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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Middle Tennessee
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  Backup quarterback Mike DeLiello ran for 77 yards and a pair of touchdowns and the Middle Tennessee defense had five takeaways as the Blue Raiders defeated Southern Mississippi 35-10 on Saturday. In addition to DeLiello's touchdown runs of 6 and 14 yards, Middle Tennessee (4-4, 2-2 Conference USA) scored off a blocked punt, a fumble recovery and an interception. The Blue Raiders entered the game tied with Iowa for the national lead with 20 forced turnovers.

DeLiello, who came on in the first quarter for the injured Chase Cunningham (lower body), completed eight of 12 passes for 78 yards. DeLiello had attempted just three passes this season. Trailing 7-0, DeLiello converted a fourth-down pass to DJ England-Chisolm on the way to his 6-yard TD run to knot the score at 7-7. Less than a minute later, Tra Fluellen scooted 18 yards to score after a blocked punt and Middle Tennessee led the rest of the way. Jordan Branch added a 29-yard return of a fumble recovery as the Blue Raiders led 21-7 at halftime. DeLiello added a second touchdown and DQ Thomas a 43-yard interception return for a TD in the second half. Jake Lange threw for 166 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice and sacked seven times for Southern Miss (1-7, 0-4). Frank Gore carried 20 times for 83 yards. - Middle Tennessee/AP College Football


(DS#999 SS) rSo/2024 SS Tra FluellenMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee/AP College Football
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  Chase Cunningham passed for 297 yards and four touchdowns, Middle Tennessee scored in every quarter and defeated UConn 44-13 on Friday night. Cunningham had racked up 182 yards and three touchdowns in the first half - including scoring strikes of 25 and 18 yards to Izaiah Gathings and Jimmy Marshall, respectively, on Middle Tennessee's final two possessions before halftime to lead 24-13 at the break. UConn (1-8) had scrapped into a 10-10 tie on a short pass from Steven Krajewski to tight end Brandon Niemenski and a career-long 47-yard field goal by freshman Joe McFadden on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter.

After Middle Tennessee (3-4) broke away with two unanswered touchdowns in less than three minutes, the lead was never threatened again. Cunningham threw completions to 10 receivers, Yusuf Ali led with five catches for 80 yards. Marshall had two TDs on four catches for 61 yards. UConn scored its final points in the final seconds of the first half, settling for a 21-yard McFadden field goal as time ran out after two straight passes from the 4-yard line were broken up in the end zone by Middle Tennessee's Teldrick Ross. Middle Tennessee came into Friday's game third nationally forcing 17 turnovers and had three takeaways against the Huskies, turning them into 12 points. Krajewski completed 21 of 37 passes for 237 yards with a touchdown but was intercepted twice. - Middle Tennessee/AP College Football


(DS#999 QB) rJr/2023 QB Chase CunninghamMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee/AP College Football
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  OCT 4 CONFERENCE USA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Middle Tennessee S Reed Blankenship was all over the field against the Herd Saturday with seven tackles, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a pass break-up. With Middle Tennessee leading, 28-14, the Herd was threatening to pull within a score before Blankenship picked up a fumble and raced 90 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter. It was the second defensive score of his career to go with a 100-yard interception return (2018 at Old Dominion). - Conference USA Football

(DS#14 FS) rSr/2022 FS Reed BlankenshipMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  Chase Cunningham threw two touchdown passes and Middle Tennessee beat Marshall 34-28 on Saturday night. Cunningham was 12-of-21 passing for 105 yards. Chaton Mobley ran 15 times for 132 yards that included a 41-yard touchdown run for Middle Tennessee (2-3, 1-2 Conference USA) early in the second quarter. Reed Blankenship recovered a fumbled ball and ran untouched 91 yards into the end zone to stretch the Blue Raiders' lead to 34-14 with 2:33 left in the third quarter. Rasheen Ali had a 2-yard touchdown run for Marshall (2-3, 0-1) with 9:44 remaining. The Thundering Herd capped the scoring with 1:12 to play when Grant Wells threw a 17-yard TD pass to Shadeed Ahmed. Wells was 31-of-47 passing for 321 yards. Ali finished with 113 yards rushing on 19 carries and three touchdowns. - Middle Tennessee/AP College Football

(DS#999 QB) rJr/2023 QB Chase CunninghamMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee/AP College Football
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  09/04/21 - Jaylin LanerFr/2025, Middle Tennessee, 5-08, 174 (DS#99 WR) + More +

  Jaylin Lane returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter and added four catches for 91 yards and a score as Middle Tennessee overpowered FCS-member Monmouth 50-15 in a season opener on Saturday. Lane's punt return was the first score of the game. Monmouth answered with Tony Muskett's 22-yard scoring strike to Ezrah Archie to knot the score at 7.

The Blue Raiders took the lead for good later in the second quarter on two Bailey Hockman TD passes - a 29-yarder to DJ England-Chisholm and a 22-yarder to Lane. The Blue Raiders outscored the Hawks 22-0 in the fourth quarter to pull away. Hockman completed 17 of 22 passes for 215 yards and three TDs for Middle Tennessee. CJ Windham had five catches for 46 yards and a score. Muskett threw for 177 yards, completing 25 of 39 passes, with one TD and an interception for the Hawks. Juwon Ferri rushed 18 times for 99 yards. Terrence Greene Jr. had five receptions for 71 yards. Monmouth ran 20 more plays than the Blue Raiders, but they had four turnovers, losing three fumbles. - Middle Tennessee/AP College Football


(DS#99 WR) rFr/2025 WR Jaylin LaneMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee/AP College Football
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  Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill announced recently the permanent captains for the Blue Raiders in 2021. Safety Reed Blankenship, defensive end Jordan Ferguson, wide receiver Jarrin Pierce, linebacker DQ Thomas and wide receiver CJ Windham, were honored as the 16th group of permanent captains in the FBS era at Middle Tennessee. The team voted on the five captains, and Coach Stockstill made the announcement during a team meeting. It marks Blankenship's third straight year as a captain, matching former quarterback Brent Stockstill for the most in the Rick Stockstill era. Ferguson, Pierce and Thomas are captains for the second straight year. - Middle Tennessee Football

(DS#14 FS) rSr/2022 FS Reed BlankenshipMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee Football
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  The Augusta Sports Council has announced the pre-season watch list for the 2021 Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation's top collegiate punter and Middle Tennessee's Kyle Ulbrich is on the prestigious list for the second year in a row. Ulbrich, a redshirt junior, was recently named to the C-USA Preseason Watch List after averaging a career-best 43.8 yards a punt. Along with a 75-yard boot last year, Ulbrich registered 13 punts of 50 or more yards. The 51 candidates on the list incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) punters. The 2021 watch list was compiled based on the 2021 Ray Guy Award Semifinalist List, the top ten NCAA Punters from 2020, the 2020 All-Conference teams, the 2020 All-American Teams, the 2021 pre-season All-Conference Teams and punters on the 2020 watchlist. - Middle Tennessee Football

(DS#11 P) rJr/2023 P Kyle UlbrichMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee Football
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  Definitely the highest profile transfer addition to the Blue Raiders roster this offseason, Hockman is a quarterback with experience in two ACC programs, most recently NC State, where he started nine games last season, tossing the ball for 2,088 yards and 13 touchdowns. "Bailey is super talented," Brent Stockstill said. "He can throw it all over the field." "(Hockman) can spin it," Polly said. "When you see it come out of his hand, it looks like it's supposed to." As Polly notes, the quarterback job is there for the taking, and Chase Cunningham, who's shown flashes in relief of former QB Asher O'Hara in recent years, and Mike DiLiello, who's likely the best rushing threat of the three, will certainly have the opportunity to make the starting job there.

But Hockman, with his cannon of a left arm, is already impressing just from a distance on the practice field. "He makes us a better team just by being here and bringing what he brings to our unit, to our team," Polly said. "For us up front, protecting him sitting in the pocket and going through his reads, him and the other guys competing with him, it was a really fun spring." - Middle Tennessee Football


(DS#999 QB) rSr/2022 QB Bailey HockmanMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee Football
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  The Maxwell Football Club today announced its watch list for the 27th annual Chuck Bednarik Award and Middle Tennessee's Reed Blankenship made the prestigious list for the third year in a row. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67. Blankenship, a senior, returned from an injury in 2020 but still led the Blue Raiders with 76 tackles to earn a spot on the third team. He enters the 2021 season with 309 total stops and is on pace to become the all-time leader. - Middle Tennessee Football

(DS#14 FS) rSr/2022 FS Reed BlankenshipMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee Football
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  Conference USA released the 2021 preseason watch list, as selected by the league's 14 head coaches on Monday. Five student-athletes from each of the conference's 14 member institutions are recognized as key players to watch ahead of the 2021 season. The Blue Raiders making the Watch List were wide receiver Jarrin Pierce, center Jordan Palmer, defensive end Jordan Ferguson, safety Reed Blankenship, and punter Kyle Ulbrich. The Blue Raiders will report for fall camp on Aug. 5 with the first practice set for Aug. 6. The 2021 season opener is set for Sept. 4 at home against Monmouth. - Middle Tennessee Football

(DS#112 WR) rSr/2022 WR Jarrin PierceMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee Football
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  Phil Steele's Preseason All-Conference USA team was announced today and Middle Tennessee had seven players honored by the highly popular football magazine. The Blue Raiders had four on defense and three on defense. On offense the Blue Raiders were represented by wide receiver Jarrin Pierce, quarterback Bailey Hockman and offensive lineman Netori Johnson. Pierce, a first team selection, was an honorable mention All-C-USA pick last year after leading MT with 59 receptions for 584 yards and three touchdowns. The senior started all nine games and had seven or more catches in a game four times. - Middle Tennessee Football

(DS#112 WR) rSr/2022 WR Jarrin PierceMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee Football
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  06/22/21 - Alex UsryrJr/2023, Middle Tennessee, 5-10, 185 (DS#999 K) + More +

  Middle Tennessee head football coach Rick Stockstill announced today two more transfers into the program who will be eligible immediately. The Blue Raiders have added placekicker Alex Usry and defensive end Joseph Honeysucker. Honeysucker (6-3, 240) signed with Memphis in 2019 but did not see any action as a freshman and left the Tigers prior to the 2020 campaign. He was a three-star prospect coming out of Nashville's Hillsboro High School where he helped them to three straight winning seasons and playoff berths. Honeysucker ended his career with 37 sacks and earned all-state and all-region honors. Usry (5-10, 185) served as Charleston Southern's primary kicker for the previous three years where he was the 2019 Big South Special Teams Player of the Year and a sophomore All-American. He made 20 of 28 field goals during his career while also connecting on a school record 52 yarder. - Middle Tennessee Football

(DS#999 K) rJr/2023 K Alex UsryMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee Football
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  Middle Tennessee State announced this week it added two transfers to its football program, among them Statesville native Izaiah Gathings. Gathings committed in May. A school official said then that no announcement regarding the transfer would be made until he enrolled. Middle Tennessee State is a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and competes in Conference USA, a league that includes the Charlotte 49ers. "All I needed was a opportunity. I won't disappoint," Gathings wrote on Twitter. His post was accompanied by a picture of him in the Middle Tennessee State stadium sporting Blue Raiders paraphernalia. A 6-foot-4, 225-pound receiver, Gathings arrives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, having excelled for three seasons at Gardner-Webb, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). During his stint with Gardner-Webb, Gathings recorded 101 receptions for 1,341 yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2019, he led the Runnin' Bulldogs with 71 receptions for 1,046 yards and 11 touchdowns. - Charlotte Observer

(DS#70 WR) rJr/2023 WR Izaiah GathingsMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Charlotte Observer
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  Middle Tennessee State University football has added transfers Tra Fluellen and Izaiah Gathings - both of whom are eligible to play for the 2021 season. Fluellen, a safety, joins the Blue Raiders after spending two years at Houston Baptist University, while Gathings, a wide receiver, comes to Murfreesboro from Gardner-Webb. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound Fluellen, who is from Gilmer, Texas, was named a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award (given to the top freshman in the FCS) and earned HERO Sports Freshman All-America First Team honors. Fluellen had 101 tackles as a freshman to finish third on the team. He also added two interceptions and three fumble recoveries. - Daily News Journal

(DS#70 WR) rJr/2023 WR Izaiah GathingsMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Daily News Journal
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  04/11/21 - Amir RasulrSr/2022, Middle Tennessee, 5-10, 198 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  They aren't strangers to college football and the stringent offseason workout routines that allow them to handle the wear and tear of a season. Both have played plenty of major college football, Pettaway spending four seasons at West Virginia and Rasul four years at Florida State. That experience factor was one of the reasons head coach Rick Stockstill and running backs coach Jeff Beckles were excited to get them to Murfreesboro, not to mention their physical attributes. "Amir, with his speed, we want to get him on the perimeter. He's a guy who came up in the track system, and when you get him in space, he's hard to bring down," Beckles said.

"Martell, he's done some big things in some big games. He transferred here from the Big 12 and has gone over 100 yards there a couple of times. He's been under the lights in the big stadiums and has done it, and we're hoping that carries over here and he can show guys that when we get into the stadium, this is how we react." Going through matt drills in January was maybe more exciting for Rasul and Pettaway than it would be in a normal year. Though they were a little winded at first, getting back into football shape really wasn't that tough, according to Rasul. "We had to go through matt drills and conditioning first, but after that, it's been pretty simple," he said. "We've been playing football forever, so you never lose it." - Middle Tennessee Football


(DS#999 RB) rSr/2022 RB Amir RasulMiddle Tennessee
News Source: Middle Tennessee Football
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