UConn LB who suffered stroke not cleared to play football

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What was once looking like a feel-good college football story has instead taken a turn in the other direction.

In mid-October of last year, UConn redshirt junior linebacker Eli Thomas was hospitalized for an unspecified medical issue.  It was subsequently confirmed by the football program that Thomas had suffered a stroke during a team weightlifting session.

Thomas eventually re-enrolled in classes for the spring semester at the university and rejoined his teammates, even as he had not yet been cleared by the program’s medical staff to resume football activities.

Tuesday, Randy Edsall confirmed that clearance will never happen, at least at this university, as Thomas has been medically disqualified from ever playing the sport again.  The development comes a couple of months after the linebacker was named by his teammates as a team captain during the Huskies’ spring practice.

Thomas played in the first four games of the 2018 season before suffering a neck injury in a Week 4 loss to Syracuse. The injury sidelined the player for the next two games before suffering the stroke.

Thomas came to the Huskies after two seasons at the junior college level and took a redshirt his first season with the program as he rehabbed a torn ACL, the third of the three major knee injuries he suffered during his football career. Prior to the neck injury, the Elmira, NY, native had been credited with 11 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

 

Arizona State hires Beau Baldwin as offensive coordinator

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State has hired former Cal Poly head coach Beau Baldwin as its next offensive coordinator.

The school announced Baldwin’s hiring of new coach Kenny Dillingham‘s staff a week after he resigned at Cal Poly.

The 50-year-old Baldwin spent three seasons as the Mustangs’ head coach, going 4-21.

Baldwin previously served as California’s offensive coordinator for three years after a nine-year stint as Eastern Washington’s head coach. He went 85-32 at Eastern Washington and won the 2010 national championship with three trips to the FCS semifinals.

Baldwin also served as Central Washington’s head coach in 2007.

Stanford QB Tanner McKee declares for NFL draft

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee is leaving school to enter the NFL draft.

McKee announced his decision on Thursday after a disappointing junior season on an overmatched Stanford team.

McKee completed 62% of his passes for 2,947 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season as Stanford went 3-9 for a second straight year.

Stanford will undergoing an overhaul with coach David Shaw stepping down after 12 seasons and several players expected to transfer.