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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

College Football

Illinois TE transfer Luke Ford denied waiver appeal by NCAA

Illinois tight end transfer Luke Ford has been denied his waiver appeal by the NCAA.

Ford transferred from Georgia to Illinois in January and filed for a waiver from the NCAA to be granted immediate eligibility. He was denied in April and then appealed the decision. The NCAA announced on Friday that they have upheld the decision, thus denying the appeal.

Ford was the top recruit in the state of Illinois in 2018 but enrolled at Georgia. He had one catch for four yards last season. The Carterville, Ill. product had Illinois in his final five schools but chose Georgia over the Illini, Texas A&M, Alabama and Auburn. He transferred to be closer to home.

“Luke Ford was the top-rated recruit in the state of Illinois his senior year and we worked very hard in developing a great relationship during his recruitment,” Illini head coach Lovie Smith said in a statement about the transfer in January. “It’s not unusual for athletes wanting to be near home so that family members are close by, and we are extremely happy that Luke felt Illinois was the place for him to attend school and play football after making the decision to transfer. He is a very skilled tight end with terrific size and athleticism who can play every down as both a pass catcher and blocker. Luke has an outstanding family and we look forward to them joining our football family. We know Luke is very close to his grandparents and this should allow them much easier access to his games.”

He sent this tweet after the decision was announced:

Frank Gore’s son commits to FAU

Lane Kiffin FAU

Frank Gore is one the best running backs to ever come out of the University of Miami, but his son will not be following in his footsteps.

Gore’s son, running back Frank Gore Jr., committed to FAU this week. He’s choosing to play for Lane Kiffin after getting offers from several other schools, but it does not sound like Miami was one of them.

The elder Gore missed time at Miami because of a knee injury in 2002, but he averaged an absurd 9.1 yards per carry while helping to lead Miami to a national title during his freshman season. He ended up with 1,975 yards and 17 touchdowns in his college career, but the Hurricanes must not think his son has as much talent. Either way, Gore Jr. will have a good chance to thrive playing in Kiffin’s offense.

Report: Bru McCoy did not feel like he fit in at Texas

Bru McCoy

Bru McCoy is completing a bizarre arc to start his college football career.

After enrolling early at USC in January, McCoy decided to leave a few weeks later and transfer to Texas. But after around five months at Texas, he decided to leave the Longhorns and transfer back to USC.

Why the back-and-forth? According to Horns 247’s Chip Brown, McCoy felt homesick and like he didn’t fit in at Texas. Brown reported that McCoy, who is from Southern California, felt he would be more comfortable being at USC, where many of his former Mater Dei High School teammates play.

In the end, McCoy may have just made a rash decision to leave USC in response to Kliff Kingsbury leaving as offensive coordinator to join the Arizona Cardinals. Perhaps his initial choice of USC was planned and well-thought out, whereas the Texas choice was impulsive and backfired after a few months.

McCoy is a 5-star wide receiver and ranked by 247 as a top-10 recruit.

H/T The Spun

Alabama, Auburn will not sell alcohol at games despite new SEC rule

Alabama field logo

Auburn and Alabama will not be taking advantage of the SEC’s new rules that will allow for alcohol sales at sporting events.

The SEC has decided to lift its ban on selling alcohol to those in general seating for sports events. They are allowing each school to decide for themselves whether they will sell alcohol at events once the ban lifts on Aug. 1.

The two schools in Alabama have decided not to sell alcohol to fans in general seating for now. Here’s a statement from Alabama, which was shared by SI’s Ross Dellenger.

Auburn Undercover’s Brandon Marcello was told Auburn will not be selling alcohol to those in general seating. Auburn already sells alcohol to those in premium seating areas but not in general seating. They may decide to take advantage of the policy in the future, but not this quickly.

LSU was said to be a driving force behind the change and therefore is likely to put in new rules allowing for alcohol sales.

Bru McCoy leaves Texas, enters transfer portal

Bru McCoy

Bru McCoy is switching schools for the second time this year.

The 5-star recruit told Texas’ coaches on Friday that he is officially leaving the school and entering the transfer portal, according to 247 Sports recruiting reporter Greg Biggins.

McCoy has been at the center of headlines all year. He officially committed to USC in January but then decided to transfer to Texas three weeks later. USC’s offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury had left the program to become the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach, making the program seem less desirable. But after around four months at Texas, McCoy has decided to leave Austin.

A report earlier this week said McCoy was thinking of transferring back to USC.

Orangebloods’ Anwar Richardson reports that McCoy plans to go back to USC.

McCoy played his high school ball at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei in Southern California. He is listed as an athlete and was ranked as a top-10 recruit.

It’s unclear how his flip-flopping of schools will impact his eligibility for the fall.

Nick Saban: Tua Tagovailoa needs to challenge himself

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa was viewed for most of last season as the premier quarterback in college football, one leading an unstoppable Alabama Crimson Tide team. The sentiment surrounding him changed somewhat after he hurt his leg in a poor performance against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game and then got outclassed by Trevor Lawrence in the national championship.

Nick Saban is not satisfied with the way Bama finished the season and is challenging Tua to be better this fall. The Alabama coach shared his challenge for Tua while speaking at the SEC meetings in Destin, Florida.

Tagovailoa’s season numbers look great — 43 touchdowns and six interceptions with a 69 completion percentage and 3,966 yards — but four of the interceptions happened in two games. As great as Tagovailoa was most of the season — he was nearly flawless in most of his games — he simply did not play well enough against Georgia, Clemson, and even Mississippi State. There is plenty of room for the Heisman Trophy runner-up to improve for 2019.

Marvin Lewis joins Herm Edwards’ staff at Arizona State

Marvin Lewis spent the last 16 years as a head coach in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, but he has decided to do something this upcoming season that he has not done since 1989 — coach at the collegiate level.

On Tuesday, Arizona State announced that Lewis has joined head coach Herm Edwards’ staff as a special advisor.

Lewis went 131-122-3 in his 16 seasons with the Bengals, and his firing was long overdue after he failed to win a single playoff game. He was a defensive coordinator in the NFL for several years prior to being named the head coach in Cincinnati in 2003, so perhaps there will be other assistant coaching opportunities for him in the NFL in the future. For now, he gets to spend some time with one of the most zany guys in sports.