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Police investigating death of FCS player as suicide

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Sadly, there’s more tragic news involving a college football player on which to report.

According to multiple media outlets, University of Montana Grizzly football player Andrew Harris was found dead at his residence in Missoula Tuesday.  The Missoulian writes that “police are investigating the scene as a suicide.”

Harris was just 22 years old.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to Andrew’s family and friends at this difficult time,” university president Seth Bodnar said in a statement sent out to the Missoulian. “The entire UM family mourns his loss and our hearts go out to all who knew him.”

A redshirt junior, Harris was a defensive lineman who played in 11 games during his time with the Griz.  Our thoughts, prayers and condolences going out to all of those impacted by Harris’ passing.

And for those in the reading audience: The phone number for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.  Please, pick up the phone and call that number if you ever get to the point where you feel like you just can’t go on.  Or call somebody, anybody.

Houston adding pair of P5 safeties via transfers

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New Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen is busy compiling his first football roster with the Cougars. Two new additions to the roster will come from a pair of power conference programs with the additions of safeties Thabo Mwaniki and Jordan Moore.

According to a report from Tulsa World, Mwaniki is heading to Houston after making his decision to leave Oklahoma State last November. After starting the first four games for the Cowboys, Mwaniki was reduced to a backup role in the Cowboys defense.

Moore, who previously played at Texas A&M, announced his decision to transfer to Houston on Sunday night with an image on his Twitter account. The image of Moore in a Houston football uniform included the message “New chapter,” thus noting he was ready to start with a clean slate with the Cougars. Moore announced his decision to transfer from the Aggies just before Christmas.

Moore will be required to sit out the 2019 season and will be eligible to play again beginning in 2020 due to NCAA transfer rules. However, because he only appeared in four games for Texas A&M in 2018, he can preserve a year of eligibility under the NCAA’s redshirt rule. That would make him a redshirt sophomore in 2020.

Mwaniki still has a redshirt option to use as well. Mwaniki appeared in seven games for Oklahoma State last season so he would have to use his redshirt year for the 2019 season, which he would have to sit out anyway due to NCAA transfer rules. Mwaniki will have two years of eligibility to use at Houston.

Jauan Jennings to return to Tennessee for one more year

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The wild ride that’s been Jauan Jennings‘ collegiate playing career will include one more go ’round on Rocky Top.

The Tennessee wide receiver announced on Instagram that he will be returning to the Volunteers for a fifth season. Jennings had been considering making himself available for the April NFL draft before pulling the trigger on a return.

In November of 2017, Jennings went off on a profanity-laced social-media tirade aimed at the coaching staff. The day after, he was dismissed by interim head coach Brady Hoke, who made the decision in concert with then-athletic director John Currie.

Jennings subsequently met with head coach Jeremy Pruitt and athletic director Phillip Fulmer about a return; in March of last year, after Jennings pronounced that he would be playing “one last season” for the Vols, Pruitt confirmed the receiver was back on the football team.

This past season, Jennings tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with three; second in receptions with 30; and third in receiving yards with 438.

Prior to the off-field issue that led to his dismissal, Jennings suffered what turned out to be a season-ending wrist injury that limited him to three catches for 17 yards in just one game. That injury led to an NCAA waiver that gave Jennings his fifth season of eligibility.

Jennings, who originally came to the Vols as a quarterback, was second on the team in 2016 with 580 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. His 40 receptions were tied for second on the team as well.

Seventh Alabama player declares early for 2019 draft

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If you thought the early exodus from Tuscaloosa was over, think again.

On his personal Twitter account Sunday night, Mack Wilson confirmed that, “after careful discussions with my family and many prayers,” he will be foregoing his remaining eligibility at Alabama and entering his name into the 2019 NFL Draft pool.

The inside linebacker had started 17 straight games for the Crimson Tide, including all 15 games this season.

Wilson is the seventh Tide player in the last three days to make early declarations, with less than 24 hours remaining until the deadline for submitting draft paperwork to the NFL passes.

Friday, it was confirmed that a quartet of Crimson Tide standouts — running back Josh Jacobs, tight end Irv Smith Jr., offensive lineman Jonah Williams and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams — would be leaving Tuscaloosa early for the April draft.  A day later, cornerback Saivion Smith made the same announcement via Twitter; earlier Sunday, standout safety Deionte Thompson did the same.

Deionte Thompson makes it a half-dozen Alabama players to declare early for 2019 NFL draft

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Not surprisingly, the exodus of Alabama football players for the NFL has continued.

Friday, it was confirmed that a quartet of Crimson Tide standouts — running back Josh Jacobs, tight end Irv Smith Jr., offensive lineman Jonah Williams and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams — would be leaving Tuscaloosa early for the April draft.  A day later, cornerback Saivion Smith made the same announcement via Twitter.

Sunday, on the same social media platform, standout safety Deionte Thompson announced that he too is foregoing his remaining eligibility in order to make himself available for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Thompson was second on the Tide in tackles this past season, earning first-team All-SEC honors.  He was also a consensus first-team All-American for the 2018 season.

The deadline for players to file their draft paperwork with the NFL is Monday, Jan. 14.