Just about every bit of news between now and very late August is going to be bad news for college football programs and that is certainly the case for Alabama on Saturday.
As first reported by the Tuscaloosa News, Crimson Tide projected starter Da’Shawn Hand was arrested on Saturday morning and charged with driving under the influence. It’s unclear as to whether the defensive end is in the process of getting released just yet but local media is reporting that his bail has been set at $1,000 in the matter.
“This type of behavior is not acceptable and we are disappointed in Da’Shawn’s actions,” head coach Nick Saban said in a statement. “We are still gathering information and will evaluate what we need to do in terms of appropriate discipline as we move forward, so better choices and decisions can be made in the future.”
Obviously Saban isn’t committing to any sort of punishment for Hand just yet but his potential loss early in the season will be notable considering how much rebuilding the Tide has to do up front following the departures of Jonathan Allen, Davlin Tomlinson and others. Add in facing a potential top five team in Florida State for the season opener and things just might be a little more interesting come kickoff down in Atlanta.
Hand was supposed to turn into the latest first-rounder off of the defensive line under Saban after arriving in Tuscaloosa as the No. 1 overall recruit in 2014. He recorded just 21 tackles and two sacks last year as a junior but is expected to play a vital role in the team’s pass rush as this season’s projected starter at one of the defensive end spots.
Saban has been all over the place in terms of player discipline over the years so it’s hard to say just what he’ll do with Hand at the end of the day but the bottom line is it’s never a good phone call for the coach to receive, much less just a few days before preseason camp opens on Thursday.
If Dino Babers wants to take the next step at Syracuse in 2017, he’ll have to do so without a key starter along the offensive line this season.
The school announced Saturday that starting left guard Aaron Roberts suffered a left knee injury during the team’s summer conditioning drills and will miss the season as a result. The Orange noted that the redshirt junior started all 12 games in 2016 and led the team in snaps played and knockdown blocks for an offensive lineman.
As tough of a blow as losing a starting lineman is, it’s even rougher for Roberts considering the team opens preseason camp tomorrow.
Sophomores Sam Clausman and Andrejas Duerig likely get first crack at filling in for Roberts at guard prior to any shuffling of players during fall camp. Syracuse will open the season against Central Connecticut State but the loss of their starting guard will probably be felt most in late September when the team travels to LSU and N.C. State in back-to-back weeks.
Because of course Lane Kiffin would find himself interjected into the latest controversy to hit President Donald Trump‘s White House.
After days of controversy and in-fighting, Reince Priebus was ousted as the White House Chief of Staff Friday. So, what does this have to do with Kiffin and college football? It appears that Priebus was given the boot off of Air Force One as word of his dismissal spread…
— Jared Rizzi (@JaredRizzi) July 28, 2017
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) July 28, 2017
Priebus is in this van on tarmac at Joint Base Andrews, as Potus has not yet disembarked. Driver pulled van away as press moved toward it pic.twitter.com/mlrV2s3U8P
— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) July 28, 2017
Nearly immediately, several Twitter users noted the similarities and referred to Priebus as having been “Kiffin’d.” Naturally, that caught the attention of the former Alabama offensive coordinator and current FAU head coach, who took to Twitter to reveal that he feels Priebus’ pain.
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) July 28, 2017
Don’t change, Lane. Ever.
Last season, Randy Shannon was the 36th-highest paid SEC assistant amongst those listed in the USA Today coaching salaries database. This year, he’ll be exponentially higher when the next database is unveiled.
Florida revealed Friday that Shannon will earn $890,000 in guaranteed base salary for the 2017 season. That’s a $400,000 increase over what he earned last season with the Gators.
His new salary would’ve placed him 10th in the conference last season, seventh amongst defensive coordinators.
Additionally, Shannon is in line to receive a $100,000 loyalty bonus if he’s still with the football program after March 1 of next year.
Shannon was promoted to defensive coordinator in January of this year, not long after his predecessor, Geoff Collins, left to take the head-coaching job at Temple. He had spent the past two seasons as the Gators’ linebackers coach and also holds the title of associate head coach.
Shannon came to Gainesville with a pedigree almost exclusively tied to the University of Miami.
A linebacker for the Hurricanes, Shannon’s first coaching job came at The U as a graduate assistant. He then spent 12 of the next 15 years as an assistant at his alma mater — he was on the Miami Dolphins staff from 1998-2000 — the last five in the role of defensive coordinator before being promoted to head coach in 2007. Fired in 2010, Shannon spent 2012 at TCU and 2013-14 at Arkansas — he was linebackers coach at each stop — prior to his move to Florida in 2015.
Six and a half months later, and after restrictions were placed on him, Shai McKenzie has found a new college football home.
Friday, it was confirmed by the Newport News Daily Press that McKenzie will continue his collegiate playing career at Hampton University. As the Pirates play at the FCS level, McKenzie will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.
The running back would have another season of eligibility to use beyond this season as well if he so chooses.
In mid-January of this year, McKenzie announced his decision to transfer from Virginia Tech.
A four-star 2014 recruit, only one signee was rated higher than McKenzie in Tech’s class that year.
The Pennsylvania native’s career actually began with promise as he was second on the Hokies in rushing as a true freshman when he went down with a torn ACL in the fifth game of the season. At that time, McKenzie had 269 yards on the ground; in the two years after, he ran for a combined 126 yards.
His 2015 season was limited to two games because of the lingering effects of the ACL injury. Last season, McKenzie ran for 76 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.