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QB Hurts announces transfer to Oklahoma

QB Hurts announces transfer to Oklahoma

Former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts will transfer to Oklahoma, he announced Wednesday.

As a graduate transfer, Hurts can play immediately in 2019. He has one year of college eligibility remaining.

He made the announcement in an essay he penned for The Players' Tribune.

""I've decided to take my talents to the University of Oklahoma, where I will continue my development as both a quarterback and as a student.

"I'm very fortunate to have this opportunity, and I'm excited for the journey ahead."

Hurts, who started his freshman and sophomore seasons at Alabama, lost the starting quarterback job to sophomore Tua Tagovailoa in 2018, who is returning next season. He entered his name in the transfer portal a week ago and also considered Maryland and Miami.

Quarterback Tate Martell announced late last night that he is transferring from Ohio State to Miami.

At Oklahoma, Hurts will follow two Heisman Trophy winners, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, both of who were transfers to the Sooners.

And he undoubtedly will strive to lead Oklahoma into the championship game for the first time of the College Football Playoff. In the five-year history of the CFP, Oklahoma has qualified three times but never made it beyond the semifinal game. The Sooners were ousted by the Crimson Tide this season.

In his three seasons at Alabama, Hurts threw for 5,626 yards with 48 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He added 1,976 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns.

Hurts concluded his essay with messages both to the fans in Norman, Okla., and to those in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

"So to my about-to-be family in Norman, I truly appreciate you for bringing me on board," Hurts wrote. "Y'all don't know me yet......... but just for now, to introduce myself: I'm a motivated coach's son from the Eastside of Houston, and I love to play ball.

"And to my Bama family, once again, THANK YOU -- for everything. It's been a great three years. I'll love you until the end of time!"

Dismissed playmaker Thomas rejoins Hurricanes

Dismissed playmaker Thomas rejoins Hurricanes

Two months after then-Miami coach Mark Richt dismissed sophomore Jeff Thomas from the team, new Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz has welcomed the playmaker back.

The university confirmed Wednesday that Thomas was returning to the football program.

Thomas, who previously announced he would transfer to Illinois, addressed his return to Miami in an Instagram post Tuesday.

"Tuff decision," he wrote. "But I have decided to keep playing Football and earning my Degree at The University at Miami. Huge Thanks to the University of Illinois for giving me the opportunity to accomplish my future dreams. Please with all do respect. Respect my decision, thanks! #GoIllini #GoCanes"

On Nov. 21, Richt released Thomas from the team after he reportedly had a falling out with coaches and missed multiple practices. He was benched for the first two series of Miami's Nov. 17 win at Virginia Tech.

"We have high standards for excellence, for conduct and for the commitment to team for all of the young men who wear our uniform, and we will not waver from those standards," Richt said in a statement. "We wish Jeff the very best as he moves forward in his journey."

Richt retired following a 7-6 season. Diaz, who served as Richt's defensive coordinator from 2016-18, was hired to lead the Hurricanes on Dec. 30.

Thomas appeared in 24 games in 2017 and 2018, catching 52 passes for 937 yards (18.0-yard average) with five touchdowns.

He has averaged 22.6 yards per kickoff return and 24.6 per punt return, including a 51-yard touchdown return in his final game last season against the Hokies.

Michigan's Harbaugh offers scholarship to seventh-grade QB

Michigan's Harbaugh offers scholarship to seventh-grade QB

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has offered a scholarship to a seventh-grade quarterback from suburban Detroit, according to the 13-year-old's father.

The Wolverines coach extended the offer this week after watching tape of Isaiah Marshall competing for MacArthur Academy in Southfield, Mich. He will graduate from high school in 2024.

"It was definitely unexpected," Brian Marshall told ESPN regarding his son's offer. "They called me on the phone and asked if that was OK and of course I said yes."

Brian Marshall, who played football at Northwestern, said Isaiah understands he still has a lot of work ahead of him and that he won't let the unusual offer go to his head.

"He couldn't believe it for a minute, and I had to bring him back down to earth [and] say, 'Hey, this is part of the process, don't change anything,'" Brian Marshall said.

"There's a long way from now until you're a senior in high school, and a lot of things can change from now until then."

Ex-Ohio State QB Martell announces transfer to Miami

Ex-Ohio State QB Martell announces transfer to Miami

Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell is taking his talents to South Beach.

The dual-threat freshman tweeted early Wednesday morning that he intends to transfer to the University of Miami, and he's not the only player from Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman High School who will call The U home.

Former teammate Brevin Jordan, a tight end, already attends the school, and safety Bubba Bolden announced his intention to transfer from the University of Southern California earlier this month.

The three were pictured together in Martell's tweet, which read, "right back like we never left..."

right back like we never left...I'M A HURRICANE! ?????? pic.twitter.com/6Dh0gu4fxD

And the Martell move wasn't the only good news the Hurricanes got in a 24-hour period, with wide receiver Jeff Thomas deciding not to transfer to Illinois on Tuesday, reversing a decision the sophomore made earlier this offseason.

However, Martell was the biggest get for new head coach Manny Diaz, hired earlier this month, and new offensive coordinator Dan Enos.

In a reserve role last season, Martell was 23 of 28 for 269 yards and a touchdown while backing up Dwayne Haskins. He also rushed for 128 yards on 22 carries with two TDs.

Martell can file for a waiver, but otherwise will have to sit out the 2019 season. He will have three years of eligibility left when he gets back on the field.

He will have two good quality targets out of the gate, with fellow freshman Jordan catching 32 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns last season, while Thomas amassed 35 receptions for 563 yards and three TDs.

Notre Dame QB Wimbush transferring to UCF

Notre Dame QB Wimbush transferring to UCF

Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush on Tuesday announced that he's transferring to the University of Central Florida for his final season.

Wimbush made the announcement via Instagram.

"I am excited to announce that UCF has granted me an awesome opportunity to play my last year of collegiate football for their great University," Wimbush posted.

Wimbush amassed 2,606 passing yards and 20 touchdowns with 12 interceptions during his Notre Dame career, adding 1,155 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns.

Wimbush started the first three games of the Irish's 2018 season before being replaced by Ian Book on Sept. 22 at Wake Forest. Wimbush started his final game in place of an injured Book on Nov. 10 in South Bend, a 42-13 victory over Florida State. He passed for three touchdowns in that contest.

Wimbush finished 13-3 as a starter for Notre Dame.

He joins a UCF program that featured phenom three-year starter QB McKenzie Milton, who was felled by a gruesome knee injury during the Knights' regular-season finale against South Florida in November.

Milton's status is uncertain. Milton has one year of eligibility left to play, but is scheduled to have a second surgical procedure on his knee on Jan. 25.

Redshirt freshman Darriel Mack Jr. started the final two games for UCF.

"With McKenzie Milton recovering from a knee injury, this will give the Knights an experienced veteran to help the young quarterbacks out," UCF wrote in a web post about Wimbush's decision.

Wimbush is eligible to play next season as a graduate transfer.

Fired UMass coach Whipple named new Pitt OC

Fired UMass coach Whipple named new Pitt OC

The Pittsburgh Panthers on Monday hired former Massachusetts head football coach and ex-Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple as their offensive coordinator.

"Mark Whipple is truly one of the best teachers of offensive football in the country -- college and pro," Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said in a statement. "His track record working with quarterbacks is simply outstanding and I know that positional group will really grow under his influence."

Whipple, 61, who was fired in November after UMass finished 4-8 for the second consecutive season, compiled a 16-44 mark since returning to the job in 2014. He previously coached the team from 1998-2003, compiling a 49-26 mark.

Despite its losing record in 2018, UMass ranked 36th in FBS by averaging 32.8 points per game, and averaged 298 yards passing and 139.8 rushing.

At Pitt, Whipple is replacing Shawn Watson, who was fired earlier in January. The Panthers were one of the worst offensive teams in the country in 2018, finishing 97th in total offense, 93rd in scoring offense and 120th in passing offense.

Whipple will also coach the quarterbacks at Pitt, a role he knows very well. He worked for Steelers head coach Bill Cowher from 2004-06, when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played his first three NFL seasons.

In 2014, Roethlisberger told the Massachusetts Daily Collegian that Whipple "really taught me how to be a pro when it comes to doing the football side of things."

In October, Whipple made national headlines when he drew a one-game suspension for a rape analogy. Following a 58-42 loss at Ohio University, Whipple referred to a play on which he believed the Bobcats should have been flagged for pass interference, saying in a radio interview, "We had a chance there ... and they rape us, and (the referee) picks up the flag."

In 1998, Whipple coached the Minutemen to a national title at the FCS level. He also was the head coach at New Haven from 1988-93 and at Brown from 1994-97. Whipple has an 137-103 overall record as a head coach.

He was offensive coordinator of the Miami Hurricanes from 2009-10, when his teams averaged 30.3 and 26.7 points per game.

College football notebook: Oklahoma QB Murray declares for NFL draft

College football notebook: Oklahoma QB Murray declares for NFL draft

Two-sport star Kyler Murray placed his name into the NFL draft on Monday, making his intentions known by tweeting simply, "I have declared for the NFL Draft."

The Heisman Trophy winner and Oklahoma quarterback has been pondering entering the draft ever since his football stock skyrocketed with his stellar campaign. Based on projections, he figures to be a high first-round pick in the NFL draft despite his listed height of 5-foot-10. It's possible he could be the No. 1 overall pick.

Murray's situation was complex as the Oakland Athletics drafted him ninth overall in June's baseball draft. Murray signed a contract with $4.66 million up front under the proviso he could play the just-completed college football season.

In recent days, there was an effort to keep Murray out of the NFL, as Oakland was prepared to offer a guaranteed Major League Baseball contract that represents a significant increase over their initial agreement.

Monday is the deadline for college football players to enter the draft. The final list of early entrants will be released to NFL teams on Friday.

--Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell has narrowed his transfer targets to West Virginia, Miami and Louisville, according to a published report.

Martell, who appeared in six games as backup to Dwayne Haskins in 2018, entered the transfer portal earlier this month after Georgia's Justin Fields announced his transfer to the Buckeyes.

As a redshirt freshman, Martell completed 23 of 28 passes for 269 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions. The dual-threat signal-caller also rushed 22 times for 128 yards and two scores.

--President Donald Trump hosted the Clemson national champion football team at the White House, but thanks in part to the partial government shutdown, the menu choices are not quite the traditional options.

Using his own money to pay for some "great American food," Trump told reporters earlier in the day: "Very great team. Unbelievable team. I think we're going to serve McDonalds, Wendy's and Burger King ... some pizza. I really mean it. Their favorite food. So we'll see what happens."

While their meal wasn't exactly extravagant, the fast-food menu was served on silver platters under the glow of candlelight for the Tigers, who defeated the previously top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 44-16 in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.

--A pair of big-name, award-winning players also declared they are leaving school early for the NFL draft:

Mackey Award-winning tight end T.J. Hockenson of Iowa, who caught 49 passes for a team-high 760 yards and six touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore in 2018, became the second Hawkeyes tight end to declare for the draft. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. rates Hockenson as the No. 5 tight end in the 2019 draft class, with Iowa teammate Noah Fant as his No. 1 player at the position.

And LSU linebacker Devin White announced he is leaving the Tigers for the draft, where is expected to be taken in the top 10. White, who won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker, led the Tigers with 123 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. He also had three sacks.

--SMU quarterback Ben Hicks announced that he will play for Arkansas in 2019. Hicks is SMU's all-time record holder with 9,081 yards and 71 touchdowns.

The graduate transfer passed for 2,582 yards and 19 touchdowns against seven interceptions last season, and joins former Mustangs coach Chad Morris, who is head coach in Fayetteville.

Cole Kelley, who lost the Arkansas starting gig in September, recently transferred to Southeastern Louisiana. Ty Storey, who finished as the starter, placed his name in the transfer portal last week in hopes of finding a new school.

--Former Notre Dame star running back Autry Denson is the new coach of Charleston Southern, the school announced. Denson, who spent the past four seasons as running backs coach at Notre Dame, will be introduced in a news conference on Wednesday.

Denson rushed for a school-record 4,318 yards in four seasons (1995-98) at Notre Dame. He topped 1,000 yards in three of them. Denson also rushed for 43 touchdowns, which currently stands second in program history.

The 42-year-old Denson replaces Mark Tucker, who resigned last month with an 11-11 record in two seasons at the FCS school.

--The Pittsburgh Panthers have hired former Massachusetts head football coach and ex-Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple as their offensive coordinator.

Whipple, 61, who was fired in November after UMass finished 4-8 for the second consecutive season, compiled a 16-44 mark since returning to the job in 2014. He previously coached the team from 1998-2003, compiling a 49-26 mark.

Trump foot bills for Clemson's White House meal

Trump foot bills for Clemson's White House meal

The federal government shutdown even affected that national champion Clemson Tigers during their visit with President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday.

And though he didn't wine and dine them, the president ponied up for some "great American food" worthy of the best college football team in the country.

Trump told reporters earlier in the day, "Very great team. Unbelievable team. I think we're going to serve McDonalds, Wendy's and Burger King ... some pizza. I really mean it. Their favorite food. So we'll see what happens."

While their meal wasn't exactly extravagant, the fast food menu was served on silver platters under the glow of candlelight for the Tigers, who defeated the previously top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 44-16 in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.

"The President wanted to host a fun event to celebrate the College Football National Champion Clemson Tigers," deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told CNN in a statement. "Because the Democrats refuse to negotiate on border security, much of the residence staff at the White House is furloughed -- so the President is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone's favorite fast foods."

Trump confirmed before the visit that he paid for the Tigers' meal, adding, "We have some very large people that like eating. So I think we're going to have a little fun." He called it "great American food," and boxes of Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, chicken nuggets and Filet-O-Fish were on display.

"If it's American, I like it. It's all American stuff, (including) 300 hamburgers, many, many french fries -- all of our favorite foods," Trump said, according to a pool report.

The pool report indicated that the Clemson players arrived shortly before 6 p.m. ET as the White House band played Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." According to the report, some players "whooped" when they saw how the fast food was displayed.

SMU QB Hicks transferring to Arkansas

SMU QB Hicks transferring to Arkansas

SMU quarterback Ben Hicks announced Monday that he will play for Arkansas in 2019.

Hicks is SMU's all-time record holder with 9,081 yards and 71 touchdowns.

The graduate transfer joins former Mustangs coach Chad Morris as a member of the Razorbacks.

"Looking forward to playing my final season of college football in Fayetteville! @RazorbackFB Excited to get to work!" Hicks wrote on his Twitter account.

Hicks passed for 2,582 yards and 19 touchdowns against seven interceptions last season.

He spent his first two seasons as a starter under Morris, who departed for Arkansas in December 2017.

Hicks passed for 2,930 yards, 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2016 and had a big 2017 campaign in which he passed for 3,569 yards, 33 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The Razorbacks are also on the verge of losing their second quarterback since the end of the 2018 season.

Cole Kelley, who lost the starting gig in September, recently transferred to Southeastern Louisiana. Ty Storey, who finished as the starter, placed his name in the transfer portal last week in hopes of finding a new school.

"Ty came in and we had a long talk and visit," Morris said during an appearance on a Fayetteville radio show. "He expressed to me that he wants to go somewhere and play, and I understand those things.

"That's great. You're in that role of a quarterback, and that's a unique position. I've been around it my entire life."

Storey passed for 1,584 yards and 11 touchdowns against 10 interceptions in 2018 for the Razorbacks (2-10).

Denson hired as Charleston Southern coach

Denson hired as Charleston Southern coach

Former Notre Dame star running back Autry Denson is the new coach of Charleston Southern, the school announced Monday.

Denson, who spent the past four seasons as running backs coach at Notre Dame, will be introduced in a news conference on Wednesday.

Denson rushed for a school-record 4,318 yards in four seasons (1995-98) at Notre Dame. He topped 1,000 yards in three of them.

Denson also rushed for 43 touchdowns, which currently stands second in program history.

The 42-year-old Denson replaces Mark Tucker, who resigned last month with an 11-11 record in two seasons at the FCS school.

"This is a great day for Buccaneer football," Charleston Southern athletic director Jeff Barber said in a news release. "Autry Denson is a special person in many ways and stands out as both a recruiter and a coach. More importantly, he cares about his players as people first and will, therefore, have great influence on their hearts and lives and will develop each of them into outstanding young men."

Denson felt like he was a good fit for the school while going through the interview process.

"I was drawn to Charleston Southern by the vision of this great Christian university of integrating faith in learning, leading, and serving," Denson said in the news release. "As a result, I knew this could be a place where I could build and lead a program to honor Christ by operating with character, integrity, transparency, accountability, and community."

After his Notre Dame playing career, Denson appeared in 34 NFL games with the Miami Dolphins (1999-2000), Chicago Bears (2001) and Indianapolis Colts (2002). He rushed for 212 yards on 62 attempts in his career.

He had coaching stops at Bethune-Cookman, Miami (Ohio) and South Florida before joining the Notre Dame staff under Brian Kelly.

"This is where Autry touched our program the deepest. He's got a way with young people and truly provides spiritual mentorship that positively affects everyone around him."

Oklahoma QB Murray declares for NFL draft

Oklahoma QB Murray declares for NFL draft

Two-sport star Kyler Murray placed his name into the NFL draft on Monday with a simple statement on his Twitter account.

"I have declared for the NFL Draft," Murray wrote in a tweet.

The Heisman Trophy winner and Oklahoma quarterback has been pondering entering the draft ever since his football stock skyrocketed with his stellar campaign. Murray passed for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns against seven interceptions while also rushing for 1,001 yards and 12 scores.

Based on projections, he figures to be a high first-round pick in the NFL draft despite his listed height of 5-foot-10. It's possible he could be the No. 1 overall pick.

Murray has 72 hours to pull out of the NFL draft after declaring.

Murray's situation was complex as the Oakland Athletics drafted him ninth overall in June's baseball draft. Murray signed a contract with $4.66 million up front under the proviso he could play the just-completed college football season.

In recent days, there was an effort to keep Murray out of the NFL, as Oakland was prepared to offer a guaranteed Major League Baseball contract that represents a significant increase over their initial agreement.

ESPN reported that Murray changed his circumstances by playing for Oklahoma, thus opening the door for the Athletics to place him on the 40-man roster with a major league deal.

Monday is the deadline for college football players to enter the draft. The final list of early entrants will be released to NFL teams on Friday.

Iowa TE Hockenson leaving early for NFL draft

Iowa TE Hockenson leaving early for NFL draft

Mackey Award-winning tight end T.J. Hockenson is leaving Iowa early to enter the 2019 NFL Draft, the Hawkeyes announced Monday.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Hockenson caught 49 passes for a team-high 760 yards and six touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore in 2018.

The First Team All-Big Ten selection had three catches for 125 yards in a Sept. 22 loss to Wisconsin and caught four passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns in an Oct. 13 win at Indiana.

Hockenson is the fourth player to leave Iowa early for April's draft, joining fellow tight end Noah Fant, defensive end Anthony Nelson and safety Amani Hooker.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. rates Hockenson as the No. 5 tight end in the 2019 draft class, with Fant as his No. 1 player at the position.

LSU standout LB White declares for draft

LSU standout LB White declares for draft

All-American LSU linebacker Devin White announced Monday he will skip his senior season to enter the 2019 NFL Draft.

He is expected to be a top-10 selection in April.

"As a small-town country boy from Springhill, Cullen and Cotton Valley, Louisiana, dreaming of play in the NFL always seemed so far away," White said in a touching video to LSU fans posted Monday on Twitter. "However, it was all God's plan to place the opportunity within arm's reach.

"I've chosen to accept the challenge."

White, who won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker, led the Tigers with 123 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. He also had three sacks.

ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both have ranked Davis as the No. 3 overall prospect and the top inside linebacker in the nation.

He is the third underclassman from LSU to put his name in the draft, joining cornerback Greedy Williams and nose tackle Ed Alexander.

Report: Ohio State's Martell considers WVU, Miami and Louisville

Report: Ohio State's Martell considers WVU, Miami and Louisville

Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell has narrowed his transfer targets to West Virginia, Miami and Louisville, according to a published report Monday.

Martell, who appeared in six games as backup to Dwayne Haskins in 2018, entered the transfer portal earlier this month after Georgia's Justin Fields announced his transfer to the Buckeyes.

As a redshirt freshman, Martell completed 23 of 28 passes for 269 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions. The dual-threat signal-caller also rushed 22 times for 128 yards and two scores.

Martell visited West Virginia on Sunday and was expected to visit Miami on Monday and Louisville on Wednesday, according to 247Sports.

If Martell does leave Columbus, he would have to sit out the 2019 season or request a waiver from the NCAA.

TE McCormick announces he won't sue Oregon

TE McCormick announces he won't sue Oregon

After two football players announced lawsuits against the University of Oregon, a third has opted against suing the school.

Tight end Cam McCormick was one of three players hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis in January 2017 following an offseason workout.

"I respect my teammates immensely and their very difficult decision to take that path," McCormick wrote on Saturday. "... I look forward to putting this unfortunate situation in the past, and moving ahead."

Sam Poutasi, an offensive lineman who played as a redshirt sophomore in 2018, late last week sued the university, former football coach Willie Taggart, former strength coach Irele Oderinde and the NCAA, alleging he suffered long-term effects from offseason workouts in 2017.

Poutasi said the workouts caused him to be diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis and subsequently hospitalized. He is seeking $5 million in damages for what he termed "physical and emotional pain, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and diminishment of avocational abilities, in the past, present, and future."

Earlier in the week, former Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner filed an $11.5 million suit for negligence against the university, Taggart, Oderinde and the NCAA.

Both Brenner and Poutasi contend the university was negligent in its failure to regulate, supervise or prohibit the workouts; that Taggart and Oderinde were negligent in conducting those workouts; and that the NCAA has failed in its oversight of coaches at NCAA schools.

Taggart is now the head coach at Florida State, where Oderinde is on his staff.

Poutasi's lawsuit states he was in the hospital for a week in January 2017 and suffered from "severely swollen arms, muscle aches and pains, loss of use of arms, elevated creatinine kinase levels caused by AER, discolored urine and damage to kidneys."

At the time, The Oregonian reported that multiple sources compared the workouts to military basic training.

McCormick, a sophomore, suffered a broken leg in the 2018 season opener against Bowling Green and missed the rest of the season.

Thompson becomes sixth Alabama player to enter draft

Thompson becomes sixth Alabama player to enter draft

A sixth Alabama underclassman has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.

On Sunday, first-team All-American safety Deionte Thompson announced he will forgo his final year of eligibility. He made the announcement on Twitter, writing, in part, "Competing in four straight national championships with the best teammates in college football, earning my bachelor's degree, and learning and growing with this community has helped me develop as an individual on and off the field.

"After careful consideration, many conversations, and through prayer, I'm happy to confirm that I will be entering the 2019 NFL Draft."

On Friday, four Crimson Tide players - running back Josh Jacobs, tight end Irv Smith Jr., offensive lineman Jonah Williams and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams - announced they were entering the draft. Cornerback Saivion Smith announced his departure on Saturday.

On the season, Thompson had 78 tackles and two interceptions.

Report: QB Hurts visits Sooners

Report: QB Hurts visits Sooners

Jalen Hurts made a visit to the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, according to multiple reports.

Hurts, the Alabama quarterback who announced Wednesday that he has entered the NCAA transfer portal, began making trips to potential transfer schools this weekend -- starting Friday with a visit to Maryland.

After that, he apparently headed to Oklahoma, which is looking to replace Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.

"I can confirm that Alabama QB Jalen Hurts was in Norman today visiting Oklahoma. Austin Kendall is also in Norman today. Classes start Monday," tweeted Jason Kersey, who covers Oklahoma for The Athletic.

Kendall saw limited action this season as Murray's backup. Oklahoma reportedly began to show interest in Hurts after Kendall entered the transfer portal on Friday.

Hurts also was expected to visit Miami over the weekend, according to an ESPN source.

The graduate transfer, who can play immediately next season and has one year of eligibility remaining, attended the Maryland basketball game against Indiana on Friday night. He joined Terrapins head football coach Mike Locksley, who was Alabama's offensive coordinator in 2018.

Dan Enos, the quarterback coach at Alabama who worked closely with Hurts, was hired Friday to be offensive coordinator of the Miami Hurricanes.

Hurts, a native of Houston, compiled a 26-2 record as Alabama's starting quarterback before Tua Tagovailoa was given the job this season. Playing in all but two games as a backup, Hurts completed 51 of 70 passes for 765 yards, with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.

The 2016 SEC Offensive Player of the Year has completed 62.9 percent of his passes in his Alabama career for 5,626 yards, 48 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 42 games.

Reports: Sarkisian spurns Cardinals, returning to Bama

Reports: Sarkisian spurns Cardinals, returning to Bama

Former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will return to Alabama instead of joining the Arizona Cardinals' staff, according to an ESPN report Saturday evening.

The network reported Friday that the Cardinals were closing in on a deal to sign Sarkisian to be their coordinator, but NFL Network reported Saturday that he was unlikely to join Arizona. Per ESPN, Arizona offered Sarkisian the job, but he chose to rejoin Nick Saban's staff.

The Crimson Tide needed an offensive coordinator after Dan Enos left to join Miami. Sarkisian served as an offensive analyst, and briefly as offensive coordinator, for Saban during the 2016 season before joining the Falcons.

Sarkisian, 44, was fired after two years in Atlanta that did not live up to the heights of the team's 2016 offense. The group finished 10th in points and sixth in yards in the NFL this year after ranking 15th and eighth, respectively, in 2017.

Before his first stint at Alabama, Sarkisian served as USC head coach from 2014-15. Previously he was head coach for the Washington Huskies from 2009-13 and worked two stints as an assistant at USC from 2001-03 and 2005-08.

The Cardinals will continue their search for an offensive coordinator for new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who is expected to call plays and run his own offense but said he would like to hire someone with NFL experience.

Arizona has also interviewed former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo for the opening.

McAdoo, 41, spent last year out of football after being fired by New York, but he had a strong two-year run as the Giants offensive coordinator in 2014-15 before his promotion.

Arizona has finalized its other coordinator spots, with Vance Joseph signing on to run the defense and Jeff Rodgers staying in his position as special-teams coordinator.

College football notebook: Bama CB Smith enters NFL draft

College football notebook: Bama CB Smith enters NFL draft

Alabama junior cornerback Saivion Smith announced Saturday on Twitter that he will enter the 2019 NFL Draft.

A junior college transfer, Smith played in all 15 games and made 12 starts in his lone season with the Crimson Tide in 2018. He registered 60 tackles, five pass breakups and a team-high three interceptions.

The Tampa, Fla., native began his collegiate career at LSU in 2016, appearing in three games with the Tigers before transferring to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

"The past 3 years have been quite the journey, LSU, MGCCC, to the greatest school in the world Alabama," Smith tweeted. "It's been an honor and privilege to play at Alabama this season."

--Alabama defensive end LaBryan Ray was arrested Friday night for public intoxication, according to multiple reports citing the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office arrest database.

Ray, a sophomore, was reportedly arrested around 7 p.m. for refusing to leave an establishment and held on $500 bond. According to USA Today, he was still listed as an inmate late Saturday morning.

"We are disappointed any time a player makes a choice that leads to a bad decision," Alabama coach Nick Saban said in a statement Saturday. "We will evaluate what we need to do in terms of appropriate discipline and rehabilitation as we move forward."

--The Miami Hurricanes have added two more coaches, head coach Manny Diaz announced.

Eric Hickson was hired as running backs coach and Butch Barry joins as offensive line coach.

Hickson was running backs coach at Kansas State last season. Barry served as an assistant offensive line coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the last four seasons.

Memphis WR Pollard declares for NFL draft

Memphis WR Pollard declares for NFL draft

Memphis do-it-all weapon Tony Pollard will forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, he announced Friday evening on Twitter.

Pollard, a redshirt junior, tied the NCAA all-time record for career kick-return touchdowns with a 97-yarder in the Birmingham Bowl in December, giving him seven in his career. He averaged 30.1 yards on 87 career kick returns, though his average fell to 24.7 this year after it hit 40 in 2017.

On offense, Pollard totaled 1,010 scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns on 117 touches in 2018, including 78 carries for 552 yards (7.1 average) and six scores. Listed as a wide receiver, Pollard had 104 catches for 1,292 yards and nine scores in three years at Memphis, to go with 139 carries for 941 yards and nine TDs on the ground.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder's decision to declare was somewhat surprising, as he's considered a mid- to later-round selection by most outlets.

Pollard joins running back Darrell Henderson, a unanimous All-American running back, as underclassmen to leave the Tigers early. Monday is the deadline to declare for the 2019 draft.