Wed Apr 01 09:51am EDT
• Slow down: Aren't you forgetting about Bauserman and Stoneburner? After some more or less idle speculation last week, the Columbus Dispatch confirms Ohio State is re-tooling its offense to accommodate Terrelle Pryor when spring practice starts on Thursday, including more pistol and motion-heavy wildcat (wildbuck?) formations that have the coaches "fired up," according to the phenom quarterback. But don't think Jim Tressel is getting narrow-minded about one player, now:
"So it won't be all tailored to what Terrelle does well and to what (backup) Joe Bauserman does well. It will be some of what Boom Herron does well, what those wideouts do well, what Jake Ballard adds to the picture at tight end, and what Jake Stoneburner offers us now that we've moved him over to tight end."
You've got to think about the water boy, the guy who dots the 'i', that one cheerleader walk-on we have. Are you forgetting this is a team?
• Carl Johnson, exonerated? When Florida offensive lineman Carl Johnson was arrested for violating a restraining order filed by an ex-girlfriend in January, the allegations that led to the order were shocking: Rape, abuse, threats and, reportedly, a chilling life's goal to "shoot and kill someone." Those charges were dropped in February on lack of evidence, and Tuesday, the woman filed to dismiss the restraining order, leaving Johnson in the clear, legally:
"The restraining order, unfortunately, was a mirage," Gainesville attorney Huntley Johnson, who represents Johnson, told Florida Today on Tuesday. "It just was never legitimate."
Johnson is practicing and "in good standing" with Urban Meyer, pending a university review.
• Patience, my dear Kozlowski. Think back, if you can remember this far, to a Thursday night in November 2006, when West Virginia and Louisville were both undefeated and redshirt freshman Scott Kozlowski came in with the third-best punting average in the nation. Louisville led 23-14 after returning a WVU fumble for a touchdown early in the third quarter when Kozlowski, punting from near his own end zone, shanked a 26-yard duck that was summarily brought back by the Cardinals' Trent Guy for one of the easiest-looking scores of the decade. The Mountaineers, now down 30-14, kissed their mythical championship ambitions goodbye, and Kozlowski returned the next week to find himself demoted -- for the next two-and-a-half years:
"I knew it wasn't good and I'd shanked it off the side of my foot," Kozlowski said the other day. "It was a crucial game, but I just couldn't believe how that Monday at practice I was No. 2 just out of nowhere."
"... it felt like no matter what I did, even if I was the best, I wasn't going to be the guy. Practice was almost like, 'What's the point?'"
The point is this: Now a fifth-year senior and finally out of the shadow of all-Big East kicker, punter and noted amateur wrestler Pat McAfee, Kozlowski gets to reprove himself as WVU's top foot on every kick this year, firm in the knowledge that he is The Guy. Unless, of course, he screws the whole team again with another season-killing sidewinder. But you're The Guy, Scott!
• Hey, we were trying to be positive here. The Orange County Register covers Southern Cal and UCLA, but only one set of fans can be happy with the Register's multimedia feature on Tuesday, featuring 10 Bruins who might actually have a chance to get on the field at USC -- and that includes the kicker, Kai Forbath, the long snapper, Christian Yount, and a true freshman, Morell Presley, who's never played a down. First on the list is ex-USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who is flattered, really, and will consider this spring a smashing success if he can get his quarterbacks to show up on time.
On the other side of town, USC's quarterback tussle remains "wide open" after the second day of practice, which wasn't as nice to freshman Matt Barkley as his first day.
Quickly ... Even Ryan Nassib was "shocked" to be named Syracuse's starting quarterback. ... Bill Stewart, working on four hours sleep his own self after a boy scout function, called West Virginia's early morning wake-up call "sparkling." Meanwhile, WVU punter Scott Kozlowski is back in the lineup for the first time since shanking a critical punt against Louisville in 2006. ... Steve Sarkisian's first practice at Washington had a brisker pace. (Tyrone Willingham writes 'brisk pace' in his notebook.) Sark was jacked. ... Speaking of which, Pete Carroll's never-ending, Will Ferrell-targeted Twitter campaign now includes Jimmy Fallon, who was on campus Tuesday. ... "Consistency" is the buzz after Miami's spring game. ... The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at the psychology of a returning starter. ... Korey Mangum's attempts to replace Myron Rolle at Florida State's "rover" position aren't going so hot. ... South Florida receiver Jess Hester is out for the rest of the spring. ... Alabama scrimmages for the first time this afternoon. ... Auburn coaches like linebacker Craig Stevens. ... Kansas State refugee Derek Meyer has one season to make it count as a Cornhusker. ... Rutgers is moving lifelong running back Adrian Robinson to receiver. ... Georgia is suffering a rash of injuries at defensive end. ... A judge tossed a lawsuit against South Carolina brought by a family whose free parking privileges at Williams-Brice Stadium had been revoked. ... JoePa was a hit during ESPN's coverage of Penn State's NIT win over Notre Dame. ... Tennessee's offensive line stepped up as the Vols focused on short-yard drills, the old bugaboo. And UT quarterback Nick Stephens has already won half the battle.