The Blitz: Catching up on the news after two-week hiatus

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A vacation is always nice, but the July 4th holiday always signals the start of football season to me. What better way to kick off football season than with fireworks and a celebration? 

However, vacation also means a ton of unreported news from across the Non-FBS landscape, so let’s get to reporting.

Southland Conference

  • Sources have confirmed that Lamar has received a commitment from offensive lineman Thomas Le Boucher, who also held offers from UMass and Appalachian State. The Arizona State transfer is expected to be a key piece in the Cardinals' offensive line. A native of Saint-Augustin de Desmaures, Quebec, Le Boucher played at Independence CC before transferring to the Sun Devils.
  • Former Texas Lutheran wide receiver Bryce Samuels announced on Twitter that he accepted a position as offensive quality control coach for Houston Christian.
  • released its transfer class rankings for the Southland heading into the 2023 campaign. 


Southwestern Athletic Conference

United Athletic Conference

  • Tarleton announced Pepe Pearson, a former NFL running back with 22 years of collegiate coaching experience, will serve as the Texans running backs coach.
  • The Rio Grande Valley has a hunger for college football, as evidenced by UTRGV reaching over 2,000 season ticket deposits in only six and a half months. Fans can reserve season tickets with a $25 deposit for the inaugural season of UTRGV football in 2025.
  • The Vaqueros revealed three football helmets to be worn when UTRGV begins play in 2025. The white helmet has the school’s primary logo with orange UTRGV inside the state of Texas in a blue outline. The orange helmet has Vaqueros in script along the side, while the gray helmet has its ‘V logo’ on the side and the 956 area code above the facemask. 
  • Our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of former Abilene Christian offensive lineman Kade Parmelly, who passed following a battle with cancer. Parmelly played four seasons at ACU before transferring to Duke for his COVID season.
  • Stephen F. Austin earned a commitment from Franklin 2024 tight end Braden Smith, who has twice been selected first-team All-District 11-3A Division I. Smith also held an offer from UIW.
  • Lumberjacks commit Gavin Rutherford from Cinco Ranch was named the 2022-2023 Katy ISD Male Student-Athlete of the Year. Rutherford was a standout on the gridiron with 7,450 yards and 72 touchdown passes, adding 11 home runs and 61 RBIs in baseball.
  • Tarleton received a commitment from 2024 offensive lineman Antonio Heath. The Lyndhurst, Ohio native is listed at 6-foot-6, 325 pounds. 
  • released its transfer class rankings for the UAC heading into the 2023 campaign.


Lone Star Conference

American Southwest Conference

  • The new Commissioner of the American Southwest Conference, David Flores, and I recently discussed some of the tough questions facing the conference. Flores spoke about the need for its members to remain calm.
  • Hardin-Simmons has finalized its 2023 schedule by adding a road game in Massachusetts against Endicott. The Week 4 contest gives the Cowboys a full 10-game schedule with non-conference games against Albright in Week 1 and at Wisconsin-La Crosse in Week 2. HSU will have a bye in Week 3. The addition of Endicott is a quality opponent for the Cowboys. The Gulls were undefeated during the regular season last year en route to securing the Commonwealth Coast Conference title and a berth in the Division III playoffs.
  • The Division III Championships Committee met at the end of June and approved the ASC’s request to have games against Sul Ross State defined as an in-region game as part of the selection criteria. The Lobos must remain compliant with D-III bylaws as an active member. The waiver was necessary, with SRSU expected to be accepted into Division II in mid-July.
  • McMurry head coach Jordan Neal announced the addition of Broc Watkins to the War Hawks coaching staff. Watkins will serve as linebackers coach at McMurry after spending last year in a graduate assistant role at Texas A&M-Kingsville

Sooner Athletic Conference

  • Wayland Baptist head coach Marcos Hinojos Sr. announced the addition of Fred Howard to the Pioneers coaching staff. After serving as defensive coordinator at Monahans High School last season, Howard will serve as running backs coach and co-coordinator for WBU.

Southwestern Junior College Football Conference

  • Trinity Valley released its 2023 football schedule. The Cardinals open the season against perennial NJCAA power Snow College in Malakoff on Thursday, August 24. TVCC’s lone road non-conference game is against Air Force Prep in Week 2.

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