NFL calls, UCLA’s Ayers answers

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If you’re a junior and have a fairly decent shot at being a first- or second-round pick in the NFL draft, it’d be somewhat difficult to return to college for another season.

If you’re a near-lock to be a Top 20 pick, it’s a no-brainer; you jump early.

The latter is the situation Akeem Ayers finds himself in, and the UCLA linebacker did about the only thing he could do.  He jumped.

In a release issued by the school, Ayers announced he was foregoing his senior season and entering the NFL draft.

“I want to thank my coaches, teammates and everyone at UCLA for all of their help the last few years,” said Ayers. “I have had a great experience at UCLA and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such an outstanding school.

“I will miss playing with my UCLA teammates next year but I feel that the decision to go to the NFL is what is best for my family. I will always be a Bruin.”

“Akeem has been a big-play performer throughout his career at UCLA and we support his decision to move to the next level,” said head coach Rick Neuheisel. “Who will ever forget his interceptions against Oregon and Temple that he turned into touchdowns or his many sacks? We will miss Akeem, but we look forward to watching him make those same types of plays on Sundays in the NFL.”

Despite nagging injuries that limited his production in 2010, he was still a first-team All-Pac-10 performer, as well as earning a spot on the second team of the Walter Camp All-American squad.

Reports: Miami hiring Lance Guidry from Tulane as DC

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
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Miami is hiring Lance Guidry, who was defensive coordinator at Marshall last season and recently accepted the same position at Tulane, to lead its defense, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized between Guidry and Miami.

The 51-year-old Louisiana native was hired way from Marshall by Tulane just last month. Now he’ll replace Kevin Steele on Mario Cristobal‘s staff at Miami. Steele is reportedly on his way to Alabama to become Nick Saban‘s defensive coordinator after holding that position for one season with the Hurricanes.

Alabama has yet to make the hiring of Steele and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees official. Rees had been assistant at Notre Dame.

Tulane announced the hiring of Guidry on Jan. 23 to replace Chris Hampton, who left the New Orleans-based school to join Oregon’s staff as an assistant coach.

Guidry’s defenses at Marshall ranked third in the nation in yards per play this season (4.56) and 26th nationally in 2021 (5.14 ypp).

Iowa-Northwestern set for Wrigley Field in November

Nikos Frazier/Journal & Courier/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CHICAGO — Wrigley Field will host a college football game for the third time since 2010 when Iowa plays Northwestern next season.

Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs announced that the Wildcats’ home game will be played Nov. 4.

Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley in 2010 in the MLB ballpark’s first college football game since 1938, and the Wildcats hosted Purdue there in 2021.

Wrigley Field has a long history of hosting football games. The Chicago Bears played there from 1921 to 1970 before moving to Soldier Field. The old Chicago Cardinals also played at Wrigley, as well as DePaul until its program folded in 1939.

Northwestern had been scheduled to play Wisconsin at Wrigley in 2020, but the game was moved to Ryan Field in Evanston because of the COVID-19 pandemic.