The Texas Longhorns secured a commitment from a familiar name.
Jake Ehlinger, the brother of Texas quarterback Sam, announced on Saturday that he has committed to Texas.
So blessed to be able to say I have officially decided to continue my academic and athletic career at The University of Texas pic.twitter.com/hdfymBKvZ3
— Jake Ehlinger (@jehlinger2) January 19, 2019
Jake is a linebacker in the class of 2019 and played for Westlake High School in Austin, like his brother. Undersized at 6’0″ and 205 pounds, Ehlinger had over 100 tackles each of the last two seasons. He had six sacks, 11 hurries and three touchdowns. 247 Sports rated him as a 2-star prospect.
- Jake Ehlinger
Lynn Swann continues to get on the bad side of USC fans, and his latest act will only fray the relationship further.
Swann, the Trojans’ athletic director, has blocked the famous USC Song Girls from performing at USC home basketball games for the rest of the season. The Los Angeles Times reported the news on Friday, saying Swann put the order into effect in late November.
Instead of the Song Girls, a dance group called the Trojan Dance Force performs at basketball games.
When pressed for a reason for the decision, a former Song Girls captain (as well as The Times) received the following statement from USC:
“Due to ongoing game management concerns, time constraints and space issues at the Galen Center, the USC Song Girls will not perform at the remaining men’s and women’s basketball games for the 2018-19 season.
“USC Athletics and the Division of Student Affairs jointly made the decision after trying various options over multiple years to accommodate both the Song Girls and the Trojan Dance Force, which was established in 1994 to support USC basketball, at the arena.”
So their reason is that there isn’t enough room for both groups to perform. But many people are not buying that answer and are wondering why he cut the team so abruptly.
The Daily News’ Scott Wolf wrote on Twitter that some Song Girls alumni believe Swann banned them after being told some of the current members joined in on a “Fire Helton” chant at USC’s football game against Notre Dame in November.
There has been a lot of chatter among alumni that Lynn Swann banned the song girls from basketball games after being told some joined "Fire Helton" chants at Notre Dame game #USC https://t.co/CSm9k3tPxh
— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) January 19, 2019
Note that reporter Shotgun Spratling said during the game that some Song Girls had joined in on the chant.
A "Fire Helton" chant just broke out from the student section and was joined by a couple of the #USC Song Girls.
— Shotgun Spratling (@ShotgunSpr) November 25, 2018
USC lost that game 24-17 and finished 5-7 last season — their worst finish since 2000. The timeline of the Song Girls joining in on the chant on Nov. 24 and being blocked from performing at basketball games a week later seems to sync up.
Swann has already shown defiance towards the fans by retaining Helton. Blocking the Song Girls from basketball games will upset fans further.
Texas’ loss is Utah’s gain.
Quarterback Cameron Rising announced on Twitter Thursday that he is transferring to Utah.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Go Utes! pic.twitter.com/HRu18tDZCQ
— Cameron Rising (@crising7) January 17, 2019
Rising and fellow freshman quarterback Casey Thompson were buried on Texas’ depth chart behind Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele. Things suddenly cleared up when Rising, Thompson and then Buechele expressed interest in transferring. None of them want to sit behind Ehlinger, who has solidified himself as the Longhorns’ quarterbacks and has two years of eligibility left.
Utah finished 9-5 last season. They have dual-threat QB Tyler Huntley returning for his senior season. Huntley was having a good season until breaking his collarbone. Jason Shelley took over after that and the team went 3-2 in games he started.
Rising was a four-star QB coming out of Newbury Park High School (Calif.) and had offers from Oklahoma and Alabama and many others but chose Texas.
Dan Enos sent a tweet on Thursday to defend himself against a report saying he ditched Alabama without warning.
Enos served as Alabama’s quarterbacks coach last season and was seemingly in line to become the offensive coordinator replacement for Mike Locksley, who had already accepted Maryland’s head coaching job. Then Enos left to take a job as Miami’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach under Manny Diaz.
According to a report from The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, Enos cleared out his stuff seemingly in the middle of the night and left without notice. Nick Saban didn’t learn of Enos’ departure until the coach did not report to the first staff meeting after the loss to Clemson in the championship game.
Enos sent a tweet disputing the report. He says he would never leave without notice and that he moved on because it was time for him.
I would never leave an employer without telling them I was doing so. No ghosting here. Nothing but respect for CNS and Alabama. Bottom line, business is business and it was time for me to exit. Wish all the best to RTR, CNS and the program.
— Dan Enos (@CoachDanEnos) January 17, 2019
Enos’ decision to leave is surprising because he seemed to be set for a promotion within the staff. But like he said, he felt it was time to move on. He might have some work to do to repair his relationship with Saban after this.
- Dan Enos
Texas quarterback Shane Buechele reportedly informed the Longhorns this week that he intends to transfer, and it is possible that he will not end up going very far.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported on Thursday that SMU, which is located in Dallas, is one of the schools Buechele could end up transferring to. Mustangs all-time leading passer Ben Hicks announced earlier this week that he is transferring to Arkansas, so SMU has a scholarship open at the position. Buechele could also remain at Texas through the spring and graduate, which would mean he could play at his new school right away as a graduate transfer.
Buechele was a highly-rated prospect and became known for his trick throws when he started for Texas as a freshman in 2016, but some injuries during his sophomore season gave Sam Ehlinger an opportunity to start. Ehlinger had a great season in 2018 and led Texas to an upset win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, so the starting job will remain his heading into next year.
Buechele has one year of eligibility remaining. He has passed for 4,636 yards, 30 touchdowns and 16 interceptions during his college career.
Before he became a Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma, Kyler Murray was one of the greatest high school quarterbacks the state of Texas — or any state, for that matter — had ever seen. Lincoln Riley undoubtedly made him a better player, but Murray doesn’t want to give the Sooners head coach all the credit.
On Wednesday, Bleacher Report college football writer Matt Hayes decided to praise Riley by asserting that Murray “didn’t remotely resemble a thrower” when he first arrived at Oklahoma.
Let’s not forget: Kyler Murray didn’t remotely resemble a thrower when he arrived at OU. The difference is @LincolnRiley
— Matt Hayes (@MattHayesCFB) January 16, 2019
Hayes was immediately ripped by followers and fans who reminded him that Murray led Allen High School to three Texas state championships and was 43-0 as a starting quarterback. Murray himself, who hadn’t tweeted since announcing on Monday that he has declared for the NFL Draft, also felt the need to fire back.
— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) January 17, 2019
The comment Hayes made seemed like more of a compliment for Riley than a knock on Murray, but you can see why Murray would feel like it discredits everything he accomplished before he got to Oklahoma. After all, the former five-star recruit and No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country did throw for more than 8,000 yards and score a total of 144 — that’s right, 144 — touchdowns between his junior and senior seasons.
Murray obviously isn’t viewed as a pure passer, and that is one of the reasons NFL scouts aren’t as high on him as people expect. Still, saying he “didn’t remotely resemble a thrower” before he played for Riley is a bit of an exaggeration.
Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman began his career at the United States Naval Academy, but he decided to transfer after his freshman season because he wanted to pursue a career in the NFL. According to a group of anonymous military veterans, Gilman betrayed his country when he made that move.
Earlier this week, Gilman shared a photo on Snapchat of a letter he received from “six veterans and college football fans” who ripped him from transferring from Navy and ridiculed him over Notre Dame getting dominated by Clemson.
Amazes me how some adults actually take the time to send their negativity out to young players who just tryna ball & be successful. Sending prayers to these 6 veterans who are just tryna find peace by hating on others @alohigilman get yours!! pic.twitter.com/7FS2BPYvng
— Aisina Farley (@aisinnaaa) January 16, 2019
“You were honored with the highest appointment possible to the United States Naval Academy and were given a one year prep school scholarship because of your questionable academic record,” the letter read. “And how do you thank our great country for giving you a chance to serve? You spit on the flag and transfer because you believe you can make the NFL quicker. Much more talented players than you received their commission, served their country, and went on to the NFL…
“…It goes without saying that you are a coward. Our military is probably better off not having you amongst its ranks, but this will accompany you throughout your life.”
The letter concluded by urging Gilman to serve in some capacity in the future to help “rehabilitate your image as well as give you a chance to atone.”
Prior to 2017, a rule allowed football players a chance to defer their military service for five years if they wanted to pursue a career in the NFL. Gilman explained before Notre Dame’s game against Navy last season that he has tremendous respect for the military, but he “wasn’t as passionate (about) fulfilling that service commitment” and decided to leave after the rule changed.
Perhaps the most ironic part about the letter to Gilman is that it ripped him for being a coward, but those who were responsible for it chose to remain anonymous. If you are that passionate about attacking someone’s character, there should be no issue attaching your name to your opinion.