This is some McGyver-level moxie right here.
Joshua and Jacob Johnson are twin brothers who are getting set to begin the eighth grade in Geismar, Louisiana. At 5-11 and already weighing in the neighborhood of 240-245 pounds, they are also very talented football players on both the offensive and defensive lines.
Too young to actually participate in an LSU football camp last month, the twins were taken to it by their trainer, former collegiate defensive back Keith Ballard, under the assumption that they would be spectators and not participants. Unbeknownst to both the trainer and the players’ father, however, the sibling duo fudged some of their particulars — i.e., they “enhanced” their ages upwards — in order to participate in the clinic.
“They must have taken their money out of their piggy bank, because when I turned around, they had forged the paperwork and had signed up for the camp and started doing drills with the rest of the linemen,” Ballard said by way of USA Today High School Sports. “I asked them, ‘What are you doing?'”
From the report:
The twins’ father, Herm Johnson, said he was a little shocked but not angry that his sons had signed up for the camp, even if they had to lie about their age to get in.
“These dudes have put us on a roller coaster ever since they came about,” he said. “I’m not going to lie. I think they have the heart and skill level to compete.
Despite the shenanigans that got them there, the twins caught the attention of the Tigers’ current football boss.
And, yes, the Johnson brothers would be a part of the 2023 recruiting class. Whether Coach Eaux will still be there to sign them as part of that year’s class certainly remains to be seen.
Mack Brown 2.0 has his defensive coordinator hire, and it’s a good one.
North Carolina on Sunday announced Army defensive coordinator Jay Bateman as the Heels’ new defensive coordinator and safeties coach.
“Jay Bateman is an outstanding football coach and I’m thrilled he is joining our staff,” Brown said in a statement. “He is a great teacher of the game, a brilliant defensive play caller, and an excellent recruiter with many ties to North Carolina and this region, including strong relationships with North Carolina high school coaches. Sally and I are excited to welcome Jay, Heather and their two children to the Carolina football family.”
Bateman spent the past five seasons as the Black Knights’ defensive coordinator, helping engineer one of the most impressive turnarounds of the decade. Army has ranked among the top 10 nationally in total defense in two of the past three seasons.
(It should be noted that Bateman’s units benefit heavily from the triple option offense, which Brown is unlikely to duplicate. Army has defended 615 plays this season, 85 fewest than the next-closest team that has played 12 games this year. In fact, Army is 57 plays ahead of Southern Miss, who finished its year playing only 11 games. On a yards per play basis, Bateman’s defense is tied for 69th.)
Bateman spent 2006-10 as the defensive coordinator at Elon and has been such a recruiting mainstay on Tobacco Road that he was considered an early candidate for the Charlotte head coaching job.
With the hire, Tommy Thigpen will now shift from co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach to linebackers coach.
Now that we know Matt Campbell will not succeed Urban Meyer as Ohio State’s next head coach, Iowa State is getting down to business of keeping the 39-year-old in Ames for as long as possible.
Campbell signed a new 6-year, $22.5 million contract after last season’s 8-5 campaign that saw Iowa State register wins over then-No. 3 Oklahoma and then-No. 4 TCU, but the school wasn’t done investing in him.
On Sunday, Iowa State announced Campbell has signed an extension keeping him in Cyclone colors through 2024. While this extension doesn’t include a raise for Campbell — last year’s deal boosted his salary from $2.1 million to $3.5 million immediately — it does carry an additional $1 million for his assistants.
In addition to the $1 million Iowa State also committed last year, the school has now committed an extra $3.4 million annually to keeping Campbell and his assistants over the past 13 months.
“Coach Campbell and I had a great end-of-the-year meeting Friday and during our visit we mutually agreed to extend his contract to 2024 and further demonstrate Coach Campbell and the University’s commitment to one another,” Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for our current players, fans and recruits to receive this great news.”
Iowa State’s assistant pool was $2.982 million in 2018 according to the USA Today salary database, putting the Cyclones 49th in the country. Adding another million would boost the Cyclones to 27th, based on 2018 figures.
Ranked No. 24 in the final College Football Playoff poll, Iowa State concluded the regular season at 8-4 and in third place in the Big 12. The Cyclones’ six conference wins are the most in the program’s 23-year history of Big 12 membership, and this year’s club was the closest Iowa State team to reaching the Big 12 Championship since the 2005 team that came within a game from winning their first (and only) Big 12 North title.
The Cyclones will finish Campbell’s third season against No. 13 Washington State in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28.
Tua Tagovailoa may have come in second in the Heisman race, but Saturday was still a winning night for Alabama.
While he was in New York with his quarterback, Nick Saban‘s recruiting machine was still humming at full capacity as the Crimson Tide managed to flip 5-star safety Dax Hill from Michigan.
A Tulsa native and the younger brother of Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill, Hill is the No. 8 overall player and the top safety in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
“This was a tough decision for me and my family but I have decided to de-commit from the University of Michigan and flip my commitment to the University of Alabama!!” Hill wrote in a Twitter post.
With Hill’s commitment, Alabama’s 24-man class has increased its lead for the No. 1 ranking in the 247Sports Composite team rankings. Alabama has a 25-point lead over Texas A&M for the top spot with a week and a half before the early signing period.
Hill’s loss means Michigan’s 23-man class now ranks 11th nationally and second in the Big Ten.
Go ahead and add another quarterback to the transfer market.
UTSA quarterback Bryce Rivers announced his intent to transfer on Saturday night. “After long talks with close friends and family, I think it is in my best interest to transfer from UTSA,” Rivers wrote in a note posted to his Twitter account.
A San Antonio native, Rivers backed up senior starter Dalton Sturm in 2017, appearing in just three games and throwing eight passes. He competed with junior Cordale Grundy for the starting role heading into 2018 but lost that battle.
By appearing in just three games, Rivers could use this season as a redshirt and play elsewhere as a redshirt junior in 2020.