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Washington hands keys to offense over to John Donovan

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Officially, there will be no Kellen Moore directing the Washington Huskies football offense.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the former Boise State quarterback was deciding between the job at UW and remaining with the Dallas Cowboys.  Amidst reports that Moore had decided to stay in the NFL, the Huskies announced Friday morning that Jimmy Lake has named John Donovan as his offensive coordinator.  Donovan will also coach the Huskies’ quarterbacks.

Donovan comes to Seattle from the NFL, having spent the past four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“Coach Donovan has a great deal of experience at both the college and NFL levels, learning from a lot of great offensive minds about coaching the kind of aggressive, pro-style offense we want to play here at Washington,” the new Washington Huskies football head coach said in a statement. “From my own experience, I know how much a coach can learn and grow by spending significant time in the NFL. I’m excited for him to get to Seattle and get started.”

During his time with the Jaguars, Donovan worked with running backs (2019), quarterbacks (2017-18) and wide receivers (2016).

Donovan’s collegiate stops include Penn State (2014-15), Vanderbilt (2011-13) and Maryland (2001-10).

“I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of such a great university, with unbelievable football tradition, like the University of Washington,” Donovan said. “Thanks to Coach Lake and everyone involved for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to getting started. Go Dawgs!”

This past season, the Huskies were fifth in the Pac-12 and 41st nationally in scoring offense at 32 points per game.  Their 391.2 yards of total offense per game was seventh in the conference and 79th in the country.

The day after Christmas, starting quarterback Jacob Eason announced he would be leaving UW early for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Duke RB Brittain Brown enters transfer portal

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When it comes to the ever-present portal, the Duke Blue Devils football program was the latest to see a player hit it.

A Duke football official has confirmed that Brittain Brown‘s name has been entered into the NCAA transfer database.  The running back will likely leave as a graduate transfer as he is on schedule to earn his bachelor’s degree from the university in May.

If that happens, he would be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school in 2020.

Despite such a recent entry into the portal, Brown is already drawing Power Five interest.  According to 247Sports.com, Colorado, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin have already reached out to the back.

Per NCAA rules, schools are permitted to contact players in the portal without receiving permission from the player’s current school.  The player, in this case Brown, could also return to his original school.

In four seasons with the Duke Blue Devils football team, Brown has rushed for 1,126 yards and 10 touchdowns on 222 carries.  His best season was his second as he ran for 701 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 5.4 yards per carry as a redshirt freshman.

Brown’s last two seasons were marred by injuries.  A shoulder injury cost him four games in 2018, while another shoulder injury sidelined him for the last two months this past season.

Starting Vanderbilt LT Devin Cochran enters portal

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At least for now, it appears Vanderbilt and Devin Cochran will be going their separate ways.

Monday, 247Sports.com reported that Vanderbilt lineman Devin Cochran has decided to place his name into the NCAA transfer database.  No specific reason for the offensive lineman’s impending departure was given.

As we have previously stated, Cochran could always remain with the Vanderbilt football program by pulling his name from the portal.  In the meantime, other schools can contact him without receiving permission from his current school.

Vandy could also pull Cochran’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered the portal.

Cochran would be a graduate transfer if he ultimately opts to leave.  The 2020 season would serve as his final season of eligibility.

After missing the first three games of 2019 because of injury, Cochran started the final nine games at left tackle.  All told, the Georgia native started 32 games during his time with the Commodores.

A three-star 2016 signee, Cochran was rated as the No. 57 players at any position in the state of Georgia.  Only one offensive lineman in Vandy’s class that year was rated higher than Cochran.

The Commodores are coming off their sixth straight sub-.500 season under Derek Mason.  The three wins were the program’s most since Mason’s first season in 2014.  In mid-November, Vandy confirmed that Mason would be returning for his seventh season.

New TV deal that replaces CBS with ESPN could mean $23 million-plus annually for each SEC school

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There may be a million problems in college football — like joining the 21st century when it comes to the NIL issue — but, for the SEC, money in a new TV deal won’t one of them.

First reported by the Sports Business Daily, CBS has pulled out of negotiations with the SEC on a new television deal.  According to the SBD, CBS, whose current contract with the conference runs through the 2023 season, had bid in the neighborhood of $300 million annually for the package. While nothing is finalized, it appears ESPN/Disney and its $330 million bid has won out.

According to al.com, “it could actually easily end up being $400 million or more when all is said and done.” That same website wrote that “FOX had also expressed serious interest in the rights if the SEC wanted a different two company arrangement.” The SBD reported that execs from FOX are expected to make an official bid presentation to the conference next month.

If the figure reported by the SBD is accurate, it would mean each member school in the SEC would receive in excess of $23 million annually.  From this package alone. The number from al.com would be $28.5 million a year.  Again, from this package alone.

For the fiscal year 2018, the average per-school payout for the SEC was $43.1 million.  Just $4 million of that figure came from the current CBS deal.

CBS has broadcast SEC football since 1996.  The network currently pays the conference $55 million annually, a pittance compared to the future numbers being tossed around.

“We made a strong and responsible bid,” CBS Sports said in a statement. “While we’ve had success with the SEC on CBS, we are instead choosing to aggressively focus on other important strategic priorities moving forward.”

The move away from CBS comes on new commissioner Greg Sankey‘s watch, a stark contrast to the strategy of his predecessor.

Letting CBS walk away from negotiations marks a significant departure in strategy from the SEC. The league willingly accepted less than it could have gotten the last time these rights were up in order to stay with CBS because then-commissioner Mike Slive liked the national platform the network gave the SEC. The $55 million per year was a steal for CBS but the partnership was certainly mutually beneficial as it helped the league build its brand and led to massive television ratings.

Vanderbilt QB Mo Hasan enters transfer portal

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Vanderbilt appears to be losing Mo Hasan as part of a burgeoning quarterback room. Given how Wednesday played out, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

On the first day of the Early Signing Period, Vandy added three quarterbacks — two high schoolers and one JUCO transfer. One of the former, Texas three-star Ken Seals, will enroll early.  The other two, Mike Wright and Jeremy Moussa, will join the fray in the summer.

With that as a backdrop, and one day after the Early Signing Period kicked off, Hasan has reportedly entered the NCAA transfer database. Matt Zenitz of al.com was the first to report the move into the portal.

Hasan would be leaving Vanderbilt as a graduate.  That means he would be able to use his final season of eligibility at another FBS school in 2020.

As of yet, the Commodores football program has not confirmed Hasan’s status with the football program moving forward.

Hasan, who began his career at Syracuse as a walk-on, came to Vandy from Coffeyville Community College in 2018.  His first season with the Commodores, the Florida native played in five games.  This past season, he played in two, including his first career start. That start, though, proved to be his last appearance as Hasan suffered a concussion in the Missouri game and missed the last five games.

In his seven appearances, Hasan completed 11-of-17 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown.  He also ran for 79 yards on 16 carries.

Where Hasan will likely be missed most, though, is off the field.

Hasan, a Miami native, also gained national exposure for spearheading Second Spoon, a non-profit organization that distributes extra food from the athletes’ dining hall to the homeless living on Nashville’s streets. He appeared on various national TV programs to promote Second Spoon, including NBC’s Today Show.