Akron

NIU sets pace in MAC West, Akron inches closer to bowl game

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Needing a win in order to stay atop the MAC West, and put the pressure on Toledo and Western Michigan to keep winning, Northern Illinois (9-2, 6-1 MAC) won a defensive battle at Ohio Tuesday night. A 21-14 victory against the Ohio Bobcats (5-6, 3-4 MAC) moves Northern Illinois into sole possession of first place for now.

NIU quarterback Drew Hare was your star of the night for the Huskies. Hare passed for 178 yards and two touchdowns and led the team running the football with 65 yards. NIU running back Cameron Stingily has carried the load for NIU in recent weeks, but he was relegated to just 43 yards and a touchdown Tuesday night. Ohio was unable to capitalize on a good evening from running back A.J. Ouellette, who rushed for a game-high 127 yards and a touchdown. Ohio quarterback Derrius Vick passed for 141 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 80 yards to contribute to the Ohio offense on a cold night in Athens.

Toledo gets a chance to keep pace Wednesday night at home against MAC East champion Bowling Green. Western Michigan will play at Central Michigan on Saturday. Northern Illinois plays at Western Michigan in the final week of the season. If Northern Illinois wins at Western Michigan, the Huskies will win the MAC West and head to Detroit for  rematch with Bowling Green in the MAC Championship Game. If Western Michigan wins its final two games and Toledo loses once, the Broncos will play in Detroit. Toledo advances to the MAC Championship Game with two Western Michigan wins if the Rockets win out.

NIU is likely on the outside of the Group of Five conversations unless a series of crazy events unfold in the final few weeks. It is not impossible to get enough help out of the Mountain West Conference (Boise State, Colorado State, Utah State… Air Force?) and perhaps Conference USA (Marshall), but even if NIU finishes on a roll it may not be enough to crack the NEw Years bowl games this season.

Ohio is not in any division race but hopes to play in the postseason. The Bobcats must win its season finale next Tuesday night at Miami Ohio in order to become bowl eligible for the sixth straight season.

Akron 30, UMass 7

With the win, Akron (5-6, 3-4 MAC) remains in the running to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2005. Kyle Pohl passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns and the Zips defense forced four turnovers in a 30-7 win against UMass (3-8, 3-4 MAC). John Mackey Award semifinalist Jean Sifrin had a pair of catches for 23 yards and recorded the only touchdown of the night for UMass.

Akron now needs to win its final game of the year in order to clinch bowl eligibility. They will have to do so on the road, against a woeful Kent State team next Tuesday night.

UMass will play its final game in the MAC next week, at home against Buffalo. The Minutemen will be leaving the MAC after this season, and it looks as though the football program will move forward as an independent in 2015 unless anything changes in a relatively short amount of time.

Buffs lose another quarterback

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(Writer’s note: not literally lose as in misplace, but you get the general gist)

For the third time this offseason, a player at the quarterback position has decided, for one reason or another, to take his leave of the Colorado football program.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera‘s Brian Howell, third-year sophomore John Schrock has decided to give up football altogether and will instead concentrate on the student part of student-athlete.  Specifically, the paper writes, Schrock plans to attend medical school after completing his undergraduate degree in integrative physiology at CU.

“It was a tough decision for John as he does love football, but we talked and he is serious about becoming a doctor,” head coach Mark MacIntyre told the Daily Camera. “He decided it was in his best interests to leave the team to concentrate on his academics. He is a fine young man and I think he will be successful in his pursuits.”

In 2012, Schrock played in two games for the Buffaloes.  His only attempt was a completion for seven yards.

In April, Nick Hirschman announced his plans to transfer from CU, later enrolling at Akron. Three months later, Shane Dillon revealed he would be giving up football to play basketball at another institution.

The attrition at the position doesn’t end there as Jordan Webb, who started nine games for the Buffs last season, suffered a torn ACL during spring practice and was lost for the year. Subsequent to that, Webb and a CU teammate were involved in a fight that led to charges.

At the moment, Connor Wood, a Texas transfer, sits atop the Buffs’ depth chart at the position heading into summer camp.

Buffs QB to transfer, pursue basketball

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Transfers are commonplace in college football, especially during the offseason. But transferring to pursue another sport? Well, that’s where the case of Colorado quarterback Shane Dillon is a little different.

The school announced on Tuesday that Dillon is transferring from the program to pursue basketball. Dillon, a redshirt freshman, says that basketball has always been his passion. The release did not say to where he would transfer, but playing for Colorado’s basketball team doesn’t sound like an option due to scholarship limits.

“I’ve grown up playing basketball my entire life, I’ve always been a basketball kid and have played since I was 4 years old,” said Dillon. “I was a late bloomer in football and never started playing quarterback until halfway through my sophomore year.

“I always kind of felt my decision that I had to play football was forced upon me a little bit. People told me I had to make a decision by the end of my junior year between football and basketball because quarterbacks all seemed to commit pretty early.  Basketball has always been my passion, and even though I really enjoyed my year here, I felt the time is now for me to make the change.”

Dillon did not see any action in 2012 as he recovered from major shoulder surgery.

“We hate to see Shane go, he’s truly a phenomenal young man, but we understand what he wants to pursue,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said.  “I felt like he definitely had a future in football, but as Shane and I discussed, it was going to take hard work to succeed in football, and it’s also the same for basketball.  Instead of throwing passes for three hours in practice, he’ll be shooting baskets.

“But you just can’t change your passion, and his is basketball. It was a tough decision for him but one that he reached after working through it the entire year.  We wish him the very best and we know that he will be successful in whatever he attempts in the future.”

Dillon is not the first Buffs quarterback to depart the program this offseason. In April, Nick Hirschman announced his plans to transfer and later said he would enroll at Akron. Jordan Webb, who started most of 2012, tore his ACL this spring and was allegedly involved in a fight away from the field in May. Now, the Buffs are getting dangerously thin at quarterback.

Mark Stoops pulls in 22 signees in first Kentucky class

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(Below are the bios released by Kentucky on the new members of its 2013 recruiting class.)

Jeff Badet, Wide Receiver, 6-0, 170, Fr-HS, Orlando, Fla. (Freedom) – Possesses great quickness and a
sudden burst that help him project as an ideal receiver … Has displayed great hands, body control and the awareness
that make him great at making tough catches in traffic … Caught 63 passes for 881 yards, 10 receiving touchdowns and
six rushing scores as a senior … Played for Coach Andy Johnson, helping Freedom HS to a 7-4 record and state playoff
berth as a senior … Junior stats featured 46 catches for 718 yards and 11 TDs … Ranked No. 13 on the Orlando Sentinel
Central Florida “Super 60” … Finished fifth in the long jump at the Florida state track and field championships … Last name
pronounced “bah-DETT.”

Alvonte Bell, Defensive End, 6-5, 255, Fr-HS, Miramar, Fla. (Everglades) – Explosive defensive end at
Everglades High School in Miramar, Fla., where he was coached by Rodney Rumph … The nation’s No. 24 weakside
defensive end by Rivals.com … The No. 34 overall defensive end according to Scout.com … “Bell is a raw athlete with
speed, length, and quickness that attracts attention his way. He has long arms to get into passing lanes, he can move well
in space, and he really pursues the ball well,” according to Scout analyst Chad Simmons … Was timed at 4.88 in the 40
with a 27-inch vertical … Made 40 tackles as a junior, with his 18 total tackles for loss including 11 quarterback sacks …
Helped led the team to the Florida Class 6A regional quarterfinals his freshman and sophomore seasons … Missed much of
his senior season because of injury … Began high school career as a basketball star before making the move to football …
Name is pronounced “al-VON-tay.”

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2013 Nebraska recruiting class

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(Below is Nebraska’s press release on the players added as part of its 2013 recruiting class.)

The Class Breakdown:
Total: 26; Freshmen: 23; Junior College Transfers: 3
By State: Texas (4): Johnson (Pearland), Kondolo (Carrollton), Mixon (Mesquite), Taylor (Katy); California (3): Martinez (Laguna Beach), T. Newby (West Hills), Stanton (Rancho Santa Margarita); Florida (3): Joseph (Weston), Maurice (Orlando), Suttles (Tampa); Ohio (3): Gladney (Akron), Hart (Dayton), Love (Youngstown); Indiana (2): Gregory (Fishers), Miller (Mishawaka); Louisiana (2): Carter (Metairie), Dixon (Baldwin); Missouri (2): Collins (Kansas City), Hannon (Kansas City); Illinois (1): Finnin (Crete); Maryland (1): M. Newby (North Potomac); Nebraska (1): Banderas (Lincoln); New Jersey (1): Singleton (Jersey City); South Dakota (1): Gerry (Sioux Falls); Wisconsin (1): Natter (Milton); Canada: Ontario (1): Knevel (Brantford)

By Position (First Position Listed):
Offense (12): QB-Stanton; RB-T. Newby, Taylor; WR-Dixon, Gladney; TE-Carter, Hart; OL-Finnin, Hannon, Johnson, Kondolo, Knevel
Defense (13): DL-Collins, Gregroy, Maurice, Mixon, Natter, Suttles; LB-Banderas, Love, M. Newby; DB-Gerry, Joseph, Martinez, Singleton
Long Snapper (1): Miller

(Writer’s note: below the jump are the complete bios of all 26 members of Nebraska’s 2013 recruiting class.)

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