Getty Images

Urban Meyer: Firing of Zach Smith ‘very tough call,’ in best interests of team

6 Comments

Urban Meyer was only half in the dark when it came to the off-field issues that led to the firing of one of his assistants, the Ohio State head coach stated Tuesday.

A day earlier, Meyer had announced that Zach Smith had been dismissed as the Buckeyes wide receivers coach.  The move came on the same day that two new reports of alleged domestic abuse, one from 2009 and another from 2015, surfaced.  It was also confirmed that Smith’s ex-wife, involved in the two previous incidents, had obtained a domestic violence civil protection order against Smith in connection to a May incident in which the coach was cited for criminal trespassing.

Meyer confirmed he was aware of the 2009 incident, which occurred when Smith was a member of Meyer’s football staff at Florida.  In that incident, it was alleged Smith picked up his then-pregnant-wife, Courtney Smith, by her t-shirt “and threw her against the bedroom wall located upstairs in their apartment.” Another incident involving alleged domestic abuse, this one from 2015 when Smith was an assistant at OSU, came to light as well, although Meyer stated he was unaware of that one.

In fact, Meyer claimed that he has found no evidence that an incident actually occurred in 2015.  That said, Meyer told the assembled media that he “is not going to get into” the whys and the timing of the dismissal.

According to ESPN.com, Meyer, in front of a small group of reporters prior to appearing at the podium during the Big Ten Media Days this morning, labeled the firing of Smith a “very tough call” made in the best interests of the team.

“The most important people in our program are our players,” Meyer said. “We’re very clear of our expectations. We decided to make a change.”

It’s expected that, at least on an interim basis, former OSU wide receiver Brian Hartline will assume Smith’s on-field coaching duties.  Meyer stated that a final decision on a replacement will likely be made toward the end of the week.

Rutgers adds another Big Ten transfer with former Wolverine Michael Dwumfour

Michigan Wolverines football
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

New Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano has been tapping the transfer portal to help build the roster in his first year back with the Scarlet Knights. On Monday, Rutgers added another Big Ten transfer to the program with the addition of defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour. Dwumfour transfers to Rutgers from Michigan.

Schiano confirmed the latest addition to the program on his Twitter account.

Dwumfour will be a graduate transfer, so he will be eligible right away for Rutgers this upcoming season. Dwumfour played 33 games for the Wolverines, including 10 game sin 2019 with four starts. He will provide an instant upgrade to the Rutgers defensive line depth and should be thrown right into the mix for a starting job this fall.

Notably, Dwumfour is a New Jersey native. Schiano’s hiring at Rutgers has certainly had a bit of an initial impact in luring some of the state’s and regional recruits on the transfer market. Earlier this month, Rutgers welcomed Brooklyn, New York product and former Wisconsin wide receiver Aron Cruickshank (HERE).

Miami gets its QB with ex-Houston dual-threat D’Eriq King as grad transfer

Former Houston quarterback D'Eriq King is heading to Miami.
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A day later, De’Eriq King is officially committed to the Miami Hurricanes. King brought his transfer process to a close on Monday afternoon with an announcement he is indeed committed to Miami. King shared the news with his followers on Twitter.

On Sunday, it was initially reported by Manny Navarro of The Athletic that King was scheduled to enroll and begin classes at Miami this week. Classes at Miami begin Tuesday. However, a quote of King relayed by a Houston-based media report shortly afterward quoted King as saying he had made no final decision and was still weighing some possible options. Other options were said to include Arkansas, LSU, and Maryland.

Miami was reported early on as a possible landing spot for King, along with Arkansas. Ole Miss had also been mentioned as an option early on. King initially started his transfer process by opting to redshirt the remainder of the 2019 season after a rough start to the year for the Cougars. He said at the time he had every intent on returning to the program in 2020, but his sudden announcement during the national championship game last week made it evident he was moving on. And now, of course, he has.

King appeared in just four games for Houston last season. In those four games, King passed for 663 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions. The dual-threat quarterback also rushed for 313 yards and six touchdowns before redshirting the remainder of the 2019 season. In 11 game sin 2018, King passed for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns and rushed for 674 yards and 14 touchdowns. King is certainly a quality talent that will add to the Miami offense and inject some new life into the program. With the right help around him, King could help make Miami an ACC Coastal contender in 2020.

King will be eligible for Miami in 2020 as a graduate transfer.

Maryland RB Lorenzo Harrison III medically retires from football

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Maryland running back Lorenzo Harrison III announced he is medically retiring from football. In a statement shared on his Twitter account on Monday afternoon, Harrison cited his history with knee trouble as a reason he is stepping away from playing football moving forward.

“[During] the last game I competed in, I suffered a severe knee injury,” Harrison explained. “Due to those circumstances which are far out of my control, I believe it is in my best interest to convert my focus from ball to the next great thing God has in store for me. With that being said, I am medically retiring from the game that has given me everything I could ever ask for.”

The last game Harrison played was on Sept. 27, 2019 at home against Penn State. In Maryland’s 59-0 loss to the Nittany Lions, Harrison had one rushing attempt for an eight-yard gain. It is in that game Harrison says his knee injury was suffered.

Harrison’s final two seasons in a Maryland uniform saw injuries get in the way of keeping him on the field and a part of the offense. Harrison rushed for 633 yards in 2017 and 622 yards in 2018 before being held to just 84 yards in 2018 and 70 yards in 2019 in a combined total of five games the last two years.

Report: Graham Harrell expected to stay at USC after interviewing for NFL job

USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell is expected to remain with the Trojans after interviewing with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

USC head coach Clay Helton may not have to worry about finding a new offensive coordinator for the second striaght offseason. USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell is expected to stay with the Trojans after interviewing for a job in the NFL, according to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic (via Twitter).

It was reported last week the Philadelphia Eagles were set to interview Harrell about their vacancy at offensive coordinator. Whether the Eagles or Harrell decided the fit wasn’t right is unknown at this time, but it is good news for USC either way.

Last year, USC lost offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury to a head coaching opportunity with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. Kingsbury’s stay in USC was brief, as he took the job as an offensive coordinator after being let go as head coach at Texas Tech earlier in the offseason. USC replaced Kingsbury with the hiring of Harell from North Texas. Last month, USC locked in Harrell to a multi-year extension in hopes of keeping Harrell from accepting any other position with another program. Texas reportedly had been interested in adding Harrell to its coaching staff in Austin.