Recruit’s dad not pleased with how son flipped from ‘Bama to Auburn

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It seems like a couple of times a week this time of the year, you’ll hear or read a report of a highly-touted recruit switching his non-binding verbal commitment from one school to another.

What’s very rare, though, is to see a parent of the de-commit very publicly question the flip.  The adoptive father of one of the top players in the state of Alabama, though, appears to play this recruiting game straight from the old-school playbook, where giving your word to somebody or some thing actually means something.

Linebacker/running back Brent Calloway, the No. 1 player in the state according to Rivals.com, had given his verbal to Alabama last June, but announced at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl — broadcast on NBC — that he was going to Auburn.  Harland “Peaches” Winston,  who along with his wife adopted Calloway when he was in ninth grade, was stunned to learn that the No. 12 player in the country announced during the telecast that he was headed to The Plains.

And, suffice to say, he was not pleased with how the situation played itself out.

“I’m from the old school,” Winston told the Birmingham News. “When you shake a man’s hand, look him in the eye and make a commitment, you stick to that commitment.

“I respect him and I’m going to root for him. But I don’t think he handled it the right way.”

For his part, Calloway said the fact that Auburn will allow him to play running back — the Tide coaching staff, along with the dad, feel Calloway’s best route to the NFL is via the defensive side of the ball — and their depth chart at that position is less crowded than their in-state rival’s played a role in his decision.  Plus, it appears Calloway is simply more comfortable with the situation, including the coaching staff, at Auburn.

Not only is Winston not comfortable with how his son went about making the decision, he appears far from comfortable with the “flamboyance” of the Tiger staff.

“They stick to business. You don’t see their coaches high-fiving,” Winston, who says he’s not a ‘Bama fan, said of Nick Saban‘s Tide staff.  And in an unrelated story, the ears of Trooper Taylor (no relation) and his white towel are suddenly ringing with a urgent ferocity.

Despite his reservations, Winston told the paper that he will not interfere with his son’s decision.

Calloway has a visit scheduled to Auburn Saturday.

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.