Auburn freshman running back Asa Martin will no longer be a part of the Tigers program. Martin announced his decision to transfer to a new school with a brief message share don his Twitter account on Saturday.
Martin enrolled early at Auburn as part of the Class of 2018 this year. The former Mr. Football in Alabama was a four-star running back recruit in the Class of 2018 according to his profile on Rivals. Martin fielded offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Ole Miss and many more.
Martin appeared in five games this season, which means he cannot use his 2018 season as a redshirt season according to the updated NCAA redshirt rule. In those five games, Martin had 13 rushing attempts for 57 yards and two receptions for 36 yards. Martin also returned a kickoff for 18 yards.
Martin’s next destination remains to be seen, although he will have to sit out the 2019 season before being eligible to play again in 2020 at an FBS program. He would be eligible to play right away next fall if he transfers to an FCS or lower school.
Minnesota will already be down a pair of starters for the postseason because players have decided to get a head start on their draft preparations. Now, it appears decisions of another kind will lead to even more postseason personnel attrition for the Golden Gophers.
According to both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press, multiple Gopher football players will be suspended for the Dec. 26 Quick Lane Bowl matchup with Georgia Tech. The Star Tribune reports that the number of suspended players is at least six, with as many as eight possibly sidelined as a result of the disciplinary actions.
The names of the players facing suspension have not been divulged.
Head coach P.J. Fleck has not yet addressed the postseason status of any member of his football team. A school spokesperson declined to comment on the reports.
In December of 2016, the year before Fleck’s arrival, Minnesota suspended 10 players ahead of the Holiday Bowl as a result of sexual assault allegations. A subsequent boycott by players threatened the school’s participation in the bowl before the group ultimately acquiesced and played in the postseason game.
It appears as though Jimbo Fisher won’t have a vacancy on his Texas A&M coaching staff to fill this postseason.
In the days after Geoff Collins left Temple to take the head job at Georgia Tech, Mike Elko has been mentioned prominently as a potential replacement. Wednesday, however, multiple reports have surfaced that Elko has decided to remain in College Station as the Aggies’ defensive coordinator.
Elko just completed his first season as Fisher’s coordinator after spending the 2017 season in the same job at Notre Dame.
In 2018, Elko was paid $1.8 million, making him the fourth-highest-paid assistant coach in the country. While it’s not listed in the USA Today coaching salary database, it’s believed that Collins was working under a five-year, $10 million contract while the head coach of the Owls.
With Elko now out of the mix, a new report has surfaced that puts Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown squarely in the mix. Another defensive coordinator, Miami’s Manny Diaz, has also been mentioned as a possibility at the AAC school and has already interviewed for the job.
C.J. Fuller died suddenly the afternoon of Oct. 3 after the former Clemson running back suffered chest pains as well as a suspected seizure. Nearly 10 weeks later, a cause of the 22-year-old’s death has been released.
According to the Charleston Post & Courier, the Pickens County (SC) Coroner’s Office has determined that Fuller died as the result of a pulmonary thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis stemming from a football injury. A pulmonary thromboembolism is essentially a blood clot that breaks free and ultimately becomes lodged in the lungs.
Fuller had suffered a knee injury playing flag football in August of this year and underwent surgery the following month. On the day of his death, he attended his first physical therapy session, one that reportedly went off without an issue.
“Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies are with C.J.’s family,” Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement at the time of Fuller’s death. “I’ve known C.J. a long time and watched him grow up through the Easley rec leagues all the way through Easley High School. I’m proud of what he accomplished as a Clemson Tiger, most of all, his accomplishment of being a Clemson graduate. Our deepest condolences and the thoughts of our program are with his family this evening. May he rest in peace.”
Following the 2017 season, Fuller left the team as a would-be graduate transfer. In late March, Fuller, who was expected to continue his collegiate playing career at another program, was one of three individuals charged in connection to an alleged armed robbery in downtown Clemson.
In 2017, Fuller, who began that season as the starter, was fifth on the Tigers with a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns. He finished the Tigers portion of his playing career with 599 yards and four touchdowns on 147 carries, as well as 18 receptions for 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
One of those touchdown catches came in the College Football Playoff semifinal win over Ohio State in 2016. The Tigers went on to win the national championship that season.
Fuller earned a degree in sociology from Clemson in August, the same month in which he sustained the injury that preceded his death.
It’s unclear at this point to where Jalen Harris will ultimately transfer, but the list of potential landing spots has been significantly whittled down.
In mid-September, Harris announced that he would be transferring from Auburn. On Twitter Tuesday, the tight end revealed his list of five finalists that will serve as possible transfer destinations, including a pair of SEC schools in Georgia and Vanderbilt.
The other three schools include a pair of Power Five programs (Colorado, Kansas State) as well as one from the Group of Five (Troy).
A decision from Harris is expected at some point next week.
Harris did not play in more than four games this season, meaning he preserved a year of eligibility under the new redshirt rule. He will also head to his new college football home as a graduate transfer, meaning he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2019.
As a fourth-year senior this past season, the 6-4, 257-pound Harris played in three games before opting to transfer. The previous three seasons, the Montgomery, Ala., native played in 39 games, with most of that action coming on special teams and as a blocking tight end.
Harris did, though, catch a pair of touchdown passes among his four career receptions. Both touchdowns came during the 2016 season.