Urban Meyer to retire as Ohio State’s head coach

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And the biggest domino of the 2018-18 college coaching carousel has fallen.

Late last month, it was reported that Urban Meyer would address his coaching future following the Big Ten championship game.  While that report suggested Meyer would coach the 2019 season before stepping down, that won’t be the case as Ohio State confirmed Tuesday morning that the 54-year-old Meyer will retire from coaching following the Buckeyes’ appearance in this season’s Rose Bowl game New Year’s Day.

Additionally, the football program announced that Ryan Day, who served as acting head coach for the first three games of the 2018 season while Meyer was suspended, will be named as OSU’s next head football coach.

Meyer, Day and athletic director Gene Smith will conduct a 2 p.m. press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the developments.

It had been reported in late October that there was “friction” between Meyer/the football staff “and athletics leadership as well as within the program itself”; the head coach subsequently attempted to knock down that report, for what it’s worth. CFT had caught wind of speculation that it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Meyer were not the Buckeyes’ head coach next season, whispers that grew a little louder given the embarrassing loss in West Lafayette this and what some have described as Meyer’s “anguished… emotional… erratic” sideline demeanor.  And then there is the arachnoid cyst that puts pressure on the coach’s brain and sometimes causes the kind of headaches that dropped him to one knee on the sidelines during the Indiana game earlier this season.

Add all of that to the battering Meyer’s reputation took nationally over the Zach Smith situation and the coach’s response to allegations of domestic abuse, and a growing number of observers wondered aloud how much longer Meyer will remain as The Head Coach at The Ohio State.

It has been previously reported that OSU was discussing making the 39-year-old Day, who drew near-universal praise for his handling of the Buckeyes during Meyer’s suspension, a de facto head coach-in-waiting; Smith subsequently addressed the situation without really addressing it.

In nearly seven full seasons as the head coach of the Buckeyes, Meyer has gone 82-9, winning 10 or more games in each of his first six seasons; the Buckeyes are 9-1 with Meyer as the head coach in 2018 and can get a 10th win by beating Washington in the Granddaddy of Them All next month.  OSU has won outright or shared seven division titles, three Big Ten championships and one national championship.  And, of course, Meyer beat hated rival Michigan all seven times he faced them, including the last three with Jim Harbaugh as head coach.

An Ohio native who played his college football at Cincinnati, Meyer’s first coaching job at the collegiate level came as a graduate assistant on Earle Bruce‘s OSU staff in 1986-87.  He was the wide receivers coach at Notre Dame from 1996-2000 before moving on to his first head-coaching job, directing Bowling Green from 2001-02 before leaving for the same post at Utah.

After two years with the Utes, Meyer moved on to Florida for the next six seasons.  After winning a pair of national championships in Gainesville, Meyer informed his family in December of 2009 that he was stepping down as the head coach of the Florida Gators; less than 24 hours later, he had stepped back up as the head coach of the Florida Gators.  A year after that flurry of events, and amidst health concerns, Meyer stepped down for good, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

In late November of 2011, after spending that season as a college football analyst at ESPN, Meyer was officially announced as the 24th head coach in Ohio State history.

Assuming he actually is through with coaching this time around, Meyer’s Hall of Fame career will end with a 186-32 record.  His .853 winning percentage is the highest all-time for coaches with at least 200 games on their résumé; only a pair of Notre Dame head coaches — Knute Rockne (105-12-5, .881) and Frank Leahy (107-13-9, .864) — had a higher winning percentage after coaching 100-plus games.

Jalen Hurts has seen Heisman odds shorten since transfer to Oklahoma

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I guess that’s what happens when the school to which you moved has produced back-to-back Heisman winners at the position you play, eh?

In mid-January, as he was in the midst of transferring from Alabama, Jalen Hurts was listed by BetOnline.ag as a 9/1 shot to stake his claim as the winner of the 2019 Heisman Trophy.  Very shortly thereafter, Hurts’ move to Oklahoma was confirmed; a month later, in the latest odds released by the same online sportsbook, Hurts now sits at 13/2 to win this year’s version of the most storied trophy in college sports.

As was the case a month ago, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the way-too-early 2019 Heisman favorite at 7/2, although those odds have lengthened a bit from the initial 3/1.  The quarterback whose play on the field pushed Hurts out in Tuscaloosa, 2018 Heisman runnerup Tua Tagovailoa, also saw his odds lengthen a smidge from 4/1 to 5/1.

Most of the other odds remained relatively steady from that initial release, although USC quarterback JT Daniels and Clemson-to-Missouri transfer Kelly Bryant did both make a move from off the board to part of a mini-pack at 25/1.

For perspective given the fact that we’re still nearly seven months from the 2019 season kicking off, the 2018 Heisman winner, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, wasn’t among the two dozen or so college football players listed wagering-wise as potential winners around this time a year ago.  The top three Heisman odds at this time last year?  Stanford running back Bryce Love, Wisconsin running back Johnathan Taylor and Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate, none of whom were finalists for the trophy won by Murray.

2019 signee who left Oklahoma for the military will instead transfer to another school

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Never mind, I guess.

Earlier this month, Derek Green, a member of Oklahoma’s 2019 recruiting class, revealed that he would be pursuing a career in the military instead of a career in college football.

“I don’t want to waste anybody’s time,” Green said at the time, “because Oklahoma has a great group of guys on that defense that’s there and coming in and I want them to be successful and they can spend more time developing them while I try to serve my country.”

Green also confirmed at the time that he would be placing his name into the NCAA transfer database, although “that’s just in case I want to go back to it later, but as of right now I’m going to serve my country.”

Fast-forward a few days, and Green announced via Twitter that he will be putting his military career on hold and transferring to a football program other than the one with which he signed back in December.

Green was a consensus three-star signee for the Sooners who enrolled in classes at the university earlier this month.  He was the only signee listed as a defensive tackle in OU’s class this year.

Virginia Tech transfer QB Josh Jackson tweets move to Maryland

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For the third time this offseason, first-year head coach Mike Locksley has pulled in a Power Five transfer to his Maryland program.

On his personal Twitter account Monday night, Josh Jackson announced that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career for Locksley at Maryland.  Nearly four weeks ago, it was confirmed that Jackson would be leaving Virginia Tech as the quarterback had placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.

As Jackson is expected to graduate from Tech in May, he would be eligible to play for Maryland this coming season.  Not only that, but he will have another year of eligibility he can use in College Park in 2020 as well.

After going through a tumultuous offseason, Jackson began 2018 as the Hokies’ starting quarterback only to suffer a season-ending injury in mid-September.

As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Jackson started all 13 games for the 9-4 Hokies. He passed for 2,991 yards and ran for another 324 yards while accounting for 26 touchdowns — 20 passing, six rushing.  The passing yards were the most for an FBS freshman that season, while the touchdowns passes were the second-most at this level.

Given the fact that he’ll be immediately eligible, Jackson will head into summer camp as the favorite to lay claim to the Terrapins’ starting job under center.

In addition to Jackson, Maryland has landed transfers from wide receiver Sean Savoy and linebacker Keandre Jones.  The former comes to College Park from Virginia Tech, the latter from Ohio State.

Ex-Arizona State LB Jalen Bates announces transfer to Colorado State

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Not long after declaring he was looking to transfer, ex-Arizona State linebacker Jalen Bates has found his landing spot. Bates is heading to Colorado State.

On Monday, Bates announced to his Twitter followers he is a Ram. The message was posted with a Photoshopped image showing him in a Colorado State football uniform. Bates started 10 games for Arizona State last season, and he has appeared in 18 games during his college career with the Sun Devils. That’s a nice addition for the Rams.

Having already earned his degree from Arizona State, Bates will be eligible to p[lay right away for the Rams this fall.