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Rutgers latest to feel unintended consequence of revamped redshirt rule

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When the revamped redshirt rule debuted before the start of last season, a sizable number of coaches loved the fact that it would allow them to get young players some playing time while also allowing them to redshirt if they didn’t participate in more than four games.  One unintended/unanticipated consequence of the rule, however, is that it allows healthy, productive, starting members of teams to shut it down after four games while contemplating a move to another school the following season.

Rutgers is the latest example of the latter phenomenon, but they certainly won’t be the last.

Artur Sitkowski, an 11-game starter under center for the Scarlet Knights a year ago, started the past two games for RU and was expected to do so again this weekend against Maryland.  However, following the blowout loss to Michigan in Week 5, head coach Chris Ash was fired.

Thursday, acting head coach Nunzio Campanile revealed that Sitkowski will not play this weekend as the second-year sophomore quarterback decides how he wants the remainder of the season to play out.

“I had a discussion with Art this morning and he came to me and said he’s considering — he obviously had a really tough week and he’s going through a lot — so he’s contemplating evaluating taking a redshirt,” Campanile said according to nj.com. “He asked not to play in this game so we’ll give him some time, supporting him 1,000 percent. He’s a great kid. He’s been a valuable asset to this team. So we’re going to take time. He’s ready to in an emergency role be the backup and ready to play but obviously there’s a lot of changes this week so we want to make sure we do the right thing by him.”

Sitkowski has played in three games this season.  If he were to play two more and get beyond the four-game threshold, he’d be ineligible to take a redshirt and lose a year of eligibility.  If he stays at or below the threshold, he could remain at RU and maintain three years of eligibility starting next season; he could also transfer and, given the coaching change, likely receiver a waiver that would allow him to play immediately at another FBS program in 2020.

Last season as a true freshman, Sitkowski’s 18 interceptions were tied for the most at the FBS level and his 49.1 completion percentage was tied for third-worst, while his 76.4 passer rating was dead-last among all qualified quarterbacks.  This year, Sitkowski completed nearly 65 percent of his passes for 429 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Sitkowski regained his starting job this season when McLane Carter, a grad transfer from Texas Tech, suffered a concussion in the Week 2 loss to Iowa.  As Carter still hasn’t been cleared from concussion protocol, Boston College transfer Johnny Langan will get the start this weekend.  As for Langan’s backup?  From nj.com:

While Sitkowski will only be used in an emergency situation, Campanile said true freshman Cole Snyder would go in if there was an immediate need such as Langan’s helmet popping off or a mop-up duty.

Mizzou confirms Eli Drinkwitz will retain Brick Haley

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After a run on bringing in assistants from Boone, Eli Drinkwitz has gotten about the business of retention in Columbia.

In a press release, Missouri confirmed that Drinkwitz has decided to retain Brick Haley as part of his first coaching staff with the football program.  Haley wil continue on as the Tigers’ defensive line coach, and will carry the title of assistant head coach as well.

“In my short time of being around Brick I know him to be a man of high character who gets the most out of his players,” said Drinkwitz in a statement. “His wealth of knowledge with the defensive line is exactly what we’re looking for to motivate young men.”

Haley has spent the past three seasons with the Tigers.  Prior to that, he was the line coach at Texas (2015-16), LSU (2009-14) and Mississippi State (2004-06) at the collegiate level.

From 2007-08, Haley was the line coach for the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue at Mizzou and I’m excited to work with Coach Drink and his staff,” said Haley. “Our family loves Mizzou and being part of the Columbia community, so we’re thrilled to keep stakes in the ground here and I’m looking forward to getting to work on doing great things.”

Alex Hornibrook no longer with Florida State

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It seems Alex Hornibrook‘s college career is complete.

Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins said on Saturday that Hornibrook is no longer with the Seminoles as the club prepares for the Sun Bowl

He will join (former) teammate Cam Akers in that regard.

A graduate transfer from Wisconsin, Hornibrook appeared in five games this season. His peak as a Seminole came on Sept. 28, when he completed 29-of-40 passes for 316 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. For the year, Hornibrook hit 84-of-122 throws for 986 yards with seven scores versus two picks.

In three years at Wisconsin, Hornibrook threw for 5,438 yards and 47 touchdowns.

SMU WR Reggie Roberson, Jr., to return for senior season

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SMU wide receiver Reggie Roberson, Jr., will return for his senior season in 2020, he announced earlier this week.

Roberson did so through a statement that at first read as if he would leave the Hilltop. “In the past couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that I am able to forgo my senior year and enter the NFL draft. I want to thank Coach Dykes for giving me the opportunity to come to SMU, and play the game I love in my hometown in front of my family and friends,” it began.

However, like a a classic Roberson open field move, he quickly changed directions and sprinted toward opportunity. “I have decided to come back and play my senior year at SMU. There is a lot of unfinished business that I left on the field that I need to take care of next season.”

A native of DeSoto, Texas, just south of Dallas, Roberson was one of SMU’s top players before he was lost to a foot injury in October. He caught 11 passes for 180 yards in the Ponies’ opening week win over Arkansas State and hauled in eight passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 drubbing of Temple on Oct. 19.

For the year, Roberson caught 43 passes for 803 yards and six touchdowns over seven-plus games. Spread over a 13-game season, he was on pace to end the year in the neighborhood of 80 receptions for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Roberson originally signed with West Virginia out of high school.

Zack Moss to play in Alamo Bowl

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It’s become A Thing ever since Christian McCaffrey bailed on Stanford for that Sun Bowl: Draft eligible players announcing whether or not their prep for the next level begins for or after their team’s upcoming bowl game.

For Utah running back Zack Moss, that will begin after the Alamo Bowl.

“I just wanted to play with my guys,” Moss told KSL Sports. “That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come back was to play with these guys and I definitely want to finish it off. I am healthy enough to play and that’s exactly what I want to do.

“I love this team, I love the program, coaching, fans and community, so why not give everyone one last game.”

Moss’s teammate Jaylon Johnson previously announced he will skip the game.

The senior will look to polish off a career in which he’s carried for 4,010 yards and 38 touchdowns.

No. 11 Utah will close the career of Moss and backfield mate Tyler Huntley opposite Texas on Dec. 31 (7:30 p.m., ESPN).