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Ex-Rice QB Jackson Tyner lands at Texas Tech as grad transfer

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Twice this offseason, Texas Tech had lost a quarterback to transfer. This time around, though, the Red Raiders are on the receiving end of a player at the same position.

Late last month, Jackson Tyner took to Twitter to announce that he would be transferring to Tech as the next chapter in his collegiate playing career. The 6-5, 251-pound Tyner spent the past four seasons at Rice before tweeting his decision to transfer in late November of last year.

As a graduate transfer, Tyner will be eligible to play immediately for the Owls in 2019.

During his time at Rice, Tyner started three games — two in 2017 and one as a redshirt freshman in 2016. All told, Tyner completed just over 47 percent of his 184 pass attempts with the Owls for four touchdowns and seven interceptions. Just 20 of those attempts came this past season.

Tyner also played some baseball while he attended Rice.

This past season, Tech’s baseball team advanced to the College World Series for the fourth time in the program’s history. At this point, it’s unclear if Tyner will play the stick-and-ball sport for the Red Raiders.

Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze recovering from potentially life-threatening staph infection

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It appears Hugh Freeze has dodged what could’ve been a fatal bullet.

Liberty announced Tuesday that Hugh Freeze was dealing with severe back spasms and had been unable to participate in practices since Sunday.  As it turns out, there was a significantly more serious underlying issue than simple back spasms as the first-year Flames head football coach told Chris Low of that he underwent emergency surgery at the University of Virginia Medical Center Friday “after a potentially life-threatening strand of staph infection entered his bloodstream.”

From Low’s report:

The doctors told me if it had been another 24 hours, that strand of bacteria could have gotten to my heart and that I would have been fighting for my life,” Freeze told ESPN. “It’s the way God works because there’s no doubt that bacteria would have killed me if President [Jerry] Falwell [Jr.] wasn’t so quick to make sure we got the right people involved.”

When Freeze first told Falwell about the excruciating pain he was experiencing in his back, one of the first calls Falwell made was to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, one of the leading pioneers in neurosurgery. Carson spoke with Liberty professor Anthony Nobles, renowned in the medical device field, and the decision was made to transport Freeze from the hospital in Lynchburg to UVA Medical Center.

Falwell sent the Liberty plane to Scottsdale, Arizona, to bring in Dr. Dilan Ellegala, another leading neurosurgeon who developed his own ultrasonic technology (Sonospine) for spinal surgery, and Ellegala was the one who performed Freeze’s surgery at UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville.

The 49-year-old Freeze remains hospitalized and will continue so for the foreseeable future.  When he is released and resumes his football duties, he’ll likely have to coach from a golf cart as the Flames finish up summer camp; for Liberty’s opener against Syracuse Aug. 31, it’s expected Freeze will have to coach from the booth.

Hired by the Flames in December of last year, Freeze is set to enter his first season as the head coach at the football independent.  Freeze had been out of coaching for two full seasons following his unceremonious ouster as the head coach at Ole Miss in July of 2017.

Utah surprised another walk-on with a scholarship

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Utah and head coach Kyle Whittingham have been busy making some plans for surprise scholarship announcements. The latest recipient of a surprise scholarship? Mason Woodward, who had the luxury of receiving the good news from his wife.

The setup for the announcement had the athletic training staff line up on the field as Utah’s football practice was going on. Each member of the staff introduced themselves to the team, with Woodward’s wife, who was disguised as a trainer, being the last staff member to be introduced. She then delivers the news to Woodward, a senior running back.

Woodward walked on at Utah in 2016 and has played at both running back and on special teams. Special teams are where Woodward has spent most of his playing time on the Utes. He redshirted in 2016 and has appeared in games each of the past two seasons.

Utah previously surprised Malik Haynes with a scholarship using a pizza delivery to deliver the news.

Jamie Newman named starting QB at Wake Forest

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Another starting quarterback position in the ACC is settled. Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson will continue to put the ball in the hands of Jamie Newman when the 2019 season begins next week for the Demon Deacons. Clawson made the announcement Sunday after practice.

“We made a decision today that Jamie Newman is going to be the starting quarterback,” Clawson said, according to Demon Deacon Digest. “That’s the direction we’re going with it moving forward. They both played well. There’s the old adage that if you have two, you have none. In the case of Wake Forest in 2019, we really do have two good quarterbacks.”

Newman got into a comfort zone leading the Wake Forest offense in the second half of last season when he started the final four games of the year in place of an injured Sam Hartman. He ended the season with 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns with four interceptions in six appearances. The bulk of that production came in the final month of the season.

As a freshman, Hartman appeared in nine games for Wake Forest last season, in which he passed for 1,984 yards and 19 touchdowns with eight interceptions.

Maryland backup quarterback out for two months due to stress fracture

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Maryland has been dealt with a number of significant injuries in recent years that have made life difficult for any offensive identity. Before the 2019 season begins with a new head coach, Mike Locksley had some unfortunate news to share regarding one of his quarterbacks this weekend. Max Bortenschlager suffered a stress fracture in his foot or leg that will force him to miss the next eight weeks, according to the Terps head coach.

Being out for eight weeks would mean Bortenschlager’s return would come as early as Oct. 12 for a road game at Purdue, or a home game against Indiana the following week. Bortenschlager would be unavailable for games against Howard (Aug. 31), Syracuse (Sept. 7), Temple (Sept. 14), Penn State (Sept. 27) and Rutgers (Oct. 5).

Losing quarterback depth is never a good thing, although it should be noted Bortenschlager was likely going to be providing depth at the bottom of the depth chart for Maryland at the quarterback position. The starting job is expected to be awarded to Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson before the start of the season, although Locksley is keeping the competition ongoing with Jackson and Tyrrel Pigrome.

Bortenschlager appeared in four games last season but did not record any offensive stats (he did record a tackle, however). In 2017, Bortenschlager appeared in 11 games and completed 121 of 233 pass attempts for 1,313 yards and 10 touchdowns with five interceptions. He also recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns.