In between signing days, the Oklahoma Sooners football program has seen its wide receiving corps receive a boost in talent. And experience.
Wednesday night, Theo Howard indicated on social media that he will be transferring to Oklahoma and continuing his playing career with the Sooners football team. The announcement comes nearly three months after the receiver decided to transfer from UCLA.
Prior to the OU announcement, Howard had also considered Arizona, Baylor, Oregon State, TCU and Washington.
Howard graduated from UCLA in December, giving him immediate eligibility for the Oklahoma Sooners football program this coming season.
In 2018, Howard earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors after catching 51 passes for 677 yards and four touchdowns. Because of a pair of hand injuries that sidelined him for a sizable chunk of 2019, Moore didn’t record a catch this past season for the Bruins. Because he played in fewer than four games, he was able to use a redshirt for the 2019 season.
During his time at UCLA, Howard totaled 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on 119 receptions. In a loss to OU in September of 2018, Howard caught two passes for 53 yards. He didn’t record a catch in the Bruins’ loss to the Sooners this past September.
As we head deeper into bowl season, Ross Blacklock of TCU is the latest to catch an early draft.
As all of the cool early entrants are doing, Blacklock announced on Twitter Friday that he will be a part of the 2020 NFL Draft pool. A redshirt junior, the defensive tackle is leaving a year of eligibility on the table.
“This decision has been weighing on me for some time now,” Blacklock wrote. “A wise man once told me, ‘follow your heart, and you’ll never go wrong.’
“Playing in the NFL has always been a dream of mine since I was 5 years old.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the NFL’s Advisory Committee told Blacklock to put those dreams on hold for another season and return to the Horned Frogs in 2020. If Blacklock doesn’t sign with an agent, he could change his mind and come back to TCU.
Draft-eligible players have until Jan. 20 to officially file their paperwork with the league.
Blacklock missed the entire 2018 season because of an Achilles injury. He returned this season to start a dozen games. Following the regular season, he was named first-team All-Big 12.
As a redshirt freshman in 2017, the 6-4, 305-pound Blacklock started all 14 games for the Horned Frogs. His 6.5 tackles for loss were good for fourth on the team.
Along with Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray, Blacklock was named co-Defensive Freshman of the Year at the end of the 2017 regular season.
With Adam Plant on his way out at TCU, he could be on his way in at UNLV.
According to 247Sports.com, Plant (pictured, No. 98) has placed his name into the NCAA transfer database. The defensive lineman could still remain at TCU, but this is normally the first step in a departure.
While there has been no confirmation, Plant did retweet the report from his personal Twitter account. As for a potential factor behind his leaving? “His role was reduced with the emergence of fellow freshman Colt Ellison late in the season,” the website wrote.
Plant played his high school football at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Not surprisingly, 247Sports.com also reports that UNLV is a likely destination. Earlier this month, UNLV brought in Oregon defensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo as its new head football coach.
Plant actually signed with Arizona coming out of high school, but sat out the 2018 season to get his academic house in order. He then flipped and signed with TCU in 2019.
Coming out of high school, Plant was a three-star prospect on 247Sport.com‘s composite board. He was rated as the No. 6 player at any position in the state of Nevada and the No. 41 weakside defensive end in the country.
As a true freshman this season, Plant played in 12 games. The 6-5, 264-pound lineman was credited with three tackles — two solo, one assisted.
After a handful of days of speculation surrounding the TCU assistant, Curtis Luper has officially landed at Missouri.
As expected, Mizzou announced in a press release Saturday afternoon that Eli Drinkwitz has brought Luper on to his first coaching staff. Luper’s specific coaching duties will be released “pending completion of the human resources process.”
Luper has spent the past seven seasons at TCU. He was the wide receivers coach in 2013 and the running backs coach in 2014-16. The past three seasons, he added co-coordinating of the offense to his duties.
In all seven of those seasons, he served as the Horned Frogs’ recruiting director as well.
“Curtis brings a championship pedigree to our staff,” said Drinkwitz in a statement. “Luper has coached offense at the highest level and he’s been part of some of the best offenses in college football. He’s a man of integrity. He’s one of the best recruiters in the country. We’re excited to welcome him and his family to the Mizzou football family.”
Prior to TCU, Luper was the running backs coach at Auburn (2009-12) and Oklahoma State (2005-06).
“I’m definitely excited to come to Missouri and join Coach Drink,” said Luper. “He and I really connected in our time together at Auburn. We have the same thoughts philosophically when it comes to offense. It’s really exciting for me to be at a flagship institution. That’s something I’ve never had the opportunity to do in my coaching career. I’m looking forward to that and to being part of the Mizzou community.”
Luper becomes the seventh assistant hired by Drinkwitz since taking over. The first six have either come from Appalachian State or were retained off the old staff.
Florida State, after a couple of days worth of speculation, has officially added to Chris Thomsen to Mike Norvell‘s first coaching staff in Tallahassee.
FSU confirmed in a press release Thursday that Thomsen has been hired as an offensive assistant. His specific role hasn’t been spelled out, although he’s mainly been an offensive line coach in his career.
Whatever his position-specific duties, he’ll also carry the title of deputy head coach.
Thomsen and his new boss also have a previous working relationship. From 2013-16, the two were on the same coaching staff at Arizona State.
“I am extremely excited about the addition of Chris Thomsen to the Florida State football family as my deputy head coach and offensive assistant,” Norvell said in a statement. “Coach Thomsen has extensive experience developing NFL players throughout his career at a variety of positions from head coach, offensive line, tight ends and running backs. He brings a relentless work ethic in recruiting, which has allowed him to be one of the top recruiters in the country and one of the best that I’ve ever been around. I have seen this as a player when I was at Central Arkansas and working side-by-side with him at Arizona State. Chris will be a tremendous asset to our staff as well as aiding me as our deputy head coach.”
Thomsen has spent the past three seasons as the offensive line coach at TCU. He’s also spent time as line coach at Arizona State (2013-16) and Texas Tech (2012).
“My wife LeAnn and I are excited about the opportunity to join Coach Norvell and the rest of the staff at Florida State,” Thomsen said. “We look forward to serving the student-athletes at Florida State, as well as the Tallahassee community, in any way we can.”
Thomsen will be the first of what’s expected to be a pair of departures from Gary Patterson‘s TCU staff. At some point in the not-too-distant future, Missouri is expected to announce the addition of co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Curtis Luper. Luper’s specific roles at Mizzou will be spelled out at a later time.