TE Arik Gilbert decommits from Florida, enters transfer portal again
"I have decided to decommit from the university of Florida and re-enter the portal," Gilbert tweeted. "I will not be announcing my final decision until I am enrolled into school and on campus."
The 6-foot-5, 249-pound Gilbert, who was one of the most sought-after recruits in the 2020 cycle, played for LSU last season. But he decided to opt out of the season on Dec. 9 after posting 368 yards and two touchdowns on 35 receptions in eight games.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he hoped Gilbert would return to the team. Instead, he never played another down for the Tigers and ultimately entered the transfer portal, reopening his recruiting.
Gilbert, a five-star recruit ranked No. 5 nationally according to 247Sports in 2020, was expected to replace Kyle Pitts in Gainesville. The Gators' standout tight end, who led the team in receiving touchdowns (12) last season, is expected to be among the first players taken in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Gators signed tight ends Gage Wilcox (four star) and Nick Elksnis (three star) in their 2021 recruiting class and also return Kemore Gamble, Keon Zipperer and Jonathan Odom from last year's squad.
Ex-Texas Tech QB Alan Bowman transfers to Michigan
"Lets get to work!! #GoBlue," he captioned a photo he posted on Twitter that showed him wearing a Michigan uniform.
A graduate transfer, he'll be eligible to play immediately, and he has three years of eligibility remaining.
The arrival of a veteran quarterback should be welcome news to coach Jim Harbaugh.
Joe Milton, who started the 2020 season as Michigan's quarterback, entered the transfer portal 10 days ago, becoming the second QB to leave the program. Dylan McCaffrey opted out of the 2020 season and since transferred to Northern Colorado, where he'll play for his father, former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey.
Bowman becomes the fourth scholarship quarterback on Michigan's roster, joining Cade McNamara, redshirt freshman Dan Villari and incoming freshman J.J. McCarthy, a five-star prospect in the Class of 2021.
Bowman played in 19 games over three seasons with the Red Raiders. He was the starter for four games in 2020, then replaced by transfer Henry Colombi. A partially collapsed lung in 2018 limited him to eight games, and he played in three games in 2019 before taking a redshirt after suffering a shoulder injury.
At Texas Tech, Bowman had a 67 percent completion rate, throwing for 5,254 yards with 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Five-star CB Will Johnson commits to Michigan
The 6-foot-3 Johnson, who attends Grosse Pointe South High School, is the No. 11 overall prospect in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite.
He announced his decision with a video posted to social media.
Johnson had offers from numerous Power Five programs and selected the Wolverines over rival Ohio State and Southern California.
His father, Deon Johnson, was a defensive back at Michigan in the 1991 and 1992 seasons.
Michigan is off to a good start in the 2022 recruiting cycle, holding the No. 10-ranked class so far, according to 247Sports.
Reports: All-ACC CB Derion Kendrick off team at Clemson
Clemson247 reported that coach Dabo Swinney dismissed him from the program.
Kendrick was a five-star recruit from Rock Hill, S.C., in the Class of 2018 but has run into disciplinary issues. He announced in January that he would return to the Tigers for his senior season, which would have meant Clemson had all 11 starters on defense coming back.
He appeared in nine games (eight starts) in 2020 and was credited with 20 tackles (one for loss), six pass breakups, a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery in 382 snaps. He returned the fumble 66 yards for a touchdown at Virginia Tech on Dec. 5.
In 39 career games (23 starts), he made 71 tackles (four for losses) and had 12 pass breakups and three interceptions. He also had 15 career receptions for 210 yards and returned 15 kickoffs an average of 23.3 yards.
Southern Illinois halts North Dakota State's 39-game winning streak
It was the first setback for the top-ranked Bison since a 33-21 road loss to South Dakota State on Nov. 4, 2017. North Dakota State (2-1, 1-1 MVC) has won the past three FCS titles and eight of the last nine.
"We didn't show up and play very well," Bison coach Matt Entz said after the loss. "There was not any position group that played well."
Nic Baker passed for 254 yards and one touchdown in his first career start for the Salukis (2-1, 1-1).
"The talk before the game was that, in life, you just don't get many opportunities like this," Salukis coach Nick Hill said. "You get an opportunity to knock off the No. 1 team in the country and do something that leaves a legacy. This game will be recognized for a long time."
It marks the second time the Salukis have defeated a No. 1-ranked team. They beat host Western Kentucky 31-20 on Oct. 27, 2005.
Former Notre Dame standout Louis Nix III reported missing by family
The 29-year-old Nix was last seen at his father's home in Jacksonville on Tuesday, according to a missing persons' flyer posted by his family.
The family said Nix drives a 2014 gray Hyundai Azera. Nix's mother told Action News Jacksonville that she believes her son is in danger as this behavior "...is out of the normal for him."
Nix was shot in an attempted robbery in December when he said he was putting air into his vehicle's tires at a Jacksonville gas station.
Nix posted the following on Twitter on Dec. 9: "I'm alive everyone. The bullet that hit me ricocheted off my sternum into my lung. Surgery is the next step so keep praying for me. Thank you all for the positive energy and prayers."
On Dec. 19, Nix posted that he was released from the hospital.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was among the many people putting out the call for help on Saturday.
"NOTRE DAME Nation: Let's all do our best to reach out and connect with Louis Nix. Louis, let us know you are doing alright or that you may need your NOTRE DAME family and friends for assistance," Kelly tweeted.
Nix, a nose guard, recorded 122 tackles in 34 games (30 starts) over three seasons (2011-13) for the Fighting Irish. He had 14 tackles for losses, including 2.5 sacks.
Nix recorded career highs of 50 tackles and 7.5 stops for losses in 2012. He was limited to eight games in 2013 due to a knee injury.
Nix was a third-round selection (83rd overall) by the Houston Texans in the 2014 NFL Draft.
He spent 2014 on injured reserve and the Texans waived him shortly before the start of the 2015 campaign.
The New York Giants picked him up and he played in four games that season. He played 22 defensive snaps and 16 more on special teams.
The Giants waived Nix just before the start of the 2016 season. He later spent time on the practice squads of Washington and Jacksonville in 2016.
Five-star QB Ty Simpson commits to Alabama
The 6-foot-2 Simpson, from Martin, Tenn., is ranked as the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2022. He had scholarship offers from more than 30 Power Five programs, plus Notre Dame.
He chose Alabama over finalists Tennessee, Ole Miss and Clemson.
"Roll Tide!!," he posted to Twitter on Friday, along with a short video, in making his announcement.
His father, Jason Simpson, is the head coach at Tennessee-Martin.
At Westview High School last season, the younger Simpson passed for 1,888 yards with 20 touchdowns and four interceptions. He ran for 311 yards and four touchdowns.
The Crimson Tide added four-star quarterback Jalen Milroe of Texas in the 2021 class.
Michigan, Northwestern to honor Big Ten football legend
Jewett, who went on to become a doctor, played at both schools in the 1890s and was a standout on both sides of the ball. It will be the first trophy in the FBS to be named for a Black football player.
The first Jewett Trophy is scheduled to be awarded on Oct. 23 when the Wildcats and Wolverines meet at Michigan Stadium.
"We are proud that the University of Michigan and Northwestern University will honor Dr. Jewett's extraordinary humanity, courage, intelligence, success and legacy with the first rivalry game trophy featuring an African American football player in FBS and Big Ten history," conference commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. "Dr. Jewett's dedication and perseverance to achieve excellence in every area of his life are an inspiration to every man and woman and provide evidence that with hard work and passion there are no limitations to achieving your dreams. We must continue to work together to honor Dr. Jewett by eliminating racism and hate and creating equality in our society."
This will become the 16th rivalry game trophy in the Big Ten. Michigan plays Minnesota for the Little Brown Jug and Michigan State for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Northwestern and Illinois compete for the Land of Lincoln Trophy.
Clemson DE Justin Foster retires after bout with COVID-19
Foster was projected to start for Clemson last season after finishing second on the team with 10.5 tackles for loss in 2019. However, Foster tested positive for the virus in August 2020, a battle from which he has not yet fully recovered.
"With sadness but no regret, I have decided it is in my best interest to call it a career and hang up football," Foster posted to Twitter on Wednesday.
"I was born with asthma and allergies that, when active, affect my ability to breathe normally," Foster wrote. "The combination of these conditions, along with contracting COVID, made for a severe difficulty to perform physically. While my situation has improved, I am not in a position now, or do I see that position soon, to step back on the field."
Foster, who graduated last year, chose Clemson over Alabama, Florida and Georgia, among others, in the class of 2017.
He finishes with seven career sacks.
Reports: Les Miles paid to settle sexual harassment case
According to The Advocate, the settlement doesn't show up in court records in Baton Rouge, La., and emerged amid a investigation into how LSU has handled allegations of sexual misconduct.
USA Today sued LSU in January for copies of the Miles investigation report after the university refused to release it. A judge ordered that it remain sealed until March 30, when a trial to hear Miles and LSU's objections will be heard.
LSU also has retained the outside law firm Husch Blackwell to audit roughly 60 sexual misconduct cases from 2016 to 2018.
The investigation involving Miles reportedly occurred in 2013, three years before he was fired by the school after the football program's fortunes dropped significantly from the established level earlier in Miles' tenure.
The Advocate reached Miles on Wednesday, and he denied he made sexual advances toward a student intern.
"That's not true," Miles said.
Miles declined to answer questions about the reported settlement.
Miles, 67, is now the head coach at Kansas, where he has a 3-18 record in two seasons with the Jayhawks.
He was 114-34 in 11-plus seasons at LSU. His team won the BCS national championship in 2007 and was the national runner-up in 2011. He won 10 or more games on seven occasions with the Tigers.
His last 10-win season occurred in 2013.
Miles was 19-10 over his final two-plus seasons and was fired after a 2-2 start in 2016. He coached at Oklahoma State prior to LSU.
LSU spokesman Jim Sabourin released the following statement to USA Today: "We are not in a position to comment on these allegations, as there is currently a court order prohibiting the disclosure of any related information."
Kansas officials told USA Today that the school didn't know about the allegations when Miles was hired. The school said it spoke to Miles and is gathering more information.
"Because this involves Coach Miles' former employer and pre-dates his time at KU, and because we do not have factual knowledge about details of these allegations, it is not appropriate for us to comment further," spokesman Dan Beckler said.
UCLA adds first-ever games against HBCU opponents
The Bruins are scheduled to host Alabama State on Sept. 10, 2022, and North Carolina Central on Sept. 16, 2023.
The well-known bands of each team -- The Mighty Marching Hornets of Alabama State and The Sound Machine Marching Band of North Carolina Central -- are set to perform at the Rose Bowl.
"Adding two HBCUs to our football schedule is special," UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a news release. "It's exciting to give our student-athletes and fans a new experience and to bring a little bit of the South to Southern California."
The games replace a previously scheduled home-and-home series with Michigan, which terminated the contract in 2019, UCLA said.
The Bruins are scheduled to begin the 2021 season against visiting Hawaii on Aug. 28.
Ex-Oregon QB Tyler Shough will transfer to Texas Tech
Shough, who will enter the Red Raiders program as a graduate transfer, threw for 1,559 yards and 13 touchdowns and started all seven of the Ducks' regular-season games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 schedule.
Oregon won its second straight Pac-12 title despite finishing 4-3.
In the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, which No. 25 Oregon lost to No. 10 Iowa State, Shough shared time with Anthony Brown. Shough, who completed 7 of 9 passes for 79 yards and an interception, said after that game that he intended to remain at Oregon, according to ESPN, but he entered the transfer portal on Feb. 12.
Shough posted on Twitter on Monday, "Let's go to work. I'll be continuing my athletic career and obtaining a Masters at Texas Tech! #GunsUp"
In two seasons at Oregon, Shough completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 1,703 yards with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Texas Tech is coming off a 4-6 season and finished eighth in the Big 12 at 3-6.
Red Raiders quarterback Alan Bowman, who played three seasons and was often injured, announced last month that he will enter the transfer portal as well. Bowman threw for 1,602 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions in eight games a season ago. He finished with 5,260 yards with 33 TD passes and 17 interceptions overall at Texas Tech.
Ex-Nebraska QB Luke McCaffrey transferring to Louisville
"Excited to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of Louisville. Go Cardinals!" he posted on Twitter.
As a redshirt freshman in 2020, he played in seven games with two starts for the Cornhuskers. He completed 48 of 76 passes for 466 yards with one touchdown and six interceptions and rushed 65 times for 364 yards and three scores.
McCaffrey is the brother of star Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and the son of longtime NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey.
Deion Sanders claims personal items stolen during coaching debut
After the school's 53-0 victory over NAIA opponent Edward Waters, a visibly upset Sanders said items were taken from his office during the game.
"For one, the kids played really well," Sanders said during his postgame news conference. "But while the game was going on, someone came in and stole every darn thing I have in the coaches' office. Credit cards, wallet, watches. Thank god I had on my necklaces."
However, the school later told ESPN that Sanders' effects were "misplaced and found."
But Sanders took to Twitter afterward to re-assert that the items were stolen.
"Whomever putting out the lie that my belongings wasn't stolen is LYING," Sanders posted. "We have retrieved them since being reported. My Staff member witnessed the crime."
Jackson State athletic director Ashley Robinson followed that post -- and others -- by releasing a statement.
"Immediately following our win today, several items belonging to Coach Prime were taken from the locker room. Those items were quickly recovered and returned. While we consider this an isolated incident, we are thoroughly reviewing security protocols to ensure this does not happen again. However, we refuse to let this dampen the victory for our JSU Tigers, who have worked hard for this moment," Robinson said.
Northwestern LB Paddy Fisher wins Lott IMPACT Trophy
Fisher, a three-time team captain, finished his career with 404 tackles, the most among active players, in 48 career games.
The IMPACT part of the award stands for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. It is named after Ronnie Lott, who is both a college football and pro football Hall of Famer and is awarded to the NCAA defensive player who made the biggest impact on his team.
Fisher was named Big Ten linebacker of the year after posting 86 tackles (4.5 for losses), one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in nine games this season.
Northwestern's scholarship fund will receive $25,000 due to Fisher winning the award.
The other finalists were safety Talanoa Hufanga of Southern California, defensive end Tarron Jackson of Coastal Carolina, linebacker/defensive end Joseph Ossai of Texas, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah of Notre Dame and cornerback Patrick Surtain II of Alabama.
The award is presented by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation in Newport Beach, Calif., and has been handed out every year since 2004.
Report: Notre Dame spring football activities on pause
This isn't new for Notre Dame. Last August, the Fighting Irish paused practices amid five positive tests. The team canceled its game against Navy, scheduled to be played in Ireland, and postponed a game against Wake Forest following 18 positive tests.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick acknowledged in an interview earlier this week with Irish Illustrated that things haven't returned to normal amid a winter season that is winding down and a spring season that is gearing up.
"I am optimistic as I look forward to the fall, which has a chance to feel more normal," he said. "But in terms of the operation right now, you see how hard it is to get basketball games played. I think we'll see versions of that with our lacrosse schedule and our baseball and softball schedules.
"Frankly, the spring is more challenging than the fall because every sport is going. It's the antithesis of normal."
Notre Dame football finished the 2020 season with a 10-2 record, losing to eventual national champion Alabama in a College Football Playoff semifinal, 31-14.
Michigan AD Warde Manuel receives five-year extension
The deal, which was approved by the University of Michigan Board of Regents, runs through June 30, 2026. Manuel's salary will be increased to $1.1 million on March 14, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The 52-year-old Manuel earned $940,500 in 2020 after taking a voluntary 10 percent pay cut due to athletic department revenue shortfalls because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Manuel's current contract was slated to expire on March 13.
Manuel retained football coach Jim Harbaugh after a 2-4 season in 2020 and scored well with his hiring of former Michigan star Juwan Howard as the school's men's basketball coach in 2019. Howard's team is 14-1 and ranked No. 3 entering Thursday night's game against visiting Rutgers.
Manuel was athletic director at Buffalo (2005-12) and Connecticut (2012-16) before taking the Michigan job. He also played defensive end at Michigan in the late 1980s.
Michigan QB Joe Milton enters transfer portal
The third-year player took to Twitter to announce his decision.
"I want to thank Coach [Jim] Harbaugh for giving me that opportunity to come play for a program with lots of tradition," Milton posted, in part.
Milton was named the starter for the 2020 season before being replaced by Cade McNamara for the final two games of the season. Milton completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 1,077 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.
As a grad transfer, Milton will be able to play immediately. Milton had not used his redshirt season yet and the NCAA granted an extra year, giving Milton three.
Michigan finished 2-4.
Milton is the second quarterback to transfer from the program since last fall. Dylan McCaffrey opted out of the 2020 season and since transferred to Northern Colorado, where he'll play for his father, former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey.
The Wolverines have three scholarship quarterbacks: McNamara, redshirt freshman Dan Villari and incoming freshman J.J. McCarthy. An Illinois native, McCarthy was a five-star prospect in the Class of 2021, ranked as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback and the No. 24 overall player in the nation by the 247Sports composite.
Former UNLV coach Wayne Nunnely dies at 68
UNLV announced the news on Nunnely but didn't list a cause of death.
Nunnely played for the Rebels in the 1970s and was later the running backs coach from 1982-85 before serving as head coach from 1986-89. The school said Nunnely was the first Black head coach on the West Coast. He compiled a 19-25 in four seasons.
"We are saddened to learn of the passing of former head coach Wayne Nunnely," Rebels athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement. "He was a role model as our only football alumnus to later become head coach and was truly blessed to have touched so many lives while teaching the sport he loved for nearly four decades."
Among the players Nunnely coached at UNLV was Ickey Woods, who rushed for 1,658 yards in 1987 and was briefly a star for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals.
After his UNLV stint ended, Nunnely was a college assistant at Southern California (1991-92) and UCLA (1993-94) before spending 17 years as an NFL defensive line coach.
He worked for the New Orleans Saints for two seasons (1995-96), the then-San Diego Chargers for 12 campaigns (1997-2008) and spent his last three season with the Denver Broncos (2009-11) before retiring.
Report: Miami QB N'Kosi Perry enters transfer portal
Tate Martell previously put his name in the portal.
The move by Perry was expected. Coach Manny Diaz said two weeks ago that Perry would remain enrolled at Miami to finish the three classes he needed to graduate but wouldn't take part in spring practice.
Perry was 6-3 as a starter in the 2018-19 seasons and backed up D'Eriq King in 2020. He replaced King in the Dec. 29 Cheez-It Bowl -- a 37-34 loss to Oklahoma State -- when the starter suffered a knee injury. Perry completed 19 of 34 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns.
King has said he will return for his final season of eligibility in 2021.
Perry, a Florida native, signed with Miami as a four-star prospect in the Class of 2017. He was ranked as the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the class by the 247Sports composite.
He leaves Florida having thrown for 2,484 yards and 24 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He added 217 rushing yards and three touchdowns.