One of Wisconsin’s top assistant coaches – and one of just two coaches to initially stay with new head coach Paul Chryst after Gary Andersen departed – has left Madison and returned to his home state.Wisconsin football’s running backs coach Thomas Brown has left UW and will take the same position at Georgia, his alma mater, reports said Monday morning.The Georgia Bulldogs official Twitter account later confirmed those reports.Welcome back Thomas Brown! He returns to his alma mater and will be @FootballUGA’s running backs coach!— Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) February 16, 2015Brown, along with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, were the only two assistant coaches who stayed at Wisconsin with Chryst after Andersen departed for Oregon State in December.Brown was influential in forming and saving Wisconsin’s incoming recruiting class for 2015, which includes four-star running back Jordan Stevenson, three-star running back Bradrick Shaw and four-star outside linebacker Arrington Farrar. He was also pivotal in gaining a verbal commitment from 2016 running back recruit Antonio Williams.Stevenson and Shaw signed their letters of intent to play at Wisconsin on Feb. 4. It is unclear how Brown’s jettisoning will affect their commitments, while Williams is the most vulnerable commit to flip.Williams, a four-star prospect from North Carolina, is currently ranked as the fifth best running back in the Class of 2016 according to Scout.com and is the Badgers’ lone commitment for 2016 so far.And now it really is just me. #GotToDoWhatsBestForMe— Antonio Williams (@A_B_Williams26) February 16, 2015 Staying off of twitter for a while. Not answering any questions at the moment.— Antonio Williams (@A_B_Williams26) February 16, 20152016 quarterback and Wisconsin prospect David Moore from Alpharetta, Georgia, also reacted to the news, demonstrating just how strong of a recruiter Brown was at Wisconsin.Brown was a running back at Georgia from 2004-2007, before playing in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and the Cleveland Browns. Andersen hired him in 2014 after serving as the running backs coach at Marshall in 2013.Chryst will now have to hire the Badgers’ third running back coach in as many years. Thomas Hammock left that role following the 2013 season to take the same job for the Baltimore Ravens. In addition to running back, Chryst has yet to officially announce a wide receivers coach yet either.Spring practices for the Badgers will begin in a month with the annual Spring Game taking place on April 25 at Camp Randall Stadium.Update: It appears as if Williams is no longer fully committed to Wisconsin. According to Benjamin Worgull of BadgerNation.com, Williams will visit Alabama on Feb. 28 and is “no longer 100%” committed to the Badgers now that Brown has departed for Georgia.New London (NC) North Stanly 4-star RB/#Badgers commit, Antonio Williams will visit Alabama Feb.28. No longer 100% after Brown’s departure— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) February 16, 2015
The authorities billed it as a rescue, but Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido escaped his kidnappers by punching the one guarding him, snatching a cellphone and calling for help, a top official in the country’s violent northeast said on Monday.State security forces located Pulido within minutes of his call from a safe house in the restive city of Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas state, as they were scouring the area nearby, state prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla told local radio.The 25-year-old Mexico national team striker who also plays professionally with the Greek team Olympiakos disappeared in his hometown on Saturday night, when he was intercepted by gunmen after leaving a party with his girlfriend.Pulido called Mexico’s emergency services around midnight on Sunday after the fistfight. He then cut his wrist trying to open a locked glass door, Quintanilla said.”There was an exchange of blows between them,” Quintanilla said. “At some point he was able to make a call.”Police have detained the captor, one of least four involved, who belonged to a criminal gang. It was unclear whether they were connected to the feared Zetas drug cartel, which controls much of the state.PULIDO IN ‘GOOD HEALTH’ In the early hours of Monday, Tamaulipas Governor Egidio Torre Cantu appeared on local television, flanked by Pulido, congratulating security forces for rescuing him.The player was wearing a multicolored T-shirt and shorts and had a bandage wrapped around his right hand.Pulido was in a “good state of health,” and was with his family after receiving medical and psychological attention. Tamaulipas, which abuts the US state of Texas, is an especially violent area of Mexico, which is grappling with grisly drug gang violence.advertisementPulido was a member of the Mexican national team that competed in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He has also played for the Greek team Levadiakos and the Mexican club Tigres.