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Navy offensive lineman David Forney, 22, dead after being found unresponsive in dorm room

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The extended Navy football family is mourning the unexpected loss of one of its own.

The service academy announced in a release overnight that Navy football player David Forney (pictured, No. 68) died Thursday night after being found unresponsive in his dorm room.  The 22-year-old offensive lineman was found by a fellow Midshipman.

No cause of death has been determined.

“Words cannot express our pain and sorrow,” said Navy football head coach Ken Niumatalolo in a statement. “First and foremost, our deepest condolences to the Forney family. The Navy Football Brotherhood is not a team, we are a family. We are devastated to have lost one of our brothers. We all loved – and will always love – David. We pray for strength during this most difficult time.”

“There is no tighter bond or commitment to each other than found within the Navy football family. To lose a brother is devastating to these young men who grow closer every minute during their four years at the Academy,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “We are a community that is in emotional pain today. Our deepest condolences to his immediate family and all of his friends. David’s memory and the influence he had on everyone he touched will live on and remain an inspiration forever within the annals of Navy football and the Brigade of Midshipmen.”

This past season, Forney started all 13 games at guard for a Navy football team that tied a school record with 11 wins, including a Liberty Bowl triumph over Kansas State.  The Maryland native earned first-team All-AAC honors.

“I’m at a loss for words, it’s hard to believe that we’ve lost David Forney,” said Navy offensive line coach Ashley Ingram, who was Forney’s position coach for four years. “He was an all-time great Navy offensive lineman, but he was so much more than that. He was the heartbeat behind this season’s record-breaking offense. He loved football, his teammates and the Naval Academy. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on. My love and prayers go out to his family and The Brotherhood. RIP #68.”

“It’s with a heavy heart that I say a few words about one of my best friends, David Forney. He was the guy I had the blessing and honor to play next to these past few years,” said starting center Ford Higgins, one of four Navy captains. “During our time on the football field there was a special and unique kinship that was forged through our time in the trenches together. There are uncountable instances where I felt like Dave and I worked together as one mind. He was such a great guy and even better friend. He was universally loved on and off the field by teammates and classmates. The Forney family will be in our thoughts and prayers. I loved him dearly and I will miss him forever.”

Forney is survived by his parents, Rick and Erika Forney, younger brothers, Chris and Erik, and sister, Rebekah.  According to the academy, Forney, who was a member of the 9th Company and a political science major, would have graduated on May 22 and had been assigned to commission as a cryptologic warfare officer.

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

Ed Orgeron, wife Kelly divorcing after 23 years of marriage

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Coming off a high on it, Ed Orgeron is hitting a low off the field.

According to multiple media outlets in the area, Ed Orgeron filed a petition for divorce from his wife of 23 years, Kelly Orgeron.  The petition was filed by Ed Orgeron Feb. 26, two days after the LSU head coach stated in the petition that the couple had separated.

The separation came five days after the couple’s 23rd anniversary.  It also came a little over two months after LSU claimed its first national championship since 2007.

From the Baton Rouge Advocate:

Orgeron states he is entitled to have the exclusive use and occupancy of the former matrimonial domicile in Baton Rouge, and he has no objection to Kelly Orgeron being granted exclusive use and occupancy of a home in Mandeville, “until such time as the community property is settled either by conventional agreement or judicial partition.”

Orgeron and his wife have twin sons, Parker and Cody.   Those two were born a year after the couple was married.  Tyler Spotts-Orgeron, a son from Kelly’s previous marriage, was an offensive analyst for Orgeron this past season.

Two weeks after LSU beat Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship game, Ed Orgeron agreed to a six-year, $42 million contract extension.  The new deal netted the coach a $3 million raise.

UTEP punter Mitchell Crawford set to transfer to Michigan State

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There is yet another development on the punting front for Michigan State.

Last year, Bryce Baringer placed his name into the NCAA transfer database. As we noted this week, Baringer pulled his name out of the portal, an indication that the punter has decided to remain as part of the Michigan State football team.

Around the same time, MSU released an updated roster. Conspicuously absent was the name of Jack Bouwmeester. A Michigan State official subsequently confirmed that Bouwmeester has returned to his native Australia. No reason was given for that development. It’s unclear at this point whether the move is permanent or temporary.

Whether related or not to Bouwmeester’s departure, Mitchell Crawford confirmed Tuesday to mlive.com that he has received a scholarship offer from Michigan State. Crawford, also an Aussie, would be leaving UTEP as a graduate transfer. That would allow him to use his final year of eligibility with the Spartans.

In two seasons with the Miners, Crawford averaged 39.7 yards on his 134 punts. Of those, 29 landed inside the 20-yard line. In 2018, the Queensland native earned honorable mention All-Conference USA honors.

Baringer began his collegiate career at Illinois. After taking a redshirt as a true freshman in 2017, Baringer transferred to Michigan State prior to the start of the 2018 season. Because of injuries that year to the two punters ahead of him on the depth chart, Baringer played in four games. In that action, he averaged 32.4 yards on 15 punts. Four of those punts landed inside the 20-yard line.

Baringer and Crawford are now two of four punters currently on the Michigan State roster. The others are redshirt junior walk-on Tyler Hunt and redshirt freshman walk-on Evan Morris. Hunt was the second of the two punters injured during that 2018 season. Hunt, who replaced the injured starter Jake Hartbarger that year, started five games, punting 36 times for an average of 40.1 yards per.

Oregon State’s defensive lineman Conner Warick enters transfer portal

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Oregon State, step on up as the subject of the next installment of “The Days of Our Portal Lives.”

According to 247Sports.com, Conner Warick has taken the first step in leaving Oregon State by entering his name into the transfer database. An Oregon State football official subsequently confirmed that the defensive lineman is in the portal.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Coming out of high school, Warick was a three-star signee as part of the Class of 2018 for Oregon State. He was rated as the No. 25 player regardless of position in the state of Washington.

In his two seasons at OSU, Warick didn’t make an appearance for the Beavers. The search for a better shot at playing time triggered the lineman’s decision.

Oregon State is coming off a five-win 2019 campaign in Jonathan Smith‘s second season as head football coach. That marked the program’s most wins since hitting that same number in 2014 in Mike Riley’s last season. Earlier this offseason, it was reported that OSU is working on a contract extension for Smith, who has gone 7-17 in his two seasons.

Ex-Houston safety Earl Foster killed in shooting

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Houston is the latest college football program to be hit with a tragedy involving a current or former player.

Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle has reported that Earl Foster (pictured, right) was killed in an East Houston shooting Tuesday night. According to the report, Foster was found dead outside of a gas station.

Duarte also wrote that “[a] female companion was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.”

The shooting reportedly happened somewhere other than the gas station. “The vehicle arrived at the gas station and asked for help,” the report stated.

As of this posting, no arrests have been made. The shooting remains under investigation by the Houston Police Department.

Foster, a three-star prospect coming out of Lamar High School in Houston, was a safety for the Houston football team from 2012-15. He appeared in 49 games for the Cougars. All of his action came in a reserve role or on special teams.

The Houston football program expressed sadness over Foster’s death.

Craig Naivar, who was Foster’s position coach in 2015, posted on Twitter his sadness over the development.

“The relationships & bonds built thru competition, the grind & fellowship last forever,” the new USC safeties coach wrote. Very saddened today to hear of the loss of one of our brothers. Please keep Earl & his family close you your hearts, in your thoughts & prayers, Love you buddy.”