Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditSunday, January 29, 2023

College Football

HBCU rescinds scholarship offer to QB recruit who rapped N-word

Marcus Stokes with a hat on backwards

A historically black college has rescinded the scholarship offer the football program made to an infamous recruit.

Marcus Stokes is rated as a 4-star recruit by 247 Sports and was committed previously to Florida. But they dropped him after he released a video where he was seen using the N-word while rapping along to a song in the car.

Once a popular recruit, recruiting matters cooled off for the Ponte Vedra Beach-based quarterback after the video drew attention. However, Stokes was proud to share on Tuesday that he had received an offer from Albany State, a Division II HBCU in Georgia.

The offer did not last long.

Albany State head coach Quinn Gray issued an apology Friday for offering the scholarship to Stokes. He said the school’s president came down on him.

“Let me start with a humble apology. An apology for not honoring the tradition and history of ASU and for letting many of you down,” Gray said in his statement.

“I didn’t uphold the Ramily standard that I know you expect. Please know that my decision to speak with a student that did not meet your expectations was unacceptable. I only wanted the best for our team, athletes, and institution when I invited the student to visit ASU. As I say to our players, ‘there is a consequence to every action.’ The consequences of my actions brought pain to our University. I was trying to help a student get back in competition, and in my haste, I did not consider the impact the decision would have on all of you. Frankly, it wasn’t my place to use ASU as the platform for redemption in this case. I regret that I used flawed judgment. If given the opportunity, I will do better.

“ASU expects excellence. The president has made it clear that my actions did not meet that standard. It was never my intent to misrepresent what ASU stands for nor to ignore the rich history of this institution. I am fully committed to the University’s mission of supporting academic excellence and student success.

“Being accepted into the Ramily is something that you have to earn. The Ramily embodies the spirit, authenticity, and love forged from the toil of giants before me. My actions caused you to question my commitment to our institution and our ancestors. As the consequences go, I hope to find a way back into the Ramily. Without a doubt, I will be all in. Go Rams,” the statement said.

Even though Albany State rescinded its offer to Stokes, the high school senior seems to still have some other options.

Another HBCU, Alabama A&M, apparently offered Stokes a scholarship.

Stokes also has received a scholarship offer from West Florida.

Did Broncos make last-ditch attempt at luring Jim Harbaugh?

Jim Harbaugh in Michigan gear

Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos’ coaching search appears to be in an uncertain spot, and may have led them back to a candidate that was seemingly out of the picture already.

Denver7 insider Troy Renck said he believes, based on speaking to sources, that the Broncos circled back to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh even after the announcement that he would remain with the Wolverines.

The Broncos appear to think very highly of San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, but Ryans might prefer to take a different job. That might leave Denver in a very difficult spot, as one other target has taken himself out of consideration and another seems to have some reservations about the job.

Harbaugh announced on Jan. 16 that he would remain at Michigan for at least another season after another round of flirtations with NFL teams. He has yet to actually sign a new contract since then, so it would make sense for the Broncos to test his resolve, but they are apparently out of luck.

Ohio State adds legendary former player to coaching staff

Ryan Day before a game

Oct 8, 2022; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day watches warm-ups at Spartan Stadium before their game against the Michigan State Spartans. Mandatory Credit: Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes made a noteworthy staff move on Friday to bring back a program legend.

The Buckeyes on Friday announced the addition of former linebacker James Laurinaitis to the coaching staff as a graduate assistant linebacker coach. Laurinaitis served as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame last season under former Buckeyes teammate Marcus Freeman.

Laurinaitis is still a hugely respected figure in Columbus. He played for Ohio State from 2005 to 2008 and was named a team captain twice and an All-American three times. He went on to have an eight-year career in the NFL, primarily with the St. Louis Rams.

Like many schools rich in tradition, the Buckeyes are keen on bringing back former stars to try their hand at coaching once their playing careers are over. Ohio State has had great success doing so, and they will hope Laurinaitis can follow a similar path in the longer term.

Deion Sanders says ex-NFL head coach will help his Colorado staff

Deion Sanders smiling

Dec 4, 2022; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders speaks during a press conference at the Arrow Touchdown Club. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Deion Sanders has already attracted plenty of attention to his Colorado program through his recruiting work and transfer portal acquisitions, but his coaching staff is also drawing attention.

Sanders visited with “The Pregame Show” for an interview that was published this week. In the interview, Sanders talked about the experience on his coaching staff, and how having capable coaches with head coach experience helps “insulate” him.

Sanders also boasted that not only does he have the coaches already listed on staff, but other notable ones as well.

“Taggart’s coming too, by the way. Coach Zimmer’s coming too, by the way,” Sanders noted.

Taggart is Willie Taggart, who was a head coach at Western Kentucky, South Florida, Oregon, Florida State and Florida Atlantic. He will be working as an analyst for Sanders’ Colorado staff.

Zimmer is Mike Zimmer, the former Minnesota Vikings head coach. Zimmer coached Sanders on the Dallas Cowboys and was a longtime defensive coordinator in both college football and the NFL before becoming a head coach. He helped out Sanders as an analyst for Jackson State last year and will serve in the same capacity for Colorado.

Colorado went 1-11 last season and was the worst Power 5 program in the country. All eyes will be on Deion to see how much his recruits, transfers and coaches can turn around the Buffs.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Michigan makes decision on new assistant coach

Jim Harbaugh wearing sunglasses

Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines have acted quickly to name a new assistant coach after parting ways with Matt Weiss.

Michigan announced Friday that offensive analyst Kirk Campbell has been promoted to quarterbacks coach. Michigan’s statement makes no mention of Campbell inheriting Weiss’ co-offensive coordinator position, suggesting that role may fall solely to current offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore.

Whatever the role, Campbell has the necessary experience for a large role in the offense. He spent two seasons as offensive coordinator at Old Dominion, and has also spent time as an analyst with Penn State.

Previous reports had indicated that Michigan was considering at least one big name for the role of quarterbacks coach. Ultimately, they opted to remain in-house with someone they have already worked with and who has previous experience working with the current offense.

Michigan needed a new quarterbacks coach after letting go of Weiss, who was allegedly involved in some sort of crime.

Stetson Bennett makes decision on Senior Bowl

Stetson Bennett ready to throw

Oct 10, 2020; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) passes the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Stetson Bennett is hoping to parlay his amazing run at Georgia into a successful NFL career, but the quarterback is passing up at least one opportunity to showcase his talents for scouts.

Bennett will not take part in the Senior Bowl on Feb. 4, according to Outkick’s Trey Wallace. Senior Bowl executive Jim Nagy said there were discussions with Bennett’s people over the past week about the two-time national champion playing, but Bennett has decided he wants to focus on the Scouting Combine and NFL Draft.

That means Bennett has likely worn his Bulldogs helmet for the final time. His college career certainly ended on a high note. Bennett accounted for six touchdowns in Georgia’s 65-7 blowout victory over TCU in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Bennett led Georgia to back-to-back national titles. He drew some criticism for his behavior while celebrating the most recent championship, though he did not seem to care.

While he will go down as one of the most accomplished college quarterbacks of all time, Bennett is hardly considered a slam-dunk NFL prospect. Most analysts predict he will not be drafted earlier than the fifth round. Bennett obviously does not feel the Senior Bowl would help him improve his stock.

Report addresses whether Dan Mullen plans to return to coaching

Dan Mullen wearing a headset.

Nov 20, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen on the sidelines against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Mullen took the year off coaching after being fired by Florida in 2021 and instead worked as a TV analyst. Does he have his eye on a return to coaching? It sounds like the answer is no for now.

Alabama needs a new offensive coordinator after losing Bill O’Brien to the Patriots. That led some to suggest Mullen for the role.

ESPN’s Chris Low ended that speculation by saying Mullen is not interested in the Alabama OC job. In fact, Low says Mullen wants to continue building his TV career.

“In talking to several close to the situation, Dan Mullen is not a candidate for @AlabamaFTBL’s OC job. Mullen has enjoyed the time away from coaching to be with his family and also wants to concentrate on his TV career as a football analyst,” Low reported.

Mullen was a tight end as a player and an offensive-oriented coach before becoming the head coach at Mississippi State in 2009. He went 69–46 during his career with the Bulldogs, which is a very impressive accomplishment for that program.

Mullen then coached Florida for four seasons but was fired after going 5-6 in 2021. They fired him even though he went 10-3 and then 11-2 in his first two seasons.

Mullen has a record of success at two different SEC programs, though some Gators fans might dispute that. If he returned to coaching, it would probably be as a head coach somewhere, and not as Saban’s assistant. But it sounds like the 50-year-old is enjoying the TV world for now.

No. 1 recruit has telling comment about his ties to Nebraska

Matt Rhule at his first Nebraska press conference

Nov 28, 2022; Omaha, Nebraska, US; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule speaks at the introductory press conference at the Hawks Championship Center on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska fans may have dreams of landing top quarterback recruit Dylan Raiola, particularly considering his family ties. His latest quote, however, may dampen some of those expectations.

Raiola, the top-ranked recruit in the 2024 class, offered a rather bland quote about potentially committing to Nebraska when asked about the school. Raiola’s father Dominic, a former NFL center, was an All-American for the Cornhuskers in 2000.

“Nebraska is Nebraska,” Raiola told Chad Simmons of On3. “My dad went there, so Nebraska is family to my family. It is a program with a lot of history. A lot of great players have played there and Nebraska is special to my family.”

Raiola said nothing bad about Nebraska, but he also did not say anything about actually playing for them. In other words, that is not exactly a quote that suggests he is eager to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

Raiola had previously been committed to Ohio State, but he reopened his recruitment in December. He has recently been linked to the likes of Georgia, USC, and Oregon.

LSU made big Brian Kelly payment mistake

Brian Kelly smiles at an LSU press conference

Dec 1, 2021; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Newly named LSU Tigers head football coach Brian Kelly answers media questions after being introduced in a press conference at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Dennis-USA TODAY Sports

LSU made a pretty awkward mistake when it came to paying coach Brian Kelly this season.

A report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor found that LSU accidentally paid Kelly over $1 million more than he was owed, according to Holly Duchmann of the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. The report suggests that the school began paying Kelly directly upon hiring him in November 2021, then reached an agreement to send payments to the coach’s LLC in May 2022, an arrangement that is not unusual for college football coaches.

However, LSU accidentally kept paying Kelly directly until November even after initiating payments to his LLC, resulting in over $1 million in overpayments. The two sides have since worked together to negotiate a pay adjustment so the university will recoup the overpayment by the end of the 2023 school year.

Kelly will get a ton of money from LSU on the contract he agreed to in 2021. Essentially, this just means he got some of it ahead of schedule, but it’s still pretty awkward from the university’s perspective.

Son of Brian Urlacher receives notable scholarship offer

Brian Urlacher giving his Hall of Fame induction speech

Aug 4, 2018; Canton, OH, USA; Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 enshrinee Brian Urlacher during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Bensen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Urlacher’s son is receiving some serious college interest.

Urlacher’s son Kennedy is a safety at Chandler High School in Arizona and just completed his junior season in the fall. He has received around a dozen scholarship offers, including ones from some very notable schools.

In the last week, Kennedy shared via Twitter that he received offers from Cal, Kansas, Penn State and Wisconsin.

On Monday, Kennedy shared that he had received a very notable offer — one from Notre Dame.

What’s notable is that the offer came from Marcus Freeman, who was a linebacker at Ohio State and 5th-round pick by the Chicago Bears in 2009. Brian Urlacher played linebacker for the Bears from 2000-2012, though he missed nearly the entire 2009 season with a wrist injury.

Brian and Marcus were teammates in the NFL during a training camp, and now Marcus is recruiting Brian’s son.

247 Sports has Kennedy rated as a 3-star prospect. Kennedy is listed at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds. Keep in mind that Brian was a hybrid linebacker/safety in college at New Mexico, so it’s possible that Kennedy could grow into some other role too as he gets older.