Oregon will fire co-OC/TE coach David Reaves following his arrest on suspicion of DUI early Sunday morning.
In a statement, AD Rob Mullens said, "The University has high standards for the conduct of employees and is addressing this matter with the utmost of seriousness." Reaves has been placed on administrative leave and Oregon has started into the termination process. To say that it has been an embarrassing week for the program might be an understatement. Strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde was hit with a month-long suspension earlier in January after three players were hospitalized following reported grueling workouts. And Reaves' termination comes just days after Oregon hired him. Per Eugene police, Reaves was stopped at 2:12 AM Sunday morning due to "multiple traffic violations." Reaves followed HC Willie Taggart over from South Florida, having served as part of the Bulls' staff since 2013. His firing comes just a week-and-a-half before National Signing Day.
Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline questioned Toledo T Storm Norton's consistency during the East-West Shrine Game practice week.
Pauline offered a perfect encapsulation of the ups-and-downs of Norton's week after Wednesday's practice session, relaying that on that day, the 6-foot-8, 306-pounder "lost his footing a few times early in practice, but a few reps later he performed a textbook reach block on Avery Moss." The analyst did come away impressed with his ability as a run-blocker, writing that "Norton moves efficiently to the second level. If he was able to engage the defender, he typically came out victorious." Pauline projects him as a potential sixth- or seventh-round selection come this spring's draft.
Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner completed 3-of-12 passes for 38 yards in Saturday's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Leidner drew low-grade draft talk prior to the 2016 season, but he put the absolute wrong foot forward in his first step of the process on Saturday, averaging a pitiful 3.2 YPA and misfiring repeatedly on his pass attempts. The 6-foot-4, 237-pounder held a career 36/32 TD/INT ratio at Minnesota. Maybe a team takes a late flier on the gunslinger in the draft, but that's about the best he can hope for.
Minnesota received a verbal commitment from three-star 2017 S Kendarian Handy-Holly.
Handy-Holly had been wooed by the Gophers while Tracy Claeys was working as head coach this past season. Minnesota's interest did not waver in the transition from Claeys to P.J. Fleck, though, leading to the 6-foot-2, 201-pounder's ultimate commitment. As for his on-the-field potential, Scout.com notes that Handy-Holly "flashes good physicality at the back end and can be a force upon contact but he needs to polish up his backpedaling and breaking on the ball before he begins the college game."
Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline called Louisville C Tobijah Hughley's week of practice leading up to the East-West Shrine Game "so-so."
"He has a strong lower body and can display it most of the time," Pauline writes, "when he’s able to sink his hips quick enough. His techniques need some tweaking and he is a little light to make it at the next level." The 6-foot-3, 291-pounder -- a rock of a starting presence for the Cardinals over the last three seasons -- will likely have to find his way to an NFL squad as an undrafted free agent this spring, barring a rise to the later rounds of Day 3.
Oregon received a verbal commitment from four-star 2017 LB Isaac Slade-Matautia.
Slade pledged his talents to the Ducks during Saturday's Polynesian Bowl. Rivals ranks the Honolulu native as the No. 2 prospect in the state of Hawaii for this cycle. Scout.com's Greg Biggins notes that the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder is "a physical player and hits like a truck." Biggins could see Slade-Matautia contributing as either an inside or outside linebacker once he joins HC Willie Taggart's crew in Eugene.
Arkansas senior LB Khalia Hackett will transfer.
This was an easy enough one to spot if you were reading the tea leaves. Hackett was removed from the travel roster just three games into the 2016 campaign due to what HC Bret Bielema referred to as accountability issues. A former three-star recruit, the 6-foot-2, 223-pound Hackett ended up making just one start during his Razorbacks career.
Arkansas senior DE Tevin Beanum has retired.
Beanum missed time early in the 2016 season due to a personal issue, ultimately appearing in 10 games and recording 21 tackles along the way. He won't be returning next season. This is not a transfer situation, though, as HC Bret Bielema indicated that there is a chance that the 6-foot-4, 251-pound Beanum receives a medical hardship waiver which will allow him to remain on scholarship at Arkansas as he continues his education.