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LB Rico Kearney tweets transfer from Virginia Tech

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As the 2018 regular season begins to wind down, the action around transfer season is about to pick back up yet again.

Rico Kearney announced on his personal Twitter account Sunday afternoon that, “[a]fter talking and sitting down with my family,” he feels “like it’s best for me and my future” to transfer from Virginia Tech. The linebacker intimated that playing time was the trigger for his decision, writing, “I just don’t feel like I [was] given a fair shot to showcase my talent.”

After redshirting as a true freshman last season, Kearney had started two of the 10 games in which he played in 2018. On the Hokies’ most recent depth chart, he was listed as the backup middle linebacker.

Kearney’s 35 tackles are currently sixth on the team. 18 of those tackles came in the loss to Boston College and were the program’s most in a single game since 2003.

Former Oregon QB Braxton Burmeister lands at Virginia Tech

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Former Oregon quarterbackĀ Braxton BurmeisterĀ has signed with Virginia Tech, the Hokies announced on Saturday.

Burmeister signed with Oregon out of La Jolla Country Day High School in the San Diego area and made five starts as a true freshman in 2017 while stepping in for the injuredĀ Justin Herbert. His results were… that of a true freshman who had been trained to play only in mop-up duty, if at all. In 77 passes, Burmeister completed 57.1 percent of his throws for just 4.3 yards per attempt with two touchdowns against six interceptions.

Herbert returned to health in 2018, and as a result Burmeister returned to the bench. He threw just 10 passes in four appearances last fall.

Herbert elected to return for his senior season, and as a result Burmeister elected to enter the transfer portal. Even considering Herbert’s return, Burmeister’s decision to leave is a curious one, assuming he was still in good standing in Eugene. According to theĀ Roanoke Times, Virginia Tech isn’t sure when he’ll enroll or his eligibility status, but the school does know he won’t arrive as a graduate transfer. Since he played in just four games last season, he could count 2018 as a redshirt year, but he’d need a waiver to play in 2019. Absent that waiver, the earliest he’d see the field for Virginia Tech would be as a junior in 2020… which is also when he’d be in line to succeed Herbert as Oregon’s starter.

Virginia Tech’s quarterback room has become the epicenter of sorts of college football’s free agency era. Former Hokies starterĀ Josh JacksonĀ has left for Maryland, and just this week fellow Hokie quarterbackĀ Hendon HookerĀ announced he’ll return to Blacksburg after dipping his toes in the transfer portal.

Ryan WillisĀ started for Virginia Tech as a junior in 2019, but the Hokie derby appears on for 2020 and beyond.

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 byĀ 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 theĀ 247SportsĀ Composite rankings, one might thinkĀ 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 byĀ OrangebloodsĀ and later confirmed by the school to theĀ Austin American-Statesman, Herman and ADĀ Chris Del ConteĀ have ended the practice of handing out multi-year contracts to assistant coaches.

The practice began at Texas in 2014 when former ADĀ Steve PattersonĀ hiredĀ Charlie StrongĀ 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, coordinatorsĀ Todd OrlandoĀ andĀ Tim BeckĀ 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 theĀ American-Statesman, Del Conte said he and Herman aren’tĀ unhappyĀ with the assistant coaching staff, they just want to keep the carrot in front of their noses.

ā€œWe are absolutely ecstatic with the job coach Tom Herman and our coaching staff is doing for the University of Texas,ā€ Del Conte told the paper. ā€œThis appointment letter is just a continuation of that effort.ā€

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 coachĀ Stan DraytonĀ coming in from the outside — while hiring offensive line coach Herb HandĀ 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.

ā€œThe reason weā€™re doing this is because we feel responsible for the tradition and the spirit of A&M,ā€Ā Chipper Adams, co-director of the A&M student group Reinstate the Rivalry, told A&M’s student paperĀ The Battalion.

The issue momentarily gained momentum when both school presidents went on the record with theĀ Austin American-StatesmanĀ last month saying they’d like to see the Longhorns and Aggies play again. However, A&M presidentĀ 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.