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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

College Football

Former Michigan player takes responsibility for threatening Jim Harbaugh tweets

Jim Harbaugh headset

A former Michigan player who directed threatening tweets at Jim Harbaugh is taking responsibility for sending them.

Former Michigan linebacker Elysee Mbem-Bosse apologized for sending the tweets, which references Michigan’s gun laws and a morgue, seemingly threatening Harbaugh for kicking him off the team. He was defiant, however, saying that his civil rights were being violated by “being harassed by the university police and being told I’m mentally ill without proper evaluation.”

You can see the original disturbing messsages Mbem-Bosse sent here.

Obviously, the former linebacker is going through a tough time, though it’s not clear what happened with regard to his civil rights. Hopefully he gets whatever help he needs going forward.

Jeremy Pruitt calls out fans, players after Tennessee spring game

Jeremy Pruitt

New Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt is laying down the law as he takes control of the Volunteers.

Pruitt blasted some of his players after Tennessee’s spring game on Saturday, calling them out for a lack of effort.

Pruitt was not done there. While the Vols announced a spring game attendance of over 65,000, it was pretty apparently to everyone who saw that this figure was inflated, with numerous empty seats in the building.

Pruitt took notice and called out those in the fan base who weren’t there or weren’t fully behind the team.

The former Alabama defensive coordinator has been tasked with reinvigorating a moribund program and has gone to work to try to bring back the glory days. It certainly looks like his strategy is going to be one of tough love and calling it as he sees it, whether it’s toward players or even fans.

Tua Tagovailoa’s brother commits to Alabama

Alabama logo

There’s another Tagovailoa headed to Tuscaloosa.

Tua Tagovailoa’s brother, Taulia, officially announced his commitment to Alabama on Saturday at the school’s spring game, according to Rainer Sabin of AL.com.

Taulia Tagovailoa, a four-star pocket-passer quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class, turned down offers from the likes of Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, and Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic.

“He and Tua are so very similar in the many ways you can see just watching them play,” Taulia Tagovailoa’s high school coach Mark Freeman said. “You see a lot of Tua in Taulia because of how they both play, the throws and decisions they make. I don’t know how anyone in the state could have done more for their team did Taulia did for us this year. He came in here and acted like he’d been here his whole life. The kids accepted him right away, and that is why we were so successful.”

Taulia will have some work to do to live up to the legend of his brother, who came off the bench to win the national title. He looks to be a legitimate prospect in his own right, though.

Lane Kiffin gets blocked on Twitter by impersonator

Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin is learning an important lesson about the mean streets of Twitter.

The Florida Atlantic head coach posted a hilarious tweet on Friday, revealing that he had gotten blocked by an account that was impersonating him.

Kiffin’s A-plus use of the monocle emoji aside, the impersonator account was created in December 2016 (the same month that Kiffin accepted his current position). It also reads “Head Coach of the Florida Atlantic University Owls Football Team” in its bio. Sporting nearly 5,000 followers, the account can sometimes make it seem convincing with generic coachspeak tweets that are tagged with a location of Boca Raton, Florida.

It is especially difficult to tell the difference between real life and parody when it comes to Kiffin since he has proven to be quite fond of posting troll tweets.

Mike Mayock has harsh criticism for Big 12 defenses

Mike Mayock

Big 12 fans and coaches are not going to like what Mike Mayock had to say about their football conference.

The NFL Network draft analyst held a conference call on Friday to discuss the draft. He talked about the Big 12 and while praising their offensive creativity, he questioned their defenses. He pointed out how Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were tied at 38 at halftime of their game. He said that aside from Texas, none of the conference’s defenses were very tough, which makes it really difficult to evaluate the offensive players for the NFL.

“You’re not going to like this, and Big 12 coaches aren’t going to like me. I’m just going to say what the — I’ve had a lot of conversations around the league, and sometimes Big 12 football is really hard to watch, especially from a defensive perspective,” Mayock said.

“It’s hard to evaluate those guys. … I’m not taking a shot at their style of football. I’m just saying it’s a different evaluation for the NFL people.”

Mayock is speaking from a talent evaluator standpoint, so he’s not knocking the entertainment level provided by the conference. He’s also not saying they’re worse than other conferences. And he’s not even saying that Big 12 players won’t succeed in the NFL. He’s explaining why it’s tough to evaluate those players, and he’s probably not alone in his thoughts.

Just wait until guys like Gary Patterson hear about this, because you know he’ll have a response.

PJ Fleck’s wife Heather blasts reporter for being ‘negative and awful’

PJ Fleck

Minnesota did not enjoy great success in PJ Fleck’s first season as head football coach last year, but his wife Heather thinks that’s no reason to be criticizing her husband nearly five months later.

On Tuesday, Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse threw a bit of a cheap shot at Fleck while criticizing the Minnesota Wild for falling into a 3-1 hole in their playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets.

Heather Fleck caught wind of the tweet a couple days later, and let’s just say she wasn’t pleased. She responded by ripping Reusse for being so negative.

Reusse fired back with just one word.

The Gophers lost seven of their last nine games to close out the season last year after winning their first three, but it was only Fleck’s first year with the program. Most coaches need at least two or three years to build up their recruiting pipeline, so it’s a bit early to issue harsh judgment. If Fleck can get players to buy into his trademark motto next season, perhaps Heather will be able to rub her husband’s success in Reusse’s face.

H/T Land of 10

Nick Saban responds to report about Jalen Hurts transferring

Nick Saban on Thursday responded to a report that suggested Jalen Hurts could transfer away from Alabama.

Saban was asked about the matter while speaking with the media.

“I had a meeting with Jalen’s dad on Saturday after the scrimmage and it was a very positive meeting,” Saban said.

“I think we all want the same thing for all of our players. … Jalen has done a great job. He’s made a significant amount of improvement. His dad was very positive, but I think at the end of the day everyone has career decisions they’ll have to make.

“Nobody knows what the outcome of this situation is going to bring for us. We don’t want any players not to be able to fulfill their goals and aspirations in our program here. We don’t want that for any of our players,” Saban said.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Hayes published a good article on Thursday about Hurts. The article quotes Hurts’ father, who suggests that his son will transfer if he does not win the Alabama starting quarterback job.

“Coach Saban’s job is to do what’s best for his team. I have no problem with that,” Averion Hurts told Hayes. “My job is to do what’s best for Jalen—and make no mistake, Jalen is a quarterback, and he wants to play quarterback. He loves Alabama, loves Coach Saban and everything about that place. But he wants to play, and he will play…”

Averion Hurts also said that if his son doesn’t win the job, he would be “the biggest free agent in college football history.”

Hurts won the Alabama starting job as a true freshman and led the Crimson Tide to the national championship game, where they lost to Clemson. He led them back to the title game last season but was replaced by Tua Tagovailoa after halftime with his team down 13-0. Tagovailoa led the team to a comeback win, and many think he’s the favorite to be the starter in the fall.

Saban may selfishly be trying to drag out the process so he can have both players on his roster, though an injury to Tagovailoa this spring is delaying things. Still, it seems possible that Hurts will end up transferring. And he sure would have plenty of options. There are probably 100 D-I programs that would love to have him.

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