The NFL Draft has come and gone, meaning we can turn most of our focus back to College Football. Most depth charts will still fluctuate between now and the start of the 2020 season but players – especially true freshman – who graduate early and participate in spring practices could have a leg up on their competition. It’s something to note in the spring and look for in position competitions deep into the summer.
College Football News
*CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reports that the NCAA Working Gambling Group is expected to propose "the first-ever standardized national player availability report for college sports." This is pretty big news for the world of college football that has been without standardized injury reporting. The pilot proposal is expected to be made next month and will enforce coaches to designate their players as either “available,” “possible,”, or “unavailable.” The release of information is important towards the legalization of gambling in each state and will also be extremely helpful for those who play College Fantasy Football.
*Troy redshirt junior QB Sawyer Smith entered the transfer portal. Smith was fighting for the starting gig at Troy after starting the last seven games of 2018. He will likely land on another Division 1 roster but will have to sit out a year per NCAA transfer rules.
*The Athletic's Chris Vannini reports that Houston redshirt junior DE Isaiah Chambers is expected to be the leader of the defensive line in 2019. With the departure of Ed Oliver, Chambers should have a big season. Houston is switching to a four-man defensive front this season which should help to accentuate Chambers’ pass-rush ability even more.
*ESPN's Adam Rittenberg lists Ohio State freshman WR Garrett Wilson as one of the spring standouts who has a chance to be a star in 2019 for the Buckeyes. Wilson has been really impressive during spring practices according to multiple sources and will have the opportunity to prove himself with increased opportunity. The Buckeyes lost deep-threat Terry McLaurin and underneath option Parris Campbell to the NFL so there are multiple roles open on the offense. Wilson likely won’t be a “star” as a freshman but should certainly see some playing time.
*Auburn HC Gus Malzahn said that one of freshman Bo Nix and redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood will be the team's starting quarterback in the fall. Malzahn believes Nix and Gatewood are currently “1 and 1A.” Nix is a former four-star recruit who flashed talent at the Under Armour All-American game in January. Gatewood is also a former four-star recruit and redshirted last season while Jarrett Stidham pioneered the offense. The competition between Nix and Gatewood likely won’t be over until right before the season rolls around.
*Washington redshirt senior LB D.J. Beavers medically retired. Beavers decided to call it quits after an “accumulation” of injuries in his career. Those injuries have namely been to his leg and foot. This is a big hit for the Huskies after also losing Ben Burr-Kirven to the NFL. LB Brandon Wellington has big shoes to fill as a likely starter in 2020.
*The Seattle Times' Adam Jude reports that Washington redshirt freshman QB Jacob Sirmon has pulled himself out of the NCAA transfer portal. Sirmon announced he was entering the portal just this past weekend but after talking to his coaches he has decided to stay put. Jacob Eason and Jake Haener have been duking it out for the starting job this season with no one else really in the same ballpark. Sirmon will likely end up 3rd on the depth chart in 2019 but should have an opportunity to compete for the starting job in 2020.
NFL Draft Fallout
ESPN's Adam Schefter believes former Duke QB Daniel Jones may have been available at No. 30 overall if the Giants did not select him with the No. 6 overall pick. This report comes after Giants GM Dave Gettleman said in a press conference he “knows” a team would have taken Jones prior to their second first-round pick at No. 17. Rumors are that he believes both the Broncos and Redskins would have selected Jones, but the Broncos had Missouri QB Drew Lock as their No. 1 quarterback and opted to trade down. It’s unclear why the Giants don’t just say that he was their favorite player at a position of need. Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL and the Giants need a new one. The issue people should have with the selection is how divisive a prospect Daniel Jones is. His 59.9% completion rate and 6.4 yards per attempt were among some of the worst in this draft class. 538’s Josh Hermsmeyer’s predictive model believes Jones only has a 17 percent chance of averaging more than 7.1 yards per attempt in the NFL, Josh’s barometer for above average quarterback play. If Jones pans out, Gettleman will look like a genius, if he doesn’t, nearly everyone will have a nice “I told you so” moment and can pat themselves on the back.
Ohio State AD Gene Smith does not believe that former HC Urban Meyer will return to the sidelines as coach. Smith has a “hard time” believing Meyer will return to coaching but added, “you can never say never.” As Meyer’s former employer his comments aren’t all that surprising. … Virginia received a verbal commitment from four-star 2020 T Jimmy Christ. He is a 6-foot-7, 280-pound tackle who chose Virginia over Oklahoma and Notre Dame. He’s the 29th-ranked tackled in the class of 2020 but may need a redshirt year to gain some weight. Once he gets a bit bigger he should be a favorite to start. … Ohio State received a verbal commitment from four-star 2021 QB Kyle McCord. He’s the 8th best quarterback in the class of 2021 and chose OSU over Penn State, Michigan, West Virginia, and Texas A&M. … Wyoming named redshirt freshman QB Sean Chambers starter for the fall. This comes much earlier than expected as Tyler Vander Waal was supposed to give Chambers a run for his money. … Penn State redshirt senior QB Tommy Stevens has official visits scheduled with Miami (OH), Illinois and Mississippi State. Stevens announced his transfer in mid-April after losing the job to Sean Clifford. 247Sports’ Chris Hummer believes Mississippi State is the front-runner for Stevens. He would be a favorite to start at any of the schools he’s interested in. … Clemson received a verbal commitment from five-star 2020 RB Demarkcus Bowman. Bowman (5’11/190) is the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2020 class and is expected to be an instant contributor once he gets to campus. … Duke and HC David Cutcliffe reached agreement on a contract extension lasting through June 30, 2023. Cutcliffe has now been with Duke for 11 seasons and has a 67-72 record. He also produced the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Daniel Jones. … Georgia Tech redshirt junior RB KirVonte Benson is entering the transfer portal. Benson only played in two games last season after suffering a knee injury. He racked up over 1,000 yards as a sophomore and showed the ability to contribute. He’ll likely be transferring as a graduate which would allow him eligibility in 2019. … Arizona redshirt junior WR Devaughn Cooper is no longer on the roster because of violations of athletic-department policy. Cooper was kicked off the team along with EDGE My-King Johnson. He recorded 374 yards on 18 receptions last season.