Ohio State announces ex-Indiana coach Kevin Wilson as new offensive coordinator


Ohio State announces ex-Indiana coach Kevin Wilson as new offensive coordinator

Just weeks after resigning as Indiana's head coach, Kevin Wilson is officially back in the Big Ten.

After reports last week signaled Wilson's move to Ohio State, the Buckeyes announced Tuesday that Wilson is the team's new offensive coordinator.

Wilson's six-year tenure as the Hoosiers' head coach came to a shocking and abrupt end at the beginning of December, when he submitted his resignation. Indiana athletics director Fred Glass was very vague in the press conference to discuss the coaching change, citing only "philosophical differences" as the reason behind the move. But it was later reported that there were concerns within the athletics department over complaints of student-athlete mistreatment by Wilson.

On the field, Wilson led the Hoosiers to rarely seen success, this year leading the team to back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time in 25 years. He won 26 games in six seasons.

Offense and lots of it was a hallmark of his Indiana squads. The Hoosiers ranked in the top five in offense the Big Ten in each of the last four seasons. Indiana led the conference in total offense during the 2015 season and ranked in the top 15 nationally in both 2015 and 2013.

Wilson previously worked as an offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, Northwestern and Miami (Ohio).

Ohio State is undergoing an offensive makeover in the wake of a startlingly poor performance in a Fiesta Bowl loss to eventual national champion Clemson. The Buckeyes were shut out in that College Football Playoff semifinal, the first time that had ever happened to a team with Urban Meyer as its head coach. It was the first time Ohio State was shut out since 1993 and the first time Ohio State was shut out in a bowl game since 1920.

The Buckeyes amassed just 216 total yards in that game, with only 88 coming on the ground. And while the Clemson defense was strong that night, recording 11 tackles for loss, the Ohio State offense was stuck in the mud. Quarterback J.T. Barrett was constantly under pressure, and the play-calling was heavily criticized, as well, with running back Mike Weber receiving only three carries.

Meyer promised offensive improvement after that loss, and changing up his coaching staff has been the first step. Co-offensive coordinators Tim Beck and Ed Warinner are no longer in those positions. Beck has left to work for former Ohio State assistant Tom Herman at Texas, and Warinner is reportedly heading to Minnesota to work for P.J. Fleck. Meanwhile, former NFL assistant Ryan Day was hired to replace Beck as quarterbacks coach. Meyer announced Tuesday that Day will be a co-offensive coordinator with Wilson.

Northwestern kick returner Solomon Vault expected to miss entire 2017 season

Northwestern kick returner Solomon Vault expected to miss entire 2017 season

Northwestern is expected to be without kick returner and wide receiver Solomon Vault for the entirety of the upcoming 2017 season, according to a Friday report from Inside NU.

A Northwestern spokesman told the site that Vault underwent surgery for a lower-body injury and is expected to redshirt this fall.

Vault took back four kickoffs for touchdowns in his first three seasons, racking up 1,505 kick-return yards. Last season, he returned 23 kicks for 560 yards and a touchdown.

In addition to his value as a kick returner, though, Vault was also expected to play a larger role in the passing game this season. He transitioned from running back to wide receiver ahead of last season and caught 15 passes for 164 yards and a pair of touchdowns in 2016.

While the Wildcats have plenty of other options at wide receiver, it's a significant wrinkle in their challenge to replace the production of Austin Carr, last year's Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year, who is on to a pro career in the NFL.

If Vault does redshirt this season, it means he will have one year of NCAA eligibility remaining.

Jalen Coleman-Lands reportedly transferring away from Illini

Jalen Coleman-Lands reportedly transferring away from Illini

The exodus out of Champaign continues, with Jalen Coleman-Lands reportedly the latest Illinois basketball player to leave the team in the aftermath of this spring's coaching change.

Coleman-Lands, perhaps the highest-rated recruit brought in during the John Grcoe Era, is set to transfer away from the program after two seasons with the Fighting Illini, per a report from Scout.com's Evan Daniels.

As a sophomore this past season, the sharpshooting Coleman-Lands played in all 35 of the team's games and started 15 of them. He averaged eight points a game and shot 38 percent from 3-point range.

Coleman-Lands was a big deal when he was recruited out of the state of Indiana. Landing a highly touted Hoosier has been an historic rarity for the Illini, but Coleman-Lands picked Groce's program over offers from Arizona, Indiana, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Xavier, among others. He was a four-star recruit and ranked by Rivals as one of the top 40 prospects in the Class of 2015.

While Coleman-Lands was at times electric from behind the arc, he wasn't always consistent, hence his moving in and out of the starting lineup.

Coleman-Lands' departure is the latest in a busy offseason of roster transformation for the Illini, something not too unexpected given the decision to fire Groce after a largely unsuccessful five-year tenure and replace him with Brad Underwood. While Underwood is earning rave reviews from outside critics and has already made a huge recruiting splash in luring Illinois' Mr. Basketball, Mark Smith, to the Illini, it's understandable that players who committed to Groce would want to rethink things.

D.J. Williams preceded Coleman-Lands in transferring out of Champaign. And half of the blockbuster recruiting class Groce assembled prior to his firing — four-star recruit Jeremiah Tilmon and three-star recruit Javon Pickett — opted to play elsewhere. All that on top of the team's three leading scorers from last season — Malcolm Hill, Maverick Morgan and Tracy Abrams — exhausting their eligibility in Groce's final year.

Coleman-Lands' decision means Illinois will return just five scholarship players from last year's roster: Kipper Nichols, Te'Jon Lucas, Leron Black, Michael Finke and Aaron Jordan.

But there are reinforcements coming in Underwood's first season leading the program. Smith will be joined by a pair of freshman guards recruited by Groce: Trent Frazier and Da'Monte Williams. Plus, just Wednesday, the team announced the addition of Wright State graduate transfer Mark Alstork, who averaged 19 points a game last season.

Still, as is often the case with college basketball coaching changes, this is a dramatic evolution of a roster in just a couple of months.

And to top things off, Illinois fans might not even see Coleman-Lands leave the state. Internet chatter in recent days has mentioned that Coleman-Lands could be transferring to DePaul, where his high school coach was recently hired as one of Dave Leitao's assistants.