March 05, 2015
Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon will participate in spring practice for the Sooners, but head coach Bob Stoops said the former five-star recruit won’t play in the team’s spring game.
It has been a long eight months since Mixon was suspended for allegedly punching a woman in the face and knocking her unconscious at a restaurant. After being charged with a misdemeanor and ultimately entering a plea deal in October, Mixon received a one-year deferred sentence.
Mixon returned to the football team in February and now is back on the team’s official spring roster and ready to participate when practice begins on Saturday.
Stoops clarified that Mixon sitting out the team’s spring game on April 11 is part of his original punishment associated with his suspension.
Prior to the incident, Mixon’s arrival at Oklahoma was hugely hyped. He was the top-rated running back and the No. 8 ranked prospect in the country coming out of the 2014 recruiting class from Freedom High School in Oakley, California. At 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds, he was expected to provide an immediate boost along with Semaje Perine to the Sooners’ backfield.
With Mixon suspended, Perine exploded onto the scene and rushed for 1,745 yards and 21 touchdowns on 6.5 yards per carry. Perine also set an NCAA single-game rushing record with 427 yards on the ground against Kansas on Nov. 22.
If Mixon lives up to expectations, the Sooners should have a lethal one-two punch in the backfield for the next few seasons.
For more Oklahoma news, visit SoonerScoop.com.
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Ohio State doesn’t start spring practice until next week, so there’s no shame in basking in the glory of its remarkable national title run for a few more days.
To commemorate that College Football Playoff title win over Oregon, the program unveiled a cool highlight package of the game with some intimate behind the scenes footage.
The 42-20 win clinched the eighth national championship in program history and the first in Urban Meyer’s tenure as head coach.
Now the Buckeyes will switch gears and move their attention toward the 2015 campaign.
Spring practice begins on March 10, followed by the team’s spring game on April 18.
For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.
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March 05, 2015
Paul Chryst wanted to dispel the myth of Wisconsin’s tough academic standards by joking that if he could graduate from the university, any of his players could accomplish the same feat.
"I got a degree from Wisconsin. It's not like you have to be a rocket scientist," Chryst said during a meeting of the state chamber of commerce Wednesday.
Wisconsin’s academic standards were thrust into the spotlight earlier this year when former coach Gary Andersen said they were the reason he decided to abruptly leave the program and become the head coach at Oregon State.
"It's been well [documented] there were some kids I couldn't get in school," Andersen told CBS Sports. "That was highly frustrating to me. I lost some guys, and I told them I wasn't going to lose them.
"I think they did what they were supposed to do [academically] and they still couldn't get in. That was really hard to deal with."
Wisconsin’s academic standards are higher than Nebraska, Ohio State and Michigan State, three schools with which the Badgers compete for recruits. Wisconsin requires incoming freshman to have 17 units of "core college preparatory" classes, which include four years of English, three years of math, three years of natural science, three years of social science and then another four electives, which could be a foreign language, a fine art, computer science or a range of other offerings.
Nebraska and Michigan State only require 14 core units, with the extra coming in the form of another math class. Ohio State requires 16 core units.
Oregon State’s academic requirements mirror Wisconsin's 13 core unites, but require just two units of a foreign language.
Chryst, who played quarterback for the Badgers, graduated with a degree in political science in 1988 and earned a master's degree in educational administration from the University of West Virginia.
Chryst was adamant that Wisconsin’s higher educational standards were not a hindrance, but rather an endorsement for the school.
"I've been asked this quite a bit, about the high standards academically," Chryst said. "I think that's one of the things that separates Wisconsin from a lot of places. ... Everything we do in the program is to help them get a meaningful degree."
For more Wisconsin news, visit BadgerBlitz.com.
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Are members of the Ohio State football team dancing at halftime of Sunday's men's basketball game against Wisconsin intrigue you?
If you're bored on Sunday afternoon, you may want to tune in.
Coach Urban Meyer tweeted a teaser on Thursday.
We're guessing the song won't be "Jump Around." Our suggestion is this late 1990s gem. It's one of the greatest songs of all time and the dance moves seem relatively easy.
In February, Wisconsin's players joined in with the Wisconsin dance team at a game against Illinois.
The game is at 3:30 p.m. on CBS. If you miss it, don't worry, we'll be on the lookout for video.
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March 05, 2015
Brice Ramsey was second on Georgia’s depth chart at quarterback behind Hutson Mason in 2014, but just because Mason graduated doesn’t mean that Ramsey has assumed the team’s starting role just yet.
In fact, Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt indicated Wednesday that Ramsey, a redshirt sophomore, redshirt junior Faton Bauta and redshirt freshman Jacob Park will all receive reps with the first unit.
“It's more of 1A, 1B, and 1C. We're trying to give all of those guys a number of reps,” Richt said, per UGASports.com. “We're trying to make it as equal as possible. I'm sure we'll be rotating who is number one on any given day, as far as who works with that unit. I'm sure every quarterback will get reps with the one's and the two's.”
Richt said the turnover in the coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball plays a role in evaluating the position. Longtime Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo left to become the head coach at Colorado State and Richt brought in veteran NFL assistant Brian Schottenheimer to run the offense. Schottenheimer will also coach the quarterbacks.
“Obviously we brought in a new quarterbacks coach,” Richt said. “You guys (the media) always want to know depth charts, but it's so hard to determine that because there are so many guys getting opportunities to get their reps with the one unit"
At this point, with the season still six months away, Richt said “it’s hard to say” if the staff will name a starter coming out of spring ball.
“I’m not certain we’ll be able to make that determination at that point. I’m not sitting here saying we have to name a one by the end of spring practice,” Richt said. “It’s not a big goal of ours. We want to get these guys opportunities and see how they handle it. We’ll evaluate and make that determination when we get there.”
Some of the transition of adapting the style of Schottenheimer’s offensive scheme plays a role in that decision as well.
"It's been a little bit of a melting pot in terms of what we've done and what he's done in the past,” Richt said. “I'm not going to say it's 100 percent the same verbiage that we had a year ago, but as far as the things that we're doing they married up very well."
Ramsey appeared in eight games in 2014, so he has a leg up on the competition in the experience department. Overall, he threw for 333 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on 24-of-39 throwing. Bauta saw action in three games, completing 4-of-5 passes for 48 yards.
Park enrolled early and redshirted and Richt has often been complimentary of his work on the scout team.
"He did spend a good bit of time on the scout team. He was very unselfish in that role and gave us the best possible look. He really showed some great leadership with that group,” Richt said. “I think it served him well. Now, it's time to let him compete."
Richt’s squad is scheduled to start up practice on March 17 with the G-Day game following on April 11.
For more Georgia news, visit UGASports.com.
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March 05, 2015
Former North Carolina offensive lineman Ryan Hoffman is homeless and battling mental illness.
He said he started having dangerous thoughts when he was a senior at North Carolina in 1997. He started putting things in plastic bags around his residence to remember where they were. He wasn't drafted in the NFL draft and things spiraled after college.
After graduation, Hoffman moved into his father’s house in Florida, jobless and without direction. He struggled to sleep. He complained of headaches and dizziness and of hearing loud noises like shotgun blasts inside his head and of seeing flashing lights. In college, Hoffman’s worst offenses were speeding tickets and fishing without a license. Now he was getting into fistfights on a regular basis, getting arrested, stealing, using marijuana, abusing Valium.
Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. They prescribed Xanax and Adderall, and diagnosed a laundry list of psychological disorders: depression, schizoaffective disorder, manic depression, borderline personality disorder, anger impulse control disorder.
Soon, Hoffman was divorced and he couldn't hold a job.
His sister thinks Hoffman could have CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). CTE is caused after repeated head trauma and has been found in the brains of former football players. However, CTE can't be diagnosed until after death. It was found in the brains of former NFL linebackers Jovan Belcher and Junior Seau. Belcher killed his girlfriend before he committed suicide at the Kansas City Chiefs practice complex and Seau also killed himself.
“That’s exactly when I thought: ‘Oh my God, football. Football did this to Ryan,’ ” Kira Soto told the Times. Their mother, Irene, felt relieved that the family finally had an answer. Their father, Chad, said that while mental illness runs in the family and could have contributed to Ryan’s decline, he also believes football has permanently damaged his son.
Hoffman says he remembers having one (diagnosed) concussion in college but also details a time in high school when he threw up multiple times after a game. As we know, the concussion protocols being developed today weren't even a thought back in Hoffman's playing days. It's why there's currently lawsuits accusing the NCAA of not protecting its players.
Even if Hoffman was to get a part of a possible settlement from the NCAA regarding head injuries, it wouldn't be much. And besides, could he even collect it? He's lost, among other things, his government ID. He hasn't gotten a new one.
“Those are the players who are being left behind in this whole concussion debate and, unfortunately for some of them, it’s a life-or-death issue,” said Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, the newly formed college players union. “But even if the N.C.A.A. paid a billion-dollar settlement, it may not be enough to help all the college players suffering right now. There are just too many of them.”
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BYU needed another quarterback for spring practice. So instead of holding open tryouts for one, the team went and found someone who accumulated significant time under center in 2014.
Christian Stewart filled in as BYU's QB when Taysom Hill was lost for the season in 2014 because of a broken leg. But as a senior in 2014, Stewart figured his last practices would be the ones BYU held for the Miami Beach Bowl. Nope. He's back.
"What a story," BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae said via the Deseret News. "I hope it goes down as one of the all-time great BYU stories that we had a guy that was willing to advance the team, so everyone can get better while we wait for our younger (quarterbacks) to get in and get involved."
Stewart threw for 2,273 yards, 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2014.
Here's how and why it happened. Hill is still out recovering from the broken leg. McCoy Hill, a sophomore who was set to receive a lot of spring reps, now has a sprained foot. Add in the fact that QB Hunter Moore is a sophomore (and had just seven rush attempts in 2014) and Stewart was needed.
''I said, 'You're like gum on my shoe,''' coach Bronco Mendenhall laughingly told the AP. '''I can't get rid of you. No matter if I pull it, I stretch it, it just snaps back.' So we laughed. Talk about a loyal alumni. I think he was maybe more excited than I was that he gets to play football again.
BYU's compliance office was able to clear his participation with the NCAA. He's still enrolled at the school as a senior, so it's no problem.
“It didn’t feel like it was a real thing, but today was fun to get back out there with the guys and just be able to throw the ball around,” Stewart said. “And what are they going to do, yell at me? I can do whatever I want out there. I can make any read I want, throw the deep ball. They can’t really say anything to me.”
Indeed, Stewart gets to do all the fun stuff without all of the other taxing drills and meetings involved with being a full-time member of the team.
“It’s awesome,” Stewart said. “I don’t have to do the crazy warm-up they have to do. I don’t have to go to the meetings in the morning. I just show up right when practice starts, warm up with coach Beck and then go in during all the team periods. Do the fun stuff.”
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March 05, 2015
Auburn is down a linebacker for spring practice.
According to AuburnSports.com, LB Anthony Swain is no longer with the team. Neither is punter Jimmy Hutchinson.
Both LB Anthony Swain and K Jimmy Hutchinson have left Auburn's football team. Both remain enrolled in school this semester.— Bryan Matthews (@BMattAU) March 3, 2015
At Auburn's pro day on Tuesday, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn declined to comment on his roster, instead deferring to when rosters come out at the start of spring practice.
"I'm going to update our spring roster next Tuesday, so I'm going to wait until then and I'll give you all the updates -- not just with him, but with other people, too," Malzahn said via Al.com.
Swain had 18 tackles in 2014. 12 of those came in games against Louisiana Tech, Georgia and Alabama.
Hutchinson had nine punts last year and was the No. 2 punter.
Swain was a three-star safety in the class of 2011 according to Rivals.
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Michigan State WR Macgarrett Kings Jr. has been reportedly charged with two misdemeanors after he was arrested early Saturday morning.
Kings, who will be a senior receiver in the fall, has been charged with drunken and disorderly conduct and obstructing, resisting, hindering or assaulting a police officer, according to East Lansing 54-B District Court documents. Both are misdemeanors punishable by up to 93 days in jail and $500 in fines.
Kings, 21, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was arrested in East Lansing at 2:36 a.m. on Saturday, according to court documents. MSU coach Mark Dantonio could not be reached immediately for comment on the status of Kings with the team, which starts spring football March 24.
It's not the first time that Kings has been arrested around this time of year as a member of Michigan State's football team, either. He was arrested in April of 2014 for DUI and OWIafter his blood alcohol level tested at 0.234 on a breath test. He missed much of Michigan State's spring football season and was sentenced to 13 months probation in the summer following a plea deal.
If he's convicted of the charge of drunken and disorderly conduct, it's a violation of his probation. As part of the terms of his probation, per the Free-Press, he was prohibited from consuming alcohol.
Kings had 29 catches for 404 yards in 2014. Before his 21st birthday in September, Kings said he wanted a touchdown or two against Wyoming. He didn't even get a catch, though he had two carries for two yards.
For more Michigan State news, visit SpartanMag.com.
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March 04, 2015
Shea Patterson is the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2016. He's Rivals' No. 3 prospect overall. He's listed as having a solid verbal commitment to Ole Miss.
And his brother is now a member of the Ole Miss staff.
Per the Clarion-Ledger, Sean Patterson is the associate director for recruiting operations and was added to the staff directory on Monday. Per an Ole Miss spokesperson, Sean Patterson started working at Ole Miss on Feb. 23.
While it's obvious that there are advantages to Ole Miss hiring Sean Patterson for a position that was unfilled after it was created in 2014, hiring a coach or family member of a prized recruit to the staff of a team is nothing new. There may be more notable examples in basketball, but it's not unheard of in football.
And it's not like Ole Miss is hiring Shea's brother from out of nowhere, either. It just looks really transparent.
Sean, a former quarterback at Duquesne, was an offensive quality control assistant for LSU until he resigned earlier in February on the same day Shea Patterson made his verbal commitment to the Rebels. Before that, he was an assistant at Arizona, a school where Shea had previously verbally committed. He decommitted from the Wildcats in July, a week after Sean had taken the position at LSU for the 2014 season.
Shea Patterson is a native of Shreveport, La., and had scholarship offers from 28 other schools including LSU and five other members of the SEC. If his brother doesn't find that it's a good fit at Ole Miss, he can always change his verbal commitment again and sign with a different school on National Signing Day 2016. We're sure there are many other programs who would gladly hire Sean to secure the services of Shea.
For more Ole Miss news, visit RebelGrove.com.
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