Rice was crootin' this weekend.
David Bailiff had perhaps his most important and valuable recruiting weekend in his Rice tenure with eight commitments in a 24 hour period. Those eight recruits added to three other commits for the week bringing Rice's total commitment list up to 12 and first in CUSA according to 24/7.
Line help highlights the Owl's haul as Ryan Booth and Walker Harkinson, both from the San Antonio area and both offensive tackles came in for Rice on Friday.
Rice also added a couple of defensive linemen in Blake Kuithe and Joshua Sanders. Kuithe, twin brother of fellow Rice commit Brant, is the highest regarded according to 24/7. Blake is labeled as an athlete with a composite 24/7 score .8438 just ahead of his brother who comes in at .8427.
I guess we need to add the disclaimer that these commitment are non-binding and 17 year old boys are prone to changing their minds, but Rice recruits tend to commit to the academic environment as much as the football experience.
Is Josh Fields UTEP's best chance to replace Aaron Jones?
UTEP must fill a couple of the big shoes as the Miners attempt to replace Aaron Jones, currently of the Green Bay Packers and the school's all time leading rusher. The Miner plans took a hit when plan A running back, Quadraiz Wadley, went down with a season ending shoulder injury in the spring. With Walter Dawn moving to receiver that means that a grand total of 26 carries return from 2016.
Enter El Paso Americas running back Josh Fields. Fields was a three star recruit and easily the highest regarded signee of the Miners' 2017 class. Fields was so well regarded that Texas, Stanford, Colorado, and Texas Tech all made inquiries into his services. Is Fields UTEP best option to replace Aaron Jones, another El Paso product? It sure looks like it. If not by default, then his talent certainly indicates yes.
Fields is more game ready than Jones was coming out of high school. Jones was a 165 pounds compared to Fields' 195 pound frame. Fields was a very productive high school player, so much so that Kugler was making regular visits to the Fields' home even two and three years ago. Fields rushed for over a 1,000 yards in each of his three varsity seasons and rushed for over 2,400 yards as as senior.
Young backs don't face the learning curve, physically or mentally, that other positions face. An instinctual, physical runner, like Fields, can step into a role quickly and contribute. Can Fields replicate Jones' incredible work ethic? Only time will tell, but with so much uncertainty in the Miner backfield Fields will get a shot at playing time and maybe even to start.
Stadium Makes Announcement regarding CUSA coverage.
Newly minted and consolidated media entity STADIUM, which will broadcast CUSA games this fall, has revealed its broadcast plans to some degree, announcing its fall schedule. "Stadium, which will launch later this summer, is a fully-programmed, 24/7 multi-platform sports network that brings together exclusive live game and event coverage, extensive highlights, classic games, original programming and daily live studio programming." At least that's what the press release says.
STADIUM will broadcast 15 games on Twitter and bring to the table studio coverage for its partners as well. The network will also host on-demand content, including additional live events and video on demand highlights.
STADIUM was formed when the American Sports Network, Campus Insiders and 120 Sports combined forces to take advantage of a combined collection of professional and collegiate rights and unique access to both digital and television distribution opportunities.
Twitter would be a new platform for Conference USA that could increase the potential audience. STADIUM’s interest in continuing its relationship could be a huge boost for the league. ASN has been a major player in televising league games the last three seasons.
The Flying Helton's
On this Fathers Day let's take a look at the Helton's who coached and cut their teeth at the University of Houston.
Kim Helton was hired to take over a struggling Houston program in 1993, fresh after the departure of Cheatin' John Jenkins. Kim had extensive NFL and college experience. He was hired to coach the offensive line for the Miami Dolphins when the Cougars called him with the offer to take over the program.
Helton's tenure was average at best, downright awful at its worst. For his seven season Helton was 24-53-1, though he did string together two winning seasons after the Cougars jointed CUSA. He took Houston to one bowl game.
In 1993, after his dad got the job at Houston, Clay Helton transferred to Houston from Auburn, where he was playing for Pat Dye. Clay player sparingly his last two seasons in Houston, throwing for 417 yards in 1994.
Kim had another quarterback in the family in his son Tyson. Kim recruited Tyson to play for the Coogs in 1996. Tyson played sparingly in parts of four seasons, ending his college career with one touchdown pass and six picks.
After Kim was let go he went on to coach in the NFL for the Washington Redskins and the CFL for the Toronto Argos. His last job was as OC at UAB. His kids caught the coaching bug too.
Clay was a GA at Duke after graduation from Houston. He spent time coaching running backs for his old man and while brother Tyson was playing quarterback in 3rd Ward. He then headed off to Memphis and later USC, serving as Interim Head Coach, before getting the job full time at the end of 2015. His Trojans are widely considered at top 10 pick this season.
Tyson is now the quarterback coach and pass game coordinator for his big brother Clay at USC. Prior to that he coached at Hawaii, Memphis, UAB (with his dad), Cincinnati and most famously with the high flying Western Kentucky Hilltoppers as offensive coordinator.