COLLEGE FOOTBALL THE FIRST WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER:
- Thursday, Sept. 2: Texas A & M at Utah 7:30 p.m. (ESPN); Northwestern at TCU, 9:30 p.m. ESPN2;
- Friday, Sept. 3: Washington State at New Mexico, 8 p.m. (ESPN):
- Saturday, Sept. 4: Miami of Ohio at Michigan or Bowling Green at Oklahoma, Noon (ABC); Wake Forest at Clemson or Oklahoma State at UCLA, 3:30 p.m. (ABC); Colorado State at Colorado, 8 p.m. (Fox Sports Net); Toledo at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (ESPN2); Notre Dame at BYU, 9:15 p.m. (ESPN) and Oregon State at LSU, TBA.
- Sunday, Sept. 5: Syracuse at Purdue, 1:30 p.m. (ABC), Kentucky at Louisville, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN); Fresno State at Washington, 5:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Net); UNLV at Tennessee, 8 p.m. (ESPN2); Monday, Sept. 6: Nevada at Louisiana Tech, 1 p.m. (ESPN2); Pitt at South Florida, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN); FSU at Miami, 8 p.m. (ABC). (SI.com)
COMPOSITE TOP TEN FROM SEVERAL PUBLICATIONS: USC, Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, Miami, Texas, FSU, Michigan, Ohio State and Florida. (GatorBait.net)
TENNESSEE: Patrick Turner (6-5, 215), a receiver from Goodpasture High in Tennessee. He has narrowed his choices down to Tennessee, Miami, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, USC and LSU. He is the No. 2 receiver prospect and the No. 21 overall prospect according to Rivals.com. The No. 1 receiver prospect is Tallahassee Lincoln’s Fred Rouse. Marsalous Johnson (5-10, 170), a cornerback/running back from Smyrna High in Smyrna, Tennessee committed to the Vols. Jonathan Crompton, the top-rated quarterback from Tuscola High in Waynesville, North Carolina, is supposed to announce his decision Friday and reports have him favoring the Vols. (VolQuest.com)
LSU: Chase Pittman (6-5, 260), a defensive end from Shreveport who signed with Texas two years ago, is transferring to LSU. After sitting out this year, he will have two years of eligibility remaining. Pittman is from Evangel Christian. (Times-Picayune) Chris Scott (6-5, 300), an offensive lineman from Lovejoy, Georgia, is going to visit Baton Rouge for an unofficial visit this summer. Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Auburn, Florida, Purdue, Georgia Tech, and Maryland are all interested in Scott. Marvin White (6-3, 210), a safety from Kilgore Community College and Port Barre, Louisiana, is being recruited by Texas A & M, N. C. State and Florida. He said he wants to play in the SEC. (TigerBait.com)
OLE MISS: Cornerback Jamar Love (6-1, 190), who is North Little Rock, Arkansas told HawgSports.com that Ole Miss is his favorite school right now, but Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Arkansas are in the mix. He will attend the Arkansas Seniors Only Camp at the end of July.
FLORIDA: Tight end signee Tate Casey from Longview, Texas has spurned an offer from the Minnesota Twins to play football this year at Florida. Casey was drafted in round 19 of the Major League Baseball Draft. He might also play on the Gator baseball team. Casey said it was important to get his education. (GatorBait.net) Last Tuesday at the Alachua County Courthouse an interesting scene took place. Miami signee Willie Williams came down the courthouse stairs after a hearing on his misdemeanor battery case and Florida coach Ron Zook came into the courthouse two minutes later on his way to jury duty. (Orlando Sentinel) Josh McNeil (6-4, 270), an offensive lineman from Collins, Mississippi, spent several days at UF last week on an unofficial visit. His top six is Florida, LSU, Georgia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and either Tennessee or Nebraska. UF coaches have talked to him about playing center. Kyle Moore (6-6, 247), a defensive lineman from Warner Robins, Georgia is camping at Auburn, Florida, FSU, Georgia and Tennessee. Moore is ranked in the Rivals100. He has at least 20 offers. (GatorBait.net)
Gator signees Derrick McPhearson, McIntosh Nicholas, Eric Rutledge and Mike Mangold are in facing uncertainties in terms of eligibility. Nicholas, a cornerback from Immokalee, Florida appears to be heading to Dodge City Kansas Community College. Florida’s history with players going to Dodge City CC is that although Reynaldo Hill came to Gainesville, Torran Williams (LSU), Atlas Herrior (Alabama) and Freddie St. Preux (South Carolina) did not. McPhearson, a receiver from Hyattsville (Md.) Dematha, could end up at a prep school if his test scores prove inadequate. Rutledge, who is a fullback from P. K. Young in Gainesville, might stay in the area and retake the test until he qualifies, so that he could participate in spring practice next season. Rutledge, who is enrolled in summer B, is still awaiting the results of his last test. Mangold, a defensive end from Merrit Island, Florida is enrolled for Summer B courses, which start Monday. If Mangold is determined to be learning disabled, he might be able to either retake the test or simply receive a waiver that would enable him to meet the NCAA guidelines. One of the big winners in this situation was Hawthorne athlete Marcus Baker, who spurned a scholarship from South Florida, in order to await the possibility of one from Florida. Kevin Bemoll, an offensive lineman from Mission Viejo (Calif.) has taken unofficial visits to Miami and Florida. He has July trips set to Ohio State and LSU. Rivals rates him as the No. 11 offensive tackle. (GatorBait.net)
ALABAMA: The Sept. 4 opener against Utah State in Tuscaloosa has been set for 7 p.m. eastern. The Ole Miss game, Sept. 11, also at Bryant Denny Stadium, has been picked up by ESPN2 for a 9 p.m. kickoff. The Western Carolina game, Sept. 18, will start at 7 p.m. and the Southern Miss game, Oct. 16, is set for a 3 p.m. kickoff. (Mobile Register) Jimmy Barnes (6-4, 225), a quarterback from Los Alamitos in Southern California visited the Alabama camp last weekend. He likes Notre Dame, Miami, Colorado State and N. C. State. (BamaOnline.com) Jerry Bogle, part of the “Big Dogs from Scottsboro” died of bladder cancer last Friday at 66. Bogle and his friend Troy Ferguson, both of Scottsboro, were known for their red pants, elephant snouts, five-foot crimson ties and Tide boxes supporting rolls of toilet paper. (Tuscaloosa News)
MISSISSIPPI STATE: Offensive tackle James Redmond and defensive end Roosevelt Tate have been dismissed from the team for failure to meet NCAA academic standards. Both are sophomores. Redmond was listed as second team on the depth chart. (Clarion-Ledger) Keith Fitzhugh (5-11, 190), a defensive back from Lovejoy High in Mississippi has verbally committed to the Bulldogs. Maryland, Nebraska, Southern Cal, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt all offered him. The Sept. 4 home opener against Tulane has been selected by ESPN2 for a 6 p.m. kickoff. At 12:30 p.m. the following Saturday at home on Jefferson Pilot, State hosts Auburn. (BulldogBlitz.com)
SOUTH CAROLINA: Jason Harris (5-11, 195), a running back from Clearwater High in Florida is looking at the Gamecocks. He has offers from Boston College, North Carolina and South Carolina. (GamecockCentral.com)
TERRY BOWDEN: Last week, Terry Bowden, who hosts a talk show in Orlando, was a guest on Paul Finebaum’s afternoon radio show in Birmingham while the two were at a golf tournament. Bowden had some candid comments during his conversation with Finebaum including a denial of an affair with his former secretary, who is Tiger trustee Bobby Lowder’s daughter. During some lively banter between the two, Bowden accused Finebaum of being one of the media members who spread the rumors. Bowden also said he would not be in the studio this year with John Saunders. Instead, he will be an analyst for Big East and ACC games with Mike Tirico. (Orlando Sentinel)
AUBURN: The Tigers are looking for receivers for the 2005 recruiting class. Auburn has offered Montez Billings (6-2, 175), a receiver from Pelham, Alabama. Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Tennessee and Clemson have also offered him. (AuburnSports.com) The past year has been very expensive for the athletic department. Personnel changes in four major areas of the athletic department have resulted in $1.125 million in contract termination fees, about $356,000 in increased salaries for new coaches and at least $7,700 to cover university plane trips for coaching searches. Additional expenses have been an estimated $750,000 two-year total in legal fees to defend the basketball program. (Mobile Register)
GEORGIA: Junior safety Thomas Davis has added 10 pounds and is up to 230. Junior linebacker Odell Thurman has done the same and weighs 240 pounds. Tailback Michael Cooper is not feeling any effects of his migraine headaches. (UGASports.com)
FLORIDA STATE: C. J. Byrd (6-3, 185), a receiver from North Augusta,
South Carolina has 33 scholarship offers including the Seminoles. Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Michigan and Tennessee are among the schools looking for his services. FSU has signed players from South Carolina such as Lawrence Timmons, Alex Barron, Chris Hope and Jamal Reynolds, who used to live in Byrd’s same neighborhood. Kevin Steele, a native of the state, is the FSU assistant coach working South Carolina. He is already qualified and a member of the Rivals100. (Warchant.com) FSU has had a pair of $30,000 Waterford crystal footballs symbolizing the national championships in 1993 and ‘99 stolen. There were no cameras near the locked wooden-and-glass case outside of coach Bobby Bowden’s office. (SI.com) The trophies were not insured. Kade Weston (6-6, 315), a defensive tackle from New Jersey’s Red Bank Regional High, has 20 offers including FSU, Ohio State, Miami, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma. (Warchant.com)
VIRGINA: Lamont Robinson (6-2, 225), a linebacker from Salem, N. J., is commitment No. 17 for the Cavs. He is the third Rivals100 player to commit. He has offers from Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia, Miami and Oklahoma. (TheWagonOnline.com) Senior safety Jermaine Hardy (reconstructive knee surgery) and sophomore linebacker Kai Parham (back), who both missed the spring practice due to injuries, will be healthy for fall drills according to coach Al Groh. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
MARYLAND: Jeremy Navarre (6-4, 245), a fullback from Jappatowne, Maryland has committed to the Terps. (Baltimoresun.com)
N. C. STATE: Assistant strength coach C. J. Hunter met with federal investigators about the BALCO drug scandal. He is the former husband of Olympic medallist Marion Jones and he tested positive for steroids four times in 2000. He retired from competition after the 2000 Summer Olympics. Coach Chuck Amato said he is comfortable with Hunter being on the staff. (Orlando Sentinel)
CLEMSON: Tony Nelson (5-10, 190), a tailback from Germantown, Maryland, has committed to the Tigers. He ran a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash at Clemson’s camp. Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, West Virginia and N. C. State are recruiting him. He is verbal commitment No. 6 for the Tigers. (TigerIllustrated.com) Linebacker Kelvin Morris has been declared ineligible for the second straight season. He played in all 13 games in 2002 making 44 tackles.
NORTH CAROLINA: Cornerback Chris Hawkins is transferring to Marshall after being dismissed from the team this spring for unspecified violation of team rules. Last season, he had 30 tackles, eight pass breakups and one fumble recovery. (Charlotte Observer)
MIAMI: Signee Willie Williams pleaded no contest to charges that he set off hotel fire extinguishers and hugged a woman without her consent while on an official visit to Gainesville. He received no jail time and was placed on probation for a year and ordered to pay damages to the Gainesville hotel. The final legal hurdle is his clearing a violation of probation charge he faces in Broward County. He remains on house arrest. (CaneSport.com)
ACC: Friday is the deadline for cities to send in a bid to host the first ACC title game in 2005. Jacksonville and Charlotte are considered the favorites to be awarded the game. Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, and Baltimore have also shown interest. Although ACC officials have said they will make site visits in July and August and pick a city by September, league officials could announce the site of the first conference title game during ACC media days July 25-27. This will be Miami and Virginia Tech’s first ACC media day appearance.
LIBERTY BOWL: The stadium is in bad need of repair, but the costs to remodel it would be a minimum of $115 million. The cost of a new stadium would be between $175-195 million.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Receiver Mike Williams said he is going back to school, but the NCAA has not rendered any decision. Williams is enrolled for the second session of summer school. (SI.com)
BRENT BEAIRD IS A SPORTS WRITER FOR THE CLAY COUNTY LINE IN ORANGE PARK, FL.
HE ALSO WRITES FOR RIVALS.COM AND SAMSPORTSLINE.COM. E-MAIL BRENT AT email@example.com