Happy Football Friday, everyone!
We’re excited to start a weekly football notebook that will feature a slew of news (and links) from the gridiron.
Alright, let’s share some football stories (and links) – have a great weekend, everyone!
- Rob Gronkowski admitted his experience in Tampa, Florida has been a lot different – shall we say enjoyable? – than when he played tight end for Bill Belichick in New England.
- Kyle Smith, who was recently the vice president of player personnel with the Washington Football Team, has recently accepted the same role with the Atlanta Falcons.
- Despite recent reports of Deshaun Watson wanting to be traded, Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio said the organization is “committed” to their quarterback.
- It seems like the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers are interested in acquiring Matthew Stafford to lead their respective offenses.
- There were a LOT of big-time players that sustained season-ending injuries this past fall – in fact, the league saw a 14 percent increase “over the average rate from the previous decade,” which is not good news.
- Nick Sirianni, who is a former NCAA D-III football player, was introduced today as the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Apparently Tom Brady is older than 13 professional football coaches, which seems kind of crazy!
- Two days ago, Central Connecticut State University announced that they would not participate in the 2021 Northeastern Conference (NEC) spring football season.
CCSU interim Director of Athletics Tom Pincine said Wednesday’s decision is in “the best interest of our University and football program,” while Ryan McCarthy, who is the coach of the Blue Devils, echoed the statement but also added that the team can “focus solely on returning to spring practice and preparing for the Fall 2021 season.”
The Blue Devils have not competed since 2019 when they posted a school-record 11 victories and secured a spot in the opening round of the NCAA FCS postseason.
- While CCSU won’t play football this spring, a Sacred Heart official told the New Haven Register that the Pioneers are planning to compete, despite no games listed on the team’s current schedule.
- The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) unveiled its 2021 fall schedules with plans to “return to its Atlantic and Coastal divisions” later this year.
While Notre Dame did compete under the ACC umbrella last fall, the Fighting Irish will return to being an independent for the 2021 college football season.
- The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) held its ‘digital media day‘ today ahead of the league’s spring football season, which is scheduled to commence – or should we say kickoff? – Saturday, February 20, 2021.
- The ASUN Conference announced earlier today that football will be the league’s 20th sport.
High School Sports
- It’s going to look a bit different, but there will be a high school football season in Massachusetts, beginning next month. The state’s Fall II season will run from February 22 to April 25, but there will be no Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) postseason.
- The MIAA shared its rules modifications and guidelines for the upcoming Massachusetts football season following Friday’s board meeting. And one thing that won’t change for the Fall II season is tackling – yep, tackling will be allowed when high school football teams convene next month for their first practice.
- Jaxon Dart of Corner Canyon‘s (Draper, Utah) football team was named the National High School Football Player of the Year for 2020. Dart joins an impressive group of National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famers that have earned this honor, including Joe Montana and Emmitt Smith.
And here is the complete list of high school football players that have earned National Player of the Year honor from MaxPreps.com going back to 1910.
- In case you did not know, Jaxon Dart rewrote the Utah high school football record book this fall by setting a new record for touchdowns.
- Everett (Mass.) will have a new football coach for Fall II, according to Danny Ventura of the Boston Herald. Congrats to Rob Diloreto for being named the new leader of the Crimson Tide!
- The Detroit Lions have named Rob Zimmerman of DeWitt High School as their High School Football Coach of the Year. Zimmerman’s Panthers captured the Michigan High School Football Division III state championship with a 40-30 win over River Rogue.