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Rutgers interim coach fine with QB redshirting, not so happy RB is doing the same

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It’s a time of transition at Rutgers right now with now-former head coach Chris Ash our the door and the team moving on to finish the rest of the year under an interim staff. Saturday saw the first of those efforts and it wasn’t pretty in a 48-7 home loss to Maryland, even if such lopsided scores have been common place for the team the past few seasons.

While most Scarlet Knights followers are focused on the ongoing coaching search, there is a more pressing issue that has made headlines in Piscataway recently in the form of key players sitting out after four games in order to take a redshirt under NCAA rules. It surfaced earlier in the week that QB Artur Sitkowski approached the staff about not playing against the Terps — a move which was generally supported around the program.

The signal-caller wasn’t the only one to hit pause however, as reports just before kickoff on Saturday indicated that tailback Raheem Blackshear would be following suit as well. It seems that decision was taken quite differently by the coaching staff as the junior was last year’s leading rusher and has been their leading receiver in 2019 as well.

“Am I disappointed by it? Incredibly. Do I understand it? I guess so. I guess that’s the way the world is now,” interim head coach Nunzio Campanile said after the game. “I think that this is a game about your team, and it’s about sacrificing personal accomplishment for the success of the team. But that’s the world they live in and they have got a lot of people telling them, ‘Worry about you, worry about you.’

“I get it. But I’m raising two boys. I’m trying to raise them about being willing to sacrifice some of the things they want for what’s good for the people around them. I get it. That’s the world that we are living in, and he’s a great kid and we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.”

Blackshear would have two years of eligibility remaining if he winds up redshirting in 2019 and as a current upperclassmen already its possible he could be in a position to graduate transfer down the road and play right away elsewhere next season.

Sitkowski, on the other hand, has only played in three games this season and has indicated he could still play in a fourth down the road at Rutgers if new starter Johnny Langan gets injured or previous starter McLane Carter doesn’t get healthy. That’s not quite an option with Blackshear.

In the end Rutgers is going to Rutgers but you can bet this whole saga in upstate New Jersey is being closely watched by others around the country on how to deal with or not to deal with a coaching change mid-season.

Toledo head coach Jason Candle ‘heartbroken’ over shooting death of DL Jahneil Douglas

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Toledo football is responding to the tragic passing of one of its own.

According to reports coming out of the area overnight, a man was shot dead following an argument outside of a pizza joint.  It was subsequently confirmed that the victim is Rockets defensive lineman Jahneil Douglas.

“The University and all of Rocket Nation mourn the death of junior football player Jahneil Douglas, who was shot in an incident in Toledo last night,” UT’s athletic department wrote in a tweet.

Subsequent to that, Toledo head coach Jason Candle issued his own statement on the 22-year-old Douglas’ death.

“The Toledo football family is heartbroken by the loss of Jahneil,” the fifth-year coach wrote. “He was a bright and hard-working young man who was loved by all his teammates and coaches. Our sincerest condolences go out to Jahneil’s family and friends during these difficult times. Jahneil will forever be a part of the Rocket football family.”

Douglas was a two-star member of the Toledo’s Class of 2018.  The 6-3, 300-pound lineman played his high school football in the city of Toledo.  On the 247Sports.com composite, Douglas was rated as the No. 116 player in the state of Ohio regardless of position.

As a true freshman, Douglas appeared in five games.  This past season, Douglas played in seven.  He was credited with a pair of tackles in those appearances.

Colorado WR La’Vontae Shenault arrested on three charges, including DUI

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Laviska Shenault may be gone from Colorado football, but the surname lives on in the headlines. Unfortunately, for all of the wrong reasons. But, still.

In December, and as expected, Shenault announced in early December that he would be leaving the Colorado football team early for the 2020 NFL Draft.  The star wide receiver’s brother, La’Vontae Shenault, though, is a redshirt freshman at the same position for the Buffaloes.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, the Fort Collins Coloradoan has reported, La’Vontae Shenault was arrested on multiple charges in the city.  Included in that was a charge of suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.  The 19-year-old Colorado football player is also facing one count each of driving without headlamps at night and a drivers license violation.  All of those charges are misdemeanors, the newspaper noted.

As of yet, the Colorado football program has not commented on the off-field incident.

Shenault was a three-star member of the Class of 2019 for the Buffaloes.  He was rated as the No. 49 prospect regardless of position in the state of Texas.

As a true freshman, Shenault played in four games and dressed for seven.  The DeSoto, Tex., product didn’t record any statistics this past season.

Because he appeared in four games, he was permitted to take a redshirt for the 2019 season.

Toledo defensive lineman Jahneil Douglas killed in overnight shooting

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UPDATED 10:05 a.m. ET: The athletic department at the University of Toledo has confirmed the passing of Jahneil Douglas.

“The University and all of Rocket Nation mourn the death of junior football player Jahneil Douglas, who was shot in an incident in Toledo last night.”

(The original post appears below.)

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Sadly, tragedy has struck the Toledo football program.

WTOL-TV in Toledo is reporting that one man was shot dead in the city very late Tuesday night.  The shooting occurred outside of a Gino’s Pizza and was the culmination of a fight between two individuals.

According to that television station’s sports director, Jordan Strack, Toledo football player Jahneil Douglas was the man killed in the shooting.  Thus far, there’s been no comment from the Rockets football program or head coach Jason Candle on the junior defensive lineman’s reported passing.

From the station’s report:

Police say casings were found scattered in the parking lot and at least one car was hit by gunfire.

The restaurant has video surveillance near where the shooting happened. There is no word on any arrests as of yet.

Douglas was a two-star member of the Toledo football Class of 2018.  The 6-3, 300-pound lineman played his high school football in the city of Toledo.  On the 247Sports.com composite, Douglas was rated as the No. 116 player in the state of Ohio regardless of position.

As a true freshman, Douglas appeared in five games.  This past season, Douglas played in seven.  He was credited with a pair of tackles in those appearances.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Douglas’ tragic passing.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Ohio State releasing its response to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations

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The sports world, including college football, had essentially screeched to a halt in the spring as countries around the world battled the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there was a dearth of college football news as the sport went into a COVID-induced hibernation.  Slowly, though, the game is coming back to life.  Hopefully.

That being said, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on July 8, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Urban Meyer to debut new podcast about leadership, culture, behavior
THE SYNOPSIS: For some reason, some readers thought this was a headline ripped from the pages of The Onion.  It wasn’t, though.  Seriously.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Vandy TE charged after landing drone in Fourth of July crowd
THE SYNOPSIS: College kids, y’all.  Dobbs went on to catch 15 passes for 136 yards in 2017 and 2018.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Oprah getting in on the Jerry Sandusky story with new interview
THE SYNOPSIS: As if the Penn State scandal wasn’t covered enough by college football scribes.  Two years after his sentencing, the Big O got in on the Sandusky scandal by interviewing the convicted pedophile’s oldest son.

2013

THE HEADLINE: LSU’s leading RB formally charged with simple battery
THE SYNOPSIS: From our post on Jeremy Hill declaring for the draft a year later:

In late April, Hill was arrested and (ultimately) charged with simple battery following a bar altercation.  A video of the incident subsequently surfaced, which showed Hill punching the victim and celebrating.  The attorney for Hill, who was suspended following the arrest but was reinstated prior to the opener, claimed that the physical altercation was preceded by the victim heckling his client over the player’s past.

That past came in 2011 as Hill was arrested on charges of oral sexual battery and later pleaded guilty to carnal knowledge of a juvenile, a misdemeanor.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Ohio State vacates 2010 wins, doesn’t self-impose bowl ban, scholarship losses
THE SYNOPSIS: OSU acknowledged unethical conduct on the part of former head coach Jim Tressel.  The NCAA ultimately banned the Buckeyes from appearing in a postseason game in 2012.  And Tressel was given a five-year show-cause.