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#pounditTuesday, March 2, 2021

College Football

New details emerge in death of Louis Nix

Louis Nix

Authorities are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of former Notre Dame star Louis Nix, and some new details surfaced in the case on Monday.

Nix, who was 29, was found dead after his car was pulled out of a pond on Saturday in Jacksonville. He had been reported missing by his family several days prior. Nix’s girlfriend said he was driving in the car with another man, but investigators have yet to confirm or deny that.

Jacksonville reporter Ben Becker spoke with Nix’s mother on Monday, and she said police told her they do not suspect foul play. She said investigators believe it was an accident and that “something may have distracted (Nix and he) lost control and went into the pond.”

According to the missing persons report from three days before Nix was found, his girlfriend said he was driving with another man and that she suspected Nix was intoxicated.

Nix’s mother said police have not suggested they believe her son was impaired.

There are still many questions surrounding Nix’s death. The pond where he was found is not far from a gas station where Nix was shot in an attempted robbery a few months ago, so investigators are working to determine if that is a mere coincidence or not.

Nix played for Notre Dame from 2011-2013 and had 14 sacks during his career. He was a third-round draft pick by the Houston Texans in 2014 but had knee issues that hurt his pro career.

Former Notre Dame star Louis Nix found dead

Louis Nix

Former Notre Dame defensive lineman Louis Nix has been found dead.

Nix was reported by his family as missing on Wednesday. Jacksonville police publicized Nix’s case on Friday as they sought help in locating the former football player.

They said that Nix was last seen in his gray 2014 Hyundai. Late on Saturday, police said that Nix had been located. The 29-year-old was found dead.

Nix’s car was pulled out of a pond not far from the gas station where he was shot in an attempted robbery in December.

Nix’s mother and brother were last in touch with the former football player on Tuesday. Nix was supposed to meet his brother at their dad’s house. According to News4Jax, Nix ended up leaving before his brother arrived and didn’t say where he was going.

Nix played for Notre Dame from 2011-2013 and had 14 sacks during his career. He was a third-round draft pick by the Houston Texans in 2014 but had knee issues that hurt his pro career.

QB recruit Ty Simpson picks Alabama over Clemson

Alabama Crimson Tide logo

The Alabama Crimson Tide just won the national championship and are keeping the momentum rolling in recruiting.

High school quarterback Ty Simpson announced on Friday that he has committed to play at Alabama.

Simpson is rated a 5-star recruit from 247 Sports’ composite rankings. 247 Sports rates him as the No. 61 player nationally and No. 2 player in the state of Tennessee for the Class of 2022.

Simpson attends Westview in Martin, Tenn. His father is the head coach at UT-Martin. Tennessee was actually the leader for Simpson, but their coaching change opened things up for other schools, like Bama, Clemson and Ole Miss.

“What stuck out to me with them was one their culture and two their player development,” Simpson said of Alabama. “They get their players ready for the NFL and the NFL is a dream of mine and I’m going to a place where they have NFL coaches in there every day that can make me the best player I can be.”

Steve Sarkisian, Texas land commitment from 2023 No. 1 running back

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian and the Texas Longhorns have secured their first commitment for the Class of 2023.

Rueben Owens, who is in his sophomore year at El Campo High School in Texas, announced on Thursday that he has committed to the Longhorns. Owens said that part of his decision is attributed to how well he believes he fits in with Sark’s offense.

247 Sports ranks Owens as the No. 26 player nationally, No. 2 running back, and No. 1 player in Texas for 2023. Owens had 1,511 yards and 22 rushing touchdowns last season.

Securing a commitment from a player of his level could make it easier for more recruits to follow in the 2023 class. The Owens news comes just two weeks after Sark secured a commitment from a top 2022 quarterback.

Sark is off to a great start in recruiting. Now it’s up to him to win in the fall in order to convince the recruits to stick to their commitments.

Texas fans! Steve Sarkisian is the new head coach of the Longhorns and promising a high-octane offense. Show some support for the squad with this great All Gas No Brakes shirt. It makes a perfect gift for yourself or a friend. You can buy it here:

Texas AD aiming for 100 percent fan capacity at football games in fall

Texas Longhorns logo

The Texas Longhorns were limited to a 25 percent fan capacity at home games in Austin last football season, but they’re aiming for 100 percent this fall.

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte tweeted in response to a fan inquiry on Wednesday. The fan asked whether Texas was planning on 100 percent fan capacity for football games in the fall, assuming the majority of the country is vaccinated by then.

Del Conte said that was the plan.

The fall is several months away, and so much could happen by then. But it wouldn’t be a stretch to say most people would love to have COVID-19 under containment to the extent that 100 percent fan capacity were possible. Already this year we’re seeing more and more sports venues open up to limited fan attendance.

Texas fans! Steve Sarkisian is the new head coach of the Longhorns and promising a high-octane offense. Show some support for the squad with this great All Gas No Brakes shirt. It makes a perfect gift for yourself or a friend. You can buy it here:

Deion Sanders says belongings were stolen from locker room during coaching debut

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders coached his first game as a college football coach on Sunday, and the day went perfect — almost.

Sanders’ Jackson State squad won 53-0 against Edward Waters. After the game, a furious Sanders said his belongings were stolen from the locker room.

This will definitely take the shine off the day for Sanders. Given how angry he was, expect a full investigation in the days to come.

Sanders is trying very hard to instill a strong culture at Jackson State. The win will help, but so will eliminating off-field drama like this, even if no one from the program was involved.

Update: A Jackson State official told WAPT’s Nick Niehaus that Sanders’ personal items have been recovered.

Oklahoma’s Spencer Jones suffered serious eye injury in bar fight

Oklahoma Sooners logo

Oklahoma wide receiver Spencer Jones was involved in a physical altercation at a bar earlier this month, and the redshirt senior was left with a serious injury that required surgery.

A video surfaced on social media on Feb. 19 that claimed to show Jones getting into a fight in the bathroom of Norman’s Logies in an area near the Oklahoma campus known as Campus Corner. The video, which contains inappropriate language, showed a man punching Jones repeatedly following a verbal altercation.

According to a report from OU Daily, the fight took place on Saturday, Feb. 13. Woodrow “Woody” Glass, an attorney hired by Jones’ family, confirmed to OU Daily that Jones was the man in the video. He said the receiver underwent a four-hour operation on Feb. 16 that was performed by Dr. Perry Brooks in Norman, Okla.

“Dr. Brooks came out of that surgery saying he’s extraordinarily lucky at this point, that he’s lucky he didn’t lose the eye altogether,” Glass said. “And so he was able to do some things surgically to rebuild that orbital socket and thinks everything is eventually going to come back to normal, but it’s going to take a while for him to fully recover.”

Police are investigating the incident. OU Daily reached out to Norman Public Information about the investigation but was told there would not be any comment until Monday at the earliest. Glass insists Jones was “trying to deescalate that situation” before he “became the victim of this vicious assault you’ve seen.”

Jones was a walk-on at Liberty before transferring to Oklahoma in 2018. He played in all 11 games for the Sooners last year and won the Peter Mortell Holder of the Year Award, which is given to the best place holder in college football.

The Oklahoma athletic department said it is aware of the situation but offered no comment.

Brett Favre backing Deion Sanders to succeed at Jackson State

Brett Favre

Deion Sanders has certainly brought a lot of attention to Jackson State since taking the school’s head coaching position, but the jury is still out on whether he’ll actually bring success with him. One person who knows both Sanders and the state of Mississippi well is convinced that Sanders will be a huge success.

Brett Favre, who played with and was mentored by Sanders during their one season in Atlanta together, is so confident that Sanders will be a success that he’s disappointed the former cornerback didn’t wind up coaching Southern Miss, Favre’s alma mater.

“I tried my best to get Deion to be the head coach at Southern Miss,” Favre told Nick Suss of the Mississippi Clarion Ledger. “Not because he’s my friend. I don’t know what kind of coach he’ll be. But if I was a betting man, I’d bet the farm that he’ll be a tremendous coach but an even better mentor to these young men.”

Favre helped connect Sanders with some contacts in Jackson upon taking the job. The former Green Bay Packers quarterback added that the best coaches he played under were great mentors, and he sees that quality in Sanders.

One thing is for sure: Sanders is already finding some recruiting success. His Jackson State team will open its unusual spring season Sunday against Edward Waters, and we’ll see how he handles in-game coaching.

Steve Sarkisian Texas contract terms revealed

Steve Sarkisian

The contracts of new head coach Steve Sarkisian and his assistants have been forwarded to the University of Texas’ Board of Regents for final approval, meaning we now know how much the school will be paying them in 2021.

Sarkisian is getting a huge payday to make the move to Texas. According to Zach Barnett of Football Scoop, Sarkisian will earn $34.2 million over his six-year deal, with the annual salary starting at $5.2 million in 2021 and rising by $200,000 yearly. That annual salary is lower than what predecessor Tom Herman was making, but the overall value of Sarkisian’s deal is higher, representing the richest contract in school history.

The same is true of Sarkisian’s assistants. Combined, Sarkisian and his top assistants will receive just over $13 million in 2021, a greater sum than Herman and his staff netted in 2020.

With figures like that, it’s pretty easy to see why Sarkisian was so eager to take the job. That said, expectations are high at Texas, and the university and its fans will want a big return on their investment.

Texas fans! Steve Sarkisian is the new head coach of the Longhorns and promising a high-octane offense. Show some support for the squad with this great All Gas No Brakes shirt. It makes a perfect gift for yourself or a friend. You can buy it here:

Jim Harbaugh asked for recruiting advice from unusual source

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh isn’t known as someone who needs a lot of help with recruiting, but he apparently sought some advice from an unlikely source.

Comedian Randy Sklar told Big Ten Network’s “On The Bench” podcast that the Michigan coach texted him looking for jokes to use when talking to recruits, and even used some of them.

“He texted me one time and he’s like, ‘Got any good jokes?’ Out of the blue, ‘You got any good jokes,’ he texted me,” Sklar said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, okay.’ I wrote a few jokes and I sent them to him, like just jokes that your dad could tell someone, you know what I mean? Even though he’s like not that much older than us. I’ve got to do it in a way that he could. And he did, it was so great. He’s like, he uses them. ‘I’m about to talk to this running back from Cleveland, or Cincinnati, from 2022. I’m going to use one of these jokes.’ And he did. It was great.”

We don’t know which recruit Harbaugh used the jokes on, so we can’t say if it worked. That said, Harbaugh is always willing to go the extra mile to land a recruit. It’s not really a shock he’d go this route if he thought it would help.

H/T 247Sports