College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • LB Marchiol won't play at Colorado
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    Colorado has split with linebacker Santino Marchiol, a local product who had hoped to resurrect his college football career with the Buffaloes, after his arrest last month.

    • Marchiol, 21, was arrested on June 24 in Pueblo, Colo., on suspicion of second-degree assault bodily injury, a felony, in an alleged domestic violence incident. He also faces two misdemeanor assault charges and a violation for contempt of a protection order, the Denver Post reported Thursday.

      Marchiol was set to join the Buffaloes next month as a walk-on but has been told by first-year coach Mel Tucker not to show up.

      "Santino was never enrolled as a CU Boulder student," the university said in a statement. "He was invited to be a walk-on for the football team this fall. Coach Tucker has since rescinded that invitation."

      Marchiol played at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colo, until transferring to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., in his senior season. Ranked as a four-star prospect in the Class of 2017, he committed to Texas A&M and coach Kevin Sumlin in June 2016.

      An injury kept him on the sidelines in 2017, and he has yet to play a down of college football.

      Sumlin was fired in November 2017 and replaced by Jimbo Fisher. Marchiol levied allegations that Fisher's coaching staff broke several NCAA rules during its first offseason at College Station.

      He told USA Today that shortly after Fisher's staff took over, linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto twice improperly gave him money to entertain recruits in amounts ranging up to $400 -- well above the allowed $40 NCAA limit. He also alleged that the coaching staff put him and other players through practice sessions in June that were couched as voluntary but were workouts that violated NCAA practice rules. He also said his injury was mishandled.

      Marchiol left Texas A&M to rejoin Sumlin at his new program, Arizona. However, Arizona dismissed Marchiol last Aug. 27 after a video surfaced apparently showing him twice using the word "monkey" to refer to a former Texas A&M teammate.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-coach Sherrill, NCAA settle 15-year-old lawsuit
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    Former Mississippi State football coach Jackie Sherrill and the NCAA reached agreement in a longstanding lawsuit filed in 2004.

    • The settlement, reached on the third day of a trial in Madison County, Miss., was confidential. Sherrill's attorney, Wayne Ferrell, revealed only that there was a financial settlement and that the agreement also cleared him to work at any NCAA school.

      Sherrill filed the suit after he resigned from Mississippi State in 2003 amid an NCAA investigation into alleged promises of unallowed benefits to one recruit and to the family of another.

      The NCAA's Committee on Infractions found insufficient evidence to punish Sherrill but did place Mississippi State on probation. Sherrill, 75, contended in his lawsuit that the NCAA investigation harmed his reputation and kept him from getting another job.

      The settlement was reached Wednesday afternoon.

      Sherrill began his head coaching career in 1976 with Washington State, leading the Cougars to a 3-8 record in his only season there. From 1977-81, he coached at Pitt, followed by a stint at Texas A&M from 1982-88.

      Mississippi State hired him as its coach in 1991, and in his 13 seasons there, he compiled a 75-75-2 record. In 26 years of coaching, his record was 180-120-4.

      --Field Level Media

  • 2021 QB Maye commits to Alabama
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    Coveted quarterback prospect Drake Maye committed to Alabama, spurning his home-state school and family legacy at North Carolina.

    • His brother, Luke, was a second-team All-ACC selection for the Tar Heels in the 2018-19 season, and their father, Mark, was UNC's starting quarterback in 1986-87.

      Drake Maye (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) is a four-star recruit and the nation's No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2021, according to the 247Sports composite. A rising junior at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, he chose the Crimson Tide over offers from a number of schools, including North Carolina, Georgia, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State.

      "It's the winning mentality," he told BamaOnLine about his choice of Alabama. "I went down there in the spring and then for camp in the summer. I loved it. I sat down with Coach (Nick) Saban, just talked about the winning mentality. It's all about winning down there. To have Coach Saban say in the 2021 class that I was a big target, it meant a lot to me. I just felt like why not Bama, right? It's the best place in the country."

      Last season, Maye threw for 3,201 yards with 36 touchdowns and five interceptions.

      --Field Level Media

  • Aggies land top uncommitted 2020 QB King
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Four-star dual-threat quarterback Haynes King, the top uncommitted QB from the 2020 class, announced Wednesday he is committing to Texas A&M.

    • "(Aggies head coach) Jimbo Fisher, he's proven to develop quarterbacks and put them into the (NFL)," King said, according to multiple media outlets, of the reasoning behind his decision. "He's been very successful at that. He coaches you hard, and I'm used to that. He coaches you like you're his son."

      King, of Longview (Texas) High, picked Texas A&M over Tennessee, after also visiting Auburn and Duke in recent weeks.

      The 6-foot-2, 189-pounder is the third-ranked dual-threat QB and 79th overall player in the 2020 class in 247Sports' composite rankings. ESPN rates him as the top quarterback -- pro-style or dual-threat -- and the 19th overall player in the class.

      King threw for 3,879 yards with 42 touchdowns and four interceptions as a junior, while adding 664 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground plus one TD reception. His team went 16-0 and won the Texas 6A D-II state championship.

      --Field Level Media

  • FSU's Taggart: Blackman enters camp as No. 1 QB
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Florida State sophomore James Blackman will enter fall camp as the starting quarterback, although coach Willie Taggart said he is expecting graduate transfer Alex Hornibrook to compete.

    • Blackman preserved a redshirt season in 2018, when he played in four games (with one start) while playing behind Deondre Francois, who was dismissed from the team this February. Blackman started 12 games in 2017 after Francois was injured in the opener, completing 173 of 297 passes for 2,230 yards, with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

      "He's the starting quarterback," Taggart said of Blackman at ACC media days in Charlotte, N.C., according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

      "He started in the spring and the understanding is that he's going to go in there with the ones. But those guys are going to compete. They're going to get their reps and the best man is going to win the job."

      Hornibrook graduated in May from Wisconsin with one season of eligibility remaining.

      He was the primary starter for the Badgers for the past three seasons, completing 60.5 percent of his passes for 5,438 yards with 47 touchdowns and 33 interceptions during his career. He was the MVP of the 2017 Orange Bowl win over Miami, but he was expecting to face competition at Wisconsin this season from junior Jack Coan and standout freshman Graham Mertz.

      "Alex, I think one thing he brings to our football team is experience, not just experience playing football, but experience playing in big bowl games, too, games that he played in and won," Taggart said Wednesday.

      "I mean, you can't overlook that from an experience standpoint at that position. One thing I've been really impressed with Alex is he's coming to our football program and it seems like he's been there for years, just how he's been relating to his teammates. It's almost every day I see him with someone different, getting to know those guys.

      "Just to hear his teammates talk about him says a lot about the work he's put in building those relationships, understanding that was something he needed to do coming here with one year left. Been really impressed with the young man."

      The FSU quarterbacks will be working with new position coach and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, who helped direct wide-open offenses at Baylor, Florida Atlantic and Houston. The Seminoles are trying to bounce back from a 5-7 season as they failed to reach a bowl game for the first time since 1981.

      --Field Level Media

  • Saban chides job-seeking assistants for 2018 failure
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Alabama has proven to be a launching pad for assistant coaches, which can make things tricky for head coach Nick Saban.

    • The Crimson Tide had six new assistant coaches last season, including both coordinators, and Saban told the SEC Network on Wednesday that too many of them had wandering eyes as Alabama progressed through the season and into the national title game.

      "When the season started, I think we were great," Saban said during SEC media days in Hoover, Ala. "When we won the LSU game, it just seemed like people's own agendas starting to become more important.

      "We have a lot of guys who wanted to be head coaches at different places."

      Alabama shut out LSU 29-0 in Week 9 last season, but was challenged by Georgia in the SEC Championship Game and Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinals before falling 44-16 to Clemson in the national title game.

      Seven of Alabama's 10 on-field coaches would move on following that loss.

      Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley took the head coaching position at Maryland; associate head coach/quarterbacks coach Dan Enos is the new offensive coordinator at Miami; wide receivers coach Josh Gattis is trying to open up Michigan's offense as Jim Harbaugh's new coordinator; and defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi moved on to the Cleveland Browns.

      "It takes a special person to stay focused on what they have to do now when they have a job somewhere else that's awaiting them and they have a responsibility on staffs. I'm not being critical of those people. It's just very challenging," Saban said.

      "And we had a lot of that on our staff last year, and I think those relationships with players go a long way to keeping players where they need to be to do the things they need to do -- continue to prepare, practice the way they need to practice so they can continue to improve and get better -- and we just didn't do that very well at the end of last year."

      Saban's recent coaching tree, in addition to Locksley, includes Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee), Kirby Smart (Georgia), Billy Napier (Louisiana) and Lane Kiffin (Florida Atlantic).

      His new coordinators this season are Steve Sarkisian, promoted from offensive analyst, and Pete Golding, who coached inside linebackers last season and held the title of co-defensive coordinator.

      --Field Level Media

  • Alabama's Tagovailoa trying to learn from title-game loss
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting last season and set an NCAA record for passing efficiency.

    • But it's the last game he can't forget.

      Tagovailoa threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown 100 seconds into the national championship game against Clemson, and he was picked off again early in the second quarter that led to a Tigers' touchdown drive and a 28-16 lead.

      Clemson went on to win 44-16, the worst loss in coach Nick Saban's 13 seasons with the Crimson Tide.

      "National championship was probably one of the biggest things that I had to face, you know?" Tagovailoa said on the SEC Network on Wednesday at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

      "No one wants to go back and look a lot of their mistakes. Being able to just watch the game and look at all the things that gone wrong and look at the mistakes that I could've not made. I (should've) taken what they gave me. Last year, we were goal-oriented and looked at the scoreboard too much instead of just playing. But it's hard. Throughout the entire season, we didn't have to play catch up. It was a whole new ball game (against Clemson)."

      Tagovailoa last season completed 245 of 355 passes for 3,966 yards, with 43 touchdowns and six interceptions for a passing efficiency rating of 199.4. He played through a bothersome ankle injury that eventually forced him out of the SEC Championship Game, and he skipped being a counselor at last month's Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana because of a hamstring issue.

      He said he is 100 percent healthy heading into camp -- and he's also leaner and more aware of "taking care of myself in every aspect, whether I'm hurting or not." He said he's at 215 pounds, down 15 pounds from March.

      Tagovailoa, a junior, will enter the 2019 season as a Heisman co-favorite with Clemson sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

      "I think Tua is the kind of guy that's never really satisfied," Saban said Wednesday at his podium interview. "And I think he had an outstanding year last year. Are there things that he can improve on? I don't think there's any question about that. ...

      "Tua is a great competitor so he's going to try to make a great play every play. And sometimes those things have worked out extremely well. And other times they've led to some disasters. ... But we're happy to have him as a leader of our team. He's got great character. He's a hard worker. He affects his teammates in a really positive way.

      "And, you know, he's obviously been as productive as anybody in his position in the country. So hopefully we can build on that."

      --Field Level Media

  • 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