dates still open.

After handing out multi-year deals, Texas puts assistants back on 1-year contracts

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The 2018 season was unquestionably a breakthrough year for Texas. While the Longhorns dropped four games and came short of the program’s first Big 12 championship since 2009, the team won 10 games and finished in the AP top-10 for the first time since ’09 and won a New Year’s Six bowl game for the first time since 2008. Coupled with the program’s first back-to-back top-3 recruiting classes ever, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, one might think Tom Herman‘s staff would enjoy a modicum of job security in the nomadic business of college football coaching.

One would be wrong.

As first reported by Orangebloods and later confirmed by the school to the Austin American-Statesman, Herman and AD Chris Del Conte have ended the practice of handing out multi-year contracts to assistant coaches.

The practice began at Texas in 2014 when former AD Steve Patterson hired Charlie Strong away from Louisville. Strong brought his full Cardinals staff and Patterson handed them all multi-year deals, which was part of an industry-wide movement as the competition for top coaching talent became even more intense. The practice continued when Texas hired Herman away from Houston in the winter of 2017, as Herman himself got a 5-year deal, coordinators Todd Orlando and Tim Beck got 3-year contracts and the rest of the staff received 2-year deals.

But now, heading into Year 3 of the Herman era, the position coaches’ contracts have expired and the coordinators are heading into the final year of their deals. And Herman and Del Conte like it that way.

In a statement to the American-Statesman, Del Conte said he and Herman aren’t unhappy with the assistant coaching staff, they just want to keep the carrot in front of their noses.

“We are absolutely ecstatic with the job coach Tom Herman and our coaching staff is doing for the University of Texas,” Del Conte told the paper. “This appointment letter is just a continuation of that effort.”

Herman has retained all nine of his assistants from his original staff — and seven of them were with him at Houston, with Beck and running backs coach Stan Drayton coming in from the outside — while hiring offensive line coach Herb Hand away from Auburn as his 10th assistant.

Texas A&M students overwhelmingly vote to reinstate Texas rivalry

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Texas A&M students on Friday overwhelmingly voted to revive the school’s dormant rivalry with Texas.

The referendum passed with 88.71 percent of the vote. A similar vote among the UT student body is planned for later this spring.

“The reason we’re doing this is because we feel responsible for the tradition and the spirit of A&M,” Chipper Adams, co-director of the A&M student group Reinstate the Rivalry, told A&M’s student paper The Battalion.

The issue momentarily gained momentum when both school presidents went on the record with the Austin American-Statesman last month saying they’d like to see the Longhorns and Aggies play again. However, A&M president Michael Young‘s true thoughts were revealed earlier this week when email correspondence with Aggie fans, irate over his on-the-record desire to play their arch-rivals, showed Young said the game’s revival was “unlikely.”

The UT-A&M series was the third-oldest FBS rivalry game during life, with 118 meetings between 1894 and 2011, but it has since been passed by Cincinnati-Miami (Ohio), Virginia-North Carolina, Auburn-Georgia, Oregon-Oregon State, Indiana-Purdue, Cal-Stanford and Army-Navy. If the two sides were to reach agreement to revive the game, it could not happen on an annual basis again until 2030 unless one or both schools are willing to cancel on-the-books games with the likes of Alabama, Ohio State (both future Texas opponents), Notre Dame and Miami (A&M).

In the meantime, there are two ways to view the 88.71 percent of the vote that the game’s rebirth drew. On the one hand, it’s impressive that the game drew that much support among a student body that was in elementary school the last time their school played Texas. On the other, a similar vote in the fall of 2017 drew 97 percent of the vote.

One has to figure the number of revivalists will only continue to shrink as one of college football’s oldest rivalries is now a stone sinking deeper and deeper in the river of time.

After entering transfer portal, ex-Auburn WR Kyle Davis opts for CFL rather than return to FAU

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How dead set on getting away from Lane Kiffin was Kyle Davis? He’s going all the way to Canada to get away from him.

Okay, in reality the situation isn’t that simple.

After playing his first two seasons at Auburn, Davis transferred to Florida Atlantic a year ago after he was dismissed by the Tigers in October of 2017.

“We just want to thank the Auburn fan for their support,” the player’s father, Ron Davis, told the AL.com last January. “Coach Gus Malzahn and the Auburn staff and family have been so nice to us, but we’ve moved and Kyle will be taking his talents to FAU.”

As an undergraduate, Davis had to sit out the 2018 season at FAU. He then elected to transfer again, entering the transfer portal before he appeared in a game for the Owls.

Rather than sit out a second straight season — or, possibly, realizing he didn’t have an avenue to play college football — Davis has decided to take his talents to Canada.

The CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders this week announced the signing of Davis, plus former Tennessee Tech receiver Brock McCoin and former Kentucky offensive lineman EJ Price. Like Davis, Price transferred during his collegiate career; he signed with USC but eventually started 11 games at left tackle for the Wildcats last season.

Davis showed flashes in his time at Auburn. In 20 games over the 2016-17 campaigns, he caught 19 passes for 458 yards (24.1 yards per catch) and two touchdowns.