Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman (10) holds up the MVP trophy after the game Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights faced each other in the 2021 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. Wake Forest defeated Rutgers 38-10. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman out indefinitely

Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman is out indefinitely with a “non-football related condition.”

Hartman, a three-year starter, sought medical attention after practice Tuesday, Wake Forest said, for an issue unrelated to that session and football in general. He was advised to step away from competition indefinitely.

“Tuesday was a frustrating day, but I am extremely grateful for our medical staff and for Dr. Chris Miles and Niles Fleet for staying with me throughout this process,” Hartman said in a statement released by the school. “I look forward to attacking this rehabilitation process and I am so appreciative of the support I have received from my family, teammates and coaches.”

Michael Kern, a fourth-year sophomore, will assume the starting quarterback role with Hartman away.

Hartman accounted for 4,228 yards and 50 total touchdowns last season, capping the year with a win over Rutgers in the Gator Bowl.

“Sam Hartman is the true embodiment of a leader and is one of the finest young men I have ever had the pleasure to coach,” coach Dave Clawson said. “Sam was intensely focused on the betterment of his teammates throughout the entire offseason and helping our program continue to achieve great things on the field. Additionally, he is an incredible person in the community and in the classroom. We’ll look forward to having Sam back on the field as soon as he can, and in the meantime Sam and his family have the full support of our coaching staff and program in his recovery.”

Clawson and Wake Forest did not address the possibility of a redshirt season for Hartman, who has another year of eligibility remaining.

–Field Level Media

Dec 22, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Brady Cook (12) throws with Army Black Knights linebacker Malkelm Morrison (2) defending during the third quarter of the 2021 Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri names Brady Cook starting QB

Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz named Brady Cook his starting quarterback when the Tigers play their season opener Sept. 1 against Louisiana Tech.

Cook, a St. Louis native, was a three-star prospect coming out of high school and has three years of eligibility remaining. He’s played in eight career games, including five last season, which he finished 47-for-59 for 350 yards, two passing touchdowns and no interceptions.

Cook made his first collegiate start in the 2021 Armed Forces Bowl against Army. He went 27-for-34 for 238 yards and a touchdown and added 53 rushing yards, including a 30-yard rushing score. Missouri lost the bowl game 24-22.

Missouri was picked sixth of seven teams in the SEC East in last month’s preseason SEC media poll.

–Field Level Media

Dec 11, 2021; New York, NY, USA; 2021 Heisman winner Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (left) poses for pictures with head coach Nick Saban during a press conference at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama ranked No. 1 in preseason coaches poll

Eyeing its fourth national title in eight years, Alabama is No. 1 in the preseason coaches poll released Monday.

Led by head coach Nick Saban and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young, the Crimson Tide received 54 of the 66 first-place votes in the USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll.

No. 2 Ohio State received five first-place votes and No. 3 Georgia, the defending College Football Playoff national champion, received six.

No. 18 Texas, which finished 5-7 in coach Steve Sarkisian’s first season in 2021, drew the other first-place ballot.

Clemson and Notre Dame round out the top five, followed by Michigan, Texas A&M, Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor.

Alabama opens the season on Sept. 3 against Utah State in Tuscaloosa.

The rest of the top 25:

11. Oklahoma State
12. Oregon
13. North Carolina State
14. Michigan State
15. Southern California
16. Pittsburgh
17. Miami (Fla.)
18. Texas
19. Wake Forest
20. Wisconsin
21. Kentucky
22. Cincinnati
23. Arkansas
24. Mississippi
25. Houston

–Field Level Media

Apr 23, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma Sooners receivers coach Cale Gundy during the spring game at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Sooners assistant Cale Gundy resigns over ‘shameful’ word

Oklahoma wide receivers coach Cale Gundy resigned Sunday night after reading aloud a “shameful and hurtful” word off the screen of a player’s iPad.

Gundy, 50, has been an assistant coach at his alma mater since 1999, making him the longest-tenured football coach in the Big 12, according to ESPN.

In a film session last week, Gundy apparently picked up an iPad from a distracted player and read the unspecified words written on the screen.

“The unfortunate reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to do so,” Gundy posted on Twitter on Sunday night. “In that circumstance, a man of character accepts accountability. I take responsibility for this mistake. I apologize.”

Gundy said he was “horrified” when he realized what he had spoken.

“I want to very clear: the words I read aloud from that screen were not my words. What I said was not malicious; it wasn’t even intentional,” he wrote. “Still, I am mature enough to know that the word I said was shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions.”

Gundy, who played quarterback for the Sooners from 1990-93, is the younger brother of Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy.

“I recognize this is a critical moment for Oklahoma football,” Gundy wrote. “This team — its coaches, players, administration and fans — do not deserve to be distracted by off-the-field matters while working to continue the tradition of excellence that makes me so proud to be a Sooner.

“Naturally, I leave these sidelines heavy hearted. Coaching this football team truly has been my life’s passion.”

First-year Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables accepted the resignation of Gundy, who worked under previous head coaches Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley.

“It’s with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy’s resignation. He’s dedicated more than half his life to Oklahoma Football and has served our program and university well,” Venables said. “We’re thankful for that commitment. We also acknowledge that in stepping aside he’s placed the program and the welfare of our student-athletes first. In coaching and in life, we’re all accountable for our actions and the resulting outcomes.”

Venables said offensive analyst L’Damian Washington will replace Gundy on an interim basis.

The Sooners open the season against UTEP on Sept. 3 in Norman, Okla.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide tight end Cameron Latu (81) against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama TE Cameron Latu sidelined for start of fall camp

Alabama tight end Cameron Latu missed Thursday’s camp-opening practice and will be out additional time in fall camp due to undisclosed reasons.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban declined to shed light on Latu’s situation.

“Cam is going to miss some time in camp,” Saban told reporters. “I don’t know exactly how long.”

Latu, a fifth-year senior, caught 26 passes for 410 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games (14 starts) last season. The eight TD receptions set a school record for an Alabama tight end.

Latu also is the Crimson Tide’s leading returning receiver.

Latu was a defensive end when he began his Alabama career but was shifted to tight end following the 2018 season.

–Field Level Media

Dec 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks before the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12, Twitter form NIL partnership for players tweeting highlights

Football players and men’s and women’s basketball players at Pac-12 institutions soon will have the option to be paid per tweet.

The Pac-12 announced a name, image and likeness (NIL) rights partnership with Twitter and other companies that will allow athletes in those sports to monetize videos of their highlights on social media.

Sports tech startup Tempus Ex Machina will give participating athletes access to a customized video after each game, showing their highlights from different camera angles. When players tweet their personal clips, Twitter will add pre-roll advertising and the athlete will receive some of the ad money.

Twitter did not disclose how the revenue would be split between the athletes and the companies.

The Pac-12 claims it’s the first NIL deal of its kind. It will begin with the 2022-23 academic year.

“The Pac-12 is committed to providing our student-athletes with best-in-class technology, tools and promotional platforms that support their individual brands,” commissioner George Kliavkoff said in a statement. “Our partnership with Tempus Ex is focused on enhancing our student-athlete and fan experiences, and today’s announcement is another important step in positioning the Pac-12 as a leader when it comes to student-athlete promotion and brand building.”

–Field Level Media

Auburn Tigers quarterback T.J. Finley (1) warms up during the A-Day spring practice at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, April 9, 2022.

Auburn QB T.J. Finley facing misdemeanor charge

Auburn quarterback T.J. Finley is facing a misdemeanor charge of eluding police in Lee County, Ala.

The charge stems from a citation he received earlier for not wearing a helmet while operating a moped. When he learned a warrant had been issued for his arrest on the outstanding violation, he turned himself in, local media reported.

Thursday was the first day of fall football camp at Auburn. Finley was released on his own recognizance and was at the athletics complex early in the afternoon.

“The charges pending against my client, T.J. Finley, are the result of traffic violations and a misunderstanding,” Finley’s attorney, Davis Whittelsey, said in a statement provided to AL.com. “The charges are in the process of being handled in municipal court within the City of Auburn as all traffic citations are. As soon as T.J. learned of the charges, he turned himself in and has been released on a bond he signed for himself. His first day of football camp with Auburn University has been a success.”

Finley, a junior, is entering his second season with the Tigers after transferring from LSU. He’s vying for the starting job with Oregon transfer Robby Ashford, Texas A&M transfer Zach Calzada and freshman Holden Geriner, a four-star recruit from Savannah, Ga.

Finley appeared in nine games at Auburn last season and started the final three after starter Bo Nix sustained a season-ending ankle injury. On the season, the 6-foot-7 Finley completed 70 of his 128 pass attempts (54.7 percent) for 827 yards with six touchdowns and an interception.

Nix transferred to Oregon in the offseason.

Recently, Finley became the first college football player to sign an NIL deal with Amazon.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Lyn-J Dixon (23) carries the ball against the South Carolina State Bulldogs during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee lands former Clemson RB Lyn-J Dixon

Former Clemson running back Lyn-J Dixon is transferring to Tennessee.

Dixon rushed for 1,420 yards in four seasons with the Tigers and transferred to West Virginia earlier this year. In June, he said he was re-entering the transfer portal.

Tennessee starting running back Jabari Small is back in 2022 after logging 140 carries for 792 yards in 2021.

But Tennessee adding depth at running back is not a surprise. The Vols lost sophomore Len’Neth Whitehead to a season-ending injury that required surgery, coach Josh Heupel said Sunday night.

The Volunteers open the 2022 season on Sept. 1 at home against Ball State.

–Field Level Media

Nov 10, 2018; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; A general view of  Bryant-Denny Stadium during the game against Mississippi State Bulldogs. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Four-star TE Ty Lockwood decommits from Ohio State, picks Alabama

Four-star tight end Ty Lockwood, Ohio State’s first commit of the 2023 class, announced Tuesday that he is decommitting from the Buckeyes and is heading to Alabama.

Lockwood, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound junior at Independence High School in Thompson’s Station, Tenn., is the ninth-rated tight end in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He committed to Ohio State last summer and received Alabama’s offer on Friday.

Ohio State now has the No. 3-ranked class in the nation, with Notre Dame No. 1 and Alabama No. 2, per 247Sports.

Alabama and coach Nick Saban have received commitments recently from five-star safety Caleb Downs and four-star offensive tackle Olaus Alinen, both of whom had Ohio State as finalists.

Lockwood had 43 receptions for 606 yards and three touchdowns last season.

“I’m grateful for Ohio State, the coaching staff, and the Buckeye players and fans,” Lockwood tweeted on Tuesday. “I have a lot of respect for the program and the team. … (But) I have decided that it would be best to de-commit from Ohio State University.”

Lockwood said the decision to commit to Alabama is “the right choice I needed to make for my future and my family.”

Oct 16, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A detailed view of Texas A&M Aggies helmets during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

5-star LB Anthony Hill commits to Texas A&M

Five-star linebacker Anthony Hill said Saturday he’ll play his college football for Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M.

Hill is the No. 1 linebacker and the No. 15 overall player in the Class of 2023, as ranked by the 247Sports composite. He announced his commitment with a video posted to Twitter.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound prospect is from Denton, Texas. He chose the Aggies over finalist Texas, and he was pursued by major programs that included Oklahoma, Alabama, Miami and Southern California.

“Just being able to play SEC football in Texas and of course that D-line and defense,” Hill told 247Sports about why he chose the Aggies. “I always liked A&M. They were one of the first schools to offer me and looking at them it got better throughout time.”

In his junior season in 2021, Hill had 131 tackles, eight sacks, two interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two touchdowns scored on turnovers, per 247Sports.

Texas A&M finished the 2022 recruiting cycle with the No. 1 class in the nation in the 247Sports rankings. The class includes eight five-star prospects.

–Field Level Media