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Nevada picks up JUCO QB after losing one to the FCS

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The reshaping of the quarterback room at Nevada football continued at a brisk pace this past week.

Last month, Kaiden Bennett, who previously transferred in from Boise State, opted to leave the Nevada football team. A short time later, it was confirmed that the quarterback had decided to continue his collegiate playing career at FCS Sacramento State.

The same day Bennett’s father confirmed the move to the FCS, Nevada announced that it has added another quarterback to its football roster. Below is the school’s release on the signal-calling addition:

The Nevada football team announced the signing today of junior college quarterback Jacob Barlage to a scholarship agreement to join the Wolf Pack for the upcoming season.

Barlage, 6-foot-1 and 205-pounds, comes to Nevada after one standout season at Riverside (Calif.) College where he completed more than 69 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards with 30 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He will be a true sophomore at Nevada with three seasons of eligibility and a redshirt year available.

Barlage will be eligible to play this fall for the Wolf Pack, which is scheduled to open up fall camp beginning on Friday.

In 2019, Barlage led Riverside to a perfect 13-0 record and a California state championship. He threw for 286 yards and a touchdown in the championship game, a 31-14 win over San Mateo, and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Barlage starred at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., where he played for his father, Daniel. Valley View won a CIF championship with Barlage under center for the Eagles. His mother, Jen, played volleyball collegiately at Northern Michigan and is the head coach at Valley View HS.

College Football amidst Coronavirus Pandemic: On this day in CFT history, including Urban Meyer being placed on paid administrative leave as Ohio State launches investigation

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The sports world, including college football, had essentially screeched to a halt in the spring as countries around the world battled the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there was a dearth of college football news as the sport went into a COVID-induced hibernation.  Slowly, though, the game is coming back to life.  Hopefully.

That being said, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on August 1, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football down-time, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)


THE HEADLINE: Tate Martell (barely) favored to win Miami job (and other QB competition odds)
THE SYNOPSIS: Yeah, that’s not how that turned out.  At all.  A refresher from last year:

Instead of bringing it on and competing with Georgia transfer Justin Fields for the starting quarterback job, Martell hightailed it out of Ohio State this past offseason and ultimately landed at Miami shortly thereafter.  Granted immediate eligibility with the Hurricanes, and seen as a slight favorite to win the starting job, Martell instead saw Williams stake his claim as QB1 as head coach Manny Diaz named the redshirt freshman the Hurricanes’ starter to start the season.

Losing out on the starting job led to Martell bailing on practice for the initial personal leave, even as he ultimately returned.  Not long after, it was reported that Martell had begun working with Miami’s wide receivers; last month, Martell shifted his on-field focus back to the quarterback position.


THE HEADLINE: Urban Meyer placed on paid administrative leave as Ohio State launches investigation
THE SYNOPSIS: The probe stemmed from allegations that Meyer had direct knowledge of domestic abuse allegations involving a now-former assistant coach, knowledge Meyer had vehemently denied at the Big Ten Media Days the month before. Meyer was ultimately suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season.  In December of that same year, Meyer announced he was retiring at season’s end.


THE HEADLINE: Body of Nevada’s Marc Ma found, a year after he was presumed drowned
THE SYNOPSIS: Another one of those headlines you never, ever want to write.  Although, this did offer the family some semblance of closure.


THE HEADLINE: Texas A&M prez ‘dismayed, disappointed, angry’ over sexist presentation
THE SYNOPSIS: It’s still unbelievable how this ever saw the light of day.


THE HEADLINE: Penn State, Pitt ADs will discuss potential future of in-state series
THE SYNOPSIS: Much like the Texas-Texas A&M talk, all I hear is blah blah blah blah blah.


THE HEADLINE: Report: Miami QB Kevin Olsen suspended for at least a game
THE SYNOPSIS: You talk about a Greek football tragedy.  After multiple suspensions, Olsen was dismissed by The U in September of 2014.  After transferring to Towson in December of that same year, Olsen was dismissed by that FCS school before he ever played a down.  He then spent the 2015 season at a California junior college.  Olsen then transferred to Charlotte for the 2016 season.  In February of 2017, the brother of former Hurricanes standout Greg Olsen was arrested on felony rape charges.  A year and a half later, he was found not guilty on all counts.


THE HEADLINE: War vet, Purple Heart recipient officially a Clemson Tiger
THE SYNOPSIS: These are the stories I live for.  Literally.  And, if you’ve never heard Daniel Rodriguez‘s story, make it a point to rectify that.  True.  Hero.

Ex-Nevada, Boise State QB Kaiden Bennett transfers to FCS school

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It didn’t take one Nevada transfer long to find his new college football home.  Which will actually be his third college football home.

In August of last year, Kaiden Bennett opted to leave Boise State.  Not long after, Bennett joined the Nevada football team.  Less than a year later, the quarterback opted to leave the Wolf Pack as well.

This week, it was reported that Bennett had decided to transfer to Sacramento State.  Bennett’s father subsequently confirmed his son was moving on to the FCS school.

“I am so grateful for Kaiden’s support during my tough times fighting cancer,” Derek Bennett told NevadaSportsNet. “He put family first when leaving Boise, even gave up a scholarship to be here for his family. Our family is extremely grateful for the time he spent at Nevada. Excited for him and his new start.”

The elder Bennett’s battle with cancer is what triggered the player’s initial transfer.  After leaving Boise State, Kaiden Bennett considered both Nevada and Sacramento State football before opting for the Wolf Pack.

Bennett was a three-star 2019 signee coming out of high school in California.  He didn’t see the field at all this past season, using his redshirt year in the process.

At Sacramento State, Bennett will be eligible to play immediately.  All told, Bennett has four years of eligibility to use.

Nevada LB James Fotofili, victim of a road-rage hit-and-run, suffers skull fracture

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There was scary-sounding news coming out of the Nevada football program this past weekend.  Fortunately, though, it appears this story is ticketed for a happy ending.

Linebacker James Fotofili, the Wolf Pack confirmed, was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident in Sacramento last week.  According to a statement from the Nevada football team, the junior “suffered a skull fracture as a result of the incident and has been hospitalized.” Sunday, Fotofili underwent surgery to reduce swelling in his brain.

The good news? “According to his family, the procedure went well and James is on his way to a full recovery,” the program wrote in its statement.

How long Fotofili will remain hospitalized is unclear.  It’s also unclear at which point he’ll be able to resume football-related activities.

According to a GoFundMe page set up to help offset Fotopili’s medical bills, the Nevada football player was the victim of a road-rage incident.  From the page’s description:

Fotofili, who is a football player for the University of Nevada, was driving home to visit his [brother’s] [gravesite], when he was a victim of terrible road rage accident. When James decided to get out [of] the car to check on his baby boy in the back seat, the same man involved in the road rage drove by and hit him with his car and fled the scene putting James in critical condition.

Thus far, the fund-raising effort has netted more than $20,000 toward its goal of $50,000.

Fotofili was a two-star member of the Nevada football Class of 2018.  The past two seasons, he played in a combined 23 games.

Nevada has won a combined 15 games in those two seasons.  That’s the program’s most in back-to-back campaigns since winning 20 in 2010-11.  In March, Jay Norvell was rewarded with a new five-year contract.

Nevada sees second Wolf Pack player this week enter transfer portal

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For the second time this week, Nevada has seen its football roster take a hit.

First, quarterback Kaiden Bennett, who was a transfer from Bosie State, opted to leave the Nevada football team as well. A couple of days later, reported that Daylon Johnson is now in the NCAA transfer database.  A Nevada football official subsequently confirmed that the defensive back is in the portal.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Johnson was a two-star member of the Class of 2016 for the Wolf Pack.  As a graduate transfer, the Texas native will be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school in 2020.  This coming season will serve as his final year of eligibility.

Johnson didn’t play at all his first two seasons with the Wolf Pack, taking a redshirt as a true freshman and missing the entire 2017 season due to injury.  The past two seasons, Johnson appeared in a combined 14 games.  After playing in five games in 2019, the defensive back suffered a season-ending injury.

Nevada has won a combined 15 games the past two seasons.  That’s the program’s most in back-to-back seasons since winning 20 in 2010-11.  In March, Jay Norvell was rewarded with a new five-year contract.