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  • NC State QB McClendon transfers to Baylor
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 19, 2018

    North Carolina State graduate transfer quarterback Jalan McClendon will play his final season this fall at Baylor, according to reports.

    • The Bears have been thin at quarterback since Zach Smith's decision in December to transfer to Tulsa. Sophomore Charlie Brewer and freshman Gerry Bohanon were the only remaining scholarship quarterbacks in the program.

      Brewer was 139 of 204 for 1,562 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2017.

      The 6-foot-5 McClendon played as a backup over three seasons at North Carolina State. He completed 26 of 47 passes for 262 yards.

      McClendon was a scholastic star in Charlotte, N.C., throwing for more than 3,400 yards over his final two seasons.

      -- Field Level Media

  • UCF announces home-and-home series with Louisville
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 19, 2018

    The University of Central Florida, fresh off a historic season, has secured a home-and-home series against Louisville in 2021 and '22.

    • UCF, which has pursued home-and-home arrangements with Power 5 schools to boost its strength of schedule, announced the news on Monday.

      The Knights will travel to face the Cardinals in Louisville on Sept. 18, 2021 and then host them in Orlando the following year on Sept. 17.

      UCF beat the Cardinals in Louisville in their last meeting, winning 38-35 in 2013 when both were in the American Athletic Conference. Louisville has since switched to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

      UCF finished the 2017 season 13-0 with a 34-27 victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl. The rankings committee had the AAC champs 12th in the final rankings of CFP contenders.

      The school has said it intends to hang a national championship banner and pay its coaches bonuses as if they'd won the CFP title game.

      --Field Level Media

  • College football notebook: Two Baylor players suspended after sexual-assault allegations
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, March 14, 2018

    Two Baylor football players were suspended on Wednesday amid allegations of sexual assault stemming from an off-campus incident in November.

    • Baylor coach Matt Rhule told Waco, Texas, station KCEN-TV that the players had been "separated" from the team due to the investigation.

      "I can't get into too many of the details on this specific incident," Rhule told KCEN-TV, per ESPN. "I really don't know too many of the details on this specific incident, but I do know things have been handled the right way."

      Rhule declined to identify the players.

      --Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield put on a show for scouts at Oklahoma's pro day, helping boost his stock as a potential top-10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

      In the workout, much of it televised on NFL Network, Mayfield threw more than 50 passes, including just seven incompletions -- two of them drops.

      Joining Mayfield at pro day was offensive lineman Orlando Brown, who was looking to make up for a less-than-stellar showing at the combine. Brown improved on his numbers in the 40-yard dash, broad jump, vertical jump and bench press.

      --Mayfield is one of 28 semifinalists announced for the 88th annual Sullivan Award, presented to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.

      He is one of four FBS players making the cut. The others are Heisman finalist running back Bryce Love of Stanford, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser.

      Four of the last five winners of the award have been college football players, most recently Keenan Reynolds of Navy in 2016.

      --Field Level Media

  • Sooners' Mayfield among Sullivan Award semifinalists
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, March 14, 2018

    Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield is one of 28 semifinalists announced Wednesday for the 88th annual Sullivan Award, presented to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.

    • The Oklahoma quarterback, a leading prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft, is one of four FBS players making the cut. The others are Heisman Trophy finalist running back Bryce Love (Stanford), Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser.

      Four of the last five winners of the award have been college football players, most recently Keenan Reynolds of Navy in 2016.

      Men's basketball players making the list of semifinalists were Marvin Bagley III (Duke), Joel Berry II (North Carolina) and Trae Young (Oklahoma).

      Women's basketball players Gabby Williams (Connecticut) and A'ja Wilson (South Carolina) also made the list.

      Renowned golfer Bobby Jones won the inaugural Sullivan Award in 1930.

      Wisconsin women's volleyball All-American Lauren Carlini was the 2017 winner.

      -- Field Level Media

  • Mayfield, Brown make good impression at Oklahoma pro day
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, March 14, 2018

    Quarterback Baker Mayfield put on a show for scouts at Oklahoma's pro day, helping boost his stock as a potential top-10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

    • In the workout, much of it televised on NFL Network, Mayfield threw over 50 passes with just seven incompletions -- two of them drops.

      He took the bulk of the dropbacks without a center, but simulated the exchange and executed his dropbacks. He also threw the ball on the move and on simulated roll-outs.

      Mayfield, who measures just under 6-foot-1, was happy with his showing.

      "I think I put myself in a good spot here to be considered the best quarterback, no matter the height question," he said.

      Joining Mayfield at pro day was offensive lineman Orlando Brown, who was looking to make up for a less-than-stellar showing at the combine.

      Brown improved on his numbers in the 40-yard dash, broad jump, vertical jump and bench press.

      NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said all 32 NFL teams had some presence at the pro day, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer claims nobody from the Browns was there. The Miami Dolphins, who have been considered as suitors for Mayfield, also did not have anybody publicly attending.

      The Denver Broncos, led by president John Elway and coach Vance Joseph, had a seven-person contingent on hand for the display.

      New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt, Giants OC Mike Shula and Steelers OC Randy Fichtner were among other high-profile names in attendance, per USA Today.

      "You hear things, but you never know the truth," Mayfield said about where he'll go in the draft.

      "All I can do is focus on my game and focus on handling myself and putting myself in good position in those meetings to show what I'm capable of mentally, that I know the game and can pick up systems."

      --Field Level Media

  • Two Baylor players suspended amid sexual-assault allegations
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, March 14, 2018

    Two Baylor football players have been suspended amid allegations of sexual assault stemming from an off-campus incident in November.

    • Baylor coach Matt Rhule told Wace, Texas station KCEN-TV that the players had been "separated" from the team due to the investigation.

      "I can't get into too many of the details on this specific incident," Rhule told KCEN-TV, per ESPN. "I really don't know too many of the details on this specific incident, but I do know things have been handled the right way."

      Rhule declined to identify the players.

      Baylor president Linda Livingstone also released a statement through a university spokesperson on Tuesday night

      "Baylor University takes any allegation of sexual assault seriously. The University's new leadership team is unwavering in our commitment to follow our well-documented Title IX policy and procedures in regards to reporting and responding to incidents of sexual assault. The responsibility of responding to alleged incidents of sexual violence does not rest solely in the hands of any specific individual or unit. It is a University response dictated by our Title IX policy. Baylor University remains committed to providing for the safety and security of our campus community," the statement said.

      The original report states that two unnamed redshirt freshmen were among a group of four people being investigated for a sexual assault that allegedly occurred the night of Nov. 11, 2017, at the University Parks Apartments. Baylor lost to Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium that night.

      A crime report on file is dated Nov. 17.

      Per KWTX-TV, the crime log at Baylor says the incident was reported on Nov. 14 as "Alcohol-Minors Consuming/Sexual Assault," and was referred to university Judicial Affairs and Title IX offices. However, two heavily redacted police reports obtained by KWTX say only that campus officers took a report of a sexual assault.

      The alleged victims are reportedly members of the school's equestrian team.

      The criminal case report indicates that pictures and images were taken into evidence. Sources told KWTX-TV, the station reports, that video of the incident exists and may have been posted on social media.

      Baylor mishandled sexual assault allegations and information, the university found, in 2016 after investigating a series of victim statements and subsequent follow-ups under head coach Art Briles. Briles was fired in 2016.

      After Jim Grobe took over the program that year, Baylor hired Matt Rhule away from Temple and the Bears went 1-11 last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • LSU adds ex-Bengals assistant Coyle to staff
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 12, 2018

    LSU has hired veteran college and pro coach Kevin Coyle as a defensive analyst, according to reports Monday.

    • Coyle, 62, has spent 17 years in the NFL, most recently as the defensive backs coach for the Cincinnati Bengals.

      Cincinnati finished second in the NFL with 17 interceptions in 2016 and 20th last season with 11. Coyle and the Bengals parted ways in January.

      He also coached for the Bengals from 2001-11 before joining the Miami Dolphins as defensive coordinator from 2012-15.

      Coyle will work under third-year LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. The Tigers began spring practice last weekend.

      Before joining the pro ranks, Coyle was a defensive coordinator at Fresno State, Maryland, Syracuse and Holy Cross.

      --Field Level Media

  • Michigan State RB London plans to transfer to Tennessee
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 12, 2018

    Running back Madre London, who rushed for 924 yards in three seasons with Michigan State, plans to play for Tennessee this year as a graduate transfer.

    • London wrote on his Twitter account, "With much consideration, I have officially committed to the University of Tennessee. #GoVols #RockyTop"

      The Volunteers' leading returning rusher, sophomore-to-be Ty Chandler, gained 305 yards last season.

      London was stuck behind LJ Scott on the Spartans' depth chart. Last season, Scott, then a junior, ran for 898 yards and eight touchdowns on 201 carries. London produced 304 yards and three TDs on 83 carries.

      London's best season in East Lansing came as a freshman in 2015, when he amassed 500 yards and three touchdowns on 119 carries.

      --Field Level Media

  • Texas gets commitment from grad transfer Anderson
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 11, 2018

    Offensive tackle Calvin Anderson has picked the Texas Longhorns as his graduate transfer destination after he wraps up his degree at Rice in May.

    • Anderson, a three-year starter, announced the decision in a tweet on Saturday. He'll join the Longhorns after he receives his Mathematical Economic Analysis degree on May 12.

      Anderson caused a bit of a frenzy when he revealed his intentions to transfer in early January, but narrowed his options down to four schools -- Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma and Auburn.

      The 6-foot-5, 302 lb Anderson will be a nice addition to a strong 2018 recruiting class for the Longhorns.

      "It's good to be done with the recruiting process," Anderson said to on Saturday. "I narrowed it down to those four schools. I prayed on it and the spirit was leading me to Texas."

      Anderson, who played high school football in Austin, Texas, says coming home wasn't a factor in his decision, but that new Longhorns offensive line coach Herb Hand was.

      "It's cool that I get to do that but it really wasn't part of the decision-making process for me," he said of returning to Austin.

      "Herb Hand coming to Texas was a large reason for me (choosing UT). Had he not come, circumstances might be different."

      Anderson said Hand was previously recruiting him for Auburn, but that his pitch carried over to the Longhorns.

      "From the beginning, he's talked very specifically about why he wants to coach me. He really sold me on why he thinks I'm a good player and on the things he can help coach me to get better at," Anderson explained to SI. "It was not as much of a recruiting pitch change as you might think. He said he can help fix my stance, get it more square, help me play with better pad level, teach me some technique things as far as double teams and stepping off the ball which will help me to maximize my ability to use my leverage."

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Stanford QB Chryst transferring to Tennessee
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 9, 2018

    Former Stanford Cardinal quarterback Keller Chryst will finish his career with the Tennessee Volunteers, transferring to the SEC school after graduating from Stanford.

    • Chryst, who has one year of eligibility remaining, is looking to compete for the starting job with the Vols.

      Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt confirmed the move.

      "There are probably some other guys who would have liked to have come here, but I would not tell them they'd be the starting quarterback," Pruitt said, per the AP. "That will be determined by the guys on the field. Keller was excited about just the chance to compete. That's all he wanted."

      Chryst started seven games for the Cardinal in 2017, eventually giving way to sophomore K.J. Costello.

      Costello and Chryst shared quarterback duties through much of the first half of the season.

      Chryst finished the year with 962 yards passing, eight touchdowns and four interceptions.

      Tennessee's only QBs on the roster aside from Chryst are sophomores Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride, along with incoming freshman JT Shrout.

      Quinten Dormady opened last season as the starter, but plans to transfer. Guarantano started six games and McBride replaced him for one start.

      Tennessee finished last season 4-8, losing all eight of its conference games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Iowa State announces coaching moves ahead of spring workouts
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 9, 2018

    The Iowa State Cyclones are adjusting to the loss of offensive coordinator Tom Manning by moving three assistants into new roles ahead of spring workouts.

    • Passing game coordinator Jim Hofher will become the senior offensive analyst and assistant to head coach Matt Campbell, the school announced on Friday.

      Also, graduate assistant Jim Myers is being promoted to offensive line coach and Joel Gordon will take over as quarterbacks coach.

      Joe Houston was also named as an assistant, in charge of special teams.

      Hofher brings a ton of experience, having spent 37 years in coaching -- 13 as a head coach at Cornell and Buffalo.

      Gordon's previous role was as offensive analyst over the last two seasons, which were also two of the best offensive seasons in Cyclones' history.

      Iowa State finished the 2017 regular season at 7-5 and capped its year with a 21-20 win over Memphis in the Liberty Bowl.

      Manning left to join the Indianapolis Colts as tight ends coach.

      --Field Level Media

  • Minnesota RB Brooks (leg) to miss 2018 season
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, March 6, 2018

    Minnesota senior running back Shannon Brooks will miss the 2018 season after suffering a lower leg injury during winter conditioning, Golden Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said Tuesday.

    • Brooks will redshirt this season and return in 2019.

      Fleck made the announcement at a press conference shortly before the team's first spring football practice. He said Brooks was hurt in a non-contact situation.

      "That's unfortunate and obviously that is not the news that everyone wants to hear, not what I want to hear, but I will tell you what, he's been incredibly positive about it," Fleck said. "He sees it as kind of a blessing in his own eyes in how he can continue to mature and how he can get better and obviously be back in 2019."

      Brooks rushed for 369 yards last season as a junior while being hindered by injuries. He rushed for 709 yards in 2015 and 650 in 2016.

      Brooks has 17 rushing touchdowns and two receiving scores in his career.

      --Field Level Media

  • Houston DT Oliver to go pro after 2018 season
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 5, 2018

    Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver is planning to make the 2018 season his last at the collegiate level.

    • The All-American and winner of the 2017 Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation's top interior lineman, told reporters following the Cougars' first spring practice Monday that he intends to enter the 2019 NFL Draft after his junior season.

      "I do plan on leaving this year," Oliver said. "It's just the truth. I wish I could stay another year, but it's just my time to go."

      Oliver is projected to be an early first-rounder in the 2019 draft.

      "This was a dream of mine coming in," he said. "I knew I was going on a business trip, and whether my business trip was three years or four years it just depended on how early I got on the field and how effective I was."

      Oliver has been more than effective through his first two seasons with Houston. He's totaled 39.5 tackles for loss in that time and has 135 tackles and 10.5 sacks. He even played through a knee injury last season on his way to being the first underclassman (freshman or sophomore) to win the Outland Trophy.

      In other Houston news, running back Duke Catalon has left the team for personal reasons, the school confirmed. Catalon ran for 637 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rice delays spring practice after death of DE Padgett
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 4, 2018

    Rice announced Sunday that the start of spring practice will be pushed back until the week after spring break (March 19-24) following the loss of defensive end Blain Padgett, who was found dead in his apartment Friday. Padgett was 21 years old.

    • "Football is secondary to dealing with the loss of a teammate and friend and our sole concern right now is supporting them in this difficult time," coach Mike Bloomgren said, via Twitter.

      Rice was set to open spring practice Monday.

      The school confirmed Padgett's death Saturday. No cause of death has been announced.

      "Our team is devastated by this news," Bloomgren said in the school's statement. "All of my thoughts right now are how best to help Blain's family and his teammates in this very difficult period."

      Padgett, a junior from Sour Lake, Texas, led the Owls' defensive line with 41 tackles and was second with 5.5 tackles for loss in 2016.

      Padgett was limited to three games in 2017. He amassed 3.5 sacks across his three seasons at the school.

      "Our entire athletic department is in mourning over the loss of Blain Padgett," athletic director Joe Karlgaard said in the statement. "Blain was a great friend and teammate and the sense of loss is overwhelming to his teammates, his friends, but most importantly to his family, who are in our thoughts and prayers. We will do everything in our power to provide assistance to our student-athletes in this incredibly difficult time."

      The Rice football team was scheduled to gather for a vigil in memory of Padgett on Sunday night, according to KTRK in Houston.

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA weighs increasing touchbacks on kickoffs
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, March 3, 2018

    A change proposed by the NCAA Football Rules Committee could lead to a significant increase in kickoff touchbacks if approved.

    • With player safety in mind, the committee has devised a new rule that would allow players to call for a fair catch on kickoffs anywhere inside their own 25-yard line, resulting in a touchback that would set the offense up at the 25. All other aspects of kickoffs would remain the same.

      "The committee discussed the kickoff play at great length, and we will continue to work to find ways to improve the play," said North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, the chair of the committee, in a statement. "We believe making one change will allow us to study the effect of this change in terms of player safety."

      The rule recommendation would need to be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss football proposals on a conference call on April 13.

      Other tweaks proposed include simplifying rules regarding blocks below the waist and speeding up pace of play. In order to further quicken games, the committee approved 40-second play clocks after touchdowns to expedite the extra point or two-point conversion and after kickoffs to restart play quicker.

      Also, the committee approved a proposal for a 10-second runoff when instant-replay overturns the ruling on the field inside of one minute of either half and the correct ruling would not have stopped the game clock.

      "In discussions with the college football community, the committee's goal is to identify ways to keep the game moving and reducing as much as possible the down time in the stadium," said Steve Shaw, the secretary-rules editor, in a statement. "These changes will not take plays out of the game, but will positively impact the flow of the game."

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Stanford QB Chryst transferring to Tennessee
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 2, 2018

    Former Stanford starting quarterback Keller Chryst is transferring to Tennessee.

    • Chryst announced his decision late Thursday on Twitter. Earning his degree in June would allow Chryst to be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer for the 2018 season.

      Chryst passed for 1,926 yards and 19 touchdowns against six interceptions during three seasons at Stanford. He went 6-0 as a starter as a junior and later lost the starting job as a senior to sophomore K.J. Costello. He passed for 962 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions in 2017.

      Chryst will compete with Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride for the Volunteers' quarterback job this spring. Guarantano received the most time at the position for Tennessee last season, throwing for 997 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hurricanes hire prep legend Simpson as DL coach
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 2, 2018

    The Miami Hurricanes hired Jess Simpson as defensive line coach on Friday to join Mark Richt's staff.

    • Simpson, a former Atlanta Falcons defensive assistant and Georgia high school coaching legend, replaces Craig Kuligowski, who accepted a job last week with Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

      Simpson joins the Hurricanes after spending the 2017 season with the Falcons. He was the defensive line/assistant head coach at Georgia State in 2016.

      "We are excited to welcome Jess to our Miami family," Richt said in a statement. "He has proven to be a great leader of men, and he brings a high level of energy, enthusiasm and expertise to our coaching staff."

      Simpson helped Atlanta rank ninth in the NFL in both total defense and rushing defense in 2017. The Falcons advanced to the NFC divisional playoffs before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

      In 12 years as the Buford (Georgia) High School head coach, Simpson won seven state titles and compiled a record of 164-12 -- a .932 winning percentage. Under Simpson (defensive coordinator from 2001-03, head coach from 2004-10), Buford appeared in 10 consecutive state finals. He spent a total of 22 years on the Buford staff.

      "On every front, we are really excited," Simpson said. "This is really turning the page and starting a new chapter for me and my family. Ultimately it was about the people and certainly this decision -- to work for Mark Richt and having this opportunity at Miami in the defensive line room -- was too good to pass up.

      "Just saying that sentence -- 'working in the defensive line room at the University of Miami' -- is such a mouthful because of the greatness that has come from that room. I know the rich tradition of success, the types of players and defensive linemen that have come through the room and had an impact at this level and on the NFL level. We have some super talented kids in our room, incredible kids coming to join us this fall and then even more in the future. We have something special going on, and I'm honored to be a part of it."

      --Field Level Media

  • South Dakota State's Stiegelmeier apologizes for DUI arrest
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 1, 2018

    South Dakota State football coach John Stiegelmeier revealed Wednesday that he was arrested for DUI in late January.

    • Court documents say Stiegelmeier was arrested Jan. 27, according to The Brookings (S.D.) Register. He was stopped while driving home at approximately 11:30 p.m. A court document alleges the responding officer found Stiegelmeier's vehicle stuck in a ditch, and that the coach told the officer he went out to get food.

      Stiegelmeier, 61, admitted to driving under the influence and has a court date scheduled for March 6. He issued a written apology via the The Brookings Register:

      "First and foremost, I made a terrible mistake," his statement reads. "The decision I made is not who I have been, who I am or who I will be moving forward.

      "I apologize to my family, President [Barry] Dunn, Athletic Director [Justin] Sell, my entire staff, and the entire SDSU football family present and past. I also want to apologize to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an organization that has impacted me and I have attempted to serve when called upon.

      "I obviously can't control individuals' judgements, but the poor decision I made reflects only on me and not our staff or football team."

      Sell offered a statement of support to the newspaper.

      "This certainly is an incident that does not reflect the values of our program and is out of character for Coach Stiegelmeier," Sell stated. "He has led our football program with integrity and class throughout his career, and I know he will use this incident as a teachable moment for the numerous young men he has mentored. I am fully behind him as he goes through this difficult time."

      Stiegelmeier is the winningest football coach in South Dakota State history, with a 148-97 record in 21 seasons.

      "Coach Stiegelmeier has been a valued member of the university and community for many years and we welcome his continued service as our head football coach," university president Dunn said in a statement to the Argus Leader on Thursday. "He will use this experience to educate others and inspire many more young men in his role as head coach about making the right decisions in life."

      --Field Level Media

  • Stanford QB Costello to miss spring practice
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 27, 2018

    Stanford starting quarterback K.J. Costello will miss spring practice because of an injury, coach David Shaw announced Tuesday.

    • Costello "is expected to be fully healthy in time for fall training camp," according to Shaw.

      Shaw didn't reveal specifics regarding the ailment, but a Sports Illustrated report earlier this month said Costello is dealing with a hip injury.

      Costello threw for 1,573 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions last season after taking the starting job from Keller Chryst, who was injured. Chryst announced last month that he would be transferring from Stanford.

      Davis Mills, the Cardinal's only other scholarship quarterback, is also set to miss spring practice due to a knee injury.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ismail Jr. to play at Wyoming
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 26, 2018

    Raghib Ismail Jr., son of former Notre Dame great Rocket Ismail, will play at Wyoming after playing at Cisco Junior College.

    • Ismail Jr. committed to TCU out of high school but went the JUCO route.

      He caught 48 passes for 434 yards and four touchdowns.

      "Rocket is a young man who brings great speed and athleticism to the wide receiver position," Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said in a statement. "He does a lot after the catch with the ball in his hands. He catches the ball extremely well, catches it away from his body, and will bring great value to the wide receiver room."

      Ismail Sr. finished as Heisman Trophy runner-up at Notre Dame in 1990. He began his pro career in the CFL and spent nine seasons in the NFL with the Raiders, Cowboys and Panthers.

      --Field Level Media

  • Purdue QB Blough cleared for spring practice
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, February 24, 2018

    Purdue quarterback David Blough has been cleared to participate in spring practice that starts Monday.

    • Boilermakers coach Jeff Brohm said Blough is "way ahead of schedule" and will be the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, despite undergoing surgery for a dislocated ankle in November. Blough was injured in the Nov. 4 victory over Illinois last season.

      "He's doing a great job and he will be out there at spring practice and will be participating," Brohm said Friday of the rising senior, per the Lafayette Journal & Courier. "Whether it will be fully that remains to be seen. He will be out there Day 1 and doing some portions of practice.

      "We've got to make sure we protect him, especially in 11-on-11 settings. We'll see how the first week goes if we can progress on that."

      Blough started the two games leading up to his season-ending injury. He finished the season with 1,103 passing yards, completing 65 percent, with nine touchdowns and four interceptions in nine games.

      "It's one thing to be ahead of the game in rehab but he's way ahead of the game," Brohm told the newspaper. "He's a guy -- and I think I'm over here a lot -- but he's over here just as much. Every time I'm in the building or going into a room he's there doing work. He's there by himself, he's there at night and he's there in the morning. He's done everything in his power to get back fast."

      Elijah Sindelar, who reclaimed the starting job after Blough's injury, will miss spring practice as he continues to recover from a torn ACL. Sindelar played with the injury for the last month of the regular season and the Boilermakers' 38-35 victory over Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl on Dec. 27 when he threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns.

      "He is progressing very rapidly and faster than we thought," Brohm said of Sindelar.

      Purdue finished 7-6 in the first season under Brohm.

      --Field Level Media

  • Arizona QB Dawkins to leave as graduate transfer
    By Field Level Media / Friday, February 23, 2018

    Arizona Wildcats quarterback Brandon Dawkins announced he will transfer to another school after graduating in May.

    • Dawkins wrote on his personal Twitter account Thursday night that he plans to leave new head coach Kevin Sumlin's program.

      "The past 4 years have been nothing short of phenomenal," Dawkins tweeted. "I would like to thank the U of A for the chance to not only play the sport I love, but have the opportunity to get my degree. With that being said, I will be a graduate transfer after I graduate this May."

      Dawkins started most of the 2016 season and the first four games of 2017 before losing the job to Khalil Tate.

      Dawkins, who will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at another FBS school, appeared in 22 games at Arizona, passing for 2,418 yards with 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He rushed for 1,582 yards and 20 TDs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Michigan OC Drevno stepping down
    By Field Level Media / Friday, February 23, 2018

    Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno is stepping down, according to multiple reports Friday.

    • Drevno had been the Wolverines' OC and offensive line coach for the last three seasons. He was under fire following an 8-5 season in which the offense ranked 105th in the nation. The Michigan offense averaged just 25.2 points, which was tied for eighth in the Big Ten.

      Drevno coached under Jim Harbaugh from 2011-13 as the offensive line coach of the San Francisco 49ers before going to USC for a season as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach.

      Former Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain was recently hired as an offensive assistant on Harbaugh's staff and likely will be considered to replace Drevno. McElwain's duties in Ann Arbor include coaching receivers, helping coordinate the offense and preparing the weekly game plan. His coaching resume includes a run as Alabama's offensive coordinator from 2008-11.

      Ed Warriner, a former offensive coordinator at Ohio State, is expected to named offensive line coach after being added to Harbaugh's staff in January as an analyst.

      --Field Level Media

  • Alabama appoints coordinators, rounds out staff
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, February 22, 2018

    Alabama coach Nick Saban rounded out his staff for the 2018 season by adding two newcomers who will carry the title of associate head coach and making official the promotion of two assistants to coordinators.

    • Saban announced Mike Locksley will serve as offensive coordinator and Tosh Lupoi will run the defense. Both carried co-coordinator duties for the Crimson Tide in 2017.

      Pete Golding, the inside linebackers coach, adds the title of co-defensive coordinator while receivers coach Josh Gattis will be the co-offensive coordinator.

      The latest additions to the staff are associate head coaches Dan Enos, who will handle the quarterbacks, and Craig Kuligowski, who takes over the defensive line.

      Enos arrives by way of Arkansas, where he was offensive coordinator from 2015-17, and after a brief stint on the Michigan staff last month. He played quarterback at Michigan State in 1987, Saban's final season as defensive coordinator for the Spartans.

      Kuligowski spent the past two seasons at the University of Miami, which led the FBS in sacks per game last fall and was third in tackles for loss, after a 15-year career coaching Missouri's defensive line. He replaces Karl Dunbar, who was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

      In another change, longtime running backs coach Burton Burns will leave that job behind to serve as the Tide's assistant athletic director for football. Joe Pannunzio, who coached tight ends and special teams, takes over Burns' old role.

      The flurry of changes means offensive line coach Brent Key will be the only 2018 assistant in the same position he held last season. Six members of the staff will be in their first season at Alabama.

      --Field Level Media

  • Marshall DT Aaron dies after being shot saving girlfriend
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, February 22, 2018

    Larry Aaron, a 19-year-old freshman who played defensive tackle at Marshall, has died after being shot by stray gunfire at a New Year's Eve celebration in Severn, Md.

    • The university confirmed Aaron's death to ESPN on Thursday and issued a statement on his passing.

      "Marshall University lost a very special young man today and it has shocked and saddened us all," Thundering Herd coach Doc Holliday said in the statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Larry Aaron's family and friends, many of whom were his fellow Thundering Herd teammates. His loss will be felt in every corner of our program and his spirit will never be forgotten."

      Aaron was paralyzed by the gunshot wound he suffered when throwing his body in front of his girlfriend to protect her, according to The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, W.Va.

      On Wednesday night, Holliday tweeted that he and the entire football program were thinking about and praying for him and his family and that Aaron had "a lot of fight in him."


      On behalf of the @HerdFB family we are sending all of our thoughts and prayers to Larry Aaron and his family. This young man has a lot of fight in him. #93strong

      — John Doc Holliday (@DOCMUFB) February 22, 2018


      Aaron played in eight games for the Thundering Herd last season, totaling 13 tackles. He played in Marshall's 31-28 victory against Colorado State in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 6, recording one stop.

      --Field Level Media