Ohio State, Arizona among potential landing spots for Texas A&M transfer QB Nick Starkel

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After Tate Martell headed south to Miami earlier this month, Ohio State, given a degree of uncertainty over whether its prime offseason pickup will be granted immediate eligibility, is in the market for experience at the quarterback position.  Depending on how things play out in the coming days and weeks, a recent departure from College Station could end up filling that need in Columbus.

Earlier this week, Nick Starkel announced that he has decided to transfer from Texas A&M and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere.  Wednesday, it was reported that OSU is among the potential landing spots for the redshirt sophomore quarterback who, interestingly enough, once had a Twitter beef with the player he’d be replacing with the Buckeyes.

Additionally, Duke (looking to replace early departure Daniel Jones), Arizona (head coach Kevin Sumlin signed Starkel at A&M) and SMU (approximately 40 miles from where he went to high school) are all possibilities according to the report.

Starkel will graduate from A&M this June, which would allow him to use the first of his two remaining years of eligibility immediately in 2019.

Both Ohio State and Arizona are interesting potential destinations for Starkel, if for nothing more than the current state of their respective quarterback rooms.  If Justin Fields is granted a waiver as expected, he’d have three years of eligibility that he could begin using in 2019 and would be the front-runner to claim the Buckeyes’ starting job.  With the Wildcats, two-year starter Khalil Tate is returning for what will be his last season in the desert, which could make that destination a little more appealing when taking into account his experience with Sumlin.

If starting immediately is at the top of Starkel’s checklist, Duke (replacing Jones as previously mentioned) and SMU (three-year starter Ben Hicks transferred to Arkansas earlier this month) might be a better option for a quarterback with Starkel’s experience.

Starkel was the Aggies’ starter to open the 2017 season, but suffered a broken ankle in that game that sidelined him for nearly two months.  It turned out to not be a season-ending injury as Starkel returned to start the last four games of Kevin Sumlin‘s final season in College Station, a late-season stint that included a career-high 499-yard effort in a Belk Bowl loss to Wake Forest.

Entering the 2018 offseason as the incumbent, but with a new head coach in Jimbo Fisher in place, Starkel lost the starting job to Kellen Mond and played in just five games this past season — the first four of 2018 plus the bowl game.  In those appearances, the redshirt sophomore completed 15-of-22 passes for a touchdown.

The A&M portion of his playing career will end with the Texas native having totaled 1,962 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions on 138–of-227 passing.

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.