Barry Sanders Jr.: Mark Ingram heading to the NFL

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It was thought that, given the situation in the backfield at Alabama and all that he’s accomplished thus far, Mark Ingram could very well leave Alabama early for a shot at the NFL.

Somewhat unbelievably, the semi-official confirmation that Ingram is leaving the Tide comes from none other than the son of a collegiate and NFL legend.

Speaking to the fine folks at OKBlitz.com, Barry Sanders Jr. — yes, that Barry Sanders — said that he spoke to Alabama head coach Nick Saban earlier Wednesday.  Saban, the heavily-recruited high school running back said, told him that Ingram is indeed leaving the Tide for early entry into the NFL draft.

“He just said ‘We need running backs,’” the junior said. “How Trent [Richardson] would be a senior if I were to go [to Alabama]. He told me Ingram’s leaving, he’s making it public probably Friday.”

Just a coupla things here.  First of all, we think that announcement may be pushed up a tad bit based on Sanders going all college football insider on the decision.  Secondly, we get the feeling that the control freak that is Nick Saban will be none too pleased that a recruit spilled the beans on one of his current players.  Of course, he’ll then pop in a DVD of Sanders on the football field and all will be fine.

If this is indeed the end for Ingram, it’s the conclusion of a brief but mostly spectacular time in Tuscaloosa.  Ingram won the 2009 Heisman Trophy as a part of the Tide’s magical run to the national title, but his 2010 season — at least the beginning — was marred by a knee injury that required surgery.  Ingram would finish his three years at ‘Bama with nearly 3,300 yards rushing and 46 total touchdowns — 42 of them coming on the ground.

Of course, this is all assuming Sanders heard Saban correctly.  If he didn’t?  God help the son of a legend is all I’ll say…

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.