August 09, 2010
Making the morning rounds.
• The mangatude of the moment blowed his mind. Former Florida great and professional malaprop artist Emmitt Smith took to Twitter and then to national television Sunday to apologize to Gator fans for failing to mention his alma mater a single time in his 24-minute, off-the-cuff Hall-of-Fame acceptance speech on Saturday, even with Florida coach Urban Meyer in the audience in Canton. Did the snub stem from Smith's longstanding feud with Steve Spurrier, who imported a more pass-oriented offense in 1989 and didn't seem to care whether Smith returned for his senior season the following year? From a "hot and cold" relationship with athletic director Jeremy Foley? Aw, you know Emmitt would never do you like that, Gator babies: He just forgot. Now come over here and let's chomp it out. [Gainesville Sun]
• And the hits keep on coming. Tennessee defensive tackle Marlon Walls will likely miss the entire season after going down Saturday with an apparent Achilles tendon injury on Saturday, just two days after another D-line starter, defensive end Ben Martin, was lost to the same injury. That leaves the Vols with returning starter Chris Walker at one end and a fine assortment of question marks along the rest of the line, here high-profile transfers John Brown (Florida) and Malik Jackson (USC) may be asked to pay immediate dividends. [Knoxville News-Sentinel]
• Burnt orange? Looks kinda green to me. Texas quarterback Sherrod Harris is dropping football without a single pass attempt to his name in four years, leaving true freshmen Connor Wood and Case McCoy as the only backups to sophomore starter Garrett Gilbert, who makes his first start on Sept. 4. Harris will remain in school and finish his degree. [Austin American-Statesman]
• Arriverducci. Florida State has booted starting receiver Jarmon Fortson for the classic "undisclosed violation of team policy," a useful stand-in in this case for (allegedly) multiple failed drug tests. Fortson came on last year with 45 catches and a team-high four touchdowns, though he's probably best remembered for failing to hold on to the game-winner on the final snap against Miami. [Associated Press]
Elsewhere in the ACC, Wake Forest coach caught the suspendin' bug over the weekend, putting leading receiver Chris Givens and defensive end Kevin Smith on ice for the Demon Deacons' first two games for ... wait for it ... undisclosed violation of team rules. [Winston-Salem Journal]
• Watch and learn, son. The scourge of "oversigning" was back in the news last week because of LSU. But the master still resides in Tuscaloosa, where Alabama's annual drive to 85 was aided over the weekend by a failed physical (running back Jeramie Griffin) and an outright grayshirting (incoming freshman Harrison Jones, whose enrollment was abruptly pushed back to January to accommodate late signee Blake Sims) that conveniently culled two would-be scrubs from the list of players counting against NCAA scholarship caps at the last second. [Tuscaloosa News, Birmingham News]
Quickly... Steven Sheffield alerts ESPN that he's gained a little weight since last year. ... Ralph Friedgen wishes Tom O'Brien luck with his new athletic director. ... Running back Kenny Lewis leaves Virginia Tech rather than spend his senior season third on the depth chart. ... Redshirt freshmen Brandon Mahoney and Yahshua Williams are off the team at Texas Tech due to "medical problems" and "personal problems," respectively, though both will remain in school. ... Georgia freshman Dexter Morant rejoined the team over the weekend, days after quitting just ahead of his first practice. ... And don't get any big ideas, but quarterback Mitch Mustain has been looking pretty good in USC's first practices.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.