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Deondre Francois
Weekly Update

CFB Storylines of the Week

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: August 3, 2019, 2:20 pm ET

Three weeks, folks. We're just three weeks away from seeing college football games take place. Are you excited? Of course your excited. You wouldn't be reading this if you weren't excited. Hopefully you're all caught up, but just in case, here's a look at the biggest stories from the week.  

College Football News

*** Inarguably the biggest story of the week came on Friday, in what we in the industry -- and everyone else, too, I just wanted to say "we in the industry" for the first time -- a "news dump." Ohio State released over 2,000 documents in regards to their investigation involving the firing of former staff member Zack Smith and the suspension of Urban Meyer

Most of these documents are redacted -- and some of the ones that aren't redacted aren't terribly interesting, if we're being honest -- but there are nuggets here that are at the very least intriguing, and troubling. The biggest of these being that Meyer convinced Smith to not take a job with Alabama, with Meyer writing: "I have personally invested far too much in u to get u in position to take next step." Meyer has since retired and taken a job with Fox Sports as an analyst, and it'd be shocking to see Smith back in the world of college football. It's an unfortunate reminder of what a mess this sport/life can be, sometimes. 

*** Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts was quietly one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country last year; running for 15 scores and passing for another 10 while not throwing an interception. To say that his season is not off to an auspicious start, however, is an understatement. Werts was arrested for suspicion of speeding and misdemeanor cocaine possession on Wednesday, and Eagles head coach Chad Lunsford announced that he -- along with defensive lineman Quan Griffin -- were suspended on Friday. There's no word as to how long either will be suspended, but it's very likely that both will miss time, based on what we've seen in the past for arrests like this. Justin Tomlin is the presumed starter at quarterback while Wertz is out, and while we don't know a heck of a lot about Tomlin, it's safe to say that this is a downgrade at the position.

*** While Wertz was suspended, another small-school quarterback who has a chance to start was reinstated. UTEP redshirt junior quarterback Kai Locksley was reinstated following his arrest in June. The charges here were suspicion of DWI, possession of marijuana, terroristic threat, and unlawful carrying of a weapon. Locksley is the son of Maryland head coach Mike Locksley, and during his time last season as the starting quarterback, he showed some upside with the ability to make plays with his legs and arm. He's very likely the starter for the Miners as long as he's healthy and stays out of trouble the remainder of the summer.

*** More quarterback news. Former Florida State starting quarterback Deondre Francois has finally found a new home, as the redshirt junior transferred into Hampton. As you might remember, Francois briefly was announced to have transferred from the Seminoles to Florida Atlantic, but that transfer was nixed a few short days later. There's a couple of reasons that the signal-caller left Tallahassee, but the one that matters the most is that Francois was dismissed from Florida State after a social media post showed an alleged domestic incident between Francois and a woman that reportedly was an ex-girlfriend. He'll be immediately eligible to play for Hampton -- assuming that there isn't a suspension by the school -- and he'll have two years of eligibility left. 

*** Now for a story that doesn't involve an arrest or charge. Georgia got great news this week, as redshirt freshman RB Zamir White has been cleared to take part in preseason camp. White was a five-star running back signing for the Bulldogs in 2018, but after tearing his ACL during his senior season in high school, he tore it again before the start of the season in a non-contact injury. The question now is just how much run White is going to be able to get with the Bulldogs, not just because Georgia is going to be careful with someone coming off two injuries like this, but also because of the loaded running back room. D'Andre Swift is the obvious starter, and behind him is fellow 2018 five-star signing James Cook along with talented tailback Brian Herrien. Still, if White is healthy, don't be surprised if he finds a way to make plays for the Bulldogs in 2019 and beyond.

*** There were a few transfers made this week, but none bigger than this one. Former Clemson senior RB Tavien Feaster transferred to South Carolina this week, picking the Gamecocks over Virginia Tech. This is a substantial get for South Carolina -- on paper, anyway -- as Feaster has flashed big-time ability in his time with the Tigers, and he's run for 15 scores and 1,330 yards in his time at the ACC power while averaging six yards a carry. If there's a question, it's how Feaster will do in this offensive system, and whether or can approach these kinds of numbers in what we believe will be significantly more playing time. If he can, it's a huge boon for the South Carolina offense.  


*** Georgia received a verbal commitment from five-star 2020 RB Kendall Milton. So, about that running back room. Even with Swift almost assuredly off to the NFL at the end of this season, this group is going to be loaded again, and Milton is one of the reasons why, to be sure. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound tailback picked Georgia over Alabama, LSU and Ohio State; and had offers from several other high-profile schools. While not viewed as a burner, he obviously offers athleticism -- he wouldn't be a five-star recruit otherwise -- and he's viewed as a tough between-the-tackles runner who can give defenders fits. Even with Cook and White in the backfield, it'd be a surprise if Milton wasn't an immediate contributor in Athens. 

*** Texas received a verbal commitment from five-star 2020 RB Bijan Robinson. Robinson committed to the Longhorns on Friday, choosing to spend the next three or so years in Austin over offers from schools like Ohio State, USC and Alabama. In the 247Sports rankings, Robinson comes in as the third best running back overall, and the second best player in state of Arizona behind five-star corner Kellee Ringo (it's worth noting that Ringo is considering Texas as well, but Georgia is viewed as the favorite at this point). There are talented tailbacks on the Texas roster, but not a lot of production as of yet. Robinson absolutely could vie for a starting gig when he enrolls in 2020 if that remains the case, and even if not. 

*** Florida State received a verbal commitment from four-star 2020 running back Jaylan Knighton. Knighton gets the "all-purpose back" designation, and the 5-foot-9, 195-pound running back picked the Seminoles over Ohio State on Tuesday evening. The APB is often given to tailbacks for two reasons: the ability to make plays out of the backfield as a receiver, and the inability to handle a full load because of a small stature. It's possible that Knighton fits both bills, but even if he doesn't become a bellcow, his shiftiness and speed should make him an impact player on the Seminoles' offense -- potentially, anyway -- when he enrolls at some point in 2020. 

*** Oregon received a verbal commitment from four-star 2020 WR Johnny Wilson. Wilson picked the Ducks on Monday, over Washington and Ohio State, among others. He's a big get for Oregon, as Wilson is considered one of the top "big" wide receivers in the class as a 6-foot-6, 224-pound wideout who can high-point the football over smaller defensive backs; and the bigger ones, too. There are some talented offensive players in Eugene, but it would be an upset if Wilson didn't make an immediate impact -- or close to it -- when he joins the program. Mario Cristobal has killed it in recruiting in his time as head coach with the Ducks. 

Quick Hits

Former Alabama junior TE Kedrick James transferred to SMU. James is a former four-star recruit who didn't catch a pass in Tuscaloosa, and is possibly facing a four-game suspension ... Alabama and Wisconsin have agreed to a home-and-home series starting in 2024 ... UTEP senior RB Quardraiz Wadley (toe) will miss the 2019 season ... Georgia Tech redshirt senior LB David Curry has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA for the 2020 season ... Auburn received a verbal commitment from four-star 2021 QB Aaron McLaughlin ... Former Ohio State redshirt junior DT Malik Barrow transferred to UCF as a graduate ... Alabama junior DE LaBryan Ray will be "extremely limited" early in preseason camp as he recovers from ankle surgery ... Miami sophomore DT Nesta Silvera has sustained a right foot injury and will undergo surgery later this week ... Wisconsin HC Paul Chryst said Wednesday that junior QB Jack Coan enters fall camp with a slight edge in the competition for the starting job ... Virginia Tech announced that longtime DC Bud Foster will be retiring at the end of the 2019 season. Foster has been with the program since 1987 ... Missouri junior QB Shawn Robinson's eligibility waiver has been denied by the NCAA. He'll be able to call the 2019 season a redshirt campaign, and he'll have two years eligible starting in 2020 ... Maryland senior LB Keandre Jones has been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA. Jones transferred to the Terrapins from Ohio State this winter. 

Christopher Crawford
Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.