Tag:DeLeon Eskridge
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Tate Forcier transferring to San Jose State

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Tate Forcier's long and winding road appears to have finally wound its way to San Jose.

The Mercury News is reporting that Forcier has committed to play for the San Jose State Spartans, ending a months-long cross-country transfer tour that saw Forcier announce at one stage that he would be playing for Miami before later announcing he would instead look elsewhere.

Obviously, SJSU would appear to be quite the step down from playing for the Hurricanes (much less Michigan, the school where Forcier spent two years making his name), but Forcier will be much closer to his San Diego home and brother Jason Forcier reportedly works in the area. He offered the Mercury News a comment via text message:
“It felt right,” Forcier said ... “I loved the coaches and felt comfortable with them. I really believe I can help that team.”
While Forcier won't simply have the job handed to him (incoming freshman QB Joe Gray was SJSU's highest-ranked recruit and could be reasonably entrenched as the starter once Forcier is eligible in 2012), it's hard to believe he won't help a program as downtrodden as the Spartans. He immediately becomes their most proven commodity, their highest-ranked recruit (probably ever), and far and away the closest thing Mike MacIntyre's program has to a star. Given the state of the WAC in 2012, it's likely Forcier is also already the entire conference's highest-profile player.

SJSU won just one game last year, and even that one was a 16-11 scrape past FCS Southern Utah*. But they were surprisingly competitive down the stretch (losing four of their final five games by a total of 16 points), return all 11 of their starters on defense this year, and boast another BCS-caliber transfer in former Minnesota tailback Deleon Eskridge.

With Forcier now all but falling into their laps (thanks to the Miami decision and Hawaii ruling him unable to meet their fall semester's academic requirements), MacIntyre would appear to have the Spartans moving in the right direction. There's still miles and miles and miles to go in that direction, but it's something--and having a talent like Forcier around certainly won't hurt.


*As an aside: SUU's nickname is the Thunderbirds, one of the best in all Division I. Why more schools never adopted this one, we don't know.

Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:43 pm
 

DeLeon Eskridge leaves the Gophers

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As if turning around the Minnesota football program wasn't going to be hard enough for new head coach Jerry Kill, on Friday he found out that he's going to have to do so without the team's leading rusher from last season. Minnesota announced on Friday that DeLeon Eskridge was leaving the school due to personal reasons.

"He and I both felt it was in his best interest to make this decision," coach Jerry Kill said.

Eskridge asked to be released from his scholarship due to a family situation and would like to finish school closer to his home in San Francisco.

Eskridge led the Gophers in rushing yards and touchdowns with 698 and 7 respectively. The Gophers do have some depth behind Eskridge with fellow senior Duane Bennett along with three redshirt freshman in LaMonte Edwards, Devon Wright and Donnell Kirkwood. They also have quarterback MarQueis Gray, but this is still a rushing attack that finished tenth in the Big Ten with 135.3 yards per game last season.

Now they'll have to replace about 59 of those yards every week. 

Posted on: November 13, 2010 3:37 pm
 

Zook still Zook, loses to Gophers at home

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When the season started, the hot seat discussion in the Big Ten centered on their either-or question of who'd get the ax first? The so-fired-already Tim Brewster at Minnesota , or the equally-fired Ron Zook at Illinois .

It turned out that the correct answer was Brewster, as the head Gopher couldn't even make it past midseason and Zook's inspired-looking new hires at both coordinators' positions got the Illini out to a surprising 5-3 start. But if you can take the Zook out of the hot seat, however, temporarily, you really can't take the hot seat out of the Zook; his Illini handed the coach-less, hapless Gophers their first Big Ten win of the season today, falling 38-34 at home.

Making the loss even more brutal was how close the Illini came to another comfortable victory, going up 34-24 with 8:14 to play in the fourth quarter on a 55-yard Mikel LeShoure touchdown run. But the Gophers answered back with a 90-yard kickoff return for a DeLeon Eskridge touchdown run just 19 seconds later, and an expertly-executed Gopher two-minute drill resulted in a second Eskridge score with just 16 seconds to play.

Let's be clear about this: Zook is probably still safe at Illinois. There won't be a long list of better candidates available for the Illini, and even after today, 2010 has still been a dramatic improvement on the program's crushingly disappointing 2009.

But Illinois has now whiffed twice on the sixth win necessary for a bowl invite, and in two eminently winnable games. Now they'll need a big road win at either Northwestern or Fresno State , or the Illini will stay home for the third straight season. Improvement on 2009 or not, weak pool of candidates or not, there's a breaking point even at Illinois, and more than ever it seems like Zook's tenure is simply determined to find out where that is.
 
 
 
 
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