NCAA Football News and Notes: December 18, 2018
College football bowl season has arrived! Let’s take a look at some of the biggest news stories from around the world of college football.
Georgia QB Exploring Transfer
Georgia freshman quarterback Justin Fields is exploring the possibility of transferring to another football program according to multiple sources. Fields was the number 1 ranked recruit in the 2018 ESPN 300 class, but is unhappy with his playing time. Sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm is the starting quarterback for Georgia, and Fields will likely have to sit behind him for the next two seasons.
If Fields does decide to transfer to another school, he would be forced to miss the entire 2019 season unless he was able to receive a hardship waiver from the NCAA. Fields played in 12 games for the Bulldogs this season, completing 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. Fromm would be the only remaining quarterback on scholarship at the University of Georgia if Fields decides to transfer. Fields is reportedly considering Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Florida State as possible destinations.
Tagovailoa Ahead of Schedule
Alabama star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is reportedly ahead of schedule in recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the SEC Championship game. The Heisman Trophy finalist needed surgery to repair the ankle, but is back on the field and practicing with the Crimson Tide. Tagovailoa was in a walking boot and using a scooter to get around during the week leading up to the Heisman Trophy presentation, but all indications are that he will be healthy enough to start for the Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff semifinals. Alabama will take on Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma Sooners in the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 29 in Miami.
Kelly Wins AP Coach of the Year
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was once again named the Associated Press Coach of the Year. Kelly received 16 of the 58 first-place votes to narrowly win the award over Alabama head coach Nick Saban. This is the second time that Kelly has received this award, making him the third coach to achieve this feat since the award was given out in 1998. Nick Saban and TCU’s Gary Patterson are the other two coaches who have received this award twice. Kelly led the Fighting Irish to a perfect 12-0 regular season and a spot in the College Football Playoff semifinals. Notre Dame will take on Clemson in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on December 29.
Love To Skip Sun Bowl
Stanford Cardinal star running back Bryce Love has announced that he will not play in the Hyundai Sun Bowl later this month. The Cardinal are set to take on Pittsburgh in that game, but Love is choosing to sit out to focus on entering the 2019 NFL Draft. Love underwent a series of injuries this season that kept him from making a push for the 2018 Heisman Trophy after finishing as a runner-up a season ago. Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Love as the second best draft-eligible running back prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Tuttle Transferring to Indiana
Former Utah quarterback Jack Tuttle is transferring to Indiana University and will join the Hoosiers football program during the spring semester. Tuttle was originally born in Indianapolis but attended high school in the State of California. His decision to transfer stems to him losing out on a preseason battle to Jason Shelley to become the starting quarterback at Utah. Tuttle did not play during his freshman season at Utah and will have four years of eligibility remaining. Indiana finished the season with a 5-7 record, falling one win short of reaching bowl eligibility.
UCLA Linebacker Retires
UCLA Bruins linebacker Jaelan Phillips has decided to end his collegiate career by announcing his decision to medically retire from football. Phillips has been injured for much of his two seasons at UCLA, and a concussion suffered in September ended his season after just four games. He recorded 20 tackles, including a sack, during those four games before being shut down for the season. Phillips was the number-1 ranked defensive recruit, and number three overall, in the ESPN Class of 2017. He played in just 11 games with the Bruins during his two seasons on campus.