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Alabama transfer Jerome Ford granted immediate eligibility at Cincinnati

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One former member of the Alabama Crimson Tide football program has received some unexpected positive news.

In January, Jerome Ford announced that he would be transferring away from the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. A week later, the running back confirmed via Twitter that he would be transferring to Cincinnati to continue his collegiate playing career.

It was initially thought that Ford would be forced to sit out the 2020 season. Instead, it’s now being reported that Ford has been granted a waiver for immediate eligibility. Because of the waiver, Ford will have three seasons of eligibility he can starting using this coming campaign.

Ford was a four-star member of the Alabama Crimson Tide football 2018 recruiting class, rated as the No. 12 all-purpose back in the country. The Florida product took a redshirt as a true freshman.

This past season, and because of suspensions ahead of him on the depth chart, Ford started the 2019 opener against Duke. After that, he appeared in just three games the rest of the year. He finished his redshirt freshman season with 114 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.

Ford will be counted on to help replace the production lost when Michael Warren announced in January that he would be leaving early for the NFL draft. This past season, Warren led the Bearcats with 1,265 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Spring football games schedule: Complete dates, times, TV options

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College football spring games? Certainly. Ready to watch? Probably (thanks to this spring football games schedule).

With the 2019 season fading into the rearview mirror, our attention has now turned to the 2020 campaign that, for now, seems far out on the horizon.  One of the first big steps in getting to next season, of course, is spring practice.  In most cases, those 15 spring practice sessions will culminate in some semblance of a spring game.

Below is a list of those college football spring games, complete with dates, times (Eastern) and, when appropriate, the television station on which they will be broadcast,

As of the initial posting, not all of the college football spring games and their dates have been released.  Some details, including times, are still to be determined as well.

This post will be updated as necessary throughout the next two months.

(Writer’s note: If any schools or fans of schools notice we’re missing already-available information, please shoot me the particulars at John.Taylor AT nbcuni.com)

March games

MARCH 5
Coastal Carolina, (other details to be determined)

MARCH 7
Air Force, noon

MARCH 19
Arkansas State, 7:00 p.m.

MARCH 21
Charlotte, (other details to be determined)
San Diego State, 2:00 p.m.

MARCH 28
Western Michigan, (other details to be determined)
Tulane, 11:00 a.m.
BYU, 1:00 p.m.
San Jose State, 5:00 p.m.
Arizona State, 10:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/Arizona)

April games

APRIL 3
Rice, (other details to be determined)
Buffalo, 3:00 p.m.
FIU, 6:30 p.m.
Georgia Southern, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Georgia State, 7:30 p.m.
Vanderbilt, 8:00 p.m.

APRIL 4
New Mexico, (other details to be determined)
Temple, (other details to be determined)
Troy, (other details to be determined)
Duke, 10:00 a.m. (ACC Network)
Minnesota, noon
North Carolina State, 12:30 p.m. (ACC Network)
Tulsa, 12:30 p.m.
South Carolina, 1:00 p.m. (SEC Network+)
UAB, 1:00 p.m.
Purdue, 2:00 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
Clemson, 2:30 p.m. (ACC Network)
UCF, 2:30 p.m.
Wake Forest, 3:00 p.m.
Boston College, 6:00 p.m. (ACC Network, tape delay)
Louisiana-Monroe, 7:00 p.m.
Arizona, 8:00 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/Arizona)

APRIL 9
Louisiana, (other details to be determined)

APRIL 10
Toledo, 1:00 p.m.
Cincinnati, 6:00
Texas Tech, 7:00 p.m.
Georgia Tech, 7:30 p.m. (ACC Network)

APRIL 11
Cal, (other details to be determined)
Kentucky, noon (SEC Network+)
Ohio State, noon (Big Ten Network)
UTEP, noon
Mississippi State, 12:30 p.m.
Kent State, 1:00 p.m.
Utah, 1:00 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/Mountain)
Auburn, 2:00 p.m.
Missouri, 2:00 p.m.
Eastern Michigan, 3:00 p.m.
USC, 3:00 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/Los Angeles)
Stanford, 4:00 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/Bay Area)
Pitt, 5:00 p.m. (ACC Network)
Boise State, 5:30 p.m.

APRIL 17
Army, (other details to be determined)
Memphis, (other details to be determined)
Indiana, 7:00 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

APRIL 18
Ball State, (other details to be determined)
Baylor, (other details to be determined)
Florida, (other details to be determined)
Florida Atlantic, (other details to be determined)
Georgia, (other details to be determined)
Kansas, (other details to be determined)
Louisiana Tech, (other details to be determined)
LSU, (other details to be determined)
Oklahoma, (other details to be determined)
Texas A&M, (other details to be determined)
USF, (other details to be determined)
UTSA, (other details to be determined)
Wisconsin, (other details to be determined)
Akron, noon
Bowling Green, noon
Michigan, noon
SMU, noon
Notre Dame, 12:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
West Virginia, 1:00 p.m.
Miami of Ohio, 1:30 p.m.
Penn State, 1:30 p.m. (FS1)
Alabama, 2:00 p.m.
Middle Tennessee State, 2:00 p.m.
Nebraska, 2:00 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
UCLA, 2:00 p.m.
North Carolina, 3:00 p.m. (ACC Network)
Old Dominion, 3:00 p.m.
Oregon State, 3:00 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/Oregon)
Western Kentucky, 3:00 pm.
Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. (ACC Network, 10:00 p.m. tape delay)
Michigan State, 4 p.m.
Tennessee, 4:00 p.m.
Florida State, 5:00 p.m. (ACC Network)
Oregon, 5:00 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/Oregon)
Ole Miss, 7:30 p.m.

APRIL 25
Arkansas, (other details to be determined)
Nevada, (other details to be determined)
Texas, (other details to be determined)
UMass, (other details to be determined)
Southern Miss, 1:00 p.m.
Marshall, 2:00 p.m.
Colorado, 3:00 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/Mountain)
Washington State, 3:00 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/Washington)
Rutgers, 4:00 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
Washington, 6:00 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/Washington)

Duke hires Chris Hampton as CBs coach

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David Cutcliffe‘s Duke football coaching staff is whole once again.

Friday, the Blue Devils announced the hiring of Chris Hampton as part of Cutcliffe’s 10-man on-field staff. Hampton will serve as the ACC program’s cornerbacks coach.

The newest assistant will replace Derek Jones, who left Duke earlier this month after a dozen seasons to take over as secondary coach/co-defensive coordinator/associate head coach at Texas Tech.

“We are excited for Coach Hampton to join us here at Duke,” the Duke football head coach said in a statement. “His experience both as a student-athlete and coach will pay immediate dividends within our program. Coach Hampton has earned the respect of many coaches and administrators within the coaching industry and I’m confident he will make a smooth transition into our defensive staff room.”

Hampton spent the past four seasons as the defensive backs/secondary coach at Tulane. That was Hampton’s first on-field job at the FBS level.

The opportunity with the Blue Devil will, obviously, serve as Hampton’s first on-field role at a Power Five school.

“I’m both honored and excited to be joining the Duke football family,” the newest Duke football assistant said in his statement. “I’m extremely thankful that Coach Cutcliffe has given me this opportunity and I’m looking forward to learning under him. I can’t wait to get to work with our current players as well start recruiting future Blue Devils.”

During his coaching career, Hampton has also served in stops at:

  • Arkansas State, 2008 (graduate assistant)
  • Georgia Tech, 2009-10 (graduate assistant)
  • Central Arkansas, 2011 (safeties coach)
  • McNeese State, 2012-15 (defensive backs coach)

Navy offensive lineman David Forney, 22, dead after being found unresponsive in dorm room

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The extended Navy football family is mourning the unexpected loss of one of its own.

The service academy announced in a release overnight that Navy football player David Forney (pictured, No. 68) died Thursday night after being found unresponsive in his dorm room.  The 22-year-old offensive lineman was found by a fellow Midshipman.

No cause of death has been determined.

“Words cannot express our pain and sorrow,” said Navy football head coach Ken Niumatalolo in a statement. “First and foremost, our deepest condolences to the Forney family. The Navy Football Brotherhood is not a team, we are a family. We are devastated to have lost one of our brothers. We all loved – and will always love – David. We pray for strength during this most difficult time.”

“There is no tighter bond or commitment to each other than found within the Navy football family. To lose a brother is devastating to these young men who grow closer every minute during their four years at the Academy,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “We are a community that is in emotional pain today. Our deepest condolences to his immediate family and all of his friends. David’s memory and the influence he had on everyone he touched will live on and remain an inspiration forever within the annals of Navy football and the Brigade of Midshipmen.”

This past season, Forney started all 13 games at guard for a Navy football team that tied a school record with 11 wins, including a Liberty Bowl triumph over Kansas State.  The Maryland native earned first-team All-AAC honors.

“I’m at a loss for words, it’s hard to believe that we’ve lost David Forney,” said Navy offensive line coach Ashley Ingram, who was Forney’s position coach for four years. “He was an all-time great Navy offensive lineman, but he was so much more than that. He was the heartbeat behind this season’s record-breaking offense. He loved football, his teammates and the Naval Academy. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on. My love and prayers go out to his family and The Brotherhood. RIP #68.”

“It’s with a heavy heart that I say a few words about one of my best friends, David Forney. He was the guy I had the blessing and honor to play next to these past few years,” said starting center Ford Higgins, one of four Navy captains. “During our time on the football field there was a special and unique kinship that was forged through our time in the trenches together. There are uncountable instances where I felt like Dave and I worked together as one mind. He was such a great guy and even better friend. He was universally loved on and off the field by teammates and classmates. The Forney family will be in our thoughts and prayers. I loved him dearly and I will miss him forever.”

Forney is survived by his parents, Rick and Erika Forney, younger brothers, Chris and Erik, and sister, Rebekah.  According to the academy, Forney, who was a member of the 9th Company and a political science major, would have graduated on May 22 and had been assigned to commission as a cryptologic warfare officer.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Forney’s passing.

Marshall and ECU move 2020 season opener to Week 0 to honor anniversary of 1970 tragedy

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You can add Marshall and East Carolina to the list of upcoming ‘Week 0’ games for the 2020 season after the two schools announced a date change for their matchup this year.

While television played a small role in the shift, the two programs sought an NCAA waiver to play on Saturday, August 29 as a way of honoring the 50th anniversary of the tragic plane crash of Southern Airways Flight 932 that claimed the lives of 75 people. The majority of those killed were part of the Thundering Herd football program who were returning from a game against the Pirates.

“We are grateful to Jon Gilbert and everyone at East Carolina University for their efforts in making this schedule change come to fruition,” Marshall AD Mike Hamrick said in a release. “Our people, our universities and our football programs will forever be linked by the tragedy that occurred 50 years ago. This change will allow a national audience to join us in paying proper respect to the 75.”

The incident was famously recounted in the movie ‘We Are Marshall,’ starring noted football fan (and Texas’ Minister of Culture) Matthew McConaughey.

The two programs have met a total of 15 times over the years and have three additional non-conference games set between 2021 and 2025.