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Friday, February 22, 2019

College Football

Kelly Bryant will reportedly stay at Missouri despite postseason ban

Kelly Bryant

Kelly Bryant will not be able to play in a bowl game in his lone season with Missouri next year, but the quarterback is reportedly not planning to leave the school because of that.

On Thursday, the NCAA announced one-year postseason bans and other sanctions for Missouri’s football, baseball and softball programs after an academic misconduct investigation revealed a tutor “violated NCAA ethical conduct, academic misconduct and academic extra benefits rules” by completing school work for student-athletes.

The NCAA committee on infractions has recommended waiving the restrictions on senior transfers in the wake of the one-year postseason ban, meaning senior athletes who wish to leave Missouri would be immediately eligible to play elsewhere. However, Jason Boatright of The State reports that Bryant has no intention of leaving the Tigers.

Bryant was 4-0 as Clemson’s starter this past season before being replaced by freshman phenom Trevor Lawrence. He threw for 2,802 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions, while rushing for 11 scores as the starter in 2017. Bryant considered other top programs before landing at Missouri, so he would likely have opportunities to transfer again if he changes his mind.

Report: Ed Orgeron to receive contract extension from LSU

Ed Orgeron LSU

LSU is rewarding football coach Ed Orgeron for a strong 2018 season.

According to Amie Just of NOLA.com, Orgeron will receive a contract extension from the school, with terms still being finalized.

Orgeron’s current deal runs through 2021, and pays him $3.5 million per year as a base salary. It may be that the coach is in line for a significant pay raise following LSU’s 10-3 season, as eight of Orgeron’s SEC counterparts make more money than he does.

Before the 2018 season started, oddsmakers weren’t confident that Orgeron would see the year out. Instead, he won 10 games, made a New Year’s Six bowl, and guided the Tigers to their best season since 2013. All of those factors probably mean that Orgeron has earned a rise in pay and some extra security.

Lane Kiffin visits high school recruit in maternity ward

Lane Kiffin FAU

Lane Kiffin is back at work on the recruiting trail following a disappointing 5-7 second season at FAU, and it looks like he is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to land the players he wants.

On Wednesday, Lake Weir (Fla.) High School coach Knox Robinson shared a photo on Twitter of Kiffin visiting one of his players at a hospital maternity ward. The player, whom Robinson chose not to name, welcomed a child earlier this week, and Robinson says Kiffin talked to the young man about “real life stuff” rather than football.

We all know how Kiffin thinks his social media activity helps him attract recruits, but visiting a young man who just became a father probably resonates more. Kiffin’s looking to turn things around at FAU, and working that hard on recruiting should certainly help.

Graham Harrell reportedly hired as new USC offensive coordinator

USC Trojans

USC wanted someone who could usher in an Air Raid era for their football program, and they found one.

Graham Harrell has accepted an offer to become USC’s new offensive coordinator, as first reported by The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.

Reports of USC’s interest in Harrell emerged on Saturday, with talks progressing over the weekend and culminating in Harrell accepting an offer.

Harrell was a record-breaking quarterback at Texas Tech from 2006-2008 under Mike Leach, where he played in the Air Raid system. After a pro career never really materialized, he went into coaching. Harrell has been at North Texas as their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since 2016.

USC was searching for a new offensive coordinator after their previous hire, Kliff Kingsbury, left to take the Arizona Cardinals head coaching job. Kingsbury, also a former Texas Tech quarterback, held his position at USC for around a month.

Son of Rams GM Les Snead commits to play football at Virginia

Virginia Cavaliers

This week has been a big one for Les Snead.

Not only are Snead’s Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl, but his son Logan offered some big news. Logan Snead, a linebacker at Oaks Christian High School in California, announced his commitment to the University of Virginia.

Snead will be a preferred walk-on at the school. He also had interest in Alabama, Auburn, UAB and Rice among other schools, and received a scholarship offer from Wagner.

Logan is from Eufaula, Alabama, which is where his father played high school ball. Les played at Troy State, UAB, and then transferred to Auburn, where he began as a graduate assistant before going into scouting.

Report: Graham Harrell would have full control of USC offense

USC Trojans

USC is pursuing a big change to their offense, and they may be willing to give Graham Harrell lots of power to transform it.

The Trojans have talked with Harrell about becoming their new offensive coordinator, replacing Kliff Kingsbury, who held the position for around a month before becoming the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach.

Los Angeles Times USC reporter Brady McCollough talked with Harrell’s father, who said the sides are working on a deal. Harrell’s father said USC head coach Clay Helton would give the former Texas Tech quarterback full control of play calling and installation of his system.

Harrell, like Kingsbury, was a quarterback for Mike Leach at Texas Tech from 2006-2008. A multiple NCAA record holder, Harrell has been an assistant coach under Seth Littrell at North Texas since 2016, serving as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

USC has made it clear that they are looking to implement the Air Raid passing offense. They’re coming off a 5-7 season that had fans calling for Helton’s job.

Report: Bret Bielema telling people he will be Patriots’ defensive coordinator

Bret Bielema Arkansas

Bret Bielema quietly joined the Bill Belichick’s staff with the New England Patriots after he was fired as the head coach at Arkansas in 2017, and he has apparently carved out a big role for himself and is expecting to take on much more responsibility next season.

Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reports that Bielema has been telling people he will be named the Patriots’ defensive coordinator in 2019. While there have been rumblings that former Ohio State assistant Greg Schiano could join New England in that role, Volin notes that it would be unlike Belichick to make an outside hire for his defensive coordinator position.

Bielema was the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin from 2004-2005 before being elevated to head coach. He was the head coach of the Badgers from 2006-2012 before landing at Arkansas.

With current Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores already having a head coaching job lined up, there is expected to be some shuffling with Belichick’s staff this offseason. New England’s defense has looked much better down the stretch and in its two playoff games, so perhaps Bielema has played a big part in that recent success.