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Judge orders Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus to stand trial on two counts of sexual assault

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Two days after very loudly proclaiming his innocence and announcing he was taking a leave of absence, Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus was charged late last month with felony sexual assault of an intoxicated victim and felony sexual assault.  The criminal complaint filed against him states that he allegedly “sexually assaulted two drunken women at once in the bedroom of his apartment in April.” The day after his arrest, Cephus’ lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the charges, claiming in part that surveillance camera footage and text messages paint an entirely different picture of the events that night.

Wednesday, Dane County (Wis.) Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky denied the defense team’s motion following a two-hour hearing, ordering Cephus to stand trial on the sexual assault charges.  From the Wisconsin State Journal:

Karofsky … [found] that evidence that Cephus’ lawyers wanted her to consider created inferences about the case that conflict with the evidence that prosecutors have so far presented. Any competing inferences, she said, weigh in favor of the prosecution at this stage of the case, Karofsky said.

“Applying the law, I do not believe the complaint should be dismissed,” Karofsky said. “I do not believe you have met the requisite burden.

Cephus has previously stated that the sex was consensual and continues to maintain his innocence.

“I know the truth, they know the truth and I look forward to clearing my name and fighting for who I am,” the State Journal quoted the receiver as saying.

Fellow UW wide receiver Danny Davis was also named in the criminal complaint filed against Cephus.  In that complaint, it was alleged that Davis took at least one photo of one of the women involved in the alleged assaults. Davis has not been formally charged in connection to the alleged assault.

Davis was suspended for the first two games of the 2018 season, but has been cleared to return and will play this weekend against BYU.

Last season, Davis was fourth on the team in receptions (26) and receiving yards (418). He was tied for second with five receiving touchdowns. Cephus led the run-centric Badgers in receiving touchdowns with six and yards per catch at 16.7. His 501 receiving yards were good for second, while his 30 receptions were third on the team.

Both Cephus and Davis entered summer camp as the Badgers’ starting wide receivers.

Matt Wells adds former assistant Mark Tommerdahl as special teams coach at Texas Tech

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Texas Tech officially announced the hiring of Mark Tommerdahl to be the new special teams coach for the Red Raiders on the staff led by Matt Wells. Tommerdahl takes on the title of associate head coach as well as special teams coordinator and assistant offensive line coach.

Wells previously had Tommerdahl as a special teams coach at Utah State in 2017. Tommerdahl spent the 2018 season as special teams and tight ends coach at Purdue. He has had previous stops at Cal, Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M, Alabama, TCU, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Wyoming during his coaching career since 1984.

During their one season together at Utah State in 2017, Wells and Tommerdahl had a special teams unit that ranked fourth in the nation in blocked punts and owned a top 25 kickoff return defense. Last year, Tommerdahl’s Purdue special teams ranked 39th in punting (while Texas Tech ranked 61st) and 29th in punt return defense (Texas Tech was 40th). Purdue kicked just one kickoff out of bounds last season, while Texas Tech kicked six kickoffs out of bounds.

Troy LB Tron Folsom says he will enter NCAA transfer portal

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One of Troy’s top defensive players will be looking to play somewhere new in 2019. Tron Folsom announced he will enter his name in the NCAA transfer portal to begin evaluating any potential options for his final year of eligibility on the football field.

“After talking it over with my family, I will enter my name in the transfer porta and re-open my recruitment as a graduate transfer in the spring,” Folsom said in a message posted on his Twitter account on Friday. “I have no specific schools in mind and will be open minded during this process.”

As a graduate transfer, Folsom will be eligible to play immediately for whatever his new program may be this fall. He will have just one year of eligibility remaining after playing in a total of 38 games for Troy over the past three seasons.

Folsom recorded 9.0 tackles for a loss among his 82 total tackles for the Trojans last season. Folsom also had three sacks and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

30-year old Aussie punter from Maryland enters transfer portal

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After starting each of Maryland’s last 24 games, punter Wade Lees is ready to explore his potential options. According to a report on Friday, Lees has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, allowing him to be in contact with other programs who may be in need of a new punter on their football roster.

The oldest player in the Big Ten last season, Lees has one year of eligibility remaining.

Lees punted 67 times with a punting average of 40.93 yards per punt last season for Maryland.  He punted five times inside the opponent’s 20-yard line in a game against Penn State last November. It was the second time he had downed five punts inside the 20-yard line in a game during his Maryland career. In 2017, Lees punted 64 times for an average of 39.23 yards per punt. Those numbers put him right about in the middle of the Big Ten punting categories with the second-highest average number of punts per game. Lees started for Maryland for all 13 games played in his freshman season of 2016 as well.

With Lees potentially on the move, Maryland’s roster has just one player listed as a punter on the official team roster published online. Bentley Faulkner, who did not appear in a game in 2018 as a true freshman, figures to take over the punting duties during spring football practices. Expect Maryland head coach Mike Locksley to try adding a punter before the fall, if just for depth as the worst-case scenario.

Mike Leach’s final lecture will stream live through the magic of the internet

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Technology is a wonderful thing. And because of it, we’ll all be able to witness to Mike Leach instructing his class this spring semester at Washington State. Specifically, the world will be invited to observe the final session of Leach’s course, Leadership Lessons in Insurgent Warfare and Football Strategies, in late April.

Leach’s course is an extracurricular course being offered by Washington State with four separate sessions beginning in late March. The course is only available to WSU students, of course, but WSU knows there is much to be gained by allowing Leach’s class to be viewed by others outside of Pullman.

According to a statement released by Washington State, the final session will summarize all four previous lectures and there will be a live Q&A session. Those watching the live feed will be invited to submit questions in text form for the Q&A too.