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Colorado State the landing spot for ex-Nebraska QB Patrick O’Brien

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One of the eight football players who have left since Scott Frost took over in Lincoln has found a new college football home.

Patrick O’Brien took to his personal Twitter account Friday to announce that he has committed to Colorado State and will continue his collegiate playing career with the Rams.  O’Brien had reportedly visited Florida International and considered San Jose State before opting for this Mountain West Conference school.

The decision to transfer from Nebraska was made public by the quarterback on social media in mid-April.

A four-star member of the Cornhuskers’ 2016 recruiting class, O’Brien was rated as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback that year.  It’s that style of play that led him to transfer away from Frost and Nebraska after the new regime’s first spring practice earlier this offseason.

As the primary backup to Tanner Lee last season, and after redshirting his true freshman season, O’Brien completed 18-of-30 passes for 192 yards and an interception.  He also ran for four yards on 14 carries.

Because of NCAA transfer rules, the 6-4, 230-pound O’Brien will be forced to sit out the 2018 season.  However, beginning with the 2019 season, he will have two years of eligibility that he can use moving forward.

UCLA-Oklahoma game this September likely unaffected by latest California travel ban

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It appears likely politics won’t have an impact on one of the marquee matchups in the early portion of the 2018 college football schedule.

Friday, California officially announced that it had extended its ban on state-funded travel to the state of Oklahoma. The Golden State bars its workers from traveling to states California leaders believe are discriminatory toward gay and transgender people, a law enacted in 2016 that now extends to nine states.

In a press release, California’s Attorney General stated that a new law recently enacted in Oklahoma led to the ban.

“California will not use state resources to support states that pass discriminatory laws,” Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “The law enacted in Oklahoma allows discrimination against LGBTQ children and aspiring LGBTQ parents who must navigate the adoption process. California taxpayers are taking a stand against bigotry and in support of those who would be harmed by this prejudiced policy.”

So, what exactly does this have to do with college football? On Sept. 8 of this year, UCLA is scheduled to travel Oklahoma to take on the Sooners in Norman.

However, because the first game of that home-and-home series was scheduled in 2013, this year’s matchup is likely to be exempted from the ban.  Last year, for example, UCLA traveled to Tennessee to play Memphis in football; Cal played at the North Carolina Tar Heels; and the Texas Longhorns hosted San Jose State despite all three of those states having already landed on the banned list.

That said, and even as it’s expected to, it’s not yet guaranteed that the UCLA-OU game this year will indeed go off as planned. From the Sacramento Bee:

Assemblyman Matt Harper, R-Huntington Beach, has asked Becerra’s department to issue a formal opinion on whether Low’s law applies to college sports. The department assigned an attorney to the question, but has not released a report.

In addition to Oklahoma, the Bee reports, “Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas [are] on the list of states where California public employees cannot travel for work-related purposes unless they are required to by a court, to investigate a crime, investigate a tax dispute or comply with a grant.”

Along with those exemptions listed at the end, schools in California’s public university systems are permitted to send their sports teams to postseason tournaments, including college football bowl games.  Additionally, sports teams from states on the banned list are permitted to travel to California to play, regular season, postseason and otherwise.

After all, money y’all.

Former San Jose State coach Ron Caragher joins San Diego State staff in off-field role

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Ron Caragher is back in the city of San Diego, just not in a role he is used to.

The former University of San Diego and San José State head coach joined the San Diego State staff this week, according to a release from the Aztecs. He was named by freshly extended head coach Rocky Long as the team’s new on-campus recruiting coordinator and offensive quality control assistant in a role that is largely off the field in nature.

Caragher most recently spent four seasons leading the Aztecs’ Mountain West rival in the Bay Area, guiding the Spartans to a 19–30 record during his tenure with one bowl game appearance (a win in the Cure Bowl). He was fired by the school after the 2016 campaign however and now is back in beautiful San Diego, where he lead FCS powerhouse USD to a 44-22 record over six seasons. The former UCLA quarterback also had a stint in Westwood as an assistant (at the same time as Long, it should be noted) among other stops.

The ex-head coach won’t be alone in handling recruiting for the program as it was also announced that former SDSU defensive lineman and longtime CFL player Jerome Haywood was named assistant on-campus recruiting coordinator/defensive quality control assistant. For what it’s worth, Caragher never beat the Aztecs while at SJSU (0-4).

Penn State announces future games with Nevada, San Jose State and Bowling Green

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At long last, our national nightmare is over. Penn State is finally going to meet Nevada and San Jose State on the gridiron, and the Nittany Lions are going to kill both birds with the same season.

Penn State on Monday announced it has scheduled future games with Nevada, San Jose State as well as Bowling Green. Penn State hosts Nevada on Sept. 5 for its 2020 season opener and hosts San Jose State on Sept. 19. The Nittany Lions will visit Virginia Tech on Sept. 12 of that season, meaning all three of Penn State’s non-conference opponents in 2020 will be first-timers.

Penn State last played a Mountain West opponent on Sept. 26, 2015, a 37-21 win over San Diego State in State College.

The Nittany Lions also added a Sept. 7, 2024 game with Bowling Green to be played at Beaver Stadium. Penn State has played Bowling Green twice before, but not since 1998 — a 48-3 Penn State win.


Ex-USC WR Rahshead Johnson no longer at San Jose State, too

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Maybe the third time will be a charm?

In January of 2015, Rahshead Johnson decided to transfer from USC and ultimately ended up at San Jose State.  Now, a little over three years after that departure, the wide receiver is departing again.

Johnson has another season of eligibility remaining, so he could transfer to another program and play in 2018.  Whether that’s his plan or not is unknown.

Johnson was a four-star member of the Trojans’ 2014 recruiting class, rated as the No. 19 receiver in the country; the No. 13 player at any position in the state of California; and the No. 139 player overall. Only three of the 19 members of USC’s last class carried a rating than Johnson’s 5.9: Adoree’ Jackson and John Smith‘s 6.1, and Damien Mama‘s 6.0.

With the Spartans, Johnson, after sitting out the 2015 season, caught 16 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns in 2016.  This past season, those numbers dropped to seven and 103, although he did another pair of touchdowns.