Getty Images

Wazzu confirms addition of QB once headed to Alabama

Leave a comment

Alabama’s loss — and West Virginia’s as well — is officially Washington State’s gain.

In late February, Gardner Minshew, a graduate transfer quarterback from East Carolina, confirmed on social media that he had committed to play for Alabama and would enroll at the university in May.  Nearly three weeks later, Minshew shifted his course significantly, announcing on Twitter that he was “[p]roud to say that I’ll be playing my last year of college ball at Washington State.”

Thursday night, Wazzu announced in a press release that Minshew is one of three players added to the Cougars’ roster.  As a graduate, Minshew will have the opportunity to use his final season of eligibility in 2018.

Minshew started five games for the Pirates last season, throwing for 2,140 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in completing just over 57 percent of his 304 pass attempts. Prior to his departure from ECU, he was penciled in as the Pirates’ 2018 starting quarterback.

In addition to Minshew, the signing of Lamonte McDougle was confirmed as well.  The defensive lineman, who will have to sit out the 2018 season, had announced in late March that he was transferring from WVU, following that up nearly two months later with an announcement that he was transferring to WSU.

Coming out of high school in Florida, McDougle was a three-star member of WVU’s 2017 recruiting class.  As a true freshman last season, McDougle played in all 13 games, totaling 23 tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.  On the strength of that performance, ESPN.com named McDougle to its Freshman All-American team.

The third signing on the night was defensive back Chad Davis Jr., who spent his true freshman season at a Kansas junior college.  Davis Jr. played his high school football in Daytona, Florida.

West Virginia transfer Lamonte McDougle lands at Washington State

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Less than two months after leaving one Power Five program, Lamonte McDougle has landed at another.

Overnight, Washington State, one of the teams not on the player’s restricted list, confirmed via its official Twitter account that McDougle has been added to the Cougars’ football roster.  The defensive lineman had taken to the same social media website March 30 to announce his decision to transfer from West Virginia.

While his addition to the team is effective immediately, McDougle will have to sit out the 2018 season, although he will be permitted to practice with his new teammates.  Including next season, though, the lineman will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Coming out of high school in Florida, McDougle was a three-star member of WVU’s 2017 recruiting class.  As a true freshman last season, McDougle played in all 13 games, totaling 23 tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.

On the strength of that performance, ESPN.com named McDougle to its Freshman All-American team.

Four-star 2019 QB picks BYU over offers from, among others, Alabama

Getty Images
1 Comment

First an Ivy League school and now this.

After being wooed and pursued heavily by Alabama, four-star 2018 quarterback Brevin White opted to sign with Princeton this past February.  Fast-forward three months or so, and the defending national champion Crimson Tide have been in pursuit of another four-star quarterback, this one from the Class of 2019 — Arizona high schooler Jacob Conover.

Sunday night, Conover announced on his personal Twitter account that he has committed to playing his college football at… BYU.

While Conover is a Class of 2019 recruit, he won’t see the field for the Cougars or anyone else that season as he is planning on taking a two-year LDS mission after he graduates from high school next year.  Thus, the earliest he’d be available to any school football-wise is 2021.

247Sports.com rates Conover as the No. 9 pro-style quarterback in the country.  In addition to BYU and Alabama, Conover held offers from, among others, Arizona State, Arizona, Northwestern, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Washington State and Wisconsin.

Don’t feel bad for Alabama’s future under center, though, as they already have a commitment from 2019 four-star quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the brother of the Tide’s national championship game hero, as well as the four-star great-grandson of the legendary Bear Bryant.

Mike Leach joins government trip to Cambodia

Getty Images
3 Comments

Bill Simmons once coined the term “The Tyson Zone,” named after Mike Tyson and describing the phenomenon of when a public figure reaches a level of behavior so outlandish that any possible story about them would instantly be believed.

Washington State head coach Mike Leach has been living in the Tyson Zone for years now, and Wednesday offered the latest example.

The Spokane Spokesman-Review detailed that Leach tagged along with a group of Washington lawmakers on a government trip to Cambodia, which included a tour of Cambodian government buildings and a visit with a number of high-ranking officials, including Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Wazzu spokesman Bill Martin noted to the paper that Leach, with his assistant coaches on the road and his players taking a post-spring football break after final exams, paid his own way to join the convoy.

“He’s someone who loves discovering new things. He loves to travel,” Martin said.

Yeah, I would say so.

Central Michigan becomes sixth FBS program with No. 1 overall picks in both NFL, CFL drafts

Getty Images
3 Comments

If you haven’t already heard, one MAC school joined some rather select draft company this past week.

For the fourth straight year Thursday, a player from an FBS program went No. 1 overall in the Canadian Football League draft; that’s the first time FBS players have gone first in back-to-back-to-back-to-back years in the Great White North’s version of the Player Selection Meeting. This time around the honor went to Mark Chapman, the Central Michigan wide receiver who led the Chippewas in receptions (59) and receiving yards (875) this past season.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were the team drafting Chapman with that top pick, trading up from No. 2 overall with the Montreal Alouettes to select the receiver.

“I’m just excited,” Chapman, who holds dual-citizenship as his mother was born in Canada and his father in the United States, said according to his former college team’s official website. “To go No. 1 overall, it’s surreal. I never envisioned myself in this position.

When you add Chapman to Eric Fisher, the former Chips offensive tackle who was the first player taken in the 2013 NFL draft, CMU becomes just the sixth FBS program — the first from a Group of Five conference, incidentally — to have players selected No. 1 overall in both the NFL and CFL drafts.

The other five?

SYRACUSE
RB Ernie Davis, 1962 (NFL)
OT Steve Scully, 1975 (CFL)

UTAH
QB Alex Smith, 2005 (NFL)
OL Chad Folk, 1997 (CFL)

WASHINGTON STATE
QB Drew Bledsoe, 1993 (NFL)
DE Rob Meier, 1999 (CFL)
DE Adam Braidwood, 2006 (CFL)

IOWA
QB Randy Duncan, 1959 (NFL)
DL Faith Ekakitie, 2017 (CFL)

OKLAHOMA
DE Lee Roy Selmon, 1976 (NFL)
RB Billy Sims, 1980 (NFL)
QB Sam Bradford, 2010 (NFL)
QB Baker Mayfield, 2018 (NFL)
OL Josiah St. John, 2016 (CFL)