Houston adds fifth Power Five grad transfer this offseason, this one from Notre Dame

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Six weeks after leaving Notre Dame, Nick Watkins has a new home.  Reportedly.

First reported by 247Sports.com and subsequently confirmed by the Houston Chronicle, Watkins has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Houston.  As a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, the defensive back will be eligible immediately to play for the Cougars in what will be his final season.

In addition to UH, TCU, West Virginia and SMU had been in play for Watkins.

Watkins played in 35 games the past four years for the Fighting Irish, including a dozen this past season.  In 2017, Watkins set career-highs with 29 tackles and eight passes defensed.

Watkins’ entire 2016 season was wiped out by a broken arm sustained in spring practice, leading to a medical hardship waiver that gave him another year of eligibility.

With this move, Watkins becomes the sixth transfer from a Power Five program to join Houston this offseason, the others being Ole Miss safety Deontay Anderson (HERE), Tennessee quarterback Quinten Dormady (HERE), Miami linebacker Darrion Owens (HERE), Utah wide receiver Raelon Singleton (HERE) and Baylor running back Terence Williams (HERE).  Additionally, defensive end Isaiah Chambers transferred in from TCU last August and, after sitting out the 2017 season, will be eligible to play this season as well.

Like Watkins, Dormady, Owens, Singleton and Williams are all graduate transfer and eligible to play in 2018.  Anderson is also immediately eligible because of the waiver granted to him by the NCAA as a result of Ole Miss’ issues.

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.