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  • Former Ohio State star DE Kudla dies at 34
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    Former Ohio State star defensive end Mike Kudla died unexpectedly on Sunday. He was 34.

    • Kudla's high school district announced the news on Twitter on Monday. No cause of death was disclosed.

      Kudla won a national championship with the Buckeyes in 2003 and was part of a pair of Big Ten championship teams. He earned All-Big Ten honors and won Ohio State's defensive MVP award in 2005 after totaling 9.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.

      He joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent but never played in the NFL because of iinjuries. Kudla returned to Ohio State in 2012 as the managing director of development for the Fisher School of Business and later owned Core Plex, a company that builds medical facilities.

      Kudla had also been working with the NFL on protocols for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease known as CTE.

      "Mike Kudla was a special young man," former Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel said in a statement. "His love of family, OSU, and country was so strong. Our heart aches for the Kudla family, his friends, teammates, and entire Buckeye Nation."

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Texas Tech, Steelers defensive liineman Rivera dies at 57
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    Former Texas Tech football star and Pittsburgh Steelers 1983 first-round draft pick Gabriel Rivera died Monday night, the university confirmed Tuesday.

    • He was 57.

      "Gabriel went home to the Lord at 9:25 (p.m.)," his wife, Nancy Rivera, told KENS-TV in San Antonio in a text message.

      Rivera had been hospitalized in critical condition with a perforated colon, the television station reported.

      A San Antonio native, Rivera was one of the nation's top defensive linemen in the early 1980s while playing for Texas Tech. He was an All-American and Southwest Conference defensive player of the year in 1982. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected him with the No. 21 overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft.

      During his rookie season, however, Rivera was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed. He was legally intoxicated and veered into oncoming traffic and collided with a car. Rivera, who wasn't wearing a seat belt, was thrown through a window of his car.

      "From the accident in ‘83, it took maybe five, six, eight years to get control [of my life]," Rivera told the Associated Press in 2012. "At one time, I just changed my life and started going forward."

      In recent years, he volunteered as a tutor with Inner City Development Center, a nonprofit in San Antonio, according to the TV station.

      Rivera was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

      -- Field Level Media

  • 26 QBs named to Davey O'Brien watch list
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    The Davey O'Brien Foundation unveiled on Tuesday the names of 26 quarterbacks on the 2018 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List.

    • The players were chosen based on performance during the 2017 season and the expectations for their play in 2018. Nominees must have started one game for their current team in the previous season, and any player who was a finalist or semifinalist in 2017 automatically was included.

      The list is topped by two-time semifinalists Jalen Hurts of Alabama and Jake Browning of Washington. Other previous semifnalists on the list are Kelly Bryant, Clemson; Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State; Will Grier, West Virginia; Trace McSorley, Penn State; McKenzie Milton, Central Florida; and Khalil Tate, Arizona.

      Among the players on the watch list, 13 are seniors, 12 are juniors and one is a sophomore. The SEC has six players selected for the second straight year to lead the way.

      The Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award is given each year to the nation's best college quarterback. Sixteen semifinalists will be named on Nov. 6, and winner will be announced on Dec. 6.

      Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma won the award last year.

      Here's the full list:

      Jake Bentley, South Carolina, (Jr., Opelika, Ala.)

      Jake Browning, Washington (Sr., Folsom, Calif.)

      Kelly Bryant, Clemson (Sr., Calhoun Falls, S.C.)

      Mason Fine, North Texas (Jr., Peggs, Okla.)

      Ryan Finley, NC State (Sr., Phoenix)

      Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State (Sr., Richmond Hill, Ga.)

      Andrew Ford, UMass (Sr., Camp Hill, Penn.)

      Jake Fromm, Georgia (So., Warner Robins, Ga.)

      Will Grier, West Virginia (Sr., Charlotte, N.C.)

      Justice Hansen, Arkansas State (Sr., Edmond, Okla.)

      Justin Herbert, Oregon (Jr., Eugene, Ore.)

      Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin (Jr., West Chester, Penn.)

      Jalen Hurts, Alabama (Jr., Houston)

      Tyree Jackson, Buffalo (Jr., Norton Shores, Mich.)

      Daniel Jones, Duke (Jr., Charlotte, N.C.)

      Kyle Kempt, Iowa State (Sr., Massilon, Ohio)

      Brian Lewerke, Michigan State (Jr., Phoenix)

      Drew Lock, Missouri (Sr., Lee's Summit, Mo.)

      Trace McSorley, Penn State (Sr., Ashburn, Va.)

      McKenzie Milton, UCF (Jr., Kapolei, Hawaii)

      Nathan Rourke, Ohio (Jr., Oakville, Ontario)

      Brett Rypien, Boise State (Sr., Spokane, Wash.)

      Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (Jr., Stephenville, Texas)

      Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee (Sr., Murfreesboro, Tenn.)

      Khalil Tate, Arizona (Jr., Inglewood, Calif.)

      Manny Wilkins, Arizona State (Sr., Novato, Calif.)

      --Field Level Media

  • SEC: Georgia over loss to Alabama; rules changes take effect in 2018
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    Georgia coach Kirby Smart said his team is over the heartbreaking loss to Alabama in the national title game in January.

    • To Smart, who led the Bulldogs to the championship game in just his second season in Athens, it was another building block for the future -- and one he, his staff and players moved on from quickly.

      "Everyone wants to talk about that question," Smart told reporters at SEC Media Days on Tuesday in Atlanta. "It's not like I have nightmares about it, no. I think we grow from it. The entire season was a learning experience, a confidence builder."

      Entering the 2018 season, the Bulldogs are the heavy favorite to win the SEC East. They lost a number of players to the NFL draft, including running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, as well as linebacker Roquan Smith, but the Bulldogs have rebuilt with the nation's No. 1 recruiting class in 2018.

      "I don't think you look back on it like a horror story," Smart said. "You take it and go. We don't have time in our business. Literally, right after the game we're on the road recruiting two days later, in someone's home trying to convince them to come."

      With freshman quarterback Jake Fromm at the helm in the championship game, Georgia led 20-7 in the third quarter but scored only three points from that point. Alabama won 26-23. Fromm comes back with that year of experience behind him.

      Junior safety J.R. Reed said he put the loss behind him long ago and is ready to pursue the championship again. Georgia will play Austin Peay in Week 1 of the season on Sept. 1.

      "When it happened, it was rough, but after that, it's just what's next, and that's the season," Reed said. "You hit the offseason, you go back, watching film, see what you messed up on, you watch that game, you watch the first game, you watch the second game, and you just keep working at it, keep moving on."

      The loss was tougher on fans, apparently.

      "When you get to talking to people, they'll always talk about that game," Reed told the media. " That's one game that I know Georgia fans will talk about until the day Georgia dies."

      In other SEC Media Days highlights, Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said his Rebels are moving on from NCAA sanctions for violations that occurred during the tenure of former coach Hugh Freeze. Ole Miss has appealed the bowl ban, and recruits again are showing an interest in the Rebels, he said.

      "I think sometimes fear of the unknown is the biggest issue, so once all the sanctions were delivered and everybody knows what you're dealing with, you can then move forward," Luke said Tuesday. "I think you're seeing that on the recruiting trail."

      Luke was named interim coach last summer after Freeze resigned, and the Rebels finished 6-6. He was given the job on a permanent basis after the 2017 season.

      Also, league coordinator of officials Steve Shaw explained an instant replay rule that will affect the final minute of each half. Now, a 10-second runoff of the game clock will apply to instant replays when calls are reversed. If a team has a timeout left to use, it can elect to use one to prevent the runoff.

      Additional rules changes include:

      --Knees must be covered by knee pads and pants.

      --Blocking below the waist is limited to within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage.

      --If a player calls for a fair catch on a kickoff behind the 25-yard line, his team will get the ball at the 25.

      --A 40-second play clock after touchdowns, kicks and fair catches will be added.

      --The number of coaching headsets will be limited. The number will be decided July 25.

      --If a corporation has naming rights to a stadium, its logo can be displayed in two specified places.

      --Field Level Media

  • LSU's Orgeron: Hiring Canada as OC 'a mistake'
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    The Matt Canada era at LSU is over, yet head coach Ed Orgeron still rues the decision to hire the offensive coordinator.

    • Canada mutually parted ways with the school in January. He had two years left at $1.5 million each remaining on his contract.

      "It's tough when you make a mistake, but it's even tougher not to admit you made a mistake and it's just not a good fit," Orgeron said at SEC media day Monday. "I had to do the best what I thought for the LSU program, and that's why I did it."

      Steve Ensminger was named the Tigers' new offensive coordinator, a move Orgeron said he should have made all along.

      "Circumstances were different when I got the job," Orgeron said. "I went out and tried to get the best coordinator ... it didn't work. And all the while I was saying: 'You know what? Steve Ensminger is the guy, and if I have a chance, I'm going to hire him.'

      "I have complete confidence in the direction that he's going to lead this offense. He and I are on the same page."

      LSU started last season 3-2, with losses to Mississippi State and Troy. Following the upset loss to the Trojans, Orgeron admitted to meddling in Canada's offense, and the two were unable to resolve their communication issues the rest of the way.

      LSU (9-4) averaged roughly 27 points per game last season, the lowest mark in the SEC West.

      Canada, who joined LSU from Pitt, was hired by Maryland shortly after parting with the Tigers.

      --Field Level Media

  • Oklahoma coach Riley: Murray 'not the quarterback yet'
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    When Kyler Murray signed with the Oakland Athletics last month, he did so with the understanding he would begin his pro baseball career next spring and spend the rest of this summer getting ready to play quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.

    • Could he spend this fall holding a clipboard, instead?

      Speaking at Big 12 Media Days on Monday, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was asked how the Sooners offense would be different with Murray in charge after the departure of Heisman-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield. His immediate answer?

      "Kyler's not the quarterback yet."

      He then added, "There's a really good competition going on and Kyler's gonna have to fight like crazy to win this job."

      That's because redshirt sophomore Austin Kendall is also in the mix, and actually outperformed Murray at the Sooners' spring game in April.

      When explaining further, Riley did not offer specifics in terms of what separates one quarterback from the other. But he also made it clear there will be a competition this camp.

      "The most important thing early for us is let's make sure we get the right guy," Riley said. "Let's put them through this competition. Let's test these guys. Let's really put them through it because we've got two guys that are more than capable of getting this team to where we need to be."

      Oklahoma has won the Big 12 title three straight seasons. Last season, Riley's first after taking over for Bob Stoops, the Sooners finished 12-2 and ranked No. 3 in the final poll. Their season ended in one of the most memorable Rose Bowls in recent history, losing to national runner-up Georgia in double-overtime in a College Football Playoff semifinal.

      Murray originally enrolled at Texas A&M and played one season. He then transferred to Oklahoma and sat out the 2016 season. In 2017, he played in seven games and stated one for the Sooners. He completed 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 142 yards on 14 carries.

      Kendall redshirted last season after playing in two games in 2016. He completed 16 of 22 passes for 143 yards and a pair of scores with no interceptions in limited action.

      --Field Level Media

  • Parents say heatstroke caused Maryland lineman's death after workout
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    The parents of Jordan McNair, a football player at the University of Maryland who died in June following a team workout a week earlier, say heatstroke caused their son's death.

    • The "Who We Are" section of the Jordan McNair Foundation's website now reads: "The Jordan McNair Foundation was established in June 2018 by Tonya Wilson & Martin 'Marty' McNair following the death of their beloved son Jordan Martin McNair, an offensive lineman for the University of Maryland. Jordan's untimely death was the result of a heatstroke he suffered during an organized offseason team workout."

      The Maryland football program revealed on June 4 that McNair, a sophomore, had been hospitalized following an organized team workout and was in stable but still critical condition. But the program did not specify what happened to force his hospitalization, nor exactly when he was hospitalized. It was later learned he was hospitalized on May 29.

      McNair, 19, died on June 13.

      In a summary of events released last week, the school revealed that head coach DJ Durkin was in attendance at the workout, as were the program's strength and conditioning coaches. The school stated in the summary, "Our team has done this particular workout the past two seasons. The workout consisted of a warmup, baseline running drills and position-specific drills."

      According to The Baltimore Sun, athletic director Damon Evans said McNair was having trouble recovering after running 10 110-yard dashes.

      McNair, from McDonogh High School in Owing Mills, Md., was listed as 6-foot-4 and 325 pounds on the Maryland football website.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Arizona State football player Franklin dies at 26
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    Jason Franklin, a former Arizona State walk-on linebacker, has died at age 26.

    • His mother posted the news Sunday on Facebook but did not state his cause of death.

      Franklin played for the Sun Devils from 2011-15, mostly on special teams. In August 2014, before his junior season, Franklin was presented a scholarship by then-coach Todd Graham.

      "There are no words that I can explain," Franklin told after he and four other players received their scholarships that summer. "All the work we have put in. All the hours. ... We did it voluntarily because we love this game."

      In his senior season, the Simi Valley, Calif., played in one game but was named the defensive most valuable player on the scout team.

      He earned his degree in communications in 2015. He worked in sports media at the end of his college career, and in May, launched a website,, that billed him as a media producer, on-air personality and "a lifestyle concierge."

      Graham remembered his former player on Twitter: "Prayers for Jason Franklin & Family RIP #SunDevil4Life"

      --Field Level Media

  • SEC media days kick off with a reminder of conference's football dominance
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    SEC commissioner Greg Sankey kicked off SEC Media Days Monday in Atlanta with a reminder to the rest of college football about the football dominance of the conference: SEC teams have played in 11 of the past 12 national title games, winning nine of those.

    • Sankey addressed a number of topics in a wide-ranging opening speech at the preseason event, held at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. It is being held outside of Alabama for the first time since media days started in 1985. It will return to Alabama next year, and then likely will rotate locations, he said.

      Among the key topics Sankey discussed was legalized sports betting, which a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling has allowed to expand. The casinos in Mississippi - in the heart of the SEC - are among the spots eligible to take sports wagers, and Sankey said the conference will be monitoring occurrences. He said conference officials have consulted with leagues such as the NFL and NBA about how they will deal with legalized sports betting.

      "The integrity of our games is of utmost importance," Sankey told the approximately 1,000 reporters gathered Monday.

      Additionally, Sankey talked about the effects of the SEC's scheduling format. SEC teams play six games against teams in their own division, one crossover game with a fixed opponent and another crossover game with a rotating opponent. He said the scheduling has proved beneficial and could be tinkered with but likely not overhauled.

      League leaders "are not finished" talking about scheduling, Sankey said, adding, "On the other side, we've led in attendance the last 19 years."

      Still, he said, the scheduling system works.

      "The division structure supports a number of important rivalries," he told reporters.

      Following Sankey to the podium was Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, who was lured away from Florida State by a 10-year, $75 million contract in December. Fisher was the head coach of the Seminoles from 2010-17.

      Fisher was the first of the SEC's 14 coaches who will address the media this week. He discussed his departure from Florida State and said he left Tallahassee with "unbelievable" memories. He also discussed his homecoming to the SEC, where he spent more than a decade combined as an assistant coach at Auburn and LSU.

      Much of his address was forward-thinking, however, about what is ahead for the Aggies under his direction.

      Earlier this year, Fisher was given a national championship plaque by the school administration with the year to be filled in. He said he intends for that to be engraved sooner rather than later.

      "Your timetable is now," Fisher said Monday. "You want to win immediately."

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Vols DL Thaxton arrested on domestic assault charge
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    Tennessee Volunteers defensive lineman Ryan Thaxton was arrested Sunday on charges of domestic assault and false imprisonment, according to a report by USA Today.

    • The report, citing online court records, says Thaxton's girlfriend was the victim. The school said that Thaxton had been suspended as a result in a statement to USA Today.

      "We are aware of the incident. The student-athlete has been suspended from all team activities while law enforcement and the university investigates," the statement read.

      According to the police report, Thaxton was arguing with his girlfriend on Sunday evening and carried her into his dorm room when she refused to go with him. He then blocked her from leaving as the argument continued.

      A July 23 arraignment was scheduled on both counts.

      Thaxton, a sophomore, did not play during his freshman season.

      --Field level Media

  • Alabama's Hurts, Stanford's Love among players on Maxwell Award watch list
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    The Maxwell Football Club announced the watch list for the 82nd annual Maxwell Award on Monday, and it has a number of returning 2017 award semifinalists.

    • Players on the watch list include quarterbacks Jalen Hurts (Alabama), Khalil Tate (Arizona), Nick Fitzgerald (Mississippi State) and McKenzie Milton (Central Florida), and running backs Bryce Love (Stanford) and Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin).

      Alabama and Clemson each have three players on the list, which has 85 players in all.

      The award has been given annually since 1937 to the player named college football's Player of the Year. It is named after Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, who was a player, sportswriter and official.

      Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Maxwell Award in 2017.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ohio State's Bosa among 85 players on Bednarik Award watch list
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    Eighty-five college football players, largely from a who's who of national powers, have been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, released Monday by the Maxwell Football Club.

    • The award is presented annually to the nation's top defensive player, as voted by the Maxwell club.

      Notable players on the watch list include: defensive end Nick Bosa of Ohio State; defensive tackle Greg Gaines and safety Taylor Rapp of Washington; and cornerback Greedy Williams and linebacker Devin White of LSU.

      Four teams have three players each on the list: defensive end Raekwon Davis, linebackers Anfernee Jennings and Mack Wilson from Alabama; defensive end Clelin Ferrell, defensive tackles Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins from Clemson; defensive ends Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary and linebacker Devin Bush from Michigan; and linebackers Cameron Smith and Porter Gustin and safety Marvell Tell from USC.

      Of the 85 players, all but 16 are from schools in Power Five conferences.

      The award is given annually in honor of Bednarik, who played his college football at Penn and professionally with the Philadelphia Eagles.

      --Field Level Media

  • Georgia lands Cal transfer, former No. 1 recruit Robertson
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    The Georgia football recruiting machine is showing no signs of slowing down, even when national signing day is more than six months away.

    • On Saturday, the Bulldogs received a different kind of recruit, as former Cal wide receiver Demetris Robertson announced on a video posted to YouTube that he is transferring to Athens, Ga.

      "I'm coming home," he said at the end of the video. "Go Dawgs!"

      A Savannah, Ga., native and the top-ranked receiver by 247Sports in the Class of 2016, Robertson had 50 catches for 767 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman under head coach Sonny Dykes. Last season, with Justin Wilcox in charge of the program, Robertson had only seven catches for 70 yards in two games before undergoing season-ending surgery on a lower-body injury.

      According to CBS Sports, Alabama, Texas and West Virginia were also in contention for Robertson. 247Sports reported that his eligibility for the 2018 season is under review.

      The Bulldogs, who lost to Alabama in overtime in the national championship game last season, landed the nation's top-ranked recruiting class in 2018, led by coveted quarterback Justin Fields of Kennesaw, Ga. Their 2019 class thus far carries the highest per-player average rating in the 247Sports composite ranking, and includes receivers Jadon Haselwood and Dominick Blaylock -- both Georgia natives and ranked in the top 25 nationally.

      --Field Level Media

  • Louisville removing Papa John's from stadium name
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 13, 2018

    A day after saying the school was considering its options regarding the naming rights to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, University of Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi on Friday announced the school will indeed remove "Papa John's" from the name.

    • The home of the Louisville football team now will be called Cardinal Stadium.

      John Schnatter, the founder of the pizza chain, admitted earlier this week he used the N-word on an internal company conference call in the spring. He resigned from both the university's board of trustees and his position as Papa John's chairman Wednesday.

      Speaking at a news conference Friday, Bendapudi added that Schnatter's name will be removed from the Louisville College of Business. The changes are effective immediately, she said, adding that the board of trustees supports the move.

      "In light of recent events, I am pleased that our University has made the correct decision to remove 'Papa John's' from the name of our stadium," head coach Bobby Petrino said in a statement. "Our Football Team and our City all promote environments of inclusiveness. The University's quick action to rename our stadium has only reaffirmed its commitment to such inclusiveness. I applaud their decision."

      Schnatter issued an apology Wednesday night, stating, "News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true. Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society."

      At least three Louisville players earlier Thursday tweeted that the name should change.

      Wide receiver Seth Dawkins tweeted, "We need to change the name of the stadium ASAP, I'm not here for it," with Cardinals receiver Jaylen Smith responding, "AT ALL."

      Fellow Louisville receiver Keion Wakefield tweeted, "Muhammed Ali Stadium has a nice ring to it."

      Ali, the boxing great, was born in Louisville, Ky., and is buried there.

      --Field Level Media

  • Louisville evaluating naming options for Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 12, 2018

    The fallout from former Papa John's chairman John Schnatter's use of a racial slur continued Thursday, with University of Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi saying the school is considering its options regarding the naming rights to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

    • "We haven't had a chance to discuss it formally, but yes, certainly we are aware that there is a lot of interest in this and we are hoping to come together to discuss it," Bendapudi told reporters about possibly changing the name of the football stadium.

      Schnatter, the founder of the pizza chain, resigned from both the university's board of trustees and his position as Papa John's chairman Wednesday, after it was revealed he used the N-word on an internal company conference call in the spring.

      Schnatter on Wednesday night confirmed he did make the comment and apologized, stating, "News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true. Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society."

      The stadium's naming-rights deal runs through 2040, according to multiple reports, and could be a tricky one for the university to get out of, per ESPN. According to the ESPN report, the naming-rights contract is with Schnatter -- not Papa John's -- and contains language saying that if Schnatter leaves the company, he has the option to rename the building.

      At least three Louisville players earlier Thursday tweeted that the name should change.

      Wide receiver Seth Dawkins tweeted "We need to change the name of the stadium ASAP, I'm not here for it," with Cardinals receiver Jaylen Smith responding, "AT ALL."

      Fellow Louisville receiver Keion Wakefield tweeted, "Muhammed Ali Stadium has a nice ring to it."

      Ali, the boxing great, was born in Louisville and is buried there.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former MSU, ASU, Lions coach Rogers dies at 83
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    Darryl Rogers, whose lengthy football coaching resume includes stints with Michigan State, Arizona State and the Detroit Lions, died Wednesday, his family announced. Rogers was 83.

    • A cause of death was not immediately revealed. Rogers is survived by his wife, Marsha, and daughters, Stacy and Jamie.

      Rogers spent 16 years coaching college football at Fresno State (1969-72), San Jose State (1973-75), Michigan State (1976-79) and Arizona State (1980-84). He went 109-62-7 in that time, capturing his sole bowl win with the Sun Devils at the 1982 Fiesta Bowl.

      Rogers also coached the NFL's Detroit Lions to an 18-40 record across four seasons from 1985-88.

      In his time at Michigan State, Rogers led the Spartans to the 1978 Big Ten championship, winning the conference's Coach of the Year award that season.

      "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Darryl Rogers and his family at this most difficult time," Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement. "Coach Rogers won the 1978 Big Ten Championship at Michigan State and was, in many ways, an offensive pioneer in college football. I was honored to have had the opportunity to talk to him a number of times throughout my time here and he was always very supportive. He loved Michigan State and will forever be a Spartan."

      Lions owner and chairman Martha Firestone Ford said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Darryl. On behalf of me, my family and the entire Detroit Lions organization, I would like to extend our sincere sympathy to his wife, Marsha, and the Rogers family."

      Rogers was recently named to the National Football Foundation's 2019 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. The honorees will be announced in January 2019.

      --Field Level Media

  • Alabama LB Lewis tears ACL, out indefinitely
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    A day after dismissing one linebacker for violating team rules, Alabama lost another to injury.

    • The school announced Tuesday that outside linebacker Terrell Lewis tore an ACL and will miss an unspecified amount of time.

      "Terrell Lewis suffered a torn right ACL last week while training," coach Nick Saban said in a statement. "He underwent successful surgery today, and a timeframe for his return is unknown at this time."

      This is the second consecutive season that Lewis faces a significant injury. He started one game last year as a sophomore, but missed 10 games with a torn elbow ligament. He wound up appearing in four games last season and made 16 tackles.

      Lewis was a four-star prospect in the Class of 2016.

      On Monday, Alabama removed sophomore VanDarius Cowan from the program.

      --Field Level Media

  • Sarkisian loses reported $30M lawsuit against USC
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 9, 2018

    Nearly three years after losing his job at the University of Southern California, former coach Steve Sarkisian has lost his lawsuit against the school.

    • An arbitrator ruled in favor of the university in the wrongful-termination suit, with the Los Angeles Times reporting Monday that the decision was rendered last week. Sarkisian was reportedly seeking $30 million from USC, claiming that his then-employer did not allow him to seek treatment for alcoholism though California law recognizes it as a disability.

      "I am disappointed in the decision, but we will respect it and move on," Sarkisian, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, said Monday in a statement. "Much gratitude to everyone who has shown their support and stood by me. The last two years have been trying, but I am in now a great place, healthy, happy and loving my job with the Falcons and have the support of my family and friends and that's where my focus is and will remain."

      Sarkisian was fired by then-USC athletic director Pat Haden in October 2015 after numerous incidents in which the Trojans head coach was believed to be drunk in front players and/or the public. In one incident, Sarkisian was caught on video using a profanity and slurring his speech at a pep rally.

      There were also reports he was drunk at a team meeting and suspicions he was drunk on the sideline during a game against Arizona State, according to a report by ESPN in 2015.

      Two months after his firing, Sarkisian sued USC. Three months later, he agreed to arbitration.

      According to the L.A. Times, Sarkisian was seeking the $12.6 million remaining on his contract at the time of his termination, as well as "unspecified damages."

      "We are pleased that the arbitration has reached its rightful conclusion and we wish Steve Sarkisian well," USC athletic director Lynn Swann said in a statement.

      --Field Level Media

  • Alabama kicks LB Cowan off team for rules violation
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 9, 2018

    Alabama sophomore linebacker VanDarius Cowan has been released from the team.

    • In a statement released Monday, coach Nick Saban said Cowan violated team rules, but did not offer details.

      "Each of us has a responsibility to represent the University of Alabama in a first-class way, and failure to meet those standards can't be tolerated," Saban said in the release.

      Cowan, 19, is facing a legal issue, as well, accused of punching a 26-year-old man in a Tuscaloosa bar last month. He has been charged with third-degree assault and posted a $500 bond, according to 247Sports.

      The organization also reported he was kicked off his team in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for behavioral issues.

      In high school, Cowan was a five-star recruit in the Class of 2017, according to He played in seven games for Alabama in his freshman season, recording two tackles.

      --Field Level Media

  • Spartans hero Watts-Jackson leaves football to join Air Force
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 6, 2018

    Jalen Watts-Jackson's game-winning score for Michigan State in a classic 2015 game against Michigan cemented his name in Spartans history. Now, he's chosen to make his name in a different way.

    • Watts-Jackson announced in March he planned to play elsewhere as a graduate transfer, but instead, he has decided to give up football and join the military.

      "I am going into the Air Force," he told Spartan Nation. "I was raised that it is a good idea to serve your country. I have family members that have served this country, including my dad. So I am excited to serve this nation."

      Watts-Jackson said he will enter the Air Force as an officer in late December or early January. He said he is taking classes to become certified in computer security and will focus on cyber system operations in the military.

      As a freshman defensive back, Watts-Jackson picked up a fumbled by Michigan punter Blake O'Neill and ran 38 yards to score, leading the Spartans to a 27-23 win over the Wolverines as the clock ran out. Watts-Jackson broke and dislocated his left hip as teammates jumped on him to celebrate and never lived up to his football potential after the injury.

      In 2016, he made three tackles in nine games and played, mostly on special teams. Last season, he played in six games, again mostly on special teams.

      --Field Level Media

  • Southern Miss QB Howard leaving program
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 6, 2018

    Southern Miss quarterback Keon Howard announced he is leaving the program after two seasons with the Eagles.

    • Howard started seven games last season, throwing for 1,199 yards and eight touchdowns with five interceptions. He also ran for 181 yards. However, Howard shared the job with Kwadra Griggs, who took over the full-time job for the final four games of the season.

      Griggs is returning in 2018, and Howard was also facing competition from former Northwest Mississippi Community College quarterback Jack Abraham.

      "It is with great regret that I inform you of my decision to not continue my education and football career at The University of Southern Mississippi," Howard posted in a tweet Thursday night. "I would like to thank the coaching staff, my teammates, staff members, student body, and others who have supported me.

      "I will not forget the moments spent battling at The Rock with my teammates and the loyalty from the fans in victory or defeat. These past few years I have enjoyed my time getting to know everyone that is involved with Southern Miss Football. I would like to thank everyone for the help and support that I have received.

      "My love for Southern Miss will continue to reign on as I wish you guys continued success next season."

      Howard, who has a redshirt season remaining, did not announced his future plans.

      --Field Level Media

  • Georgia QB Fromm breaks non-throwing hand
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 4, 2018

    Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm is not expected to miss any games or even any practice time despite breaking his non-throwing hand.

    • Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart told ESPN on Wednesday that Fromm was hurt earlier this week in a boating accident but that the QB was already throwing the ball again.

      According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fromm was the unfortunate victim in a freak occurrence on Lake Burton in northeast Georgia. He was seated in the stern of a boat as someone else wakeboarded behind. The wakeboarder reportedly let go of the rope, and the handle flew back and struck Fromm's left hand.

      Fromm is expected to participate Thursday when the Bulldogs resume seven-on-seven drills, the Journal-Constitution reported.

      Fromm made an immediate impact at Georgia as a true freshman in 2017-18, leading the Bulldogs to the national championship game. Georgia went 11-1 in the regular season, beat Auburn in the Southeastern Conference championship game, then defeated Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinal before falling to Alabama in overtime in the national final.

      A Freshman All-American, Fromm wound up ninth in the country in passing efficiency, the only freshman in the top 50. He completed 181 of 291 passes for 2,615 yards with 24 touchdown tosses and seven interceptions.

      There is a chance Fromm could be pushed in training camp this summer by incoming freshman Justin Fields, regarded as one of the top dual-threat quarterback recruits in the nation.

      --Field Level Media

  • Billy Kinard, former Mississippi coach, dies at 84
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 2, 2018

    Billy Kinard, who experienced immediate success as the University of Mississippi coach but faded from the scene almost as quickly, has died. He was 84.

    • The school said Monday that Kinard, who was dealing with an extended illness, died at his home in Fort Payne in northeastern Alabama.

      Kinard, previously an assistant coach at Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Arkansas, was the first Ole Miss alumnus to be the school's football coach. His older brother, Frank Kinard, was named athletic director and hired Billy Kinard to succeed the coach he played for, Johnny Vaught, who suffered a heart attack in 1970.

      In 1971, Kinard led the Rebels to a 10-2 record. In the Peach Bowl, Ole Miss crushed Georgia Tech, 41-18.

      The Rebels fell back to 5-5 the next season, and when the team started the 1973 season with a 1-2 record, Vaught came out of retirement to resume head coaching duties.

      In 1978, Kinard was head coach Gardner-Webb in North Carolina in the South Atlantic Conference. The Runnin' Rebels went 4-5-1.

      Kinard, a defensive back and halfback in the 1950s, was a second-round draft choice, 25th overall, of the Cleveland Browns in 1956.

      He played four seasons in the NFL, starting 26 games, with the Browns, the Green Bay Packers and the Buffalo Bills.

      --Field Level Media

  • Michigan lands one of top RBs in 2019 class
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 2, 2018

    Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh's pursuit to overthrow Ohio State from the Big Ten throne continued late Sunday night, with a potentially big weapon being added to the Wolverines' arsenal.

    • Running back Eric Gray from Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, Tenn., announced his commitment to Michigan. The third-ranked all-purpose running back in the 247Sports composite 2019 rankings, Gray bumps the Wolverines' 2019 class up to No. 3 in the nation per the 247Sports composite.

      Gray made the announcement via a video posted to Twitter.

      Gray selected Michigan over Alabama, Penn State, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. He is the 18th player committed to the Wolverines' Class of 2019.

      The Buckeyes, by comparison, are ranked No. 7 in the nation in the same rankings, with 13 players currently committed to the class.

      Harbaugh was 10-3 in each of his first two seasons in Ann Arbor, but the Wolverines slipped to 8-5 last season. In that same time frame, Ohio State is 35-5. Perhaps more irritating to Michigan fans, the Wolverines haven't beaten the Buckeyes since 2011, the last season before Urban Meyer showed up in Columbus.

      --Field Level Media

  • Utah State LB Evans suspended after rape charge
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 29, 2018

    Utah State suspended linebacker Jamaal Evans after he was charged with rape and forcible sodomy due to an incident earlier this month.

    • Evans was charged with the first-degree felony offenses on Thursday after being arrested Wednesday night. He is being held in the Cache County Jail in Logan, Utah.

      A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 10.

      Police say the incident began at an off-campus party on June 17 and continued into the early hours of June 18. Police allege Evans raped a woman too intoxicated to give consent.

      A friend of the woman said she found her "completely incoherent" in a bathroom with Evans.

      According to the Deseret News, police recorded a conversation Evans made to the woman a few days after the party. During the call, the woman said she doesn't remember anything about the incident and accuses Evans of raping her.

      Evans responded that she needs to trust him because he is the only person "who was there and knows what happened," according to the report.

      Evans redshirted last season in his first year with the Utah State program.

      --Field Level Media