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Clemson co-OC Jeff Scott confirmed as new USF head coach

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For one of the few times, relatively speaking, since taking over at Clemson, Dabo Swinney has a hole in his coaching staff.

Monday evening, and following up on a day’s worth of speculation, South Florida confirmed that Jeff Scott has been hired as the fifth head coach in the program’s history.  After getting started on his head-coaching duties for the next week or so, Scott will return to Clemson and help the Tigers continue preparing for the College Football Playoffs.

Scott replaces Charlie Strong, who was fired earlier this month after three seasons guiding the Bulls.

“Jeff is a very bright, enthusiastic and driven leader for our program and we are thrilled to welcome him to USF and back to Florida, where he was born and where he has recruited so well for Clemson for many years,” USF athletic director Michael Kelly said in a statement. “He is a young and extremely gifted offensive mind, a developer of high-level talent and an elite national recruiter who brings the experience of having played an integral role from the beginning in helping to build one of the most successful programs in college football. We are thrilled that he and his wife, Sara, and their daughter, Savannah, are joining our Bulls family and will be part of the exciting future of USF football.”

Scott, who played his college football for the Tigers, has spent the past dozen seasons at his alma mater.  The wide receivers coach in each of those seasons, Scott added the co-offensive coordinator title in 2015.

Earlier this season, the 38-year-old Scott (he’ll turn 39 later this month) Scott was named as a nominee for the 2019 Broyles Award, handed out annually to the nation’s top assistant coach. Last season, he was a finalist for the honor.

“I have great respect for the USF football program and what has been accomplished in a very short time and can’t wait to get to work building on that foundation to produce a championship program,” Scott said “I am thankful to President Currall and Michael Kelly for this tremendous opportunity and their support and belief in me. It is difficult to leave my alma mater and the great program we have built at Clemson, but I believe we can do great things at USF. I am thankful to Coach Swinney and all the Clemson players and staff for the great experiences and lessons that have prepared me to lead USF football. Go Bulls!”

Below is a statement from Swinney on his long-time assistant landing his first head-coaching job:

I first want to thank Jeff Scott for a wonderful 12 years. I’m happy for him and his wife, Sara, and his daughter, Savannah, and I’m so appreciative of all their family has meant to us over the last 12 years. We’re going to miss them tremendously.

Operationally, Jeff will be serving as the head coach at USF for the next week before rejoining us the latter part of next week and remaining with us for the duration of our College Football Playoff run. Our team is excited that he’ll have the opportunity to finish our 2019 season with us.

Jeff has been with me since day one when I became interim. He’s somebody I trust immensely and he’s extremely loyal. He’s been patient for the right opportunity, and I think this is that right opportunity. He’s got a great AD in Michael Kelly. It’s a great fit for Jeff and I know that he’s well-prepared to take this next step and has all the tools he needs to be a great head coach.

It’s been a real joy to watch Jeff grow and develop and work side-by-side with him. He’s done an amazing job representing Clemson, representing the program, coaching our wide receivers and coordinating our offense. His leadership has been a big part of our success, and we will always appreciate his contribution to our program.

Iowa State QB Re-al Mitchell latest to enter name into transfer portal

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The portal has claimed another name and Iowa State’s quarterback depth will suffer as a result.

Cyclones signal-caller Re-al Mitchell became the latest enter the NCAA Transfer Database this week and confirmed on social media that he was leaving Ames for another opportunity elsewhere.

The move is fairly unsurprising given that Mitchell arrived on campus in the same recruiting class as current starter Brock Purdy. With a pathway to significant playing time blocked by one of the best young QB’s in the sport, a ticket out of town seemed like it was coming sooner or later for the team’s No. 2 on the depth chart.

A dual-threat known for his speed, Mitchell was originally ranked as a three-star prospect coming out of high school who picked ISU over Arizona, Illinois, Kansas State, South Carolina and others. He wound up playing in six games under Matt Campbell over two seasons and threw for an even 100 yards and one touchdown.

A Southern California native, it’s possible a move back West could be in the cards for Mitchell. He appears to be insistent on playing under center but did see spot duty as a wide receiver during his stint in Ames.

Following the departure of Mitchell, Campbell will quite a bit of youth behind Purdy on the team’s depth chart. Freshman Aidan Bouman enrolled early for spring practice while fellow Class of 2020 QB and four-star recruit Hunter Dekkers will arrive later as they battle it out for backup reps. Iowa State opens the season at home against FCS South Dakota before heading to Kinnick Stadium to take on rival Iowa in Week 2.

Texas LB Ayodele Adeoye to miss spring practice with foot injury

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New Texas coordinator Chris Ash’s task at turning around the team’s defense got a tad bit harder on Saturday.

According to a release from the school, linebacker Ayodele Adeoye suffered a foot injury and will undergo surgery to correct it. While he is expected to be back in time for summer workouts, the upcoming trip under the knife will knock him out for all of spring practice in Austin.

Adeoye was a top recruit out of high school in 2018 but played in just four games and redshirted his first year on the Forty Acres. He turned into a regular starter (nine games) last season however and was fifth on the team in tackles (45) while recording an interception and 2.5 sacks.

With the redshirt sophomore out, the Longhorns depth this spring as they re-tool under Ash will certainly be tested. Fellow rising sophomore David Gbenda likely will take on an increased role based on the depth chart — though he might have to earn his way back after being sent home from UT’s Alamo Bowl win over Utah due to a violation of team rules.

Texas opens the 2020 season at home against USF and new head coach Jeff Scott before heading to Baton Rouge for a must-see game against reigning national champion LSU in Week 2.

Miami DL Scott Patchan enters transfer portal

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The transfer portal has giveth for Miami football and it’s taken away.

Less than a week after Hurricanes got a big pickup in the form of Temple grad transfer DL Quincy Roche, the program learned that veteran defensive end Scott Patchan had entered his name into the transfer portal via an announcement on social media:

Patchan started six games last season and played in all 13 for Miami in 2019. He recorded 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks while in the lineup but ultimately took a back seat to star pass rusher Greg Rousseau and a host of others.

The loss of Patchan certainly hurts the depth head coach Manny Diaz has to play with but is by no means a killer given what will return in 2020 along the line. In addition to Rousseau (coming off a 15.5 sack campaign) and former AAC Defensive Player of the Year Roche, rising sophomore Jahfari Harvey saw action and former five-star Jaelan Phillips will be eligible after transferring from UCLA.

Patchan, who received a waiver from the NCAA for a sixth-year after injuries hampered his career, will be immediately eligible for his new school.

Miami opens the 2020 season with a game against Temple as part of a three-game homestand against Group of Five opponents before traveling to Michigan State for a big non-conference test.

Buyouts and Chip Kelly’s grocery bill lands UCLA with $18.9 million deficit in 2019

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A difficult year for UCLA on the football field was just as difficult on the balance sheet.

According to details obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, the Bruins reported a shocking $18.9 million deficit for the recent 2018-19 fiscal year. This was the result of $108.4 million in revenue and $127.3 million in outgoing expenses.

“A confluence of events over the past two years led us to this point,” AD Dan Guerrero said in a statement to the paper, “and while it is unusual for us, we expect this shortfall can be mitigated.

“The investments made into our football and men’s basketball programs will pay off, ticket sales will normalize and one-time expenses will be paid.”

Those investments included a nearly 30 percent increase in the football program’s funding since the hire of Chip Kelly in late 2017. While former head coach Jim Mora’s buyout (nearly $12.5 million) was recorded in the previous year’s budget, the effects of it naturally carried over and created an even tricker situation when basketball coach Steve Alford’s buyout was thrown in for 2019.

In addition to buyouts, the grocery bill seemed to play a pretty big factor in the deficit as well. While this doesn’t appear to just be the case of switching from Albertsons to Whole Foods, under Kelly the program’s budget for nutrition ballooned from just a shade under $1 million to nearly $5.4 million last year. Add in decreased ticket sales in football (down $3.5 million from projections) after a disappointing year and increased costs from other places in the department and you can see how UCLA quickly went from being in the black into the red.

Needless to say, that puts even more pressure on Kelly and company to help turn things around in 2020. Things in Westwood haven’t been rosy in some time in the major revenue-producing sports and it seems it’s finally caught up to the folks in powder blue.