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  • By Steven Lassan, 1 week 1 day ago

    Former Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has officially landed at Oklahoma. Green-Beckham was dismissed at Missouri after an off-the-field incident in April and will have to sit out the 2014 season as a result of NCAA transfer rules.

    Green-Beckham was regarded as one of the top receivers in the nation in 2013, catching 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 scores. As a junior entering 2014, Green-Beckham was expected to be a first-team All-American and the top target for new Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk.

    There’s no question Green-Beckham comes with baggage. His dismissal at Missouri stemmed from an incident where he allegedly pushed a woman down the stairs. He also had two marijuana arrests during his time with the Tigers, but charges from the first arrest were never filed.

    Bringing Green-Beckham to Oklahoma is a big risk for coach Bob Stoops. But considering Green-Beckham’s talent level and upside, it’s a risk that could pay off.

     

    The Sooners are a young team in 2014 and could have only five or six senior starters this year.

    Barring a surprise win on his waiver for eligibility, Green-Beckham will have to sit out the 2014 season. Add Green-Beckham to an offense that features quarterback Trevor Knight and receiver Sterling Shepard and it’s easy to think Oklahoma could be picked near the top of most preseason polls in 2015.

    Of course, this move could backfire for Oklahoma. If Green-Beckham lands in trouble again, this move will be a hit in public relations for Stoops. But there’s also a solid support system in place in Norman, including Stoops and receivers coach Jay Norvell.

    If Green-Beckham manages to stay out of trouble in 2014 and has a huge season, it will go a long way to improving his draft stock that took a hit after the dismissal in April.

  • By Steven Lassan, 1 week 3 days ago

    Oklahoma’s uniforms and helmets haven’t changed much in recent years, but that’s about to change. Somewhat.

    On Tuesday, the Sooners unveiled new alternate uniforms, which are a slightly different look at the usual appearance for the program.

    The alternate uniforms feature two different helmets (red and white), along with small tweaks to the jersey and pants. Oklahoma’s usual uniforms read “Sooners” across the front of the jersey, but the alternate jersey will feature “Oklahoma” in that space.

    The new red helmet for the alternate uniform also features a wood-grained pattern.

    Below are a few photos of the new uniforms. Be sure to visit Oklahoma’s official site for more background on the new release for the Sooners.

  • By Steven Lassan, 2 weeks 22 hours ago

    The offseason is an ideal time to unveil any new uniforms, helmets or logos for college football teams.

    Ball State is the latest to showcase a new look for 2014, as the Cardinals unveiled on Friday a black helmet to go with their black jersey.

    Here’s a look at the helmet, along with the full black uniform.

  • By Steven Lassan, 2 weeks 2 days ago

    Kansas coach Charlie Weis isn’t incredibly active on Twitter. As of June 25, he has 570 tweets and follows 15 accounts.

    The life of a college football coach is busy, so we certainly understand if he doesn’t know all of the ins and outs of Twitter.

    However, Weis’ tweet from a June 25 camp at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City is an odd one.

    Here’s the tweet with photo attached:


    So where do we start?

    “Huge” turnout? It looks like there are less than 50 people in the picture.

    Much greater than expected? So how many did he really expect?

    Who knows, maybe Weis is trying to have a little fun. And at a football camp, he's not allowed to tweet photos of the recruits. However, we aren't sure that's the best photo to promote Kansas football. 

     

    Here are a few tweets from the web:

     

  • By Steven Lassan, 2 weeks 2 days ago

    After some bad luck and injuries at the quarterback position in recent years, Utah finally received some good news. Travis Wilson, who missed the final three games of 2013 due to an intracranial artery condition, has been cleared to play in 2014. The announcement was made through Utah’s official athletic page.

    In Wilson’s first full season as the Utes’ starting quarterback, he finished with 1,827 passing yards and 16 touchdowns and added 386 yards and five scores on the ground.

     

    Wilson has deceptive mobility for a quarterback that checks in at 6-foot-6 but perhaps Utah will look to use Oklahoma transfer Kendal Thompson in a change-of-pace role. If Thompson is up to the task, his mobility will allow the Utes to limit some of the hits Wilson takes over the course of the season. Wilson’s health and playing in all 12 regular season games could be the difference between Utah making the postseason or missing out on a bowl.

    What does Athlon Sports project for Utah in 2014? 

    Adding another element of intrigue to Utah’s quarterback situation in 2014 is new coordinator Dave Christensen. The former Wyoming head coach and Missouri play-caller should help Utah’s offense take a step forward in 2014. The Utes have ranked near the bottom of the Pac-12 (conference-only) in yards per play in each of the last three seasons and averaged only 25.6 points per game during Pac-12 play last year.

    Christensen’s first task this season is to help Wilson eliminate the interceptions. He tossed 13 picks over the final five games and failed to complete more than six passes in each of his last three starts.

    The talent is certainly there for Wilson, now it’s time for Christensen to harness the junior’s ability. And with weapons like running back Devontae Booker and receiver Dres Anderson, Wilson isn’t hurting for talent at the skill positions.  

    Although Wilson’s announcement by the school indicated Thompson, redshirt freshmen Connor Manning and Brandon Cox, junior Adam Schulz and true freshman Donovan Isom are battling for the starting job, it would be a huge surprise if anyone other than Wilson takes the opening snap for Utah in 2014.

  • By Steven Lassan, 2 weeks 3 days ago

    West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen has already answered one of the Mountaineers’ biggest question marks for the 2014 season by naming Clint Trickett as the team’s starting quarterback.

    Trickett played in eight games for West Virginia in 2013 and completed 123 of 233 passes for 1,605 yards and seven touchdowns. Additionally, he completed only 52.8 percent of his throws and tossed seven picks.

    Considering Trickett didn’t arrive on campus until after spring practice last year, it’s no surprise he struggled at times in Holgorsen’s pass-first offense. While Trickett needs to be more consistent, he led West Virginia to an upset win over Oklahoma State and threw for 356 yards in a 52-44 loss to Iowa State in the regular season finale.

    Although this announcement isn’t too surprising, the timing is odd. It’s rare to see a team pick a starter in the summer. However, this move makes sense for West Virginia.

    Outside of Trickett, there aren’t many proven options in Morgantown. Paul Millard threw for 1,119 yards and six touchdowns last season and wasn’t able to stake his claim for the job in the spring. Junior college recruit Skyler Howard appears headed for a redshirt year, and it’s uncertain if true freshman William Crest will be up-to-speed on the offense to factor onto the depth chart. Former walk-on Logan Moore is also in the mix and completed 10 of 21 passes for 109 yards in the spring game.

    With limited options and a tough opener against Alabama ahead, having an experienced quarterback like Trickett is the right way to go for Holgorsen. Of course, that could change over the course of the season if Howard or Crest proves ready to play.

    Although Trickett has been picked as the starter, a quarterback recovering from shoulder surgery isn’t guaranteed to have immediate success. Case study: Missouri’s James Franklin struggled in 2012 after having offseason shoulder surgery but rebounded in 2013.

    Allowing Trickett the opportunity to prepare as the starter all summer should pay dividends for West Virginia. But how much will it make a difference in the win column? Probably not much. The Mountaineers have a brutal schedule, and quarterback play has to be the top concern for Holgorsen. And as surprising as this may sound, West Virginia's best offense might be its rushing attack this year - not the passing game that is a staple of Holgorsen's offenses at Houston and Oklahoma State.

    There’s no downside for Holgorsen picking Trickett now and avoiding the ongoing questions or debate once camp opens for the fall.

    However, West Virginia needs Trickett to be more efficient and effective than he was in 2013, especially as the depth chart isn’t overflowing with potential candidates ready to play in 2014. 

  • By Steven Lassan, 3 weeks 1 day ago

    Eastern Michigan is arguably the toughest job in college football. Located in Ypsilanti, EMU is less than 10 miles from the University of Michigan, and the Eagles’ last winning season was in 1995. Eastern Michigan has just one bowl appearance in its history (1987).

    New coach Chris Creighton was a good hire for Eastern Michigan, and the program is doing everything it can to raise its profile by announcing plans to use a gray field in 2014.

    Much like Boise State’s blue field and Eastern Washington’s red turf, Eastern Michigan hopes to create some buzz about its program by adding a different look to its field.

    Here’s a picture from the school’s instagram account:

     

  • By Steven Lassan, 3 weeks 5 days ago

    Miami’s quarterback situation is one of the biggest mysteries in the ACC for 2014, and coach Al Golden has added another option to start in Kansas transfer Jake Heaps. The addition of Heaps was announced through Miami’s official site.

    Heaps was regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2010 signing class and played two seasons at BYU. In 2010, Heaps started 10 games with the Cougars and finished with 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns. After a solid freshman season, Heaps failed to build on that momentum as a sophomore and did not finish 2011 as the starter.

    Heaps transferred to Kansas and sat out the 2012 season due to NCAA rules. And after a year to learn under Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks’ coaching staff, Heaps was expected to showcase some of the talent that earned him a spot among the nation’s top quarterback recruits. However, Heaps struggled in 2013 and finished with just 1,414 passing yards and a 49 percent completion percentage.

    Once Montell Cozart was named Kansas’ starter in the spring, the writing was on the wall for Heaps’ future in Lawrence.

    Since Heaps will have his degree from Kansas in June, he is eligible to participate at Miami in 2014. Although Heaps has struggled in recent years, this is a key pickup for Golden and his staff in terms of overall quarterback depth.

    Ryan Williams was expected to start, but he suffered a torn ACL in spring practice and is out indefinitely. Williams is expected to return during the 2014 season. However, an official timetable or target date has not been set for his return.

    If Williams doesn’t return until late in the season and Olsen struggles, Heaps would provide another option if true freshman Brad Kaaya isn’t ready.

    Heaps certainly hasn’t played up to his recruiting hype, and it’s unlikely he will make a huge impact with Miami in 2014.

    Considering the Hurricanes’ top quarterbacks (Olsen and Kaaya) are freshmen, adding an experienced arm like Heaps doesn’t hurt. However, does the decision to bring in Heaps signal anything about how the coaching staff feels about their quarterback options going into fall practice?

    Although quarterback play is a huge concern for Miami, the offense has one of the top running backs in the nation in Duke Johnson, along with a solid offensive line. Expect to see Johnson and incoming freshman Joseph Yearby have a heavy workload early in the 2014 season.

    When you combine a tough crossover with the Atlantic Division (Louisville and Florida State) and the uncertainty at quarterback, it’s just a small showcase of why Miami's spot in the Coastal Division is tough to pick. The Hurricanes have talent at the skill positions and on the offensive line, but this team still has major concerns at quarterback and on offense. 

    2014 is shaping up to be a critical year for Al Golden. By no means is Golden on the hot seat, but Miami is still looking for its first appearance in the ACC Championship. With the rest of the Coastal also saddled with personnel concerns, the Hurricanes should be in the mix to win the division.

    Of course, that all depends on quarterback play. And that brings us back to the addition of Heaps. Is this a move for depth? Or a reason to be concerned about Olsen or Kaaya?

    Only time will tell.

  • By Athlon Sports, 1 month 1 day ago

    By Kyle Kensing, CFBHuddle.com

    San Jose State defenders hesitated as Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds faked a pitch to Darius Staten. It was flawless execution of the Midshipmen’s signature, triple-option offense.

    A block down the field left nothing but daylight ahead of Reynolds, and he scampered 25 yards to cap a wild, 58-52 Navy win in triple-overtime.
     

    “That’s a testament to our offense and production as a team,” Reynolds said of the Mids’ historic night.

    The game-winner was Reynolds’ eighth touchdown of the contest and seventh via the rush. He said on the cross-country trip from San Jose back to Annapolis, Maryland, the magnitude of his performance hit him.
     

    “On the plane ride, it kind of dawned on me that I’d scored every touchdown,” he said. “I’d never done that in middle school or Pee Wee [League]. That’s the most I’ve ever scored.”
     

    No one in NCAA history can say they scored as many rushing touchdowns in one game, either.
     

    And no other Football Bowl Subdivision quarterback can stake claim to 31 rushing touchdowns in a single season, as Reynolds can.
     

    In Navy’s next outing, its annual rivalry encounter with Army, Reynolds surpassed former Kansas State standout Collin Klein and Navy alum Ricky Dobbs to break the record with touchdown No. 28.
     

    He tacked on one more against the Cadets for good measure, then added two in the Armed Forces Bowl win over Middle Tennessee State.  
     

    The single-season record was a goal Reynolds said he set for himself, but had “lost track” of his progress during the season’s course. It wasn’t until the San Jose State trip and those seven rushing touchdowns that the mark was in sight.
     

     “I definitely didn’t expect that,” he said.
     

    Presumably, neither did the national television audience tuned in on ESPN. The Mids and Spartans commanded the football spotlight in the only game that late-November Friday night, and Reynolds delivered a star performance that has brought him attention since.

     

     

    “The biggest mistake you can make is starting to believe your own hype.”
     

    In the wake of his record-setting campaign, accolades are making their way to Reynolds. Preseason Heisman Trophy watch lists, such as Chris Huston’s via HeismanPundit.com, include his name.
     

    “It’s a big deal and I’m definitely grateful to be [mentioned] in the presence of great athletes who have won the Heisman like Jameis Winston and others who are going to be first-round [NFL] draft picks,” he said.
     

    With 39 total touchdowns, Reynolds was not far behind Winston, the Florida State quarterback who claimed the award in 2013 with 44 scores—albeit in one game more than Reynolds and Navy played.
     

    Certainly he’s a dark horse for the most prestigious individual award in college football. Voters follow a pattern that does not have room for players beyond the cast of power-conference programs.
     

    The last Heisman recipient outside of one of those five leagues was Ty Detmer in 1990. The last service academy player to hoist the Heisman was Navy quarterback Roger Staubach in 1963.
     

    Still, even being suggested for the award is an honor in and of itself for Reynolds. He called it “very humbling,” but added his focus is elsewhere as the 2014 season approaches.
     

    “My concern is Ohio State. All that matters is Aug. 30,” he said.
     

    Aug. 30 is when the Mids kickoff the 2014 season against Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes, a team expected to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
     

    The date is the second half of a series first played in 2009. Behind Dobbs’ four touchdowns that September afternoon, the Mids took the Buckeyes to the brink.
     

    Ohio State escaped with a 31-27 victory, but Navy’s performance—and especially that of Dobbs--left an impression on Reynolds.
     

    “Even before I knew about Navy football, I watched the Ohio State game in 2009, so I knew the legacy [Dobbs] had left,” Reynolds said. “He’s on the flyer they send out [to recruits].”
     

    Since setting the rushing touchdown record, Reynolds is well on his way to establishing his own Navy legacy—another goal he said he set for himself.
     

    “I wanted to do some great things with special guys that other people here haven’t been able to do,” he said.

    Upsetting a juggernaut such as Ohio State would certainly qualify. And he’ll have had almost eight months to focus on it by the time the Buckeyes and Mids kickoff in Baltimore.
     

    “Jan. 1,” Reynolds said is when the team turned attention to Ohio State, just two days after the Armed Forces Bowl. “As soon as the new year started…[the team discussion] was ‘we have Ohio State next year.’”
     

    Navy’s months of preparation for a likely Top 10-ranked opponent are not being invested in simply putting up a good fight.
     

    Reynolds described an attitude at Navy that certainly applies to the Ohio State matchup.
     

    “Every Saturday, we got out to play and win,” he said. “We’re not there to survive. We’re there to win.”
     

     Playing with the Buckeyes, winners of 24 games combined in the past two seasons, is certainly a challenge. But then, playing football, being a student and working toward commission as an officer at the Naval Academy is about routinely overcoming challenges.
     

    A decision for “20-30 years down the road”
     

    Coming out of Madison, Tennessee’s Goodpasture Christian School, recruiting feelers came Reynolds’ way. Navy was one suitor that offered him an opportunity to play his prep position, quarterback.
     

    But Mids head coach Ken Niumatalolo could also offer an opportunity for Reynolds to start as freshman. Navy replaced Kriss Proctor after the 2011 season, opening a competition Reynolds won by the Mids' Week 5 game against Central Michigan. Prior, he traveled for the 2012 season opener in Dublin, Ireland, against Notre Dame, his first exposure to the college game.
     

    “That was a big opportunity, to go to another country to play a game,” he said.
     

    Opportunity defines Reynolds’ decision to enroll at the Naval Academy. The student-athlete experience in Annapolis is unique, as he explained.
     

    “The midshipman life [compared] to the normal college student life,” he said. “It’s a complete 180.”

    And for Navy football players, the process can be even more demanding.
     

    “Everyone, for the most part, is allotted four weeks of leave. [Football players] take one or two,” he said. “The rest of the time we’re training up in Annapolis. We sacrifice most of our summer.
     

    “But that’s something we knew coming into the Naval Academy, joining the military,” he added. “We were going to have to be part of the structured lifestyle to better prepare ourselves to be Naval officers.”
     

    Receiving commission as either a naval or Marine Corps officer is an opportunity Reynolds said goes beyond what he does on the football field.
     

    “There are so many great things that come from graduating from the Naval Academy,” he said. “I even had a coach recruiting me to a different school tell me, ‘you’d be dumb not to take [the Navy] offer.’
     

    “’Make this decision for 20-30 years down the road, not five years down the road.’”
     

    Much like his game-winning touchdown rush to beat San Jose State in triple-overtime that late-November night, there’s daylight ahead for Keenan Reynolds—20 years down the road, or simply in the upcoming football season.

  • By Braden Gall, 1 month 1 week ago

    The Athlon Sports preseason Top 25 has been unveiled. This means that the next big date on the college football calendar will be summer media events.

    Media Days are more matter of fact than breaking news but no matter how you view these kickoff luncheons, they signify the beginning of the season for most coaches, administrators, coaches and fans.

    Here is a complete summer media days schedule for 2014:

    SEC: July 14-July 17
    Hoover, Ala. (Wynfrey Hotel)

    Monday will feature Mike Slive and defending champ Gus Malzahn as well as Florida’s Will Muschamp and Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason. Steve Spurrier, Dan Mullen, Kevin Sumlin and Butch Jones will visit with the throngs on Tuesday. Gary Pinkel, Les Miles and Bret Bielema go on Wednesday and Mark Richt, Hugh Freeze, Nick Saban and Mark Stoops show up on Thursday.

    ACC: July 20-21
    Greensboro, N.C. (Grandover Resort)

    Always revolving around golf, the 14 schools will provide coaches and players as well as plenty of sunshine on the links.

    Sun Belt: July 21
    New Orleans, La. (Superdome)

    Mountain West: July 22-23
    Las Vegas, Nev. (The Cosmopolitan Hotel)

    C-USA: July 22-23
    Irving, Texas (TBD)

    MAC: July 22-23
    Detroit, Mich. (Ford Field)

    Big 12: July 23-24
    Dallas, Texas (Westin Galleria)

    Wednesday will feature TCU, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech while Thursday will be Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas and West Virginia.

    Pac-12: July 23-24
    Los Angeles, Calif. (The Studios at Paramount)

    Few events are held at a cooler place than The Studios at Paramount. Players and coaches hobnob with media types from all over in the most laid back media days in the country.

    Big Ten: July 28-29
    Chicago, Ill. (Hilton Chicago)

    The 43rd annual Kickoff Luncheon is always a highlight of the summer media tour as the keynote player speech has turned into a highlight. Kirk Cousins, Denard Robinson and John Urschel (last year) have given excellent performances of late.

    American Athletic: July 28-29
    Newport, R.I. (Hyatt Regency)

    The final media event is always one of the more enjoyable from a media standpoint. Monday will feature a golf outing and dinner at the Hyatt Regency Newport while all players and coaches will visit with the media on Tuesday.

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