Punters are transfers too and Northwestern just picked one up.
The Bowling Green Daily News is reporting that Western Kentucky punter Jake Collins was given his release from the school and will be a graduate transfer to Northwestern. He is listed as a redshirt freshman and will be immediately eligible.
Collins has been the Hilltoppers punter the last three years and averaged 40.2 yards per punt last season. If you’re scratching your head hearing the name or school and wondering where you remember him from, Collins went viral for perhaps the worst fake punt in the history of fake punts when WKU played Florida International:
Collins will likely wind up replacing Hunter Niswander with the Wildcats after he graduated. His departure does leave WKU without a punter listed on their roster though some changes and walk-ons might wind up filling the spot for the 2018 season.
Western Kentucky offensive lineman Dennis Edwards says he is going to finish his college football career with the same coach he started it with. In a message posted on Twitter, Edwards announced he will reunite with head coach Jeff Brohm, now at Purdue.
As a graduate transfer, Edwards will be eligible to play immediately this fall, which will be a nice boost to the depth at the offensive line position for Purdue. Unless he changes position, however, Edwards will likely be a backup center to provide depth. Kirk Barron returns to anchor the center of the line, one that loses just one starter from a year ago. But for a program that is still in the early stages of a rebuilding plan under Brohm, padded the depth on the offensive line can be instrumental in the sustained success for the program.
Western Kentucky is certainly beefing up its future non-conference schedules.
Earlier this week, it was reported that WKU had added a future game against Alabama. Thursday, not only did WKU confirm that game, but that the football program had also added a future matchup with Michigan State as well.
That game will be played Oct. 2, 2021. The Alabama game, which was originally reported to be scheduled for Sept. 25, 2021, will instead take place Sept. 16, 2023.
Left unsaid is whether WKU will pull in the $1.9 million for the road trip to East Lansing like they will for the game in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
“We always want to measure ourselves against the best, and certainly road games in Big Ten and SEC environments are formidable challenges,” WKU athletic director Todd Stewart said in a statement. “Both of these games are exciting matchups against excellent programs but also provide excellent opportunities for our program, players and coaches.
“Additionally, each are close enough for our fans to be able to travel and attend the games in person and support our football team on the road which is a key component of our scheduling philosophy.”
The 2021 game against the Spartans will mark the first-ever between the two football programs. The Hilltoppers and Crimson Tide have met three times previously, the first coming in 2008 and the last 2016. UA won all three games by a combined score of 114-17.
The cost of doing non-conference scheduling business, especially for Alabama, is going up and up.
Last week, it was reported that the defending national champions had reached a scheduling agreement in which the Mountain West school would receive a whopping $1.9 million guarantee. Wednesday, FBSchedules.com reported that Alabama has also reached agreements on future games with Southern Miss and Western Kentucky.
The cost for scheduling those two Conference USA schools? $1.9 million. Each.
The Crimson Tide will play the Golden Eagles Sept. 21, 2019, while they’ll face the Hilltoppers Sept. 25, 2021. Obviously, both of those games will be played within the friendly confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama and WKU have met three times previously, the first coming in 2008 and the last 2016. UA won all three games by a combined score of 114-17. ‘Bama and Southern Miss, meanwhile, have played 33 times between 1966-2014. The Golden Eagles’ three wins in the series came in 2000, 1990 and 1982. There was also one tie, a 13-all sister-kisser in Birmingham during the 1981 season.
It’s not been a positive last few days for the Western Kentucky football program.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed that potential starting quarterback Steven Duncan, arrested for driving under the influence in late March, would be suspended for the 2018 opener against Wisconsin. Adding to that misery, it was confirmed that the man who would’ve been hiking the ball to whichever quarterback won the starting job, Dennis Edwards, recently informed the coaching staff that he has decided to transfer from the Hilltoppers.
No reason, at least publicly, was given for the abrupt and surprising decision was given.
“Where that is, I do not know,” head coach Mike Sanford told the Bowling Green Daily News when asked about a possible landing spot for the fifth-year senior. “Insofar as everything is done above board, we certainly will support him in wherever he chooses to attend.”
In 2015 and 2016, Edwards started 26 games at right guard for the Hilltoppers. After moving to center prior to the start of the 2017 season, he started all 13 games this past year in the middle of the line for WKU.