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Duke hires Chris Hampton as CBs coach

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David Cutcliffe‘s Duke football coaching staff is whole once again.

Friday, the Blue Devils announced the hiring of Chris Hampton as part of Cutcliffe’s 10-man on-field staff. Hampton will serve as the ACC program’s cornerbacks coach.

The newest assistant will replace Derek Jones, who left Duke earlier this month after a dozen seasons to take over as secondary coach/co-defensive coordinator/associate head coach at Texas Tech.

“We are excited for Coach Hampton to join us here at Duke,” the Duke football head coach said in a statement. “His experience both as a student-athlete and coach will pay immediate dividends within our program. Coach Hampton has earned the respect of many coaches and administrators within the coaching industry and I’m confident he will make a smooth transition into our defensive staff room.”

Hampton spent the past four seasons as the defensive backs/secondary coach at Tulane. That was Hampton’s first on-field job at the FBS level.

The opportunity with the Blue Devil will, obviously, serve as Hampton’s first on-field role at a Power Five school.

“I’m both honored and excited to be joining the Duke football family,” the newest Duke football assistant said in his statement. “I’m extremely thankful that Coach Cutcliffe has given me this opportunity and I’m looking forward to learning under him. I can’t wait to get to work with our current players as well start recruiting future Blue Devils.”

During his coaching career, Hampton has also served in stops at:

  • Arkansas State, 2008 (graduate assistant)
  • Georgia Tech, 2009-10 (graduate assistant)
  • Central Arkansas, 2011 (safeties coach)
  • McNeese State, 2012-15 (defensive backs coach)

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.

Marshall and ECU move 2020 season opener to Week 0 to honor anniversary of 1970 tragedy

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You can add Marshall and East Carolina to the list of upcoming ‘Week 0’ games for the 2020 season after the two schools announced a date change for their matchup this year.

While television played a small role in the shift, the two programs sought an NCAA waiver to play on Saturday, August 29 as a way of honoring the 50th anniversary of the tragic plane crash of Southern Airways Flight 932 that claimed the lives of 75 people. The majority of those killed were part of the Thundering Herd football program who were returning from a game against the Pirates.

“We are grateful to Jon Gilbert and everyone at East Carolina University for their efforts in making this schedule change come to fruition,” Marshall AD Mike Hamrick said in a release. “Our people, our universities and our football programs will forever be linked by the tragedy that occurred 50 years ago. This change will allow a national audience to join us in paying proper respect to the 75.”

The incident was famously recounted in the movie ‘We Are Marshall,’ starring noted football fan (and Texas’ Minister of Culture) Matthew McConaughey.

The two programs have met a total of 15 times over the years and have three additional non-conference games set between 2021 and 2025.

Starting East Carolina DE Chance Purvis arrested on felony kidnapping charge, suspended

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For the second time this month, this time by way of a member of the East Carolina football program, a college football player is facing some serious off-field allegations.

According to 247Sports.com, Chance Purvis was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count each of second-degree kidnapping and breaking/entering with intent to terrorize or injure.  Both of those charges are felonies.

No details of what led to the arrest and charges have been released thus far.

As a result of the arrest, though, the redshirt junior defensive end has been suspended by East Carolina football head coach Mike Houston.

“We are aware of the situation concerning Chance Purvis and consider these charges as very serious and completely unacceptable,” a statement from the coach began. “Chance has been suspended from all football-related activities until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation, but since this is a legal matter, any additional comment on our part would be inappropriate at this time.”

Purvis didn’t play at all his first two seasons with East Carolina football.  In 2018, the lineman played in 10 games, starting one of those contests.  This past season, Purvis started all 12 games for the Pirates.  He was second on the team in tackles for loss (12) and sacks (four).

Depending on how the off-field situation plays out, Purvis would be the only returning starting lineman on the defensive side of the ball for East Carolina football in 2020.

Purvis is actually the second East Carolina football player arrested this year.  Last month, Cortez Herrin was arrested on one felony count of possession with the intent to sell or distribute.  He’s also facing a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

When healthy, Herrin has been a part-time or full-time starter at left guard for ECU the past three seasons.

In 2018, Houston started all 12 games for the Pirates.  He made five starts in 2017 as well.  A knee injury in 2019 helped limit him to five starts.

Second UConn player in transfer portal charged in connection to burglary of dorm room

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The number of current/potentially-former UConn football players connected to an off-field incident is moving upward.

Running back Khyon Gillespie and safety Oneil Robinson were arrested earlier this week on multiple charges. Both Gillespie and Robinson are facing one count each of third-degree burglary, sixth-degree larceny and providing a false statement. A warrant for the pair’s arrest was issued Feb. 3, with Gillespie surrendering Monday and Robinson two days later.

According to the Associated Press, a third member of the 2019 UConn football team, cornerback Ryan Carroll, was charged Tuesday with similar crimes.  The AP reports that the trio is “accused of stealing about $5,000 worth of items, including a television, video game systems and clothes from a dorm on Nov. 23.”

As a true freshman in 2018, Carroll started eight of 12 games for the Huskies.  He was forced to sit out the entire 2019 season due to academics.

As a result of the off-field situation, Gillespie has been indefinitely suspended by the UConn football program. Robinson and Carroll are two of the more than two dozen players who have left the team during this current cycle, with the defensive backs entering the portal last month.

“We are aware of the situation,” a statement from the school read. “We have been in communication with the appropriate parties and will continue to cooperate with the authorities throughout the process.”

Gillespie, a two-star 2018 signee, carried the ball once as a true freshman and ended up taking a redshirt for that season. As was the case with Carroll, he sat out all of the 2019 season because of academic issues.

Robinson played in 20 games during his time with the Huskies. He started 10 of those contests.