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College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • College football notebook: Georgia RB White continues ACL recovery
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Georgia's Zamir White, the No. 1-rated running back in the Class of 2018, is continuing in his recovery from a torn ACL he sustained last August.

    • "He's on schedule, (and) we're excited about where he is," Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday at SEC media days in Hoover, Ala. "He's done everything we've asked him to do. I'm thrilled about how hard he works and the things he's able to do. Our expectation is that he competes every day and earns some playing time."

      White went to Georgia last year as one of the heirs apparent to current NFL running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, despite tearing his right ACL in 2017 in his senior season at Scotland County (N.C.) High School. Then he tore the left ACL last summer.

      While he isn't running full-contact drills yet, White has impressed Smart.

      "I'm excited every time I get to see him in workouts," Smart said. "Seeing him get out there, and whether it's cone to cone (drills) or him cutting, it's exciting seeing him do that because I know what he's been through."

      --Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said fans should expect a better offensive showing in the red zone in 2019, thanks to the work of offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez.

      "With a young offense, one of the things I've always noticed with his offenses is the fact that he gets the most out of his players and they're always playing with a toughness and an edge. That's really what you need in this league to sustain a winner," Luke said of Rodriguez, previously the head coach at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona.

      "I was very, very impressed with Rich Rodriguez this spring, not only implementing his offense, but seeing the attitude and the toughness that he's instilling in that side of the ball," he said. "And I think that's going to be a dynamic unit. It's going to be fun to watch."

      --The Big 12 won't have a problem with players making the "Horns Down" sign during games this season, as long as it's done quickly and not directed toward an opponent.

      "Like any play, there is a degree -- who it's directed at," Big 12 coordinator of officials Greg Burks said at Big 12 media days in Arlington, Texas. "If they do it in their bench area, we're not going to look at it. It would be like any other celebration foul, so it has to be like any other foul we have. Does it rise to the level we need to deal with that?"

      The signal, long used to mock the Texas Longhorns' traditional "Hook 'Em Horns" sign, has become a point of controversy recently. Last year, West Virginia stars David Sills V and Will Grier were penalized for making the sign during a win over Texas.

      --Clemson slot receiver Amari Rodgers, who suffered a torn ACL in late March, is ahead of schedule in his rehab and could return in September, coach Dabo Swinney said.

      Rodgers was the second-leading pass-catcher last season for the national champion Tigers. He has resumed running and will be allowed to start cutting next week, Swinney said. Co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Jeff Scott said at Clemson's media day that Rodgers is "ahead, really, of every benchmark that they have for him."

      Rodgers (5-10, 210) caught 55 passes for 575 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore last season. He was also the team's primary punt returner, averaging 7.7 yards on 39 attempts.

      --Freshman quarterback D'Wan Mathis is back working out with Georgia, just seven weeks after emergency brain surgery to remove a cyst, coach Kirby Smart said.

      "D'Wan is back in classes, he's back in workouts, he's doing a really good job for us," Smart said, adding no timetable has been set for full participation.

      "As far as putting a date on his exact return where he's 100 percent, I don't know what that's going to be," Smart said. "I can't even speculate right now with the surgery he had. We're certainly going to be very cautious."

      --Ole Miss will turn to redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Corral as their starter in the 2019 season, coach Matt Luke said.

      Corral appeared in four games in the 2018 season, completing 16 of 22 pass attempts.

      "We have four freshmen quarterbacks on our team. Matt was the beneficiary of that four-game redshirt rule. So he was able to get those four games under his belt, and you can really see that in the spring. It really separated himself from the other quarterbacks," Luke said.

      "Matt's a very, very talented guy. He can make all of the throws. He can throw off platform. He's accurate from a bunch of different odd angles. He's got escapability in the pocket."

      --Kentucky confirmed the addition of graduate transfer quarterback Sawyer Smith.

      Smith, who played at Troy, has two years of eligibility remaining. With the Trojans in 2018, he played in 13 games, completing 62.9 percent of his passes for 1,669 yards while throwing 14 touchdown passes and six interceptions.

      "We're excited to have Sawyer join our program," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said in a statement. "It's great to add a quarterback with his experience and success. He helped lead Troy to an outstanding season last year and we're glad to have him here."

      --Field Level Media

  • Clemson WR Rodgers ahead of schedule in ACL rehab
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Clemson slot receiver Amari Rodgers, who suffered a torn ACL in late March, is ahead of schedule in his rehab and could return in September, coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday.

    • Rodgers was the second-leading pass-catcher last season for the national champion Tigers.

      Rodgers has resumed running and will be allowed to start cutting next week, according to Swinney. Co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Jeff Scott said at Clemson's media day that Rodgers is "ahead, really, of every benchmark that they have for him."

      "He's doing well," Scott said in The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C.

      "My experience with guys, regardless of position, that have kind of had to battle through an ACL is a lot of it has to do with the individual, their mental toughness, their mental approach, the way that they attack it. And the way that he has attacked it has not surprised me one bit."

      Rodgers (5-10, 210) caught 55 passes for 575 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore last season. He was also the team's primary punt returner, averaging 7.7 yards on 39 attempts.

      "It's not something where we're going to rush him back and put him back out there before he's ready, because we think he's going to have a chance to have a really good season for us this year," Scott said.

      Clemson's receiving corps lost senior stalwart Hunter Renfrow after last season but is still expected to have one of most dynamic groups in the country. Sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence has a pair of speedy 6-foot-4 receivers on the outside in Tee Higgins (59 catches, 936 yards, 12 TDs) and Justyn Ross (46, 1,000, 9), and Swinney raved this spring about early enrolled four-star freshmen Joseph Ngata and Frank Ladson.

      --Field Level Media

  • Big 12 OK with 'Horns Down' in moderation
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    The Big 12 won't have a problem with players making the "Horns Down" sign during games this season, as long as it's done quickly and not directed toward an opponent.

    • "Like any play, there is a degree -- who it's directed at," Big 12 coordinator of officials Greg Burks said Tuesday at Big 12 media days in Arlington, Texas. "If they do it in their bench area, we're not going to look at it. It would be like any other celebration foul, so it has to be like any other foul we have. Does it rise to the level we need to deal with that?"

      The signal, long used to mock the Texas Longhorns' traditional "Hook 'Em Horns" sign, has become a point of controversy recently. Last year, West Virginia stars David Sills V and Will Grier were penalized for making the sign during a win over Texas.

      "It's a hot topic," Burks said. "I know people want us to be definitive on that, but it's like any touchdown celebration. Is it directed at an opponent or just celebration with your teammates?"

      Burks added that making the sign with teammates will be regarded much more favorably than individual demonstrations.

      "When we have discussed it, by rule, anything that's prolonged to bring attention to the individual rather than the team is a foul," Burks said. "My advice is if you want to do that, do it back in your bench area. Do it back with teammates. Get away from where you are an individual drawing attention to yourself."

      --Field Level Media

  • Georgia QB Mathis back with team after brain surgery
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Georgia freshman quarterback D'Wan Mathis is on the mend from May brain surgery to remove a cyst, coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

    • "D'Wan is back in classes, he's back in workouts, he's doing a really good job for us," Smart said.

      Mathis took part in spring drills and in the G-Day spring game but then told team medical staff he was experiencing headaches. Georgia medical director Ron Courson recognized the symptoms and got Mathis to the hospital, where an MRI showed fluid around his brain. He had surgery hours later on May 23.

      "We thank God for Ron Courson's expertise and his medical team, because without them I don't think all of this would have been possible for D'Wan," Terence Mathis, the quarterback's father, told DawgNation earlier this month. "I believe Georgia saved my son's life."

      Doctors have given Mathis the go-ahead to run and lift weights, but he hasn't been cleared for contact.

      "As far as putting a date on his exact return where he's 100 percent, I don't know what that's going to be," Smart said. "I can't even speculate right now with the surgery he had. We're certainly going to be very cautious."

      Junior quarterback Jake Fromm is entrenched as the Bulldogs' starter, and redshirt sophomore Stetson Bennett is expected to serve as his backup.

      Georgia opens the season on Aug. 31 at Vanderbilt.

      --Field Level Media

  • College football notebook: Oklahoma not ready to name QB
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Despite a resume that includes two national championship game appearances with Alabama, transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts hasn't wrapped up the starting job at Oklahoma.

    • "He's gotta win the job first," coach Lincoln Riley told ESPN on Monday at Big 12 Media Days in Arlington, Texas. "If he wins the job, then we'll talk about that."

      Oklahoma is seeking a replacement for Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, who replaced another Heisman winner, Baker Mayfield. Riley said redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and freshman Spencer Rattler will have a chances to show him what they can do at training camp.

      "One of them's got to go win it," Riley said. "We've got an interesting dynamic in there with Jalen as an older, more experienced guy that's been through a lot of battles, and we've got some very young, talented players in there with a chance to make a name for themselves. It's really, truly, 'May the best man win.'"

      --Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy also said he isn't ready to name a starting quarterback. Vying for the job are fifth-year senior Dru Brown, a transfer from Hawaii, and Spencer Sanders, a redshirt freshman from Denton, Texas.

      "We haven't had anyone take the reins. I'd like to give you a timetable (on announcing a starter) but can't. If neither one gives us indication before first game, we'll play both guys," Gundy said.

      In two seasons at Hawaii, Brown appeared in 25 games, starting 22. He threw for 5,273 yards and 37 touchdowns with 15 interceptions. As a high school senior in 2017, Sanders racked up 3,845 passing yards and 54 touchdowns and added 16 on the ground.

      --Missouri is awaiting a decision on its appeal of a postseason ban in 2019, and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said at the conference's Media Days in Hoover, Ala., that he couldn't comment on the process.

      "I've always reserved comment about decisions, but the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee certainly has an opportunity here," he said. "I'll leave it at that."

      Others were less candid in their thoughts on the ban, which was levied after Missouri self-reported the actions of a tutor in 2016.

      "The fact right now they're looking at a bowl ban is utterly ridiculous," former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy said on "SEC Now" on Monday, adding, "What they did to Missouri is absolutely a joke."

      -- Kansas coach Les Miles took to the podium at Big 12 Media Days and quickly addressed the case of running back Pooka Williams, who was accused of domestic violence and suspended throughout the winter and spring. Cleared to resume team activities, Williams nonetheless will be suspended for the season opener against Indiana State.

      "I know that there's an issue that we must discuss," Miles said. "First of all, there is no proper way to put it. There is no violence. Violence will not be accepted with women, period. Action was taken immediately. We felt like a strong point was made, not only with Pooka, but the team."

      Miles said Williams has "taken responsibility" for the incident and is "remorseful," adding, "He's learned from this experience as has our team."

      --Ryan Leaf, whose journey from star college quarterback to NFL bust to prison has been well chronicled, will serve as a college football analyst for ESPN.

      Now 43, Leaf was the No. 2 pick of the 1998 NFL Draft, selected by the San Diego Chargers after the Indianapolis Colts took Peyton Manning with the No. 1 pick. Leaf, a Washington State product, started just 21 NFL games and finished his career with 14 touchdown passes and 36 interceptions.

      The network announced he will pair with play-by-play announcer Clay Matvick to call games, which will air primarily on ESPN2 and ESPNU.

      "Ryan has experienced the highs and lows in the game of football, putting him in a position to relate to a wide range of situations players can find themselves in,'' said Lee Fitting, ESPN's senior vice president of production. "He will be able to rely on those experiences -- including an unbelievable college career where he was an All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist -- in his analysis, making him a tremendous asset for our team.''

      --Field Level Media

  • Florida QB Franks signs with Red Sox
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox but intends to play with the Gators in the 2019 season.

    • The Red Sox made Franks their pick in the 31st round of the MLB draft in June.

      The 21-year-old last played baseball at Crawfordville (Fla.) High School, where he was a pitcher, third baseman and outfielder in the Class of 2016. That year, he was ranked as the nation's No. 500 prospect by the Perfect Game scouting service.

      On the day he was selected by the Red Sox, Franks had this to say:

      "I'm flattered that the Red Sox picked me this afternoon," he said. "However, I'm living out my dream being the quarterback of the Florida Gators. We're all working extremely hard this offseason and I cannot wait to hit the field this fall."

      He signed a $40,000 deal with the Red Sox, the Boston Globe reported. Friday was the deadline for MLB clubs to sign their draft picks.

      Franks told FloridaGators.com on Saturday that baseball could be a fall-back career for him.

      "I haven't played like in five years, but it was great,'' Franks said. "They gave me the opportunity to play baseball for a great organization. It's just a great opportunity I have that maybe I could lean my shoulder on one day, once football is over with. It's something that just happened."

      Franks, a fourth-year junior, enters summer camp as the presumed starter.

      He started all 13 games in the 2018 season, throwing for 2,457 yards with 24 touchdowns ant six interceptions. He added 350 rushing yards with seven touchdowns.

      The Gators finished the season, the first under coach Dan Mullen, at 10-3 and defeated Michigan in the Peach Bowl. Franks was named the game's MVP.

      --Field Level Media

  • USC to face first FCS opponent in 2021
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Southern California will play its first-ever FCS opponent when it hosts UC Davis in 2021.

    • Davis was one of three future opponents announced by the Trojans, joining Nevada in 2023 and San Jose State in 2024.

      Notre Dame and UCLA are the only other Football Bowl Subdivision teams that have never played a team from the Football Championship Subdivision.

      USC's associate athletic director, Steve Lopes, told The Athletic in May that the school wants to play seven home games each season. And he warned that to do so, the Trojans were going to need to be creative in their scheduling.

      "For us, it's seven home games, seven home games, seven home games, seven home games," he said. "You have a finite list of places you look at and we're going to test the waters when we announce these three games because we're going to do something a little bit different but we want to try to make sure we have those seven home games from here."

      At the time, Lopes didn't name the nonconference opponents but added this:

      "If you start looking at the teams that are available, it's very limited," Lopes said. "We're looking at schools that might not even be FBS, which I don't think it's that big of a deal. We may get criticized if and when we do it, but everybody does it. ... Are you going to die on that sword? You can play very good FCS schools that are better than some of the FBS schools you'll play, the directional schools you'll play."

      The Trojans will meet the Aggies on Sept. 4, 2021.

      The Aggies are coached by Dan Hawkins, the former head coach at Boise State and Colorado, and finished 10-3 in 2018. They play in the Big Sky Conference.

      "That USC agreed to play UC Davis as its first-ever FCS opponent signifies the respect they have for our team and university," Aggies athletic director Kevin Blue said in a statement. "It is deserved recognition of the upward trajectory of our football program under the guidance of Coach Hawkins."

      --Field Level Media

  • Minnesota DE retires due to neck injury
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    Minnesota redshirt freshman defensive end Alex Reigelsperger announced Tuesday evening he is retiring from football due to a "very serious neck injury and concussion" he sustained during spring scrimmages in April.

    • Reigelsperger, a three-star recruit in the 2018 class, wrote on Twitter that he spent four days in the hospital after the injury.

      "I am thankful that my injury was not as bad as what it could have been and I'm very grateful to be healthy," he wrote. "After my injury I spent a lot of time thinking and talking to myself before coming to a decision to step away from the game of football and to medically retire.

      "... I understood the consequences of furthering my athletic career if I choose to do so and they were dangerous for what I want in life."

      The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder came to the Golden Gophers from Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio. He enrolled at Minnesota in January of 2018 and did not play in a game last season.

      Reigelsperger said his medical exemption application was approved by the NCAA, meaning he will remain on scholarship but won't count against the program's 85-man limit.

      --Field Level Media

  • College football notebook: MSU settled two lawsuits for $1.2M
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    Michigan State paid $1.2 million combined to a woman and a former football player after two Title IX investigations first exonerated the player, then reversed that decision, ESPN reported Wednesday after an open records request.

    • The football player received more money, after a lawsuit in which he said he was not properly informed of the second investigation.

      The agreement documented on May 20 made both parties involved "set aside" findings that the football player, Keith Mumphery, violated the school's sexual conduct policy.

      Among the items ESPN uncovered, the school paid the woman -- referred to as "Jane Doe" -- $475,000, while Mumphery received $725,000. According to ESPN, the document states, "MSU agrees there were certain issues in the Title IX investigation, that, under the particular circumstances of this case, may warrant a new investigation and/or hearing." The documents add that "MSU takes no position on the allegations between Mumphery and Doe."

      --UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. suffered a broken ankle in non-football related activity this week and will miss fall camp, coach Josh Heupel said.

      "We hope Darriel has a speedy recovery, but we are excited about the talent we have in the quarterback room to start the season," Heupel said in a statement.

      Mack battled with Notre Dame graduate transfer Brandon Wimbush and others through spring practice, with the competition expected to continue in camp. There was no announced timetable for Mack's return. He stepped in late last season when starter McKenzie Milton went down with a gruesome injury to his right leg that required several surgeries and nearly resulted in amputation. Milton is expected to sit out all of the 2019 season.

      --Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt committed a minor recruiting violation in March when he sent a congratulatory tweet about his high school alma mater's boys basketball team.

      Plainview High School in Rainsville, Ala. -- where Pruitt played football for his father, Dale -- won the Alabama high school basketball tournament this past winter, and Pruitt tweeted his congratulations. After a Tennessee compliance official saw the tweet, Pruitt took it down. It was up for 37 minutes.

      Pruitt broke NCAA bylaw 11.3.2.8, which states, "An athletics department staff member shall not promote or endorse a prospective student-athlete's team or coach, or an athletics facility that is primarily used by prospective student-athletes." It was ruled a Level III violation.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Spartans paid $1.2M to settle Title IX disputes
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    Michigan State paid $1.2 million combined to a woman and a former football player after two Title IX investigations first exonerated the player, then reversed that decision, ESPN reported Wednesday after an open records request.

    • The football player received more money, after a lawsuit in which he said he was not properly informed of the second investigation.

      The agreement documented on May 20 made both parties involved "set aside" findings that the football player, Keith Mumphery, violated the school's sexual conduct policy.

      Among the items ESPN uncovered, the school paid the woman -- referred to as "Jane Doe" -- $475,000, while Mumphery received $725,000. According to ESPN, the document states, "MSU agrees there were certain issues in the Title IX investigation, that, under the particular circumstances of this case, may warrant a new investigation and/or hearing."

      The woman first reported an incident on March 18, 2015, saying she had been sexually assaulted in her dorm room the day before. The school found in September 2015 that Mumphery had not violated MSU's relationship violence and sexual misconduct policy.

      Mumphery had last played for the Spartans in the fall of 2014 and was, by the time of the first finding, a wide receiver with the Houston Texans, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2015.

      After the woman appealed, a new investigator interviewed the sexual assault nurse who had examined "Jane Doe" and reviewed additional evidence, finding on March 21, 2016 that Mumphery had violated the school's sexual abuse policy and had sexually assaulted the woman. He was banned from campus through Dec. 31, 2018, and not allowed to re-enroll at the university.

      Mumphery has denied the allegations.

      One of Mumphery's lawyers, Andrew Miltenberg, told ESPN, "The most troubling part of the case is that when Keith participated, he was found not responsible, and then subsequently, without participating, he was found responsible."

      The woman's attorney, Karen Truszkowski, told ESPN the terms of the agreement "do not exonerate or implicate Mr. Mumphery either way."

      She added she was disappointed in the discrepancy between what the school paid her client and what Mumphery was paid.

      The settlement documents state that "MSU takes no position on the allegations between Mumphery and Doe."

      Mumphery was released by the Texans on June 2, 2017, after the sexual assault allegations became public. He is trying to get back into the NFL after playing in 27 games, with 24 receptions for 198 yards across two seasons. He averaged 7.8 yards per punt return 24.1 yards per kick return.

      The NCAA was satisfied Michigan State didn't break any NCAA rules in its handling of sexual assault issues in 2018, largely stemming from the Larry Nassar case.

      Michigan State officials said the NCAA's head of enforcement notified the school the NCAA found no violations as it reviewed the school's response to sexual assaults committed by former university doctor Nassar and into sexual assault allegations made against football and basketball players.

      The NCAA asked Michigan State for cooperation earlier in 2018 amid Nassar's sentencing, when a number of former Michigan State athletes said they had told campus officials the doctor abused them but their complaints largely were discounted. Nassar has been sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

      Michigan State's statement said the NCAA conducted a second review spurred by an ESPN report in January 2018 that said the school had a "pattern of denial, inaction and information suppression" when it came to dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct and violence that women had made against athletes.

      The report said at least 16 football players had been accused of sexual assault or violence against women since Mark Dantonio took over as coach in 2007. ESPN also reported on several basketball players who have been accused of sexual misconduct, including one incident that led to a federal lawsuit after a female student said she was raped by three players in 2015 and the university failed to offer her proper resources for help.

      --Field Level Media

  • Tennessee's Pruitt committed minor recruiting violation
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt committed a minor recruiting violation in March when he sent a congratulatory tweet about his high school alma mater's boys basketball team.

    • Plainview High School in Rainsville, Ala. -- where Pruitt played football for his father, Dale -- won the Alabama high school basketball tournament this past winter, and Pruitt tweeted his congratulations.

      "Congratulations Robi Coker and Plainview High School on back to back State Championships! #2muchblue #PLV," Pruitt tweeted March 1.

      After a Tennessee compliance official saw the tweet, Pruitt took it down. It was up for 37 minutes.

      Pruitt broke NCAA bylaw 11.3.2.8, which states, "An athletics department staff member shall not promote or endorse a prospective student-athlete's team or coach, or an athletics facility that is primarily used by prospective student-athletes." It was ruled a Level III violation.

      Tennesee's report on the matter said Pruitt thought the tweet was fine because he was an alumnus, and Tennessee football has no current connections to the program. The NCAA and SEC took no action against Pruitt after the Tennessee compliance office administered rules education to Pruitt.

      Tennessee reported three other Level III violations in the first half of 2019. One occurred when a non-coaching staff member drove a prospect's family to and from campus outside of the allowed 30-mile radius for an official visit.

      Another occurred when three non-coaching staff members who were not designated to conduct drills led a conditioning session in June.

      Pruitt is in his second season leading the Tennessee program. The Volunteers went 5-7 in 2018.

      --Field Level Media

  • UCF QB Mack to miss camp after breaking ankle
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. suffered a broken ankle in non-football related activity this week and will miss fall camp, coach Josh Heupel said Wednesday.

    • "We hope Darriel has a speedy recovery, but we are excited about the talent we have in the quarterback room to start the season," Heupel said in a statement.

      Mack battled with Notre Dame graduate transfer Brandon Wimbush and others through spring practice, with the competition expected to continue in camp. There was no announced timetable for Mack's return.

      He stepped in late last season when starter McKenzie Milton went down with a gruesome injury to his right leg that required several surgeries and nearly resulted in amputation. Milton is expected to sit out all of the 2019 season.

      Mack, a sophomore, completed 51 of 100 passes for 619 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran 69 times for 337 yards and six scores. Mack led the team to a 2-1 record in his three starts, with a 40-32 loss to LSU in the Fiesta Bowl snapping the Knights' 25-game winning streak.

      Wimbush joined the team in January. He started 12 games for Notre Dame in 2017 but lost his starting job to Ian Book after the third game of last season. Redshirt freshman Quadry Jones and true freshman Dylan Gabriel will also compete in camp for playing time.

      UCF starts the season Aug. 29 against Florida A&M.

      --Field Level Media

  • Sooners RB Brooks cleared in Title IX case
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 9, 2019

    Oklahoma tailback Kennedy Brooks, who was barred from team activities this summer amid a female student's accusation of violent behavior, was cleared Tuesday of any Title IX violations and is expected back with the team Wednesday, according to The Athletic.

    • The student made a report to the school but not to police, The Athletic's Jason Kersey reported.

      Part of the federal Title IX statute requires that any claim of sexual harassment, discrimination, misconduct and assault must be reported by university staff and investigated by the school Title IX coordinator's office. Title IX prohibits gender discrimination.

      The Athletic also reported that Brooks, a Dallas-area native, worked out at a Norman, Okla., high school while his Title IX case was pending.

      Coming off a big freshman season, when he rushed for a team-leading 1,056 yards and 12 touchdowns, Brooks was on the All-Big 12 preseason team named Tuesday. He also was fourth in the nation with 8.87 yards per carry.

      The Sooners made it to the national semifinals before losing to Alabama 45-34 on Dec. 29.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former UT regent: Saban once was interested in Longhorns
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 9, 2019

    Former University of Texas regent Tom Hicks said Nick Saban's agent reached out to the him and another regent following the 2012 season to gauge the Longhorns interest in hiring Saban.

    • Hicks -- who is the former owner of the Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers and is currently an owner of Liverpool FC -- talked about the matter on a podcast with Dallas sports radio personality Corby Davidson.

      Hicks said he and the other regent talked with Jimmy Sexton, Saban's agent, after Saban's Alabama team had won the national championship. According to Hicks, Sexton said Saban did not believe he would be able to catch Bear Bryant's legacy at Alabama and wanted to create his own legacy that "he's won national championships at more schools than anyone else."

      Hicks said the discussion with Mack Brown -- who was Texas' head coach at the time -- about a possible transition from Brown to Saban did not go well. Hicks said Brown "turned bright red" and said "That guy is not coming here to win a national championship with my players."

      After Brown resigned following the 2013 season, Hicks said he reached out to Sexton to gauge Saban's then-interest in the job. But after a different Texas regent had leaked the story earlier in the year, Hicks said he never heard anything from Sexton.

      Over the years, Saban has denied being interested in Texas job. In 2013, Saban told ESPN he "never considered going to Texas. That wasn't even a conversation."

      --Field Level Media

  • Texas QB Ehlinger gets preseason nod as Big 12's best
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 9, 2019

    Oklahoma has produced back-to-back Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks, but the Big 12 media predicts a Texas-sized roadblock on the way to three in a row.

    • Texas junior Sam Ehlinger, who fired up Longhorns fans after a Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia by proclaiming "We're baaa-aaack," was selected as the Big 12 preseason Offensive Player of the Year in a vote of the league's media.

      Oklahoma senior quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Alabama graduate transfer who is following in the footsteps of Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray -- the past two Heisman winners and No. 1 picks in the NFL Draft -- was chosen the Big 12's Newcomer of the Year.

      The media tabbed Sooners junior linebacker Kenneth Murray as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

      Ehlinger completed 275 of 425 passes for 3,292 yards, with 25 touchdowns and five interceptions, last season. He directed the Longhorns to a 10-4 record that included a regular-season victory over Oklahoma but a loss to the Sooners in the Big 12 title game.

      Hurts lost his starting job at Alabama last season to Tua Tagovailoa, but he was the 2016 SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman and is expected to thrive in coach Lincoln Riley's spread offense.

      Kenneth Murray tied for third nationally with 155 total tackles last season.

      Oklahoma led all teams with six preseason All-Big 12 picks: sophomore running back Kennedy Brooks, junior CeeDee Lamb as a wide receiver and returner, junior tight end Grant Calcaterra, sophomore offensive lineman Creed Humphrey and Murray.

      The Big 12 will hold its media days Monday and Tuesday in Arlington, Texas.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Ex-Auburn QB Willis opts for Liberty
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 9, 2019

    Former Auburn quarterback Malik Willis will transfer to Liberty to play for new head coach Hugh Freeze, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

    • Willis, a junior, served as a backup to Jarrett Stidham the past two seasons, completing 11 of 14 passes for 69 yards and one touchdown. Considered a speedy dual-threat quarterback, Willis ran 28 times for 309 yards and two scores for the Tigers.

      He decided to transfer after spring practice, when redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood and true freshman Bo Nix emerged as the frontrunners to replace Stidham, a fourth-round pick of the New England Patriots.

      Liberty reportedly will apply for a transfer waiver from the NCAA, which would allow Willis to be eligible this season. If denied, he has to sit out the 2019 season -- he has a redshirt year available -- and would have two seasons to play for the Flames.

      Willis, a three-star recruit in the 2017 class, joins a team that returns starting senior quarterback Stephen Buckshot Calvert. Liberty hired Freeze after last season to replace the retired Turner Gill. Freeze was forced out as head coach at Ole Miss in July 2017 for what then-athletic director Ross Bjork said was a "pattern of personal misconduct."

      --Field Level Media

  • Gators DB Edwards looking to transfer
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 8, 2019

    University of Florida cornerback Brian Edwards is entering the NCAA transfer portal and looking to transfer from the school.

    • Edwards played two seasons for the Gators. As a special teams player and reserve defensive back, Edwards played 18 games, logging seven tackles, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery. He has not used a redshirt season and has two years of eligibility left.

      Edwards announced his decision on Twitter. "First, I want to say thank you to the University of Florida for all they have done for me for the past 2 years," Edwards wrote. "Unfortunately, I will be entering the transfer portal and looking to further my education and athletic ability elsewhere."

      In May, Edwards was arrested on a first-degree misdemeanor battery charge and accused of choking his girlfriend. The charges were dropped by the Florida state attorney's office last month due to insufficient evidence and his girlfriend declined to press charges.

      Edwards is the sixth Gator to transfer this offseason.

      --Field Level Media

  • Kansas reinstates RB Williams
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 8, 2019

    Kansas reinstated suspended running back Pooka Williams on Monday, though he will miss the season's first game as part of his punishment for his December arrest.

    • Williams was arrested by university police and charged with domestic battery on Dec. 5, and the criminal charges were settled through a diversion program. Days after his arrest, then-newly hired head coach Les Miles suspended him from team activities.

      In addition to sitting out the Aug. 31 game against Indiana State, Williams also must serve university probation until he graduates, attend meetings each month with a university conduct officer, complete 40 hours of community service and go through a sexual violence accountability course offered on campus.

      These requirements are in addition to the terms stipulated in the diversion agreement with prosecutors.

      As a freshman in 2018, Williams led the Jayhawks with 1,125 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. He also led the Big 12 with 1,660 all-purpose yards and was the conference's Offensive Freshman of the Year.

      In a university news release, Williams expressed his remorse.

      "My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm very sorry to those who were impacted by my poor choices," Williams said. "I am disappointed in myself, not just as a man, but as a student-athlete looked up to by younger kids. My suspension from football has been hard, but I have learned from it. I'm thankful I can continue with my education at KU. Looking ahead, the most important thing to me is to regain the trust and respect of my classmates, teammates, and fans. I am humbled to return to football and to prepare for the season."

      Kansas athletic director Jeff Long said Williams "has done all that has been required of him by the courts, the university and Kansas Athletics, and most importantly, has accepted responsibility for his actions."

      Miles agreed.

      "Pooka has taken responsibility for his actions and we are happy he is back with the team," Miles said. "This young man has learned much throughout this process and we will support him as he continues working through the required educational and accountability steps."

      --Field Level Media

  • Northern Arizona OL Noshi found dead
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 8, 2019

    Malik Noshi, a senior offensive lineman at Northern Arizona, was found dead at his home in Flagstaff, Ariz., the university announced.

    • Cause of death has not been revealed.

      Noshi played in 29 games over three seasons for the Lumberjacks and was an honorable mention selection to the Big Sky All-Conference team in 2018.

      "The thoughts and prayers of the entire NAU Athletic Department family go out to Malik's family, friends, teammates and coaches during this time of great sadness. Coaches and support staff have been reaching out to our football family to ensure our student-athletes have the support they need," said Mike Marlow, vice president for intercollegiate athletics, in a statement issued through the university.

      Noshi, a 6-foot-2, 310-pound guard, played at Arbor View High School in Las Vegas before joining the Northern Arizona program in 2015, redshirting that season.

      Sam Toomer, the offensive line coach at Arbor View, remembered Noshi on Twitter.

      "My heart is hurting. We lost a wonderful person in Malik Noshi today. One of the best lineman ever at Arbor View. Everyone is of worth. Everyone hurts. Please talk to someone."

      --Field Level Media

  • Top CB recruit Manning decommits from Oklahoma
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 6, 2019

    Highly regarded cornerback Dontae Manning announced Saturday that he decommitted from Oklahoma and will reopen his recruitment.

    • "I would like to start by thanking Coach Lincoln-Riley and the rest of the staff for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play the game I love at the next level," Manning wrote in part on Twitter. "OU will still remain a top school of mine. But I feel the need to explore my options and take a closer look at other Universities."

      The 247Sports composite lists Manning as a four-star prospect, the No. 7 cornerback in the nation and the No. 99 overall prospect in the 2020 class.

      Manning (6-foot, 185 pounds), who is from Raytown, Mo., committed to Oklahoma in April. He recently took an official visit to Texas A&M.

      The Sooners have cornerback Ryan Watts and safety Bryson Washington, both four-star prospects, among the 13 commits in their 2020 class, which 247Sports ranks as the top in the Big 12 and No. 15 in the nation.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Clemson RB Dye dies in drowning accident
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 6, 2019

    Clemson announced the death of former running back Tyshon Dye in a drowning accident in Georgia on Friday.

    • He was 25.

      The school announced his passing on social media Friday evening: "Our hearts break tonight to confirm the passing of Tyshon Dye."

      The Greenville (S.C.) News reported that Dye was with his family at a picnic at Richard B. Russell State Park and was swimming with his two brothers when he began to tire in the water and couldn't make it back to shore, according to Elbert County coroner Chuck Almond.

      According to the report, Almond said his brothers saw him go under the water but were unable to help him and the family called 911 at about 4:50 p.m. on Friday.

      Dye's body was recovered later that afternoon and his death was ruled an accidental drowning, Almond said.

      "All of our hearts are just broken," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. I can honestly say Tyshon Dye is one of the sweetest souls I've ever been associated with or coached. We're just all heartbroken tonight, and we're praying for his family and know that he's been called home."

      Dye was a member of Clemson's 2016 national championship team. In six games that season, he recorded 109 yards on 21 carries and scored a rushing touchdown in Clemson's road win against Boston College.

      Dye graduated from Clemson in 2017 with a degree in parks, recreation and tourism management. He appeared in 16 games for Clemson across the 2014-16 seasons after redshirting his freshman year. He recorded 76 career carries for 351 yards with five rushing touchdowns and two career receptions for 11 yards.

      After earning his degree, he transferred to East Carolina in 2017 for his final year of eligibility. He recorded 217 rushing yards on 50 carries and six receptions for 56 yards for the Pirates.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hawaii LB Sanitoa dies at 21
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 5, 2019

    The University of Hawaii on Friday announced the death of 21-year-old linebacker Scheyenne Sanitoa.

    • Sanitoa died Thursday, according to a university statement. No cause of death was given.

      "Scheyenne was a tremendous young man, and we are devastated by this news," university athletics director David Matlin said in a statement on Friday. "It's always heartbreaking to lose a member of our UH 'ohana, particularly when it's one of our young student-athletes."

      The Hawaii football program announced Sanitoa's passing on social media Friday afternoon: "It's with deep sorrow that we share the tragic news that Scheyenne Sanitoa passed away yesterday at the age of 21. Scheyenne was a tremendous young man and we are all devastated. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, his teammates, and to all those who knew and loved him."

      The team met Friday to discuss Sanitoa's death, and campus counselors were at the meeting and will continue to be available to the team, according to Matlin. The team is on break this week from its summer conditioning program.

      The redshirt junior who hailed from Fagatogo, American Samoa, appeared in eight games last season and recorded 30 tackles and two sacks. He played once during the 2017 season and assisted on one tackle.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hall of Famer Robinson joins LSU as consultant
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 1, 2019

    College Football Hall of Fame coach John Robinson, 83, has joined LSU as a senior consultant to head coach Ed Orgeron.

    • Robinson will assist Orgeron with daily planning of practice, personnel and game planning.

      "I want to welcome Coach Robinson and his wife Miss Beverly to the LSU Family," Orgeron said in a statement. "Coach has been a great friend and mentor to me and he will be a very valuable resource for us in growing our championship culture at LSU."

      Robinson is best known in college coaching for his two stints at USC, from 1976-1982 and 1993-97. He led the Trojans to the 1978 national championship (finishing first in the coaches' poll, while Alabama topped the AP rankings) and five Pac-10 titles. Running backs Charles White (1979) and Marcus Allen (1981) won the Heisman Trophy under his watch.

      Robinson was 104-35-4 at USC, finishing his head coaching career at UNLV from 1999 to 2004, going 28-42 with the Rebels for an overall 132-77-4 mark.

      In between his stints at USC, Robinson was the head coach of the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, making six playoff appearances in nine seasons and twice reaching the NFC Championship Game. He went 75-68 with the Rams.

      He was a member of the 2009 class of the College Football Hall of Fame.

      --Field Level Media

  • Iowa T Wirfs cited for alleged violation of city rules
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, June 30, 2019

    Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, a preseason All-America selection, was cited by police in Iowa City for violating a city ordinance.

    • Iowa City laws prohibit people under 21 from being in a bar past 10 p.m.

      According to the Quad City Times, Wirfs was one of six people charged at the Sports Column on Friday night at 11:30. In all, police cited 13 people throughout the city.

      If found guilty of the charge, which is a simple misdemeanor, Wirfs would face a fine of up to $250.

      Wirfs, 20, was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection last season as a sophomore. Athlon Sports tabbed him as a fourth-team preseason all-American.

      He was suspended for Iowa's season opener last year after being charged with operating a motor scooter while intoxicated.

      --Field Level Media

  • Washington State S Thompson ineligible, entering supplemental draft
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 29, 2019

    Safety Jalen Thompson was ruled ineligible for his senior season at Washington State and will enter the NFL supplemental draft, the university announced on Saturday.

    • The school statement said he lost "his final year of eligibility due to a violation of NCAA rules."

      The supplemental draft will be held in July.

      Thompson, a two-time All-Pac-12 selection -- second team in 2017, honorable mention last year -- is expected to be chosen in the supplemental draft, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said. Thompson has hired an agent.

      Thompson issued a statement of his own on social media.

      "I want to take a moment to thank my friends, family, Washington State teammates, coaches, staff and most of all Cougar fans and inform them that I will not be returning to Washington State for this upcoming season," Thompson wrote. "I am extremely grateful for the opportunity the coaches provided me at Washington State and wish my teammates nothing but the best for this upcoming season. I will always be a cougar and so appreciative of the tremendous fan support we always enjoyed!"

      Thompson had 191 career tackles (11.5 for loss) and six interceptions in 39 games with the Cougars.

      --Field Level Media