College Weekly Report
by Brent Beaird
A rookie salary cap will not be in affect until 2011. There are a record number of inquiries into the draft. Todd McShea of ESPN predicts that as many as 80 underclassmen might be selected which would break the record of 62 set in 2006.
FLORIDA VS. OKLAHOMA IN THE BSC NATIONAL TITLE GAME IN MIAMI ON Jan. 8:
Coach Urban Myer has promoted offensive line coach Steve Addazio to offensive coordinator. Receiver coach Billy Gonzalez, who is also the recruiting coordinator, was also mentioned for the job. Even though Gonzalez has also been rumored to be involved a Tennessee position, Coach Urban Meyer said he is not leaving. Receiver Percy Harvin stayed in Gainesville for rehab during the Christmas week. Offensive lineman Carl Johnson (knee) and receiver Louis Murphy (knee) are back at full speed. Receiver Carl Moore has a hamstring injury, but he should play in the game. Tailback Kestahn Moore should be 100% by the time of the game after having his knee scoped. Running back Chris Rainey is at full speed despite a groin injury that will require off-season surgery. Offensive guard Jim Tartt is still battling a chronic shoulder injury.
Defensive line coach Dan McCarney reportedly had some interest in the Army job before it was filled. If McCarney leaves former Tennessee defensive lineman Dan Brooks could be a candidate. Detroit Lions quarterback coach Scott Loeffler is a strong candidate for a position on the Gators' offensive staff.
Jon Bostic (6-1, 218), a four-star linebacker from Wellington, Fla., committed to Florida over Florida State and LSU in the Army All-American game last Saturday. Xavier Nixon (6-6, 263), a four-star offensive tackle from Fayetteville, N. C., also committed to Florida in the same game. Jelani Jenkins (6-2, 220), a five-star linebacker from Olney, Md., could be a Gator verbal. Andre Debose (6-0, 170), a five-star athlete from state champion Sanford Seminole, chose Florida over LSU, Georgia, Miami and USC at the Under Armour All-American game on Jan. 4. He caught the winning score from quarterback Ray Ray Armstrong, a Miami verbal, in the state title game. William Campbell (6-5, 317), a five-star defensive tackle from Detroit, Michigan will chose Michigan this past Saturday at the Army All-American game. Jarvis Jones (6-3, 226), a four-star linebacker from Carver, Ga., said he will visit Florida, Texas and LSU in the coming weeks. He has recently visited Southern Cal and Georgia. Jones said he will make his decision on NSD. He said a few days ago that Florida was his favorite school. Dre Kirkpatrick (6-2, 180), a five-star cornerback from Gadsden City, Ala., said he will visit Texas, Florida and Alabama. He might also visit Clemson, USC or LSU. Greg Reid (5-9, 170), a four-star defensive back from Valdosta, Ga., has de-committed from Florida and opened up his recruitment. He has offers from Florida, FSU, Georgia and Auburn.
Oklahoma averaged 58 points in its last six games (an NCAA record 60+ in its last four) and won by an average of 33 points. Coach Bob Stoops is looking for his second national title. Quarterback Sam Bradford had 48 touchdowns and only six picks. Four OU receivers had more than 600 yards including Juaquin Iglesias who caught 10 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards receiving. DeMarco Murray will be missed at tailback after he ran for 1,002 yards and added nearly 400 yards receiving. Tailback Chris Brown also had over 1,000 yards.
Florida's defense allows 12 ppg which is fifth nationally, intercepted 24 passes and is No. 8 allowing 279 ypg in total defense. Despite having three sophomores and a freshman, the Gator secondary is second in pass efficiency and interceptions with 24. They have allowed only 10 touchdowns (No. 10 nationally).OU allows 24 ppg and 359 ypg. OU turned the ball over a nation leading nine times and Florida was close behind with only 11. Both teams will have a 33-day wait between their champion games and the BCS title game. Reserve quarterback Cam Newton will transfer to a junior college in Texas. He was arrested last year on three charges that related to a stolen laptop.
ALABAMA: In the loss to Utah, Alabama gained only 208 yards including 31 rushing. Quarterback John Parker Wilson was 18 of 30 for 177 yards with one touchdown and two picks. The Tide committed three total turnovers. Utah's Brian Johnson was 27 of 41 for 336 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. Alabama's Julio Jones caught seven passes for 77 yards. Utah's Freddie Brown caught 12 passes for 125 yards. Utah leaped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter before the Tide could score 10 straight points in the second quarter. The suspension of Outland Trophy winner Andre Smith, who has declared early for the NFL, for improper dealings with an agent hurt the Tide and an injury to his replacement Mike Johnson further complicated the situation on the offensive line. Defensively, the secondary struggled to make tackles.
Alabama assistant Kevin Steele has accepted the defensive coordinator position at Clemson. Freshman Chris Jackson has moved from receiver to safety and Michael Williams has moved from outside linebacker to tight end. B. J. Scott is still working with the receivers, but there is speculation that he might be moved to defensive back in the spring. Receiver Will Oakley did not play in the bowl game because he has not recovered from a shoulder separation. Offensive coordinator Jim McElwain said he is not opposed to spreading the field and throwing the ball more with an offensive attack that is different from this past year's run dominated offense. Alabama could have won 13 games for only second time in history (1992).
Morgan Moses (6-7, 347), a five-star offensive lineman from Richmond, Va., is considering Ohio State and Alabama. He said his interest in Alabama could be fading because one of the Tide coaches told him that he might redshirt in his first season. He is also going to visit North Carolina. Bobbie Massie (6-8, 335), a five-star offensive lineman from Hargrave Military in Chatham, Va., is considered to be an Alabama/Georgia battle, but North Carolina is also involved. He visits Alabama on Jan. 23 and Georgia on Jan. 30. D. J. Fluker (6-7, 350), a Tide verbal, wears a size 22 shoe. Rueben Randle (6-3, 195), a five-star athlete from Bastrop, La., said he will choose from Alabama, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Kendal Kelly (6-4, 210), a four-star receiver from Gadsden City, Ala., said he is going to visit Alabama, Clemson and LSU. He might also visit FSU, Florida, Oregon or Auburn.
OLE MISS: The Rebels have won six straight games after beating Texas Tech at the Cotton Bowl. Quarterback Jevan Snead was 18 of 29 for 292 yards with three touchdowns and one pick. Tailback Brandon Bolden ran for 101 yards on 11 carries. Tailback Dexter McCluster ran for 97 yards and caught six passes for 83 yards. Quarterback Graham Harrell completed 36 of 58 for 364 with four touchdowns and two picks. Rebel defensive back Marshay Green intercepted Harrell and took the pass 65 yards for a touchdown. Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Trahan sacked Harrell in the end zone for a safety early in the fourth quarter. Texas Tech is 0-4 in the Cotton Bowl and Ole Miss is 3-1.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Iowa simply out-played and out-coached the Gamecocks for four quarters in the Outback Bowl Thursday afternoon to the tune of 31-10. Iowa defensive tackle Mitch King said he knew from the first snap that the Hawkeyes had prepared better. The Gamecocks had the same amount of penalties (10) as points. They also had six personal fouls and five turnovers. South Carolina quarterbacks have thrown 27 picks-the most of any team in the nation.
Leading tackler Emanuel Cook, linebacker Dustin Lindsey and offensive lineman Kyle Nunn were all academically eligible. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn has declared early for the draft. Linebacker Eric Norwood, the school leader with 43 tackles- for- loss, has been projected no better than a fourth- to- seven round selection. He announced Monday that he would return to school next season. Tight end Jared Cook is also considering leaving early for the NFL.
Receiver Kenny McKinley was the most effective passer completing his only pass for 12 yards. Stephen Garcia, who was 9 of 18 for 79 yards, was not impressive in his first bowl start. Garcia was pulled at halftime after throwing three picks and fumbling the ball away on a run. Smelley played in the second half, but he was not much better. South Carolina lost its last three games by a combined score of 118-30. Spurrier is 28-22 record in four seasons at South Carolina. The Gamecocks were trying to win eight games for the ninth time in school history.
Since 2004 and before this year's bowl games, the SEC is only 5-6 against the Big Ten in bowl games. During that same time span, the league is 14-4 against all the other conferences.
GEORGIA: Despite lofty expectations and finishing second to Florida in the SEC Eastern Division, the Bulldogs rallied for their tenth win of the season in the Capital One Bowl with a 24-12 victory over Michigan State. Coach Mark Richt has won at least 10 games in six of his eight seasons. The Georgia defense under much-maligned coordinator Willie Martinez held the Spartans, led by running back Javon Ringer, to a season-low 236 total yards. Ringer gained only 47 yards. Georgia's defense collected a season-high six sacks. Still, Georgia finished last in the SEC with 18 sacks.
Bulldog quarterback Matthew Stafford was sparkling in the second half. Stafford, who was named the most valuable player, completed 20 of 31 passes for 250 yards and three scores. He set a school record this season for touchdowns with 25. Tailback Knowshon Moreno gained 62 yards rushing and added another 63 receiving. Receiver Mike Moore caught a career-best six passes for 97 yards and a score.
For the sixth straight season, a Bulldog senior class won at least 40 games. This year's class finished 40-12 with an SEC title and a 3-1 bowl record. Georgia has 18 scholarships available for this signing class without any turnover in the roster. Assistant Stacey Searels is staying on the staff. Auburn Coach Gene Chizik talked to Searels, who makes $235,000 per year. Georgia defensive line coach Rodney Garner rejected a Tennessee offer to stay on the staff.
Bulldog writers for Rivals.com believe Moreno (projected as mid to late first round) goes and Stafford (top ten pick) stays. It might or may not affect the decision of players after the NFL announced this weekend that there will not be a rookie salary cap until at least 2011. Georgia had only five scholarship linebackers which includes freshman Nick Williams who was moved to linebacker from safety. The rest of the linebackers are Rennie Curran, Akeem Dent, Marcus Dowtin and Williams. Freshman running back Carlton Thomas, who is only 5-foot-7, 170, continues to turn heads in practice. The redshirt will play next season. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Thomas, running back Dontavious Jackson and receiver Tavarres King, who are three redshirting, continue to impress.
The Bulldogs return their entire offensive line next season. The last time the Bulldogs returned the entire line intact was the 2005 SEC title year. Georgia was second in total offense and tied for second in sacks allowed with 15.
Georgia is the favorite team of Montez Robinson (6-5, 235), a four-star defensive end from Avon, Indiana. He has visited Auburn, Alabama and Purdue. He also said Alabama has dropped on his list because Tide coaches wanted him to commit early. Robinson was a former Auburn commit. Branden Smith (5-11, 171), a five-star cornerback from Atlanta, Ga., committed to Georgia over Alabama in the Under Armour All-American game.
LSU: The LSU football team (8-5) dismantled No. 14 ranked Georgia Tech 38-3. The Tiger defense limited Tech fullback Jonathan Dwyer to only 18 yards on five carries in the first half. Georgia Tech gained only 164 yards, which were 118 short of its season average.
Coach Les Miles praised the work of co-defensive coordinators Bradley Dale Peveto and Doug Mallory, who will be replaced during the offseason by former Tennessee assistant John Chavis. Peveto has already taken the head job at Northwestern State and Mallory is rumored to be the next defensive coordinator at New Mexico.
Quarterback Jordan Jefferson, who was 16 of 25 for 142 yards and one score, was the first true freshman to start a bowl game for the Tigers since Herb Tyler 13 years ago. Jefferson, who more importantly didn't throw an interception, led the Tigers to five touchdowns out of the first seven series.
The win was LSU's fourth straight bowl victory under Miles all by an average of 28 points. LSU won five straight bowls under Gerry DiNardo and Nick Saban.
South Carolina safeties coach Ron Cooper has accepted a job to coach the secondary with LSU. John Chavis, who has interviewed at Clemson twice, has reportedly taken the LSU defensive coordinator position for $550,000 over three years. In nine of Chavis' 14 years at Tennessee, the Vol defense ranked in the top three in the SEC. He could also bring Steve Caldwell or Dan Brooks with him.
Miles offered Ed Orgeron $900,000 to be the recruiting coordinator and assistant head coach after he learned that Tennessee had offered him $650,000. He turned down an additional $250,000 from LSU to go to Tennessee. Another issue for Orgeron is recruiting. He was turned in to the SEC office around half a dozen times for recruiting violations. LSU allowed 30 or more points each in its last three games. Other names mentioned for jobs are Brick Haley for defensive line coach and Tony Hughes from Southern Miss for secondary coach. LSU is also interested in Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis.
VANDERBILT: Vandy made history Wednesday night after its 16-14 win over Boston College in the Music City Bowl. They won a bowl game for the first time since 1955 and finished with a winning season (7-6) for first time since 1982.
Vandy was a heavy underdog to a Boston College team that played in the ACC title game. Three quarterbacks-Chris Nickson, Mackenzi Adams and redshirt freshman quarterback Larry Smith, who completed 10 of 17 passes for 121 yards in his first start-all played. Smith also added 25 yards rushing.
Cornerback Myron Lewis sealed the game with a big pick with 1:36 left in the game. He also broke up a pass and made four tackles. Vandy gained only 200 total yards, gained eight first downs and converted only 1 of 15 third down possibilities, but, more importantly, the Commodores committed no penalties or turnovers.
Vanderbilt's only score came on a freak play when Brett Upson's 21-yard punt bounced off of B.C.'s Paul Anderson and Vandy freshman Sean Richardson recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. The Commodores did not score an offense touchdown. Upson was named the Most Valuable Player averaging 42 yards on nine kicks.
Kicker Bryant Hahnfeldt nailed three field goals during the game. He converted only 3 of 8 field goals over his last eight games.
The only bad news coming out of the game was cornerback D. J. Moore announcing that he was going to declare early for the NFL Draft. Moore is projected to be one of the top cornerbacks in the draft.
KENTUCKY: The Wildcats rebounded from losing their last three games to rally for win over East Carolina. Defensive lineman Ventrell Jenkins picked up a fumble and ran it back 56 yards for the winning score. The Wildcats have won three straight bowl games for the first time since 1949-51. Quarterback Mike Hartline completed 19 of 31 for 204 yards with a score and a pick.
AUBURN: Defensive end Sen'Derrick Marks has declared for the NFL Draft. Former Tiger defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads has taken the head coaching job at Iowa State. Tiger Coach Gene Chizik has hired former Tulsa and Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn as offensive coordinator. Malzahn said he will run a balanced attack. Oklahoma State co-offensive coordinator Trooper Taylor of Oklahoma State has also been hired to the staff. Reggie Herring and Ted Roof have been mentioned as possibilities as defensive coordinator. Quarterback Chris Todd will have surgery soon on his throwing shoulder. He should have a regular recovery time of around five months. Former offensive coordinator Al Borges has landed at San Diego State as offensive coordinator under new coach Brady Hoke. Auburn defensive end Antonio Coleman announced his intentions to return for his senior season.
MISSISSIPPI STATE: There is a report that Carl Torbush, who is presently coaching at Carson-Newman, will join the State staff. He has coordinated defenses at Alabama and Texas A & M and coached at North Carolina. Former Alabama and Texas A & M offensive coordinator Les Koenning is joining the offensive staff. He was also on the State staff from 1986-89.
TENNESSEE: Orgeron has accepted a position with the Coach Lane Kiffin's staff. Patrick Patterson (6-3, 215), a four-star receiver from Macon, Miss., said he will visit four schools: Alabama, Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Tennessee. Vol assistants Greg Atkins, Latrell Scott, and Jason Michael are leaving the staff. Atkins is taking the offensive line coach position at Syracuse and Scott is taking the receivers coach at Virginia. Former Auburn assistant Eddie Gran has interviewed for a staff position. Monte Kiffin might be asking for more money beyond the original $1 million offer. Denver Broncos quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates could be a candidate for the Vol staff. Jim Chaney, an assistant for the St. Louis Rams and former Purdue offensive coordinator could be the next hire on the Vol staff.
ARKANSAS: Former quarterback Casey Dick might land at Central Arkansas.
CLEMSON: in the loss to Nebraska in the Gator Bowl, Clemson ran for four yards on 26 attempts. Receiver Aaron Kelly, who had six catches for 74 yards, broken the school record for receiving. The Clemson offense gained only 210 yards against a defense that was allowing 361 yards per game. Clemson had 11 possessions of three plays or less. Quarterback Cullen Harper was 17 of 37 for 206 yards with two scores and two picks. C J Spiller gained 17 yards and James Davis added 26 yards. Receiver Jacoby Ford caught five passes for 112 yards for one touchdown.
Kevin Steele of Alabama has accepted the position of the defensive coordinator job after Chavis has reportedly accepted the Tennessee job. Clemson is making its ninth Gator Bowl appearance and the first since 2001. The Tigers lost a close game to Georgia Tech in Dabo Swinney's debut, but rebounded to average 347 ypg in double-digit wins over Duke, Virginia and South Carolina.
NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels could not put West Virginia away. Quarterback Pat White was the difference in the game. White, who was 4-0 in bowl games, was 26 of 32 for 332 yards. Tar Heel receiver Hakeem Nicks, who has declared early for the NFL, had 217 receiving yards and three scores in the game. UNC committed two fourth quarter turnovers. The team rebounded from 4-8 to 8-4. They also lost tough games to Virginia and Maryland.
VIRGINIA TECH: Tech won the Orange Bowl on the strength of Darren Evans running for 154 yards and a defense that limited the Bearcats to 14 first downs and 309 yards of offense. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was 13 of 23 for 139 yards and one pick. He added 30 yards on the ground and another touchdown. Tech become only the third team along with Texas and South Cal to finish the past three years to finish with 10 wins each season.
Cincinnati beat three ranked foes, won the Big East title, and earned its first BSC bowl under Brian Kelly. The Bearcat offense, under quarterback Tony Pike, averaged 27 ppg and nearly 400 ypg. Pike, who completed 62% of his passes, threw for 18 touchdowns and seven picks. Senior receiver Dominick Goodman caught 78 passes and Marshwan Gilyard caught 74.
FLORIDA STATE: Kicker Graham Gano was the MVP of the bowl game. He pinned Wisconsin inside its own three-yard line in his first three punts. He averaged nearly 50 yards on five punts. Linebacker Derek Nicholson had a 75-yard scoop- and- score. Neefy Moffett had three tackles for loss. Receiver Greg Carr caught eight passes for 78 yards. Dekoda Watson also returned a fumble for a score. FSU ran 38 times and threw 37. Defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said he will return next season. He has been at FSU for 26 years. Jacobbi McDaniel, a five-star defensive tackle from Madison County and FSU commitment, will not be able to enroll until the summer. He was hoping to come in for spring practice. Receivers Taiwan Easterling and Preston Parker have been battling injuries. Coach Bobby Bowden will be offered a one-year extension.
MIAMI: The Canes, 7-6, sustained a difficult loss to Cal. After Miami beat Virginia Tech on Nov. 13, they were outcoached in the next three games against Georgia Tech, N. C. State and Cal. Quarterback Robert Marve has been given his transfer release that prevents him from going to a school in the ACC, Florida, Tennessee, and LSU or state of Florida. Offensive coordinator Patrick Nix will not be back after being fired. In his first season, the Nix lead offense averaged only 20 points per game and 315 ypg. Redshirt freshman receiver Jermaine McKenzie is transferring to Memphis. This season, the Canes were No. 89 nationally averaging 27 ppg and 327 ypg. Cal running back Jahvid Best finished with 186 yards rushing. Next season, Miami has road games at FSU, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. They also have home games against Oklahoma and Clemson.
Quarterback Jacory Harris came to school weighing 168. He is up to 186. Punt snapper Chris Ivory will miss the bowl game. He is the fifth Cane to miss the game. Tight ends Richard Gordon and Tervaris Johnson and linebacker Robert Futch are also suspended. Jermaine Johnson (6-6, 309), a five-star offensive lineman from Hargrave Military in Chatham, Va., has decommitted from Auburn and committed to Miami. Ray Ray Armstrong (6-4, 218), a four-star athlete from Sanford Seminole High, committed to Miami during the Under Armor AA game. Dyron Dye (6-4, 215), a four-star defensive end from Sanford Seminole, also committed to Miami during the same game. Shannon said he will sign close to 27 players. He also said backup tailback Shawnbrey McNeal and backup tight end Daniel Adderly will transfer. Shannon added that Anthony Reddick will not return and will probably try to play in the NFL.
N. C. STATE: The Wolfpack lost to Rutgers in the Poppa Johns Bowl in Birmingham. State (6-7) had its four-game winning streak snapped. The ACC is 0-2 against the Big East in bowl games. Rutgers trailed at halftime, 16-7. Quarterback Mike Teel and receiver Kenny Britt (six catches for 119 yards) were a lethal combination. In the third quarter, Rutgers dominated outscoring State 10-0 and 152 yard to 5. The game changed when State quarterback Russell Wilson went out late in the first half with a sprained knee. Daniel Evans gave the team a bit of a spark, but it was not enough.
MARYLAND: The Terps beat four ranked teams, but lost three of their last four games. Nevada is No. 3 in rushing averaging nearly 300 yards per game. Maryland is No. 72 in rushing defense, allowing 150 ypg. Wolfpack quarterback Colin Kaepernick has rushed for over 1,000 yards. Nevada's rush defense is excellent allowing only 74 ypg, but they are awful against the pass. Quarterback Chris Turner and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bay could have a big day.
VIRGINIA: Al Groh has hired former Bowling Green coach Gregg Brandon as offensive coordinator. He served under Urban Meyer at Bowling Green. There were rumors that Brandon might end up at Florida. He was also considered at Mississippi State and Illinois.
BRENT BEAIRD IS A SPORTS WRITER FOR MYCLAYSUN IN ORANGE PARK, FLA. HE ALSO WRITES FOR RIVALS.COM, SAMSPORTSLINE.COM AND GATOR BAIT MAGAZINE. HE CAN BE HEARD ON SPORTS RADIO 1010 XL.
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