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After sleeping on MSU possibility, Pat Narduzzi says ‘I’m here at Pitt’

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A day after a vacancy to be head coach at Michigan State opened up, former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said he is not a candidate for the job. Narduzzi reportedly mulled over the possibility of being the next head coach of the Spartans overnight and confirmed his commitment to the Panthers on Wednesday.

“I’m here at Pitt and I want to be here at Pitt,” Narduzzi said when speaking with the media at a signing day press conference on Wednesday (according to PGH Sports Now). “That’s where I want to be.”

Mark Dantonio resigned as Michigan State’s head coach abruptly on Tuesday. Dantonio stepped down as head coach on the eve of the second National Signing Day, bringing an end to his 13-year run as head coach of the Spartans. Although Mike Tressel has been named the program’s interim head coach, Michigan State is currently conducting a national search for its next head coach. Narduzzi was quickly pegged as a likely candidate for the job.

Before taking the opportunity to become a head coach at Pittsburgh in 2015, Narduzzi had been a long-time assistant under Dantonio. When Dantonio left his position as defensive coordinator at Ohio State to become the head coach at Cincinnati in 2004, Dantonio hired Narduzzi from Miami Ohio to be his defensive coordinator with the Bearcats. After three seasons at Cincinnati, Dantonio was hired by Michigan State to be its new head coach in 2007. Dantonio brought Narduzzi with him to continue serving in the same role as a defensive coordinator. Narduzzi held that job in East Lansing for eight seasons before getting a job offer from Pitt to be the head coach. The 2020 season will be Narduzzi’s sixth season as head coach of the Panthers.

Not surprisingly, Narduzzi and Pitt Athletics Director Heather Lyke were sure to touch base and get on the same page on short notice once news of Dantonio’s resignation spread.

“We talked about the situation that presented itself yesterday afternoon and wanted to make sure he knew that we wanted him to be at Pitt,” Lyke said, according to PGH Sports Now. “It’s a relationship business, that’s what we’re in, and so I just connected with him and got his thoughts on what he was thinking.”

We don’t typically talk about coaches and signing day decisions for head coaches, but this may be the best signing day news for Pitt football the program could have asked for. Earlier today, it was reported Michigan State also swung and missed on Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell. Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell may not be in the running either.

Miami transfer RB Lorenzo Lingard granted immediate eligibility at Florida

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Florida has officially added immediate help to its football roster.  From an in-state rival, no less.

In December, it was confirmed that Lorenzo Lingard had entered the NCAA transfer database. In early January, Lingard announced on Twitter that he is transferring to Florida and will continue his collegiate playing career with the Gators.  A couple of days later, Florida confirmed the running back’s addition to the football roster.

It was thought that Lingard will have to sit out the 2020 season.  However, Lingard confirmed late this past week that he has been granted a waiver from the NCAA.  That will allow the back to play immediately for the Gators in 2020.  He’ll also have two additional years of eligibility that he can use starting in 2021 as well.

Lingard made the announcement on his personal Twitter account.

“Approved to play this year,” the back wrote. “Best birthday gift ever.”

A five-star member of The U’s 2018 recruiting class, Lorenzo Lingard was rated as the No. 2 running back in the country. He was also the No. 6 player at any position in the state of Florida and the No. 25 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. The back was the highest-rated signee in the class that year for the Hurricanes.

A knee injury essentially cost Lingard the last half of his true freshman season. This past year, he appeared in just two games.

During his brief time at Miami, Lingard ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. All of that production came in 2018.

Florida and Miami are not scheduled to play at any point the next three seasons.  They will, though, renew the in-state rivalry in 2024.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Texas A&M’s president stating that Texas is ‘not relevant to us anymore’

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, 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 May 31, 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: Poppin’ bottles: SEC opens the taps by approving revised alcohol policy for conference stadiums
THE SYNOPSIS: More than half of the 14 conference schools have embraced the concept of alcohol and football on fall afternoons.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Jimbo Fisher still hasn’t signed his 10-year, $75 million contract with Texas A&M
THE SYNOPSIS: This was one of the more odd storylines of the 2018 offseason.  Or any offseason, really.  Three months later pen was put to the contract.  The 10-year, $75 million contract.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Lee Corso inks extension to remain part of ESPN’s College GameDay show
THE SYNOPSIS: A college football institution.  Still.

2014

THE HEADLINE: 2014 Oklahoma State signee now facing five felonies
THE SYNOPSIS: Devon Thomas was, not surprisingly, removed from the roster.

2013

THE HEADLINE: A&M president: Texas is ‘not relevant to us anymore’
THE SYNOPSIS: What I hear when both sides talk about renewing the rivalry? “Blah. Blah. Blah-freaking-blah.

Georgia Southern announces one-year extension for head coach Chad Lunsford

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As Chad Lunsford continues to build the Georgia Southern football team, he’s been afforded some additional security.

Friday, Georgia Southern announced a one-year contract extension for its head football coach.  Lunsford is now signed through 2024.

“My family and I would like to thank Dr. Marrero, Jared Benko and the Athletic Foundation for this contract extension,” Lunsford said in a statement. “Georgia Southern is a special place and we are very proud to be a small part of such an awesome program. We will continue to work hard to help our student-athletes to grow as GS Men. Our program is on the rise and we are excited about the commitment shown to us as well as our commitment to give back to the University and the Athletic Department.”

In October of 2017, Tyson Summers was fired as the Georgia Southern football coach.  Lunsford replaced him on an interim basis.  A month later, Lunsford was named the permanent replacement.

GSU went 2-10 that 2017 season.  In the two years since, the Eagles have gone 17-9.  Included in that was a 10-win 2018 season.  During that campaign, the program claimed its first-ever bowl win as an FBS program.

“Chad Lunsford’s management of our football program, from developing young men of character to coaching them on the field, has been exceptional,” said athletic director Jared Benko. “He is a leader that is committed to doing things the right way. Chad represents our institution and state with great pride – both on and off the field. We look forward to his continued leadership of our football program.”

Former Alabama five-star signee Antonio Alfano has left Colorado, too

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A high-profile addition to the Colorado football roster is apparently no more.

Antonio Alfano was suspended by the Colorado football team in early March for unspecified violations of team rules.  Two months later, it’s been confirmed by a Colorado football official that Alfano is no longer a member of the Buffaloes.  In fact, the defensive lineman is no longer even enrolled at the Pac-12 school.

No reason for the divorce was given.

On his personal Twitter account in early November, Alfano announced that he officially decided to move on from Alabama to Colorado.  Alfano’s decision came shortly after taking a visit to the CU campus, and nearly a month after officially entering the NCAA transfer database.

This week’s development was the latest in what’s been a series of headlines for one of the top recruits in the Class of 2019.  And not necessarily positive headlines.  To say the least.

Alfano was suspended for unspecified reasons and didn’t dress for Alabama’s Week 2 home opener against New Mexico State.  Not long after, Nick Saban added a bit of mystery to Alfano’s status when he stated that the highly-touted defensive lineman has “kind of disappeared a little bit” before launching into an oral dissertation about failing to confront and learn from one’s mistakes.

On Twitter in mid-September of 2019, Alfano’s parents stated that, in large part because of an ailing grandmother, their son “has not attended classes or practices” for an unspecified period of time.  Against their wishes, the parents also confirmed that Alfano was entering the transfer database, although at the time it wasn’t yet official.

Saban offered up an update a couple of days after the family’s social-media statement in which the head coach, very bluntly, stated that the defensive lineman had basically quit the team as he hadn’t shown up for football-related activities, classes or counseling for unspecified issues.  The player wasn’t responding to attempts by the team to contact him, either, Saban added.

During summer camp last year, Alfano missed a couple of practices for what were described as personal reasons but ultimately returned to the team.  Even before the suspension, the lineman didn’t play in the season opener against Duke.

A five-star 2019 signee, Alfano was rated as the No. 1 strongside defensive end in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in the state of New Jersey; and the No. 5 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  He was the highest-rated Crimson Tide signee during this most recent cycle.

One final note: Alfano went to three different high schools in four years.  Which means, in less than six years, he’s been part of five different football programs.

The next buyer, beware.