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After an extended search, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood has finally hired his offensive and defensive coordinator for the 2014 season.
Joe Rossi held the title of interim defensive coordinator after Dave Cohen was fired, and Flood has decided to keep Rossi on the staff as the full-time coordinator.
On the offensive side of the ball, Rutgers will welcome a familiar face back the college football sidelines. Former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen has been hired as the Scarlet Knights’ offensive coordinator. Friedgen has been out of football since he was fired at Maryland after the 2010 season. However, prior to his exit in College Park, Friedgen was regarded as one of the top offensive minds in the ACC. He should significantly upgrade Rutgers’ offense next year.
The hires of Friedgen and Rossi are crucial for Rutgers. With a move to the Big Ten on tap for 2014, the competition is only going to get tougher for the Scarlet Knights, and Flood is on the hot seat after a 6-7 record in 2013.
With Cody Kessler entrenched as the starter, and Max Browne expected to push for playing time this spring, Max Wittek was the odd man out in the USC quarterback derby. And with limited playing time likely on tap for 2014, Wittek has decided to transfer from USC.
Since he will graduate from USC, Wittek will be eligible to play immediately in 2014.
In two years with the Trojans, Wittek completed 50 of 95 passes for 600 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions.
After Matt Barkley suffered a season-ending injury against UCLA, Wittek started the final two games in 2012, including a 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
Even though Wittek struggled in his two seasons at USC, he was a four-star prospect coming out of high school and was a top-100 recruit by Rivals.
Considering Wittek has upside and immediate eligibility, several FBS are expected to be interested in the California native this spring.
Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson recently announced his intention to transfer, and after considering a couple of schools, he has found a new home at Big Ten newcomer Rutgers.
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Nelson must sit out 2014 and will be eligible to play in 2015.
In two years at Minnesota, Nelson threw for 2,179 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also rushed for 548 yards and six scores.
Nelson’s transfer to Rutgers comes at a good time for the Scarlet Knights. Gary Nova is likely to start in 2014, but he will expire his eligibility at the end of the season, leaving Nelson with a path to the starting spot.
South Florida is coming off a 2-10 season, but the program has momentum. The Bulls are set to reel in one of the American Athletic Conference’s top recruiting classes and there’s a solid cast of returning talent for next season.
And to help this team turn the page for next season, South Florida has unveiled two new chrome designs for its helmets.
The first features a matte green with a large USF logo, while the other helmet is a gold chrome design similar to what Baylor wore this season.
Overall, this is a solid concept for South Florida and should only help second-year coach Willie Taggart raise the profile of his program this offseason:
First piece of armor for for the revolution.. GO BULLS!! 2014 here we come!!! pic.twitter.com/FXnvU4mxPV— Eric Mathies (@CoachMathies) January 25, 2014
College football’s Heisman Trophy won’t be awarded until next December, but it’s never too early to think about the frontrunners for next season.
Bovada has released its early odds for 2014, and there’s a familiar face at the top. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the favorite to repeat, with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota a 7/2 favorite.
Quarterbacks own five out of the top seven spots in the early odds. Running backs T.J. Yeldon (Alabama) and Todd Gurley (Georgia) are the only skill players in the top seven.
Also of interest: No wide receivers make the early odds for 2014.
Here’s the early list of favorites to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy from Bovada:
Player Odds Jameis Winston (QB Florida State) 2/1 Marcus Mariota (QB Oregon) 7/2 Braxton Miller (QB Ohio State) 4/1 T.J. Yeldon (RB Alabama) 5/1 Bryce Petty (QB Baylor) 6/1 Brett Hundley (QB UCLA) 12/1 Todd Gurley (RB Georgia) 12/1 Mike Davis (RB South Carolina) 15/1 Melvin Gordon (RB Wisconsin) 16/1 Everett Golson (Notre Dame) 25/1 Trevor Knight (QB Oklahoma) 25/1 Duke Johnson (RB Miami) 33/1 Karlos Williams (RB Florida State) 33/1 Matt Johnson (QB Bowling Green) 66/1 Rakeem Cato (QB Marshall) 66/1
With Jameis Winston entrenched as Florida State’s quarterback next season, playing time was going to be limited for Jacob Coker, and the sophomore has decided to transfer from Tallahassee to Alabama. With Coker set to graduate in May, he can transfer to another team and start in 2014.
Coker was Florida State’s backup quarterback for the first half of the season, throwing for 250 yards on 18 completions. However, he suffered a knee injury and was forced to miss the final six games.
As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Coker completed 3 of 5 passes for 45 yards.
Coker was only a three-star prospect coming out of high school. However, the Alabama native has all of the physical tools necessary to become a starting quarterback for a BCS team.
At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds and a strong arm, Coker is expected to be highly sought after this spring.
The Crimson Tide need a replacement for AJ McCarron, and Coker would be a good fit for their offense.
With Coker transferring to Alabama, he joins a crowded depth chart at quarterback. Blake Sims has the most experience of any passer on the team, but Alec Morris, Parker McLeod, Cooper Bateman and incoming freshman David Cornwell will compete for the job this preseason.
Northwestern running back Venric Mark was expected to be one of the Big Ten’s top running backs in 2013, but an ankle injury sidelined him for most of the season.
But the Wildcats received some good news for 2014 this week, as Mark was granted a fifth-year of eligibility, and the Texas native will return to Northwestern next year.
Mark rushed for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 104 yards in 2012.
He was also a huge factor on special teams in 2012, averaging 18.7 yards per punt return and taking two back for scores.
Considering Mark is listed at 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, he isn’t a player that can handle 300 carries. However, having the senior back in the lineup is a huge plus for Northwestern’s offense. Mark should be in the mix for All-Big Ten honors in 2014.
After a conference season to forget, Northwestern gets great news for '14 - Venric Mark granted an extra year http://t.co/DmDLOrh0r9— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) January 22, 2014
This just in: #Northwestern RB Venric Mark granted fifth year of eligibility. Great news.— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) January 21, 2014
Last year, photos of a gray Kentucky jersey and helmet circulated on the internet. But the Wildcats didn’t wear the gray uniforms in 2013.
Could that change in 2014?
The all-gray uniforms returned to the internet this week, with freshman quarterback Drew Barker modeling the new look.
Overall, this isn’t a bad look for Kentucky.
All grey everything? pic.twitter.com/tvEEBSiz8U— The SEC Logo (@SEC_Logo) January 20, 2014
The deadline for college football players to enter the 2014 NFL Draft has passed, and the official tally stands at 98 underclassmen declaring early for the next level.
The list of early entrants also includes four players that have already graduated and are leaving with eligibility remaining, including Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard, Arizona State linebacker Carl Bradford and USC safety Dion Bailey.
Here’s the full list of the 98 underclassmen leaving for the NFL, along with four other players that have already graduated and set to move onto the next level.
Player Position College Davante Adams WR Fresno State Nick Addison DB Bethune-Cookman Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech George Atkinson RB Notre Dame Odell Beckham WR Louisiana State Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State Kapri Bibbs RB Colorado State Brendan Bigelow RB California Alfred Blue RB Louisiana State Russell Bodine C North Carolina Blake Bortles QB Central Florida Chris Boyd WR Vanderbilt Bashaud Breeland DB Clemson Martavis Bryant WR Clemson Ka'Deem Carey RB Arizona Ha Ha Clinton-Dix DB Alabama Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina Brandon Coleman WR Rutgers Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State Scott Crichton DE Oregon State Isaiah Crowell RB Alabama State Jonathan Dowling DB Western Kentucky Kony Ealy DE Missouri Eric Ebron TE North Carolina Bruce Ellington WR South Carolina Mike Evans WR Texas A&M Ego Ferguson DT Louisiana State Cameron Fleming T Stanford Khairi Fortt LB California Austin Franklin WR New Mexico State Devonta Freeman RB Florida State Carlos Gray DT North Carolina State Xavier Grimble TE Southern California Terrance Hackney T Bethune-Cookman Victor Hampton DB South Carolina Jeremy Hill RB Louisiana State Kameron Jackson DB California Nic Jacobs TE McNeese State Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State Anthony Johnson DT Louisiana State Jamel Johnson WR Alabama State Storm Johnson RB Central Florida Henry Josey RB Missouri Cyrus Kouandjio T Alabama Jarvis Landry WR Louisiana State Cody Latimer WR Indiana Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State Marqise Lee WR Southern California A.C. Leonard TE Tennessee State Albert Louis-Jean DB Boston College Colt Lyerla TE Oregon Aaron Lynch DE South Florida Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M Marcus Martin C Southern California Tre Mason RB Auburn Chris McCain DE California Terrance Mitchell DB Oregon Viliami Moala DT California Donte Moncrief WR Mississippi Adam Muema RB San Diego State Jake Murphy TE Utah Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame Louis Nix DT Notre Dame Jeoffrey Pagan DE Alabama Ronald Powell DE Florida Calvin Pryor DB Louisville Loucheiz Purifoy DB Florida Kelcy Quarles DT South Carolina Darrin Reaves RB Alabama-Birmingham Ed Reynolds DB Stanford Antonio Richardson T Tennessee Paul Richardson WR Colorado Marcus Roberson DB Florida Allen Robinson WR Penn State Greg Robinson T Auburn Bradley Roby DB Ohio State Richard Rodgers TE California Bishop Sankey RB Washington Lache Seastrunk RB Baylor Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE Washington Ryan Shazier LB Ohio State Yawin Smallwood LB Connecticut Brett Smith QB Wyoming Jerome Smith RB Syracuse Willie Snead WR Ball State John Spooney RB Brown Josh Stewart WR Oklahoma State Xavier Su’a-Filo G UCLA Vinnie Sunseri DB Alabama De’Anthony Thomas RB Oregon Stephon Tuitt DE Notre Dame Trai Turner G Louisiana State George Uko DE Southern California Pierre Warren DB Jacksonville State Sammy Watkins WR Clemson Terrance West RB Towson James Wilder RB Florida State David Yankey T Stanford Dion Bailey DB Southern California Carl Bradford DE Arizona State Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville Adrian Hubbard LB Alabama
With the college football season completed, the next few weeks are all about recruiting. And there’s not a better coach in the nation at it than Alabama’s Nick Saban.
Last weekend, Saban hosted incoming recruits and their parents at his home. And thankfully, someone captured video of the coach dancing to the Electric Slide.
The clip isn’t very long, but it’s worth your time to watch Saban making a few moves on the dance floor.
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