Unless you are a blood relation, you were probably more than a little surprised when Miami released their spring depth chart Friday and Spencer Whipple‘s name appeared at the top of the quarterback position.
While it’s highly unlikely that Whipple will remain ahead of both Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris by the time the 2011 season rolls around, that’s the way it is now as the Hurricanes began spring practice Saturday morning. For his part, Whipple acknowledges he has a tough row to hoe in order to maintain his lofty depth-chart standing.
The senior-to-be, though, also states the obvious, that he’s not going to give up that top spot without a fight.
“It’s going to be very hard,” Whipple said of the three-way battle to become the starter. “They’re great quarterbacks. The competition is going to be very high in the spring. Obviously the pressure is on me to keep my job. I know that. I’m going to do everything I can and just let things fall into place.”
In all fairness, Whipple “won” the job entering spring based solely on the fact that he had a more solid offseason workout performance than the other two contenders. New head coach Al Golden readily admitted that the margin between Whipple and Harris, who started the majority of games last year and is currently listed at No. 2 on Golden’s initial depth chart, was slim.
“Spencer probably beat him out by a day or two that he was just better than Jacory,” Golden said Saturday morning before UM’s first spring practice. “I’m anxious to see all three of them compete. They’ll all get opportunities with the ones.”
And, more than likely, those opportunities Harris and Morris receive will result in a slightly different look to the depth chart by the end of the spring sessions. If not sooner.
An off-field incident will lead to some on-field attrition, at least for the short-term, for West Virginia.
Starting left guard Adam Pankey (pictured, large player lifting Smallwood) was arrested earlier this month and charged with driving under the influence following a one-car accident. Dana Holgorsen has confirmed that Pankey has been suspended and will remain that way through at least the opener Sept. 3.
“We hold these guys to high expectations,” the head coach said. “When you don’t meet those, there are going to be consequences. He’s currently suspended from the team. That’s disappointing. He will continue his suspension through Missouri, and we’ll address it at that time.”
Pankey has started 25 games the past two seasons. He started 13 at left tackle in 2014, and 12 at left guard in 2015.
Jim Harbaugh had previously confirmed that two of the three Michigan football players not present for a team photo earlier this month — wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell, running back Kareem Walker and defensive lineman Shelton Johnson — had been suspended, although he declined to specify which two. A couple of weeks later, one of those players has apparently exited the program.
On his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon, Mitchell announced that he is “reopening my recruitment to all Universities and football programs.” It’s unclear if the wide receiver has received a release from his UM scholarship.
“I love what U of M had to offer me but, what is best for me and my family comes first,” Mitchell wrote.
A four-star 2016 recruit, Mitchell was rated as the No. 5 player at any position in the state of New Jersey and the No. 167 player overall on 247sports.com‘s composite board. He was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice.,
With the opener a little over a week way, Eastern Michigan’s quarterback situation is in a significant state of flux.
The Detroit Free Press has reported that Brogan Roback has been suspended by EMU head coach Chris Creighton. The only reason given was “a violation of our policies.”
EMU opens the 2016 season Sept. 3 against Mississippi Valley State, and it appears Roback will miss at least that contest.
“With the privilege of being a member of the Eastern Michigan University football program there are expectations and standards to which we hold our student-athletes accountable,” a portion of a Creighton’s statement sent to the Free Press read.
Roback took over for Reggie Bell as the Eagles’ starting quarterback after Week 1 last year. He threw for 2,304 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in completing exactly 60 percent of his passes.
Bell transferred after the 2016 season, leaving Roback as the presumptive starter. With Roback’s suspension, it leaves EMU with four scholarship quarterbacks — junior Todd Porter, freshman Isaac Stiebeling, and redshirt freshmen Anton Skupin and James Pensyl. Only Porter, a junior college transfer, has experience at the collegiate level, and would presumably take over as the starter in Roback’s absence.
Not surprisingly, Ryan Finley‘s stay in Raleigh has been extended.
North Carolina State confirmed Tuesday that Finley has been granted an additional season of eligibility by the NCAA. Finley received a medical waiver from The Association that will give him a sixth year if he ultimately chooses to use it.
So, in summation, Finley has three years of eligibility remaining beginning this season and running through the 2018 season.
In April of this year, the quarterback announced that he had decided to transfer from Boise State. A month later, he moved on to NC State as a graduate transfer.
Finley started the first three games last season as a redshirt sophomore for the Broncos before suffering a broken ankle and losing the job he won in the summer to Freshman All-American Brett Rypien, with the latter further solidifying his hold on the position this spring and triggering the transfer decision.
On the depth chart the Wolfpack released earlier this week, Finley was listed as the co-starter along with redshirt sophomore Jalan McLendon.