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College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • Report: Alabama to hire Applewhite as analyst
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, February 20, 2019

    Major Applewhite, fired as Houston's head coach after last season, will join the Alabama staff as an analyst, AL.com reported Tuesday night.

    • It will be Applewhite's second stint in Tuscaloosa, as he served as Nick Saban's first offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Alabama in 2007.

      Applewhite, 40, left Alabama for his alma mater, Texas, where he was an assistant head coach/running backs coach from 2008-10 and then co-offensive coordinator from 2011-13.

      He next landed at Houston, first as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2015 and '16 before taking over as head coach for a loss in the Las Vegas Bowl in December 2016.

      In two seasons plus one game in charge of the Cougars, Applewhite produced a 15-11 record. His teams lost all three bowl games, including a 70-14 defeat against Army last December that ended Houston's 8-4 season.

      Applewhite lost his job a week after the blowout loss, though Houston reportedly owed him a nearly $2 million buyout.

      Applewhite was a record-setting quarterback for Texas from 1998-2001.

      Saban recently added another big-name analyst to his staff, bringing in Mike Stoops. The former Arizona head coach was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma for six-plus seasons before he was fired in October.

      --Field Level Media

  • Clemson TE Williams not expected back on team
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 19, 2019

    Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said he doesn't expect his starting tight end, Garrett Williams, to return in 2019.

    • Instead, he said, Williams likely will exchange his Clemson orange uniform for military gear.

      "He's around this spring and is going to be out there helping us, but he's dealing with his health issues. He's getting his knee back right and he's got a lot of things he's dealing with. But he really wants to go into the military," Swinney told The Post and Courier. "Right now, he's probably not going to be back."

      A redshirt junior, Williams has one year of eligibility left. He's primarily a blocker in the Clemson offense, but in 2018 he started 13 games and caught one pass for 4 yards and scored a rushing touchdown from 2 yards out.

      In January, Williams told reporters he needs knee surgery and needs to be physically able to carry on his family's military tradition.

      Swinney said he will support Williams, no matter what uniform he chooses.

      "He wants to join the military and he's excited about that," Swinney said. "So it's big."

      Last week, Oklahoma incoming freshman defensive tackle Derek Green, who signed with the Sooners in December, announced he had decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy. At the time, he said, "I'm not into the game right now."

      He apparently has changed his mind, however.

      Two days later, Green announced he had decided to put off military service and transfer schools instead.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Colorado WR/DB Cunningham killed
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 18, 2019

    Authorities confirmed that the man killed in a dispute over a parking space in Arapahoe County, Colo., was Anthony "T.J." Cunningham, who played receiver and defensive back for the Colorado Buffaloes in the early 1990s and spend one season in the NFL.

    • Cunningham, 46, an assistant principal at Hinkley High School in Aurora, Colo., according to the school's website, was shot Sunday morning and pronounced dead Monday afternoon, according to reports from multiple media outlets.

      According to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, Cunningham and a neighbor, Marcus Johnson, 31, had planned to meet Sunday. They intended to settle what friends and other neighbors described as an ongoing dispute over a parking space in front of their homes, according to reporting from TheDenverChannel.com.

      A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said Johnson called authorities to report the shooting just after it occurred, and that the sheriff's office responded around 9:30 a.m.

      The charge against Johnson was upgraded from suspicion of attempted murder to suspicion of murder when Cunningham died on Monday, the spokesperson said.

      Cunningham made 21 catches for 239 yards and no touchdowns as a receiver for the Buffaloes in the 1992 and '93 seasons. He returned kickoffs in those two seasons.

      In 1995, Cunningham switched to defensive back, making two interceptions. He also returned a few punts over the 1993 and '95 seasons.

      A sixth-round draft choice of the Seahawks in 1996, Cunningham played nine games for Seattle that season as a defensive back, coming up with one fumble recovery.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Virginia Tech QB Jackson transferring to Maryland
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 18, 2019

    Former Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson will transfer to Maryland, he announced Monday on Twitter.

    • Jackson is on track to graduate from Virginia Tech this spring, which would make him immediately eligible in 2019 and the likely favorite to start for the Terrapins. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

      Jackson announced his decision to transfer in late January, with reports at the time saying he felt disrespected by being asked to compete with current junior Ryan Willis for the starting job in 2019.

      Willis took over for Jackson during the 2018 season after the latter fractured his left fibula on Sept. 22, in his third game of the year. Willis threw for 2,716 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine picks in 12 games.

      Jackson threw for 575 yards and five touchdowns against one interception in 2018 before his injury. He enjoyed a strong redshirt freshman campaign in 2017 with 2,991 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder also ran for 385 yards and seven touchdowns during his time with the Hokies.

      Monday's news marks the third FBS transfer acquisition this year by new Maryland head coach Michael Locksley, joining Jackson's former teammate at Virginia Tech, wideout Sean Savoy, and former Ohio State linebacker Keandre Jones.

      Also in the mix for the Terrapins at quarterback will be Tyrrell Pigrome -- who finished the 2018 season as the starter -- Max Bortenschlager and freshman Lance LeGendre, a four-star prospect who flipped from Kansas to Maryland on signing day.

      --Field Level Media

  • Idaho WR Sather diagnosed with renal cancer
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 18, 2019

    University of Idaho redshirt freshman wide receiver Collin Sather remains hospitalized for treatment of advanced renal cancer.

    • Renal cancer affects the kidneys and is rare in teenagers. The average age of diagnosis of kidney cancer is 64, according to the American Cancer Society.

      "We are with Collin every day during this fight," Idaho head coach Paul Petrino said in a statement. "He is a great young man and the model of a great teammate. Everyone in our program cares a lot about him, and he will always be a valued member of this team.

      "We keep Collin and his family in our thoughts and prayers each day. We are here to help him keep fighting, and we will be here to welcome him back when he wins his battle."

      The Idaho Statesman reported that Sather began having pain in his stomach about a month ago and was hospitalized within days. He was undergoing chemotherapy and dialysis at a hospital in Spokane, Wash., and was scheduled to be transferred to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance when his condition allowed, according to the report.

      Sather played football and basketball at West Valley High School and graduated in 2018.

      --Field Level Media

  • Alabama finalizes coaching staff with seven new hires
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, February 16, 2019

    Former Washington and Southern California head coach Steve Sarkisian will return to coach Nick Saban's staff at Alabama in 2019.

    • Sarkisian is among the seven coaches who will work with Saban next season who weren't on the staff in 2018. Sarkisian will be the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.

      "We are excited to be able to assemble such a talented group of coaches to develop our players both on and off the field," Saban said. "These coaches have a great mix of energy, enthusiasm, and experience that will be a tremendous asset to our program. They are all excellent teachers of the game and fantastic recruiters who bring a wealth of experience to our staff."

      Sarkisian called the plays for Alabama in the 2017 College Football Playoff championship game loss to Clemson after coordinator Lane Kiffin accepted the head coach position at Florida International.

      He replaces Mike Locksley, now the head coach at Maryland.

      Also joining the Crimson Tide's offensive staff is Kyle Flood, who will be the line coach. He held that position the past two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, and he also is the former head coach at Rutgers.

      The only returnees to Saban's staff are Jeff Banks (tight ends coach/special teams coordinator), Pete Golding (defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach) and Karl Scott (cornerbacks).

      Alabama's coaching staff is rounded out by Charles Huff (associate head coach/running backs); Holmon Wiggins (wide receivers), Brian Baker (associate head coach/defensive line), Charles Kelly (associate defensive coordinator/safeties); and Sal Sunseri (outside linebackers).

      Saban finds himself retooling his staff after every season ends. The success of the Crimson Tide has made Saban's assistants hot prospects on the coaching market. His extensive coaching tree has several current Power 5 head coaches, including Locksley, Kirby Smart (Georgia), Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee), Mario Cristobal (Oregon), Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M) and Will Muschamp (South Carolina).

      In Saban's 12 seasons in Alabama, his teams have won five national championships.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Ohio State DC Hafley rebuffs Bengals
    By Field Level Media / Friday, February 15, 2019

    Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Jeff Hafley will remain with the Buckeyes, despite the Cincinnati Bengals' interest in interviewing him for their vacant coordinator opening, NFL Network reported Friday.

    • Hafley, 39, was the San Francisco 49ers' secondary coach the past three seasons after previous stints with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a few NCAA stops.

      He joined the Buckeyes in early January, pairing with Greg Mattison to replace outgoing defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, under whom Hafley worked while in Tampa Bay.

      The Bengals are still looking for a defensive coordinator for new head coach Zac Taylor's staff. According to various reports, they've been turned down by veteran coaches Jack Del Rio and Dom Capers, while Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham opted to stay with the Gators after receiving a raise, despite the Bengals' interest.

      ESPN reported Thursday that Cincinnati was interested in New Orleans Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn, but NFL Network reported later that day that the Saints intended to block any interview request.

      Other names linked to the Bengals' opening include Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant -- who worked with Taylor in Los Angeles for the past two seasons and interviewed for the opening last week -- and Marquand Manuel, who was fired as the Atlanta Falcons' defensive coordinator after last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Eastern Michigan coach Rasnick dies at 59
    By Field Level Media / Friday, February 15, 2019

    Former Eastern Michigan football coach Rick Rasnick has died at the age of 59, the school announced Friday.

    • Rasnick, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2013, died Wednesday.

      Rasnick coached Eastern Michigan from 1995 to 1999, taking over the program when he was 35 years old. He opened with a 6-5 record and finished 20-34 with the Eagles.

      Before joining Eastern Michigan, Rasnick was the offensive coordinator at Utah from 1991-94.

      He was a starting center at San Jose State in 1979 and 1980 after transferring from junior college, starting a coaching career with the Spartans in 1981 and becoming their offensive coordinator in 1987.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ansley is new DC as Tennessee sets staff
    By Field Level Media / Friday, February 15, 2019

    Derrick Ansley has been officially hired and will take over as the Tennessee Volunteers' defensive coordinator in a staff shakeup, the school announced Friday.

    • Ansley, whose hiring was widely reported last week, spent last season as the defensive backs coach for the Oakland Raiders. He previously worked as the defensive backs coach at Alabama in 2016 and 2017, when second-year Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt was the Tide's defensive coordinator.

      "Derrick was a graduate assistant for me for two years at Alabama and then was the defensive backs coach," Pruitt said in a statement. "We are very familiar with each other. It's good to work from the back to the front (of the defense). I think he brings a lot of experience. He has coached a lot of really good players. And probably, when I start a sentence, he can finish it."

      Ansley will handle the defensive play-calling, which is a role Pruitt handled last season, when the Vols went 5-7.

      This is Ansley's second stint at Tennessee, having coached defensive backs in 2012 under head coach Derek Dooley.

      The school announced that outside linebackers coach Chris Rumph will remain co-defensive coordinator, but inside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer loses that title while adding duties as special teams coordinator.

      On offense, Tennessee added Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney in January to serve in the same capacity. New hire Tee Martin will coach wide receivers, while 2018 receivers coach David Johnson moves to running backs. That pushes assistant coach Chris Weinke to his college position as the new quarterbacks coach.

      --Field Level Media

  • Florida State fires OL coach Frey
    By Field Level Media / Friday, February 15, 2019

    Florida State offensive line coach and run game coordinator Greg Frey has been let go, head coach Willie Taggart said in a statement Friday.

    • "This morning I informed Greg Frey that we are moving in a different direction with our offensive line coaching position," Taggart said.

      "I appreciate the hard work and expertise Greg brought to our program and understand how important it was for him that FSU be successful. I wish Greg and his family the best as he continues his coaching career. We are working to fill this position quickly."

      Florida State had one of the worst rushing attacks in the country last season, ranking 126th out of 129 teams by averaging 91.1 yards per game. The offensive line suffered multiple injuries, exposing the team's lack of depth up front.

      Houston offensive line coach Randy Clements has been linked to joining the Florida State staff. Clements has worked with new Seminoles offensive coordinator Kendal Briles at Baylor and Houston.

      Frey, 51, joined the Seminoles for the 2018 season after being the run game coordinator/tackles and tight ends coach at Michigan in 2017.

      Frey, who was an offensive tackle on Florida State's 1993 national championship team, started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at South Florida in 1996.

      --Field Level Media

  • Oregon lands Penn State transfer WR
    By Field Level Media / Friday, February 15, 2019

    Penn State graduate transfer wide receiver Juwan Johnson announced his intention Thursday to join the Oregon Ducks, providing another target for senior quarterback Justin Herbert.

    • Johnson announced his decision on Twitter, writing, "Eugene, see you this fall #GoDucks"

      Johnson's arrival will help make up for the loss of receiver Dillon Mitchell, who left early to enter the NFL Draft. Mitchell led Oregon with 75 catches for 1,184 yards and 10 touchdowns.

      Johnson's best season at Penn State came in 2017, when he caught 54 passes for 701 yards. He caught 81 passes for 1,123 yards and two touchdowns in three seasons with the Nittany Lions.

      Johnson (6-4, 225) was a four-star recruit out of Glassboro (N.J.) High School.

      He joins an Oregon team that likely will be favored to win the Pac-12, led by Herbert, considered a potential first-round talent.

      --Field Level Media

  • College football notebook: DC Grantham stays at Florida
    By Field Level Media / Friday, February 15, 2019

    Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, after meeting twice with the Cincinnati Bengals this week, has decided to stay with the Gators and will receive an extension and a raise.

    • Grantham was considered the leading candidate to become the defensive coordinator for new Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, according to the NFL Network.

      Grantham earned $1.4 million last season, according to USA Today, making him the 10th-highest-paid assistant in the country. Florida extended his contract one year through the 2022 season with a raise to $1.8 million annually over the next four years, according to FloridaGators.com.

      --Nebraska running back Maurice Washington will return to Northern California and turn himself in to face charges of revenge porn and child pornography, his attorney said. A judge in Santa Clara County signed an arrest warrant for the player on Thursday.

      Washington has been accused of sending a video to his ex-girlfriend, recorded as she allegedly was being sexually assaulted. He is not accused of assault or of making the recording.

      Because the girl was 15 at the time of the alleged assault, the child pornography charge applies. The two were involved in a relationship in eighth grade, according to Washington's lawyer.

      --Missouri submitted its appeal of recent NCAA sanctions, the university athletics department said. The appeal was filed with the NCAA's Infractions Appeals Committee.

      The NCAA on Jan. 31 levied a slew of penalties on Missouri, including a postseason ban on the football program for the 2019 season and a reduction in scholarships. The NCAA said a tutor at the school had committed misconduct.

      The baseball and softball programs also were hit with a postseason ban for the spring season. The Tigers were ordered to vacate their records in those sports as well as football.

      --Two Nebraska football players were cited for misdemeanor theft and accused by police of using stolen credit card information to pay for a pizza delivery, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

      Linebacker Caleb Tannor and wide receiver Chad Alioth Jr. were ticketed by campus police and are scheduled to appear in court next month, according to a police official.

      University assistant police chief Hassan Ramzah told the newspaper that the alleged theft was reported on Jan. 23 after the cardholder discovered the card had been used.

      --The Oregon Ducks and defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt reached an agreement to part ways, the school announced.

      Leavitt, who was under contract for three more seasons and due $5.1 million, will receive a buyout that "has a maximum amount of $2.5 million, payable over multiple years and subject to reduction based on future employment," the school said in a statement.

      Leavitt spent two seasons at Oregon, making improvement in the Ducks' defense. Oregon ranked 126th nationally in scoring defense in 2016, allowing 41.4 points per game. The Ducks improved to 29 points allowed per game in Leavitt's first season and 25.4 last year.

      --Oklahoma incoming freshman defensive tackle Derek Green, a three-star recruit from Jacksonville, N.C., who signed with the Sooners in December, has decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy.

      "I can start with (football) not having my full interest in high school, and I came to Oklahoma because I thought it was going to change," Green told SoonerScoop.com.

      "But it didn't and I'm not into the game right now. I don't want to waste anybody's time because Oklahoma has a great group of guys on that defense that's there and coming in, and I want them to be successful. They can spend more time developing them while I try to serve my country."

      --The NCAA is reviewing the guidelines regarding granting transfer waivers at the Division I level, the organization announced.

      The work being done by the Committee for Legislative Relief comes as a majority of student-athletes in the past year -- including college football players -- have been granted immediate eligibility to play at their new schools rather than sitting out a year.

      According to NCAA statistics, 149 of 226 athletes in all sports -- 65.9 percent -- were granted a waiver to play immediately in the 2018-19 school year. The last time waivers were granted for immediate eligibility came in the 2014-15 academic year, when 72.7 percent -- 179 of 246 -- were approved.

      --Field Level Media

  • Warrant issued for Nebraska RB Washington
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, February 14, 2019

    Nebraska running back Maurice Washington will return to Northern California and turn himself in to face charges of revenge porn and child pornography, his attorney said.

    • A judge in Santa Clara County signed an arrest warrant for the player on Thursday.

      "I have confirmed with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office that a Judge has signed a warrant for Mr. Washington," the attorney, John C. Ball, said in a prepared statement. "We expected this, and were prepared for it. I have also specifically confirmed that we will continue to move forward with a self-surrender, meaning that Mr. Washington will not be arrested or extradited, and that he will voluntarily appear in court in California.

      "We are still in the process of determining a timeframe for that first court appearance, as well as continued discussions regarding possible resolutions and the accompanying timeframes associated with those resolutions. Regardless of any of those timeframes, Mr. Washington will remain fully cooperative in this matter."

      Washington has been accused of sending a video to his ex-girlfriend, recorded as she allegedly was being sexually assaulted. He is not accused of assault or of making the recording.

      Because she was 15 at the time of the alleged assault, the child pornography charge applies. The two were involved in a relationship in eighth grade, Ball said.

      Washington was a freshman in the 2018 college season and had a productive year with the Huskers. He played in 11 games and gained 455 yards on 77 carries, adding three touchdowns. He also caught 24 passes for 221 yards and a score.

      Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos discussed the situation Tuesday night on the "Husker Sports Nightly" radio show.

      "We want to make sure that Maurice is cooperating, which he is," Moos said. "We also want to make sure that he knows that he has a great deal of support.

      "Then, really, the legal system kind of guides it from here on out."

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA transfer rules under review
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, February 14, 2019

    The NCAA is reviewing the guidelines regarding granting transfer waivers at the Division I level, the organization announced Thursday.

    • The work being done by the Committee for Legislative Relief comes as a majority of student-athletes in the past year have been granted immediate eligibility to play at their new schools rather than sit out a year.

      According to NCAA statistics, 149 of 226 athletes in all sports -- 65.9 percent -- were granted a waiver to play immediately in the 2018-19 school year.

      The last time waivers were granted for immediate eligibility came in the 2014-15 academic year, when 72.7 percent -- 179 of 246 -- were approved.

      In the years in between, athletes who were granted waivers were given an extra year of eligibility instead of immediate play.

      The NCAA review began earlier this week during the committee's meeting in Indianapolis, and the group's goal is to make recommendations for any change prior to the 2019-20 academic year. The goal is to have final recommendations for changes before the start of the 2019-20 academic year.

      "The Committee for Legislative Relief is reviewing current transfer waiver guidelines to make sure they are in line with the membership's expectations. We do believe attention on a small number of high-profile requests can skew perceptions of the scope of staff and committee review," said Kaity McKittrick, deputy athletic director at Lafayette. "Each waiver request is reviewed individually, as they each present a unique fact pattern and almost always confidential information of the student."

      Last April, the rules were changed to allow waivers for immediate eligibility if specific criteria were met. The guidelines also added a requirement that the athlete's transfer request must concern something out of that student's control. The school where the student originally enrolled also cannot object.

      Among the notable recent transfer approvals are two quarterbacks who moved from the Southeastern Conference to the Big Ten: Shea Patterson from Ole Miss to Michigan and Justin Fields from Georgia to Ohio State.

      --Field Level Media

  • Missouri appeals NCAA sanctions
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, February 14, 2019

    Missouri submitted its appeal of recent NCAA sanctions on Thursday, the university athletics department said.

    • The appeal was filed with the NCAA's Infractions Appeals Committee.

      The NCAA on Jan. 31 levied a slew of penalties on Missouri, including a postseason ban on the football program for the 2019 season and a reduction in scholarships. The NCAA said a tutor at the school had committed misconduct.

      The baseball and softball programs also were hit with a postseason ban for the spring season. The Tigers were ordered to vacate their records in those sports, as well as football.

      Athletic director Jim Sterk said earlier this week that he likely would appeal the postseason bans for all three teams, as well as scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions.

      "We believe that the Committee on Infractions abused its discretion in applying penalties to the University of Missouri Athletics program, and we look forward to appearing before the Appeals Committee in the future to present our case," Sterk said in a prepared statement. "Mizzou's case involved an isolated incident within our program, however, the penalties applied are overly harsh, not in line with established precedent and negatively impact student-athletes who chose to attend the University of Missouri and had nothing to do with the actions of one rogue individual.

      "It appears that our cooperation throughout this process went largely unnoticed, which I believe will have a chilling effect and force other institutions to take a different approach in dealing with these type issues, which will not be in the best interest of the NCAA or intercollegiate athletics."

      It could be six months to a year before the committee announces its final ruling.

      --Field Level Media

  • Two Nebraska players accused of pizza theft
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, February 14, 2019

    Two Nebraska football players were cited for misdemeanor theft and accused by police of using stolen credit card information to pay for a pizza delivery, the Lincoln Journal Star reported Thursday.

    • Linebacker Caleb Tannor and wide receiver Chad Alioth Jr. were ticketed by campus police and are scheduled to appear in court next month, according to a police official.

      University assistant police chief Hassan Ramzah told the newspaper that the alleged theft was reported on Jan. 23 after the cardholder discovered the card had been used.

      The football program has not publicly addressed the situation.

      Tannor, a four-star member of the Cornhuskers' 2018 recruiting class, appeared in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2018 and tallied 10 tackles.

      Alioth redshirted in 2017 and did not see any action in 2018.

      --Field Level Media

  • Oregon, DC Leavitt part ways
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, February 14, 2019

    The Oregon Ducks and defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt reached an agreement to part ways, the school announced Thursday.

    • Leavitt, who was under contract for three more seasons and due $5.1 million, will receive a buyout that "has a maximum amount of $2.5 million, payable over multiple years and subject to reduction based on future employment," the school said in a statement.

      Leavitt spent two seasons at Oregon, making improvement in the Ducks' defense.

      Oregon ranked 126th nationally in scoring defense in 2016, allowing 41.4 points per game. The Ducks improved to 29.0 points allowed per game in Leavitt's first season and 25.4 last year.

      Leavitt was hired at Oregon after a successful season coordinating the Colorado defense and helping the Buffaloes to a surprising Pac-12 South title in 2016.

      Leavitt, 62, was the head coach at South Florida from 1997 to 2009.

      According to the Oregonian, Leavitt was unhappy about being passed over as Oregon's head coach after the 2017 season, when Mario Cristobal was promoted from co-offensive coordinator to replace Willie Taggart, who left for Florida State.

      --Field Level Media

  • Oklahoma freshman changes tack, will enlist in Navy
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, February 14, 2019

    Oklahoma incoming freshman defensive tackle Derek Green, who signed with the Sooners in December, has decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy.

    • "I can start with it (football) not having my full interest in high school, and I came to Oklahoma because I thought it was going to change," Green told SoonerScoop.com.

      "But it didn't and I'm not into the game right now. I don't want to waste anybody's time because Oklahoma has a great group of guys on that defense that's there and coming in, and I want them to be successful. They can spend more time developing them, while I try to serve my country."

      Green, who enrolled in school this month, was a three-star recruit from Jacksonville, N.C.

      He did say he would put his name into the NCAA transfer portal, adding "that's just in case I want to go back to it later, but as of right now I'm going to serve my country."

      Oklahoma also lost redshirt freshman defensive lineman Ron Tatum this week; he entered the portal with the intent of transferring, according to multiple reports.

      --Field Level Media

  • DC Grantham spurns Bengals to stay with Florida
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, February 14, 2019

    Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, after meeting twice with the Cincinnati Bengals this week, has decided to stay with the Gators and will receive an extension and a raise.

    • Grantham was considered the leading candidate to become the defensive coordinator for new Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, according to the NFL Network.

      Grantham earned $1.4 million last season, according to USA Today, making him the 10th highest-paid assistant in the country. Florida extended his contract one year through the 2022 season with a raise to $1.8 million annually over the next four years, according to FloridaGators.com on Thursday.

      Grantham, 52, coached in the NFL from 1999-2009, including three years as the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns from 2005-07.

      He has been in the college ranks since 2010, holding coordinator jobs at Georgia (2010-13), Louisville (2014-16) and, for the past two seasons, under head coach Dan Mullen at Mississippi State (2017) and Florida (2018).

      The Gators last season ranked 20th nationally in scoring defense (20.0 points per game) and 28th nationally in total defense (343.3 yards per game). They led the SEC in takeaways with 26.

      --Field Level Media

  • South Carolina DT Belk retires from football
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, February 14, 2019

    South Carolina defensive tackle Josh Belk confirmed Wednesday that he is retiring from football.

    • "I fractured a vertebrae and decided to choose another path in life," he told Vizor Carolina, a Gamecocks-focused website. "One that won't potentially mess me up in the long run with injuries and all. Been praying and this is what God has led me to."

      Belk, from Richburg, S.C., was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite, which also listed him as the nation's No. 7 defensive tackle.

      He started his college career at Clemson, enrolling early in January 2018, but left the program in May, reportedly because a family health issue required him to be closer to home.

      As a freshman, the 6-foot-3, 359-pound Belk appeared in six games for South Carolina and made seven tackles. He missed several games with an ankle injury.

      "After talking with Josh Belk, he has decided to give up the game," South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said in a news release. "He is a fine young man and we wish him the best."

      --Field Level Media

  • Missouri coach calls out SEC schools for recruiting his seniors
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, February 13, 2019

    Missouri coach Barry Odom said his 19 seniors have been "contacted and bombarded non-stop" by SEC coaches trying to lure them away from the Tigers in light of the program's 2019 bowl ban.

    • NCAA rules permit rising seniors to transfer from programs facing postseason bans and gain immediate eligibility.

      Odom called out his fellow conference coaches ahead of their annual meeting on Wednesday, singling out Tennessee as the most aggressive pursuer.

      "Everybody is going to have a bad day," Odom told CBS Sports, expressing his frustration at having to essentially re-recruit his own players.

      "You combine that with somebody that -- who'd we beat 51-17 this year? Tennessee? Yeah, those guys. They are non-stop reaching out daily (saying), 'Hey, come here.' The grass is not always greener somewhere else."

      Tennessee officials declined to comment on the situation when contacted by CBS Sports.

      Missouri was hit with a bowl ban and recruiting restrictions on Jan. 31, related to an academic misconduct case involving a former tutor. The school is appealing the penalties.

      So far, no Tigers players have transferred since the ruling.

      --Field Level Media

  • FIU defensive coordinator Guy leaving program
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 12, 2019

    Florida International defensive coordinator Brent Guy is leaving the program after two seasons for personal reasons, the school announced Tuesday.

    • "We are grateful for all Brent has done for this program over the past two seasons," head coach Butch Davis said. "He helped lay the groundwork for this program and played an integral part of our success. With his help, we went to back-to-back bowl games and set a program record in wins. The FIU family wishes Brent and his family the very best for the future."

      Guy's relationship with Davis dates to the 1980s when the pair were at Oklahoma State, Guy as a player and Davis as an assistant.

      Guy's defenses powered FIU to its best two-year run in program history, including a 9-4 campaign last year that led to the Golden Panthers playing in the Bahamas Bowl.

      FIU has yet to name a replacement for Guy, 58.

      --Field Level Media

  • Four-star S Cross signs with Maryland
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 12, 2019

    Safety Nick Cross signed his national letter of intent Tuesday to play at Maryland, spurning Florida State.

    • Cross, ranked as the nation's No. 55 player and the No. 4 safety on the 247Sports composite, had been committed to the Seminoles since last September. He appeared to be backing off that commitment however, declining to sign last week on National Signing Day. He also was considering Penn State.

      He represents another big addition to the team for new coach Mike Locksley and becomes the Terrapins' top signee in this class. He is a four-star prospect from DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md.

      The Washington Post named him First Team All-Met following the 2018 season, when he had 94 tackles and four interceptions.

      Cross also is a big loss for Florida State and coach Willie Taggart. The Seminoles already were beaten out by Maryland on another prospect they hoped would sign with them in four-star quarterback Lance LeGendre from New Orleans.

      Field Level Media

  • Notre Dame WR McKinley arrested in campus incident
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 12, 2019

    Notre Dame wide receiver Javon McKinley was charged Monday with three misdemeanor counts after his arrest by campus police.

    • McKinley, 20, is alleged to have punched two campus police officers on Sunday. According to the Indianapolis Star, McKinley was riding in an Uber car around 4 a.m. and was "unresponsive."

      After the officers woke him, they attempted to walk him back to his dorm. They smelled alcohol on his breath and he wasn't steady on his feet, then stopped and tried to walk away, according to the probable cause affidavit filed in St. Joseph County Superior Court in Indiana.

      Officers said they were worried about him wandering so they tried to stop him. According to the court records, he punched the officers "in a rude, insolent or angry manner."

      Notre Dame firefighters assisted in restraining him, and he was taken to the St. Joseph County Jail. He was released Monday afternoon on a $250 bond. He also faces a charge of illegal alcohol consumption.

      Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown released this statement about the case:

      "The incident is being handled by the criminal justice system," he said. "As for internal discipline, we do not publicly discuss specific cases and impose sanctions as warranted."

      McKinley was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2016 and played six games that fall but sustained a broken left fibula during a practice. He did not play in 2017.

      Last season, he played in four games but made no receptions.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ole Miss forced to vacate 33 victories over NCAA violations
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 12, 2019

    The Ole Miss football program will vacate 33 victories over six seasons for running afoul of myriad NCAA rules which led to fielding ineligible players, school athletic director Ross Bjork said Monday night.

    • Former coach Hugh Freeze - under whom Ole Miss was accused of the majority of 15 Level I violations - takes the biggest hit in vacated victories at 27, but his predecessor, Houston Nutt, also loses six victories from the 2010-11 seasons.

      "It's the last part of this process," Bjork said at a townhall meeting in Cleveland, Miss., according to reports. "In a way it's just a piece of paper because you saw those games."

      The NCAA accused Ole Miss of 21 violations in all, including lack of institutional control and "an unconstrained culture of booster involvement in football recruiting."

      In all, the program will vacate four wins from 2010, two from 2011, seven from 2012, seven from 2013, eight from 2014 - including a win over Alabama - and five from 2016.

      Current Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil was one of those players declared ineligible over impermissible benefits, resulting in the vacated victories from 2013 and 2014. He was suspended by the NCAA for the first seven games of the 2015 season while his eligibility was reviewed.

      Multiple players were deemed ineligible for the 2010-12 seasons for academic violations, resulting in those victories being vacated.

      Vacating wins was the culmination of an infractions case against the school that was completed in December 2017.

      Ole Miss served a two-year postseason ban in 2017 and 2018 and was given three years of probation, through 2020, and was hit with 11 scholarship reductions over a four-year period.

      Freeze, who resigned in July 2017 and is now the head coach at Liberty, was contrite about his wrongdoing in a speech at Liberty last year.

      "I had to say to people that I loved, 'I am sorry. Please forgive me,'" Freeze said in a January convocation speech. "And today is really the first day I can tell the faith family, 'I am sorry. Please forgive me.'"

      --Field Level Media