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These are unprecedented times -- you already know that, but it's worth repeating -- and while it goes without saying, we hope everyone is healthy and doing everything they can to remain so. If you're looking for a distraction, check out Thor Nystrom's quarterback rankings, and also take a look at Hayden Wink's Top 300 NFL Draft prospects from an analytical perspective.
Onto the week's news.
Coronavirus concerns lead to spring shutdowns
If you somehow missed it, Wednesday and Thursday saw the suspension to virtually every sporting event going on, and the postponement/cancellation of a few others. Even with the college football season not starting for another five-plus months, the sport was not exempt from the ramifications of the coronavirus. With all winter/spring sports cancelled along with their championships, several big name schools including Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC and Penn State suspended all team activities. Baylor also suspended their activities until March 23. We also saw several schools cancel their spring game, and the ACC, Big Ten, SEC -- along with UNLV and Notre Dame -- placed recruiting limitation. Tulsa also had two players quarantined because of possible exposure to COVID-19, with those names not being made public at this point.
This is a fairly obvious point, but it's hard to imagine that the majority of schools don't follow suit at this point. As valuable as spring practices can be -- particularly for new players or for those schools that have quarterback battles -- it should be abundantly clear that it's not worth risking the health of players over some extra practices. We love college football -- and we're guessing if you're reading this you do, too -- but there are much, much bigger things going on right now.
QB Ramsey transfers from Indiana to Northwestern
One of the top players who had yet to make a transfer decision has done so, and he's staying in his former conference.
Former Indiana redshirt senior QB Peyton Ramsey transferred to Northwestern as a graduate. Ramsey (6'2/16) has started for most of the past three years for the Hoosiers, but Michael Penix Jr. is the present and the future at the position -- Penix Jr. was the starter until he went down with an injury to begin 2019 -- so he saw the writing on the wall and entered the transfer portal early in the winter.
While Northwestern isn't exactly loaded with pass-catching options, this seems like a nice match. Ramsey has been a solid -- if not spectacular -- signal-caller in the Big Ten, and the Wildcats were abhorrent at the quarterback position in 2019. They'll only get one year together unless Ramsey somehow qualified for a sixth season, but at the very least, the former Hoosier should add some stability to the position this fall.
St. Brown dealing with sports hernia
USC has canceled their remaining spring practices, but there are a couple of injury updates to players that are expected to play key roles for the Trojans in the 2020 campaign.
USC junior WR Amon-Ra St. Brown is dealing with a sports hernia. The Trojans announced that he would not participate in practices this spring, but that was before the cancellation of said events. Brown was outstanding for USC last year; catching 77 passes for 1,042 yards and six touchdowns. It will be important for the Trojans to have their star 6-foot-1, 195-pound wideout ready to go when the regular season comes to fruition. At the very least, it's a situation that's worth monitoring.
We don't know who is going to be throwing the football to St. Brown in 2020, and one of those candidates -- sophomore QB Kedon Slovis -- was expected to be closely monitored during spring practices because of the elbow injury suffered in the Holiday Bowl. Again, those practices are now a thing of the past, but it's another interesting situation. Slovis really impressed at times during his freshman season, and the 6-foot-2, 200-pound signal-caller is expected to battle with J.T. Daniels for the starting gig this fall.
Of course, Daniels is dealing with his own injury after he tore his ACL early in 2019, and he's not expected to be ready until fall. Those spring reps could have been a big help for Slovis, but the two should be considered neck-and-neck for the starting gig when the season gets started.
Dobbins to work out with Dolphins
The NFL is one of the few sports that hasn't had to cancel much -- although they did just postpone their winter meetings at the end of the month -- and several teams are likely trying to get visits in while the option is still on the table (Note: The NFL has postponed all in-person visits for draft prospects after this article was published).
One of those visits was scheduled on Friday, as the Miami Dolphins brought in Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins for a visit. On paper, this seems like a great fit. The Dolphins run game was anemic last season, and with all due respect to Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin, there does not seem to be a long-term answer in Miami's backfield. The Dolphins also worked with Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor, and have reportedly shown interest in players like LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Georgia's D'Andre Swift and Utah's Zack Moss; among others.
The Dolphins have three first-round selections in this draft class, and while they could wait for Day 2 to address the position, it wouldn't be a huge upset at all if they used one of those picks on a player like Dobbins.
Four-star corner Hancock pledges to Clemson
There haven't been a ton of pledges over the spring, but we did see a few four-star prospects make a commitment over the weekend. Arguably the "biggest" of these is Jordan Hancock, who announced his pledge to Clemson on Wednesday. Hancock is a 6-foot, 170-pound corner who pledged to the Tigers over Alabama, Georgia an Ohio State; three programs have that been pretty good, in our humble estimation. The 247Sports folks ranked him as the sixth best corner and ninth best player from the state of Georgia, and Charles Power of the website compares him to former Washington corner Byron Murphy. The rich get richer.
North Carolina has been cleaning up in the recruiting game as of late, and they picked up another four-star pledge in tackle Eli Sutton. With a 6-foot-7, 285-pound frame, it's easy to understand why several programs were interested in Sutton; including Penn State, Georgia Tech, Duke and Northwestern. In those same 247Sports recruiting rankings, he's graded as the 21st best tackle in the class. Mack Brown and company appear to be building something impressive in Chapel Hill.
Colorado redshirt freshman DE Antonio Alfano has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules ... Florida State sophomore Wyatt Rector is moving from quarterback to tight end ... UNLV hired former USC DL coach Chad Kauha'aha'a as DL coach ... LSU redshirt freshman QB Peter Parrish has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules ... Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons pressed 225 pounds 20 times at Clemson's pro day on Thursday ... Michigan redshirt senior LB Devin Gil entered the NCAA transfer portal ... Wisconsin LB Chris Orr ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds at the school's pro day ... Uncommitted four-star 2021 QB Christian Veilleux will take an unofficial visit to Clemson on March 30 ... Oklahoma WR Lee Morris ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds at the school's pro day.