NCF Nation: Latarrius Thomas

Eastern Michigan suspends five

October, 28, 2010
10/28/10
10:59
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Five Eastern Michigan players have been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, coach Ron English said Thursday in a statement.

The five players are: starting linebackers Steve Brown and Tim Fort, starting receiver Tyrone Burke, backup running back Dwayne Priest and reserve defensive back Latarrius Thomas.

Fort leads the team with 68 tackles and three forced fumbles, while Brown has 21, plus a sack and a fumble recovery. Priest is second on the team in rushing with 378 yards and leads the team with five rushing touchdowns. Burke is third on the team with 137 yards receiving.

Eastern Michigan (1-7) hosts Toledo on Saturday.
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

West Virginia underachieved on the field this season but is hitting a home run on the recruiting trail, Mitch Vingle writes in the Charleston Gazette. Vingle says this may be the Mountaineers' most impressive class ever because of more than just talent.

"According to those in the know, every commitment the Mountaineers have at this moment is good to go (academically). Every single one.

"That, of course, is a change from the Rich Rodriguez era. ...  Today, WVU can still sign iffy prospects to letters of intent and wait to see if they pan out, but that's not how the situation is being handled. Which makes the incoming talent haul -- especially considering the underlying circumstances -- very impressive indeed."

• Sophomore safety Latarrius Thomas is transferring from Louisville, but coach Steve Kragthorpe won't give him a release to Arkansas, where Thomas could be reunited with former coach Bobby Petrino, or to Eastern Michigan, where ex-Cardinals defensive coordinator Ron English is now the head man. C.L. Brown has the story in The Courier-Journal.

• Brian Kelly, who signed a new contract last year worth $1.2 million annually through 2012, is on the verge of getting another new deal, Bill Koch writes in the Cincinnati Enquirer. This one will likely include longevity bonuses. Kelly also had this to say about the FedEx Orange Bowl loss to Virginia Tech:

"I don't like the way it was coached," Kelly said, "or the way it was played. There's accountability for everybody and it starts with me. I just think I did a poor job of getting our kids to make the plays necessary to win."

• Miami has cleared South Florida as a possible landing spot for former quarterback Robert Marve, Brett McMurphy writes in the Tampa Tribune. The Bulls have taken plenty of transfers in the past, and Marve's family has said they'd like for him to stay close to home.

Big East internal affairs

November, 25, 2008
11/25/08
11:11
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Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

West Virginia: Pat White's carries have gone up in recent games, and the Mountaineers' offense has benefited. The senior quarterback has run the ball at least 20 times in each of his last three games after averaging 11 carries in the three previous contests. He had 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Louisville and 109 yards and two scores at Connecticut. "They were throwing it more and handing it off more," Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt said. "Now they're back to a little more of the zone-read stuff and the option stuff. As Pat White goes, so goes their offense. That's been evident all year." West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said he still wants to incorporate a pro-style passing attack into the offense, but the Mountaineers' best chance at winning their last two games may come with White running the ball.

Pittsburgh: Two areas that hadn't been problems for Pittsburgh all season became trouble spots in the loss at Cincinnati. One of the least penalized teams in America, the Panthers were whistled on seven fouls for 50 yards. And an offensive line that had allowed only 18 sacks in its first nine games gave up seven to the Bearcats. "The noise was a factor," Wannstedt said. "That led to false starts. The sacks, I would say, at least half of them -- the quarterback has to get rid of the ball. Whether anyone's open or not, we have to find a way to get rid of the ball and not take sacks."

Cincinnati: Jacob Ramsey leads the Bearcats in rushing, but he's also had trouble with fumbles. He lost one in the Pittsburgh game, a week after he gave away the ball at Louisville. But head coach Brian Kelly said there's not much he can do about it at this point in the season. "We're too far into it right now to be benching guys," Kelly said. "He's got to work on it each week, but we've got to play with the guys we've got. Obviously we don't tolerate it and he's not happy about it. He's got to get through it because he doesn't want to build a reputation of that's something he does each week."

Syracuse: Antwon Bailey hadn't gotten much work lately as Curtis Brinkley became the go-to running back. But after Brinkley's third-quarter fumble led to a Notre Dame field goal on Saturday, the freshman got a chance and took off with it. Bailey finished with 126 yards on 16 carries -- 98 of those yards coming in the fourth quarter -- and scored a touchdown to help power the 24-23 Orange victory. "He's not a surprise," said Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson. "He's a talented young football player, one that I think has a great career ahead of him, on top of his 3.5 GPA and about an 1190 SAT."

Louisville: True freshman Karldell Dunning got his first start at cornerback against West Virginia replacing senior Woodny Turenne, who's out for the season with a broken clavicle. Dunning had three tackles in the 35-21 loss. "I thought Karldell did some really, really good things," head coach Steve Kragthorpe said. "He's a great competitor, he wants to be good. He's going to be a very good player here." The Cardinals secondary has suffered some key losses to injury this season, as safeties Richard Raglin and Latarrius Thomas are also out for the season. Senior safety Bobby Buchanan suffered a back injury against West Virginia but hopes to be ready for next week's game at Rutgers.

Big East internal affairs

October, 15, 2008
10/15/08
12:04
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Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Syracuse: The Orange could get a boost in their backfield if Delone Carter is able to play Saturday at South Florida. Carter has missed three games with a hamstring pull but is expected to be ready this week. He could offer a counterpunch to Curtis Brinkley, who's had four 100-yard rushing days already this season. Wide receiver Dan Sheeran (broken leg) and linebacker Chad Battles (foot) are both out until at least Nov. 1, while linebacker Ryan Gillum (foot) is probably done for the season.

Louisville: With Richard Raglin out with an injured arm and Latarrius Thomas dealing with a lingering knee issue, the Cardinals turned to former walk-on Daniel Covington as a starting safety at Memphis. Covington, a junior who was put on scholarship this summer, recorded 12 tackles in the game and now ranks second on the team with 27 stops. Head coach Steve Kragthorpe also said he wants to find ways to keep true freshman outside linebacker Dexter Heyman on the field when the Cardinals go to their nickel and dime packages.

West Virginia: Alric Arnett looked like the next West Virginia star when the receiver caught four passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener against Villanova. In the five games since, however, Arnett has just nine receptions for 77 yards and no scores. Head coach Bill Stewart said Arnett and senior Dorrell Jalloh (eight catches for 76 yards on the season) need to get involved more. On the plus side, 6-foot-8 receiver Wes Lyons has come on lately. He had four catches for 44 yards last week against Rutgers.

South Florida: The Bulls are sacrificing some depth at cornerback by switching junior-college transfer Theo Wilson to receiver. Wilson, who's recovering from a knee injury, played quarterback, running back and receiver at Pearl River Community College last season and had returned punts for South Florida earlier this season. "He's a big threat when he has the ball in his hands, and that's what we're looking for," passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Mike Canales said. Wilson's switch leaves the Bulls with only four experienced cornerbacks to rotate.

Rutgers: Kordell Young's up-and-down season is back on the uptick. The sophomore running back was pegged as the main replacement for Ray Rice this season and had 94 yards on 26 carries in the opener against Fresno State. But then he started experiencing knee soreness and at one point late last month was feared lost for the season. Young returned to action last weekend at Cincinnati and carried 22 times for 78 yards. He's now listed as the co-starter at tailback, along with redshirt freshman Jourdan Brooks. Rutgers has started three different players at the position in six games.

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