Well, that certainly didn’t last long.
In December, Cooper Lee signed a National Letter of Intent with Bowling Green and, after enrolling in classes at the university early, participated with his new Falcons teammates in spring practice. A couple of months later, however, the Toledo Blade‘s John Wagner is reporting that the punter is no longer a member of Mike Jinks‘ football team.
No specific reason for the departure was given, including whether or not it was voluntary.
Lee came to the MAC school as a two-star recruit after spending the 2017 season at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. He averaged nearly 40 yards a punt at the junior college.
Ohio State is once again continuing to keep a portion of its future non-conference slates in the state of Ohio.
In a press release Thursday, OSU announced that it has reached an agreement with Toledo for a one-off game in 2022. The Buckeyes and Rockets will, obviously, square off at Ohio Stadium, with the game scheduled to be played on Sept. 17 at a to-be-determined time.
The football programs have met three times previously, the last coming during the 2011 season. The Buckeyes have won all three of those meetings by a combined score of 114-22. The most recent matchup, though, was just a 27-22 win for the Big Ten school in the year before Urban Meyer‘s arrival in Columbus.
In addition to Toledo in 2022, OSU has future in-state games scheduled with Cincinnati (2019), Bowling Green (2020) and Akron (2021).
On the other side, the upcoming game against Ohio State gives Toledo yet another future matchup against a marquee Power Five opponent.
“We are very pleased to add Ohio State to our non-conference football schedule in 2022,” said UT athletic director Mike O’Brien in a statement. “Ohio State has one of the richest histories in college football and will be an exciting challenge for our program. We now will be playing at Michigan State (2020), Notre Dame (2021) and Ohio State (2022) in consecutive years. We think our players and our fans are very excited to be playing in these types of environments.”
In addition to the three mentioned in the statement, Toledo also hosts Miami (Fla.) this coming season.
There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.
But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.
Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”
Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.
This is supposed to be one of several big weekends for spring football games around the country but inclement weather forecast in the Midwest has led to other ideas at many schools in the region. While they are not following schools like Wisconsin, Michigan or West Virginia in completely cancelling their game, Toledo is moving their annual ‘Blue and Gold Spring Football scrimmage’ up to Friday night in order to avoid potential storms on Saturday.
Kickoff at the Glass Bowl is now set for 7 p.m. as a result and the school will use a running clock to keep things moving (and, according to a release, limited to about an hour of action). Players will still be available for autographs after the game and former Rockets stars like Kareem Hunt, Rolan Milligan, Michael Roberts and David Fluellen are still set to serve as honorary coaches even with the festivities being moved under the lights a day earlier.
Interestingly, Toledo is still holding their youth football clinic as scheduled on Saturday morning but will move things indoors to the nearby Fetterman Training Center instead of having it at the stadium.
The Rockets are coming off a banner season in 2017 that included an 11-3 record and that elusive MAC title. The team is set to return as many as 16 starters for the 2018 campaign and should once again be one of the conference favorites even if they don’t get a proper spring game this weekend to send them off to summer workouts.
Jason Candle‘s revamped Toledo coaching staff will have a little bit of an SEC feel to it.
Thursday morning, the UT football program announced the hiring of Kerry Dixon as running backs coach. Dixon had spent the 2017 season as the as the wide receivers coach at Florida, but wasn’t retained by new head coach Dan Mullen.
Additionally, Kevin Beard, who was Tennessee’s receivers coach last season, has been hired as director of player personnel as well as assistant recruiting coordinator.
“I am very excited about the addition of Kerry Dixon and Kevin Beard to our staff,” said Candle in a statement “Both men are great teachers and bring with them experience from the highest levels of college football. Kerry will do a great job with our running backs. Kevin will play an important role in developing our young Rockets and also brings valuable recruiting experience to the table.”
Dixon has previously served as the running backs coach at Florida International (2014) and Florida Atlantic (2012-13).
And, finally, Candle also announced that director of high school relations Ricky Ciccone has been promoted to nickel backs coach. He will also retain his previous title.