College Football Archives: April-May 2014

May 31: In another case of youth gone awry, freshman Oklahoma State running back Devon Thomas is facing serious charges after an incident on Tuesday where a young man was robbed of his marijuana, money, shoes, and clothing by Thomas and a group of males. The victim was shot at as he left the scene, with the bullet narrowly missing his head. Thomas is being held on 125K bail. SEC commissioner Mike Slive ramped it up a notch in his mission to gain conference autonomy, saying he would seek to play in “Division IV” if not granted their requests by the NCAA. A Division IV would mean they stay in the NCAA, but would be given more power to provide better incentives and conditions to their college athletes.

May 30: Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez has signed a two-year contract extension that will reportedly raise his salary to $1.9M. The deal locks Rodriguez in through the 2019 season. After a rough patch at Michigan, Rodriguez has found new life at Arizona, leading the Wildcats to a pair of 8-win seasons, including a pair of bowl wins. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby is attempting to create some support in revisiting the college football recruiting model, which he feels hasn’t been changed enough to accommodate for the addition of technology and how it could help the recruiting process.

May 29: After leaving Kansas State this spring after the switch from QB to WR didn’t work out, Daniel Sams is transferring to McNeese State. In their first game of the 2014 season, McNeese State will face Nebraska. Sams is presumably a frontrunner to earn the starting job. Suspended for athletic violations, Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Williams has been reinstated. With 49 catches and 745 yards, the Fighting Irish couldn’t afford to lose the production, with Daniels being the leading returning receiver. Top recruit Kyler Murray, a quarterback entering his senior year in high school has committed to Texas A&M, as the Aggies get a major talent coming to the program. With his size, combined with his passing/running skill, some have compared him to recently-departed Aggies QB–Johnny Manziel.

May 28: Florida head coach Will Muschamp has said he wants to avoid playing teams from the FCS subdivision. Muschamp’s ideal schedule would include 8 league games in the SEC, a game with in-state rival Florida State, with 3 teams from the FBS to round out the schedule. Last season, Florida did lose to an FCS team, dropping a game to Georgia Southern. Alabama head coach Nick Saban said that those who are already designating Jacob Coker as the new Tide quarterback are jumping the gun. Coker, who barely missed out on the starting gig at FSU last season, is thought by many to be the frontrunner, though Saban says he hasn’t seen the kid throw since he was in high school.

May 27: Oregon quarterback Jake Rodrigues, a backup to Marcus Mariota with the Ducks, has transferred to San Diego State, where he becomes a frontrunner to become the Aztecs starting quarterback in 2015, when Rodrigues will be a junior. Former NFL MVP Brian Sipe, the current Aztecs quarterbacks coach, played a role in convincing Rodrigues to come to San Diego State, despite offers from schools like Michigan. Former Georgia defensive back Shaq Wiggins will transfer to Louisville. The Cardinals get a good corner, but Wiggins will be ineligible to play until 2015. He started 8 games for the Bulldogs last season.

May 26: Highly-regarded Missouri high school tight end Hale Hentges, who still has to play his senior season of high school ball, has chosen to go to Alabama to play college football. This comes as a big blow to the Missouri Tigers, who were looking to lock up one of the top players in their home state, while the Crimson tide continue to stockpile promising recruits. A federal judge has rejected the NCAA’s effort to postpone an antitrust suit brought about by former UCLA hoops star Ed O’Bannon and others. This case, in addition to the news that conference commissioners are coming together against the NCAA, draws into question whether major changes are coming and that the current NCAA model will soon be redefined.

May 25: More than any time in recent memory, there is a groundswell of opposition to the NCAA in college football, with the head honchos at the major conferences unanimous in their beliefs that the days of the NCAA serving as the omnipotent overseer of the game has outgrown its time. Power-brokers like Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott are becoming increasingly vocal. Scott stated there is broad support to allow the conferences to govern over many issues now handled by the NCAA, namely the legislative process and how it applies to their student-athletes. Look for things to come to a head sooner than later.

May 24: With Northwestern attempting to unionize and university presidents calling for sweeping reform, one has to wonder about the role of the NCAA in college football as we move into the future. Conference commissioners of the major conferences, like the Pac-12, Big Ten, and SEC are all coming out saying the NCAA model is due to change and that individual conferences need to be given more autonomy. SEC commissioner Mike Slive confirmed that the topic will be at the top of the list when officials, coaches, and athletic directors gather for spring meetings.

May 23: The College Football Hall of Fame revealed its entire induction class and the list is extensive. Among the better-known inductees are Shane Conlan, Tony Boselli, Willie Roaf, LaDainian Tomlinson, Dre Bly, and Sterling Sharpe. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany are among those feeling the major conferences should be given autonomy. They want the five major conferences to have their own legislative process in how they deal with their athletes.

May 22: The 2014 College Hall of Fame class was announced and topping the list is the posthumous induction of former Alabama linebacker and NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, who played for the Crimson Tide from 1985 to 1988. In his senior season, he registered a school-record 27 sacks. While the NCAA hasn’t yet gotten involved, BYU is taking it upon themselves to look into allegations that football players received improper benefits. The allegations involve current and former players.

May 21: The Houston Cougars signed coach Tony Levine to a new 5-year deal, which will replace the 5-year deal he signed when becoming head coach in 2012. Houston won 8 games last season and appears to be on the upswing under the stewardship of Levine. Levine had worked as an assistant before former coach Kevin Sumlin left to become the head coach at Texas A&M. Reports indicate that the University of Oklahoma plans to put forth a plan to the board or regents that will pave the way for a renovation of Memorial Stadium, namely to close the open part of the south side of the stadium.

May 20: With Notre Dame set to switch to an artificial playing surface, fans can buy pieces of the original turf, which have gone on sale. Sections of 2×5 feet of turf are selling for $149.95. Nebraska linebacker Josh Banderas will take part in a pretrial diversion program, which led to the felony charges of bicycle theft being dismissed against him. Last week, a witness spotted Banderas and another male using bolt cutters to steal bikes. Banderas was later arrested after being seen in a pick-up truck filled with mountain bikes. Charges will be reinstated if Banderas fails to comply with the conditions of his diversion program. Still, no word on his status for the upcoming football season.

May 19: After a lot of negative stories coming out of the college ranks, it’s good to see an inspirational one. Eric LeGrand, the paralyzed former Rutgers player, delivered a speech at the university’s commencement ceremony on Sunday. The heroic and graceful 23-year old told the graduates that anything is possible and cited the fact that he is now moving his shoulders and that he’s progressing after a dire prognosis. LeGrand told the assembled crowd “Don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t do something!” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said the program’s slip in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate is solely his fault and that the team will overcome the loss of two practice hours they were docked for falling .09 of the threshold.

May 18: It looks like dismissed Rutgers quarterback Phillip Nelson could be in some really serious trouble following an assault case in Minnesota. During a melee, Nelson made the unfortunate mistake of kicking a downed man in the head, an alarming street-fighting characteristic of a younger generation of misguided youths. His victim, Isaac Kolstad, cannot not breath on his own and has lost part of his brain. He remains in critical condition in a medically-induced coma. After making headlines for a investment scheme, former Georgia head coach Jim Donnan was exonerated on all charges. Donnan looked relieved in court as the verdict was read, putting his head in hands and hugging family members.

May 17: Boise State recruit Antoine Turner, a defensive tackle who will attend the school beginning this summer, has been living in a hotel and out of a girlfriend’s car. Boise State claims they didn’t know Turner was homeless and have been given clearance to assist the player. Auburn finally ended up landing top recruit Jovon Robinson, after the running back was ruled ineligible in 2012 after falsifying high school transcripts. Robinson regrouped at a junior college and is now finally ready to take his place with the Tigers.

May 16: Some of the chips have fallen in the post-Super Bowl assault case involving a pair of Washington Huskies players–Cyler Miles and Damore’ea Stringfellow. Miles, who backed up Keith Price last season and was in the running to be the starting QB this upcoming season, will be reinstated to the team. Stringfellow, a wide receiver, will transfer from the program. Despite visits to the campus and rumors that former USC quarterback Max Wittek would transfer to Texas, reports now indicate Wittek will not transfer to the team. Apparently, there may be a delay in Wittek’s graduation, which would mean he couldn’t immediately play.

May 15: Due to not meeting the minimum Academic Progress Rate, the Oklahoma State football team will lose about a day of practice per week as a penalty. The cumulative test scores were painfully close to the threshold they required to avoid sanctions. Former Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez signed a rookie free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, but the deal was voided upon Martinez failing the physical. Regardless, it would have been hard for him to make the roster. In more Cornhuskers news, current Nebraska linebacker Josh Banderas will face felony charges stemming from the theft of bikes.

May 14: Following an ugly incident that left a young man clinging to life, Rutgers quarterback transfer Phillip Nelson has been dismissed from the team. Allegedly, security footage shows a fracas breaking out, culminating with Nelson kicking a downed man in the head. He is being charged with first-degree and third-degree assault. Tennessee linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin was shot in the arm in an incident. According to reports, Reeves-Maybin was shot on Sunday and was attending class on Monday. Former San Diego State running back Alex Muema said he has quit football after not getting drafted. He will now focus on fighting, either in MMA or boxing. Muema left the combine saying God told him he would play for the Seahawks if he left. About his choice to retire, Muema said “I don’t like being a slave to coaches. I prefer an individual sport.”

May 13: In a very troubling story, Rutgers’ QB Phillip Nelson has been arrested in connection of the near-fatal beating of Isaac Kolstad, who is fighting for his life in a Minnesota hospital. Nelson transferred to Rutgers after playing at Minnesota, where he shared the starting duties last season. He was to sit out this year as a transferring student who hadn’t yet graduated. It looks like the 20-year old Nelson is in big-time trouble. Mississippi tackle Austin Golson will transfer to Auburn. The sophomore offensive lineman was expected to start at right tackle for the Rebels this season.

May 11: For the first time since 1937, no Texas Longhorns were selected in the NFL draft. The one player who was conspicuous in his omission was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Ted Hendricks Award winning defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. 32 teams attended Texas pro day to scout Jeffcoat and other reputed Longhorn prospects, but none were taken and now hope to latch on as rookie free agents. Teams leading the way in terms of the top part of the draft were Louisville and Texas A&M, both of which produced a trio of first round selections.

May 10: With the Florida Gators looking to seriously upgrade their offense this season, they scored a major coup in obtaining the services of Virginia transfer–tight end Jake McGee. He has shown himself to be a productive tight end the past two seasons and should give the Gators a boost. Having graduated, he is immediately able to play. After working as an administrator for the past few years with Youngstown State, former Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel has been offered the coveted position of university president, as he beat out dozens of potential candidates.

May 9: Departing college players who were not selected in yesterday’s first round eagerly await the final two days of the draft, beginning with the second round today. Solid players remain on the board, some of which could be potential game-changers in the future. One of the players attempting to be part of that group is former SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam of Missouri. Likely the first NFL player to be openly gay, Sam was selected the winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Sam has been projected as a third-round pick. The second and third rounds of the draft will take place today at 6:30pm EST, with rounds four through seven culminating on Saturday.

May 8: In his first outing since being reinstated to the Florida State baseball team, Jameis Winston threw one inning and gave up an unearned run, as the Seminoles won 9-4. Shortly before the NFL draft, Jadeveon Clowney signed an endorsement deal with Puma. Most experts project Clowney will be the first pick in today’s draft. Johnny Manziel has said he will make any team that needs a quarterback regret not picking him. Where the Texas A&M star ends up in very much up in the air. The draft begins at 8:00 EST.

May 7: Rutgers is blaming a perceived snub to paralyzed former player Eric LeGrand on “miscommunication.” LeGrand was scheduled to speak at the commencement ceremony, but said the offer was rescinded for political reasons. Well, LeGrand is now back on and scheduled to deliver the speech. LeGrand has been a source of inspiration during his graceful and spirited recovery. Virginia head coach Mike London has put sophomore quarterback Greyson Lambert on top of the depth chart, making him the starter going into summer. Lambert beat out, among others, last year’s starter David Watford. The Cavaliers are coming off a 2-10 season, their worst mark in over 30 years. Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops has been extended and is now signed through the 2018 season. Despite a 2-10 season, Kentucky has revitalized their recruiting program and appear headed in the right direction under Stoops.

May 6: Stemming from an incident last week, investigators are saying that Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston intentionally intended to avoid store security when he shoplifted some seafood. Store video reportedly shows Winston pausing before walking past a security guard. In a fast resolution to the story, Winston took less than a week to complete 20 hours of community service, which allowed him to avoid criminal charges, in addition to being reinstated to the baseball team. Standout college players eagerly await their transition to the NFL, with the draft beginning on Thursday. There appears to be little or no consensus on the parts of experts on how things will shake out.

May 5: Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is back with the Florida State baseball team following a suspension stemming from a shoplifting incident. Winston stole some crab legs from a market, but had the chance to do 20 hours of community service in lieu of receiving criminal charges. Winston has already completed the community service requirement and has been re-instated by the team, where he is putting together a nice season on the mound. Other Pac-12 coaches have come out in opposition of the SEC scheduling only 8 conference games, instead of 9 like the Pac-12 and other conferences. The most vocal coach was Stanford’s David Shaw, but Mark Helfrich of Oregon and Jim Mora of UCLA have also voiced their objections. They feel that as college football embarks on a new playoff system that teams should all operate on an even playing field.

May 4: Outspoken football legend Jim Brown recently had a tirade where he condemned the NCAA, calling it “the most reprehensible organization God ever created.” Brown went on to say the NCAA needs to do a better job of helping young people and that the organization should be torn down and started over again. Baylor wide receiver Robbie Rhodes has been arrested on marijuana possession and evidence tampering charges stemming from a traffic stop where Rhodes allegedly tried to hide 6 grams of marijuana. As a freshman, Rhodes made only ten catches, though he is considered a solid WR prospect.

May 3: With the new college playoff system looming in the 2014-15 season, the bowl schedule on December 31/January 1 has been cleared up a little bit. With 10-12 bowls played during that time in recent years, there will now be just 8 bowl games on those two days. The Outback Bowl and the Capital One bowl will still be played during this time, but will be the only non-playoff games during that two-day period.

May 2: A group of Pac-12 coaches were critical towards the SEC’s decision to stick to an 8-game conference schedule, with most of the premier conferences having or about to switch to a 9-game schedule. Stanford coach David Shaw said as college football heads into a new playoff system, that all conferences “need to play by the same rules.” Thankfully, two men have been arrested in the shooting death of North Carolina A&T player Jermane Darnell Clark, who played in 6 games last season. In an ugly case from New Mexico, Lobos CB SaQuan Edwards has been arrested in a rape case. Another Lobos player, Crusoe Gongbay had previously been arrested in the same case. Both are suspended from the team but presumed innocent.

May 1: LSU defensive end Jordan Allen is transferring to Arizona, where he will be immediately eligible to play, being that he already graduated. Allen started three games for the Tigers in 2013 after missing all of 2012 due to an ailing knee. Former Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby pleaded guilty to an amended charge stemming from a DUI charge. Roby must complete a three-day driver intervention program. Following an inconsistent 2013 season and this latest run-in, which isn’t his first, one wonders how this will affect his status in next month’s NFL draft.

April 30: In a strange story, Heisman Trophy winner and defending national champion quarterback Jameis Winston was issued a citation following an alleged incident where he stole crab legs from a supermarket. As a result, he has been suspended from the baseball team. Winston has a 1.50 ERA over 16 appearances this season. Former Kansas Jayhawks starting QB Jake Heaps will be transferring from the school. Heaps will be looking to latch onto his third team after also being a starting quarterback for BYU before transferring to Kansas. Head coach Charlie Weis had recently put Montell Cozart at top of the depth chart, likely contributing to Heaps’ decision.

April 29: Highly-touted junior college quarterback Patrick Thomas has committed to Louisville, where he is expected to compete for the starting job. Thomas is highly-regarded, both as a passer and runner. His steepest competition may come from Teddy Bridewater’s former backup, Will Gardner. In a horrible story, San Jose State Spartans linebacker Jared Leaf suffered burns to his body escaping a fire in his apartment and is listed in critical condition. Leaf had been listed as a starter following spring practice.

April 28: After the spring game, there is still no clarity on many team’s quarterback situations as spring wraps up. One such team is Virginia Tech, looking to improve their offense in 2014. Neither spring QB shined and they’re looking to two new quarterbacks who will be in the fold in the summer–Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer or freshman Chris Durkin. The Arkansas Razorbacks are hoping they have a real gem at running back, as Korliss Marshall is making a name for himself in spring practice, including a big showing in their spring game. Last season, Marshall split time, mostly playing safety and moonlighting at running back. Coach Bret Bielema is hoping Marshall can help the Razorbacks bounce back from a disheartening 3-9 campaign in 2013.

April 27: In another strange off-field story, Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson needed surgery to repair a clavicle in an incident stemming from moving a couch. Last season, Grayson threw for 3696 yards for the Rams who were 8-6 and won a bowl game. It is expected he will be ready to go for summer conditioning workouts. Auburn legend and former defensive back David Langner has passed away at the age of 62 following a battle with cancer. Langner was immortalized in his 1972 “Iron Bowl” game against undefeated Alabama, where he incredibly returned two blocked punts for touchdowns late in the 4th quarter to carry Auburn to a one-point win.

April 26: On Friday, Northwestern players cast a secret vote on whether they want to become part of a union. The results of the vote will be withheld at least until the National Labor Relations Board rules on whether or not to uphold their decision that college football players should be considered school employees. Virginia tight end Jake McGee is transferring and since he already graduated, will be eligible to play right away. Bad news for the Cavaliers, who had big plans for McGee after he caught 43 balls last season. Ex-Duke quarterback Brandon Connette will transfer to Fresno State and also be immediately eligible to play after graduating. He started four games for the Blue Devils and has run for 31 touchdowns in his career.

April 25: The National Labor Relations Board will review the decision whether college football players are considered employees and are thus permitted to form a union. Northwestern will still hold their election today to determine if they want to become members of the College Athletes Players Association, but ballots will not be tabulated until word comes down on if the Board upholds its original decision. Ex-Mississippi-State player Charles Siddoway, who started every game of the past two seasons at right tackle, was arrested for burglary and robbery following an incident just off-campus. Also arrested was current player Jordan Washington, a defensive lineman who has yet to play in a game for the team.

April 24: Last week, a foundation that stands for religious freedom made a complaint against Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney for infusing religion and scheduling religious events. Swinney responded saying there is nothing unusual about what he does, all meetings are voluntary, and that he has recruited players of all religions and always treated them equally. TCU wide receiver Brandon Carter was arrested on Tuesday in Fort Worth on suspicion of marijuana possession. Due to be a senior, Carter was stymied with problems and fell into disfavor with the coaching staff last year after many expected him to become the Horned Frogs’ top ball-catcher.

Turn Back the Clock: We’ve been working on some Heisman related articles so thought it might be fun to investigate and compile a list of former winners who didn’t pan out in the NFL. Heisman Trophy Winners Who Failed as Pros.

Betting Tip: We love our favorite NCAA football team to receive media attention, hype and publicity. As bettors, we DON’T like the teams we’re betting on to receive any attention because it inflates point spreads and sucks the value out of our bets. How High Expectations Kill Betting Value.

April 23: It was announced by the University of Akron that former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel is one of 3 finalists to become the new president of the university. After leaving his Buckeyes head coaching job, Tressel has worked as an administrator for the university. Tressel was one of 19 people being considered for the job. Budding UCLA star Myles Jack has reportedly secured a $5M disability insurance policy. Jack will be a sophomore this upcoming season. He starred as a linebacker on the Bruins’ “D,” before seeing some time at running back, where he also shined. Jack earned the rare distinction as being both the offensive and defensive freshman of the year in the Pac-12.

New Page: NCAA Football Futures Odds. You can now bet on odds to win the 2015 National Championship and get a nice 50% bonus as well!

April 22: New Mexico running back Crusoe Gongbay has been suspended from the team as he faces rape allegations stemming from an incident on April 13. Gongbay ran for 592 yards and 6 touchdowns for the Lobos last season. Ranked the number-three offensive tackle in the high school ranks, Chuma Edoga has committed to USC. Look for him to be protecting the blindside in years to come for another top-level high school recruit, QB Ricky Town. It looks like Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is finding a groove on the mound after throwing 4.2 scoreless innings and earning his first win. He has 5 saves and a 1.23 ERA over 22 innings this season.

April 21: The NCAA is considering forcing student athletes to sit out a year after they receive transfers for hardships. The NCAA wants players to take a year to address the problems that led to them seeking a hardship transfer in the first place. If approved the rules will go into affect in 2015-16. Could Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack end up being the number-one pick in the draft? Sources claim that Houston GM Rick Smith favors Mack over Jadeveon Clowney or any number of top quarterbacks in the draft, with Auburn tackle Greg Robinson also being a possibility for the top choice in the draft next month.

April 20: Multiple sources say they saw former USC quarterback Max Wittek at the Texas spring game. This isn’t the first time Wittek has been to the Texas campus, meaning maybe he is ready to transfer to the program. The Longhorns can use help at the QB position, especially with David Ash fracturing his foot and struggling in the starter role. Alabama also had their spring game, which stood out because of mediocre quarterback play. AJ McCarron’s back-up last season, Blake Sims, was underwhelming and it was the defense that shined on this day.

Betting Like a Wiseguy: Almost all “sharps” hammer weak opening numbers after they come out. This is one of the major factors why point spreads move. Loot gives his take on the pros and cons of hitting the opening numbers. The Benefits and Downfalls of Betting College Football Games Early

April 19: Kansas head coach Charlie Weis has announced the starting Jayhawks QB this year will be sophomore Montell Cozart. Though Cozart struggled in limited play last season, insiders agree he has upside, especially with his legs. Cozart, for the time being, beat out 2013 starter, senior Jake Heaps and UCLA transfer TJ Millweard, and has enjoyed a fairly successful spring. Louisville will continue their affiliation with Adidas, signing a 5-year deal worth $40M to remain with the company. The deal is one of the five highest apparel money-making deals in college football.

April 18: It was announced that Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel was transferring and now we know where he has landed. Joeckel will play for TCU and is eligible to play right away, having graduated in December. Joeckel, whose brother Luke was the number-two pick in the 2013 draft, will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job, with his stiffest challenge likely coming from Trevone Boykin. Evidently, Dan Dierdorf has not quit announcing football games and will be doing Michigan Wolverines games on the radio with former Michigan teammate Jim Brandstatter. A watchdog group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed a complaint against Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney for infusing religion too heavily into the football program, namely by scheduling and organizing religious activities. Clemson has responded by saying the activities are purely voluntary and there are no repercussions for not participating.

April 17: In surprising news, at least for outsiders, Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel has decided to transfer from the program. It was expected that Joeckel would replace NFL-bound Johnny Manziel. Joeckel, having already graduated will be eligible to play immediately. A&M is now down to two frontrunners, with one of them having been suspended indefinitely. That leaves freshman Kyle Allen to lead the offense during spring practice. New USC coach Steve Sarkisian has named Cody Kessler his starting quarterback. The junior started all of USC’s games last season and has reportedly picked up Sarkisian’s offense very quickly.

April 16: Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has named Cole Stoudt the Tigers starting quarterback. But Deshaun Watson, an injured freshman, will be able to compete for the gig once he heals. Stoudt is the son of former NFL QB Cliff Stoudt and became the obvious choice to become the go-to guy in spring practice, following the dismissal of Chad Kelly–nephew of NFL great Jim Kelly. University of Miami reserve power forward Erik Swoope has declared his intention to enter the NFL draft. He is projected as a tight end or wide receiver. With some of the league’s best tight ends being former hoops guys like Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas and Antonio Gates, maybe Swoope has a future.

April 15: Ending any speculation, Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury has stated that Davis Webb will be the Red Raiders’ starter for the 2014 campaign. Last season Webb didn’t start until the 6th game of the season after Baker Mayfield started the first 5 games of the season. It’s a no-brainer with both Mayfield and Michael Brewer transferring. Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly, a candidate to replace Tajh Boyd as the starter, has been dismissed from the team for “conduct detrimental to the program.” Head coach Dabo Swinney said that Kelly has “ a pattern of behavior that is not consistent with the values of the program.”

April 14: Texas quarterback David Ash will have surgery on his left foot and miss the rest of spring practice. Ash had trouble staying on the field last season with injuries, namely concussions. Iowa State will possibly be without one of their best defensive lineman after David Irving was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, criminal mischief following a large disturbance last week. As a result, he was suspended indefinitely from the team. Footage that led to Irving being identified allegedly shows him with an uprooted stop sign. Irving, 20, later turned himself into police. One of Pittsburgh’s two best running backs will need surgery, as Isaac Bennett goes under the knife to repair a left shoulder. He will miss spring practice, as will James Conner. The two provided a good 1-2 punch for the Panthers last season at he running back position.

April 13: Having struggled in recent years to maintain a proper playing surface with natural grass, Notre Dame Stadium will switch to FieldTurf in time for the upcoming football season, The three month process will take place from May to August. Former LSU player Brandon Winey shot another former Tiger player in Tahj Jones, whose college career ended last season. Winey, who allegedly shot Jones in the abdomen played for LSU from 1997-2000 and the incident is apparently over a woman. Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton, who fell deathly ill and ended up in intensive care for two weeks during spring workouts, is eager to return to the fold and is in the midst of a remarkable recovery. In more Miami news, they unveiled 4 new uniform designs.

April 12: Alabama linebacker Dillon Lee has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He played in all the Tide’s games last season and with Alabama losing some manpower within the linebacking corps, was expected to perhaps earn a starting slot in 2014. Oregon wide receiver Bralon Addison tore his ACL in spring practice on Wednesday and could miss the entire season, which would be a tough blow for the Ducks who already lost two key senior receivers from 2013. Promising Missouri wide receiver Dorial Beckham-Green has been dismissed by the team. After being suspended last week, Beckham-Green will not be arrested in relation to an incident that took place where he allegedly shoved a woman. The case has been closed, with the witness not wanting to testify. But being dismissed from the team is a pretty hefty punishment and a bold move by head coach Gary Pinkel, who has given the young man more than one chance to right the ship.

April 11: Miami quarterback Ryan Williams, a top candidate to replace Stephen Morris as the new Canes’ signal-caller, underwent knee surgery to repair a torn ACL. The surgery was a success and Williams remains hopeful that when it’s all said and done, he will still emerge as the Miami starting quarterback. Word is that Miami will reach out to Adrian Peterson, who successfully returned from a similar injury a few years ago. Speaking of Adrian Peterson, the star running back has come out in favor of college athletes being paid, as the topic continues picking up steam. Peterson said players make so much money for the universities, that some should trickle down to them, especially the older players, who may have responsibilities. While former Northwestern QB Kain Colter is a key part of the Northwestern unionizing process, the current quarterback Trevor Siemian seems less than enthused, saying it was wrong for players to try this without first consulting the coaches or administrators.

April 10: Oregon Ducks point guard Johnathan Loyd is apparently looking to try his hand at football. The 4-year starter can get a 5th year of eligibility with a different sport and wants to be a wide receiver, a position he played in high school. Oklahoma State just secured a valuable piece of manpower, with the transfer of former Michigan safety Josh Furman. With Furman graduating in May, he will be able to play this upcoming season for the Cowboys, who are thin in the secondary. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, a freshman competing for the starting gig, cracked his clavicle and will be out for 3 weeks. Coach Dabo Swinney is still high on Watson, saying he had an “outstanding spring.”

April 9: Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham seems hellbent on ruining his college playing career. As if getting his second marijuana arrest in January wasn’t enough, the Tigers’ number-one receiver has now been suspended indefinitely for unspecified infractions. While Missou head coach Gary Pinkel did not address the issues specifically, he was obviously very irritated as he discussed the topic. Florida A&M hired Kellen Winslow, Sr. to be their new athletic director. The 56-year old Winslow is a Hall of Fame tight end who played for the San Diego Chargers and has held two athletic director positions, just at far smaller schools.

April 8: Clemson guard Brandon Thomas suffered a very untimely torn ACL last week while working out. Rated as one of the better interior linemen in the draft, Thomas was hoping for a high placement in next month’s draft, though this latest development certainly doesn’t help. Another player who tore his ACL is Alabama corner Eddie Jackson, who will miss the rest of the Crimson Tide spring practice as he recovers. Jackson started four games as a freshman last season. The Houston Texans, holding the first pick of the draft, will host former UCF quarterback Blake Bortles for a pre-draft visit, with Johnny Manziel visiting the team next week. Manziel is currently visiting with the Oakland Raiders.

April 7: Though not charged in an alleged sexual assault, the Jameis Winston story won’t go away. A federal query could potentially lead to Florida State losing its federal funding, though most experts feel it won’t ever come to that. The query will center on whether or not Florida State adequately investigated the assault and followed proper protocol. It was decided the university will be investigated for whether they followed Title IX, which can pertain to how sexual abuse claims are pursued. 6-foot-five receiver Ricky Seals-Jones was arrested for disorderly conduct, after he and another male were about to fight on a strip of bars near the university. Miami quarterback Ryan Williams, a favorite to start for the Hurricanes next season, tore his ACL and will miss at least the remainder of spring practice. South Carolina tight end Rory Anderson, who caught 17 balls last season, suffered a triceps injury and will also miss the rest of spring training. Anderson has 8 career touchdowns for the Gamecocks.

April 6: Oklahoma Sooners’ Blake Bell, the former quarterback turned tight end, suffered a knee injury and will now miss the rest of spring practice, though he will not have surgery. Bell moved to tight end, as it became clear the Sooners were going with Trevor Knight as quarterback. This setback will put back his development, though the Sooners will still try to work Bell in at his new position. With Northwestern players in the middle of an attempt to unionize, coach Pat Fitzgerald has urged players to vote no on the union. Fitzgerald said earlier this week that he doesn’t expect this issue to cause a chasm on the team. But it remains to be seen how this affects the team, which has really made some big strides lately with the performance of their football program.

April 5: Former Ohio State wide receiver Ray Small has been sentenced to 4 years in prison for drug trafficking. Small was previously caught up in the same memorabilia scandal that eventually led to the forced resignation of head coach Jim Tressel. Washington wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow is being charged with several counts of assault, stemming from a post-Super Bowl party. Also with him was suspended quarterback Cyler Miles, who will not be charged. It remains to be seen if new coach Chris Petersen removes Miles’ suspension, though Stringfellow is definitely still in the doghouse. In another sign of the corporate nature of the game, the Oklahoma-Texas annual game will no longer be called the Red River Rivalry, but will now be known as the AT&T Red River Showdown.

April 4: Florida State Seminoles tight end Nick O’Leary will miss spring practice after a motorcycle accident after hurting his ankle and getting skinned “from head to toe” to use the words of head coach Jimbo Fisher. O’Leary was a solid contributor during Florida State’s championship run last season, catching 33 balls for 557 yards and 7 touchdowns. This has become a troubling pattern for O’Leary, who also had a big wreck last year and may want to find new means of transportation. Joining the ever-growing list of players not able to steer clear of offseason trouble is Alabama’s Altee Tenpenny. The tailback, who say action in all of Alabama’s games last season. was arrested for marijuana possession after a traffic stop in his Arkansas hometown.

April 3: Despite questions surrounding his work ethic, Jadeveon Clowney still feels he should be the number-one pick. The Houston brass, including coach Bill O’Brien and GM Rick Smith, have said they have no concerns about Clowney’s attitude. The Texans hold the first pick in the NFL draft next month. After an extended delay, Michigan State finally locked up one of their top recruits, when Malik McDowell signed his letter-of-intent to attend the school. The 5-star defensive end’s issues included his parents wanting him to attend a different school. Former Bruins starting tackle Torian White is no longer part of the UCLA program, according to head coach Jim Mora. Reasons cited are White’s arrest for suspicion of sexual assault. White had started 18 straight games before an ankle injury ended his season in November.

April 2: With a lot of publicity surrounding Northwestern’s efforts to unionize, one has to wonder if it will become a distraction. Coach Pat Fitzgerald came out and re-affirmed his commitment to keep the focus on football. Fitzgerald, having come out against the union, said there is no tension among him and his players and he will continue to have an outstanding relationship with his team. In more off-the-field news, Georgia Tech has suspended running back Dennis Andrews and receiver Anthony Autry for the first two games of the 2014 season for violating the school’s conduct policy.

April 1: Florida State running back Ryan Green, who ran for 163 yards and a touchdown last season, will miss spring practice after undergoing surgery to address an injured shoulder. While the games lay 7 years in the future, LSU and UCLA have agreed to play each other for the first time in both program’s histories, with the first game at the Rose Bowl in 2021, with the Bruins going to Tiger Stadium again in 2024. In sad news, former Trojans wide receiver and Los Angeles Times reporter Lonnie White has passed away at the young age of 49. White suffered from health issues in recent years. including a painful skin disease. May he rest in peace.

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