UM signee again blasts 'grimy, two-faced and disrespectful' UF coaches

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As a talented football player at Gainesville High School, it would stand to reason that Florida would’ve had a big advantage in landing linebacker Kevin Nelson.

When Nelson opted instead to give a verbal to in-state rival Miami, the 2010 recruit was the subject of verbal needling from the UF faithful in the area.  And, according to Nelson — stressing “according to Nelson” — some allegedly shoddy treatment from the hometown college football program as well.

Speaking to the Miami Herald, Nelson — who by then had given a verbal commitment to the ‘Canes — said he attended a Florida home game in 2009 with other recruits but, after the game, was the only one not allowed in the locker room by UF coaches.  Even though, Nelson said, then-LB Brandon Spikes invited him.

Grimy, two-faced and disrespectful,” Nelson was quoted as saying of the Gator coaches by the Herald.

This is the second time Nelson has levied a “grimy, two-faced” blast at the program and its coaches, with the first coming in the immediate aftermath of that November game.

Nelson also stated that some of the UF defensive coaches attempted to talk him out of his commitment to Miami, telling him that “Miami hasn’t won any ACC championships since going to the ACC and that Randy Shannon is going to leave after this year, and that I might not get any playing time.”

First of all, and taking his comments at face value, this just seemingly confirms what’s been rumored all along: rival coaches were using Shannon’s contract status against the Hurricanes on the recruiting trail.  Although Shannon received his well-deserved extension earlier this offseason, shame on the university for allowing his contract situation to linger as long as it did and possibly have an impact on UM’s 2010 recruiting class.

Secondly, if Nelson thought he was taking some abuse before, what does he think is going to happen when he goes back to Gainesville now after blasting the staff with some pretty derogatory words?

Ear muffs, my man.  Ear muffs.

Oh, and Miami and Florida are next scheduled to take the field on September 7, 2013.  That would be Nelson’s senior season — or redshirt junior season, depending on how things play out — and, needless to say, he’s already counting down the days until game time.

“I can’t wait to play them suckers, for real,” Nelson said back in November. “I know it’s a long time from now. I just can’t wait ’till we play these suckers. They are just disrespectful.”

LOOK: Arizona State to wear Pat Tillman-themed uniforms

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Pat Tillman is essentially the Knute Rockne of Arizona State football, the central figure that will be as important to the program 100 years from now as he is today. And while Notre Dame will wear Rockne-themed uniforms later this season, so, too, will Arizona State.

The program revealed Tillman-centric uniforms on Monday for their Nov. 4 game with Colorado, based on the uniform Tillman wore as a member of the U.S. Army while fighting in Afghanistan.

Tillman played linebacker at Arizona State from 1994-97 (he was named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) and then spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Army Rangers before he was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, at age 27.

Arizona State unveiled a Tillman statue at Sun Devil Stadium at its season-opening win over New Mexico State.

“Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be,” Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, said at the unveiling. “He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was, ‘How can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life?’ And ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”

Jim McElwain says family, players have received death threats over 3-3 start

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Florida has lost two in a row and is off to a 3-3 start, and that streak will probably reach three on Saturday after the Gators meet No. 3 Georgia. While everyone knows SEC fans are passionate about their football, some have taken Florida’s struggles too far.

How far? By threatening to kill the players and coaches.

“I think it’s a pretty good lesson for the way things are,” head coach Jim McElwain said, via Only Gators. “There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when it’s threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. There’s a lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.”

In my experience, it seems people lodging death threats are far more serious about the threat part than the, uh, other. But that’s easy for me to say, I’ve never received one.

Report: Sam Darnold expected to return to USC in 2018

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Sam Darnold was appointed the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on the second day of 2017. As a redshirt freshman, Darnold torched Penn State to the tune of 33-of-53 passing for 453 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in a 52-49 Rose Bowl win.

One problem, though. Darnold hasn’t played like a No. 1 pick this season.

While he hasn’t been the most disappointing player on what’s turning out to be a disappointing USC team, Darnold has posted pedestrian numbers (for him): hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for an even eight yards per attempt with 17 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He ranks 38th nationally in passing efficiency. This puts him, coincidentally, one spot ahead of former USC quarterback Max Browne.

On Monday, NFL Draft analyst Benjamin Allbright shared a report that Darnold is expected to return to USC next season.

Considering Ronald Jones could return next season and that Stephen Carr is just a freshman, the prospect of Darnold returning in 2018 has to take the sting out of a lost 2017 for Trojans fans.

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger, C Zach Shackelford in concussion protocol

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Texas has lost two straight upset bids in strikingly similar fashion: true freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger leads a potential-game winning drive, scrambles, hits his head on the turf and ends the possession in a puzzling throw.

The first came in last week’s loss to No. 10 Oklahoma. Trailing 29-24 late in the fourth quarter, scrambled for two yards to the Texas-48 yard line but hit his head on the Cotton Bowl turf and was forced to leave the game for five plays. Shane Buechele pushed the Longhorns to the Oklahoma 31, but he was replaced after a sack and Ehlinger ended up throwing the ball away on 4th-and-13 from the OU 34 with two minutes to play. That, as they say, was that.

Fast forward to Saturday and Texas was trailing No. 11 Oklahoma State 13-10 in overtime when Ehlinger opened the possession with a scramble that again saw the back of his head bang against the Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium turf. He stayed in the game this time, but ended the game on a puzzling (to say the least) interception to absolutely no one on 3rd-and-4 from the OSU 6.

While Ehlinger was not evaluated for a concussion during the game, he did not practice Sunday and head coach Tom Herman said Monday that Ehlinger and center Zach Shackelford are in concussion protocol.

Complicating matters for Texas is that sophomore back-up Shane Buechele is playing on a gimpy ankle that kept him out against San Jose State and Kansas State that Herman said will not improve as the season goes on.

No matter, Texas will face a hungry Baylor team on Saturday (noon ET, ESPNU) that nearly completed a comeback against No. 22 West Virginia on Saturday night.