When Penn State commenced spring practice last month, there were four legitimate contenders for the starting quarterback job.
Ahead of Saturday’s spring game, head coach Joe Paterno has confirmed he’s sliced the number of competitors in half. Whether or not one of the two will remain around to resume the duel in summer camp still remains to be seen.
The legendary coach told reporters before the start of the annual Blue-White game that he’s “99 percent sure it’s going to be one of the two kids.” The “two kids” Paterno refers to are last year’s season-opening starter Robert Bolden and last year’s season-ending starter Matt McGloin.
Based on Paterno’s words, it appears redshirt freshman Paul Jones and junior Kevin Newsome will be on the outside of the battle for the starting job looking in. Paterno said the former’s lack of experience compared to Bolden and McGloin has put him behind, while the former’s work ethic — or lack thereof — is what’s holding him back from giving a serious challenge to the two front-runners.
One thing that won’t happen, regardless of how the duo performs in the glorified scrimmage this afternoon, is Paterno naming a starter.
“No need to. No sense in doing it,” Paterno said.
What effect that will have on Bolden’s future is certainly up for debate. The true sophomore requested a release from his PSU scholarship earlier this year, but was denied by Paterno. While he returned to the program, his mother said earlier this week that’s she’s uncertain whether he will remain in Happy Valley following the spring sessions or look to transfer.
For what it’s worth, Paterno feels Bolden will stay and resume the fight in camp.
The injury-plagued career of Jordan Brailford (pictured, right) in Stillwater is apparently showing no signs of slowing down.
While the football program has yet to confirm it, Oklahoma State’s student newspaper, the Daily O’Collegian, has reported that Brailford has undergone a surgical procedure to repair unspecified damage in his shoulder. The Oklahoman subsequently confirmed the initial report.
It’s expected that the surgery will sideline the redshirt junior defensive lineman for up to four months, which would put him back in time to participate in the latter portions of summer camp. The Oklahoman notes that, via a team source, “Brailford’s availability for the opener depends on how quickly he heals and strengthens the shoulder.”
OU opens the 2017 season against Tulsa Sept. 2, although that game could be moved to Aug. 31.
A three-star 2014 signee, Brailford took a redshirt his true freshman season after suffering a fractured tibia. After playing in 10 games the following season, he missed all of 2016 because of a stress fracture in his foot.
He’s already received a medical hardship waiver for one of those seasons.
Nick Saban said last week that the loss to Clemson in the the national championship game earlier this year is one that he’ll never get over, although he didn’t go so far as to compare it to a death in the family. One playing member of Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide team is taking to steps to ensure that he never forgets, either.
Jalen Hurts was the Tide’s talented true freshman starting quarterback who helped lead ‘Bama into the title game and, with a 30-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left, gave his team a 31-28 lead. That lead was short-lived, however, as Deshaun Watson led his Tigers on an epic 88-yard drive that was capped by his two-yard touchdown pass with just one tick left on the clock for the 35-31 win.
The stunning last-second loss is something that Hurts makes a conscious effort to remind himself of daily as the rising sophomore, as the background on his smartphone, has a picture of Clemson players celebrating their win.
“We’re obviously all on our phones all the time,” Hurts said according to al.com after this past weekend’s spring game. “Every time I unlock it, it’s kind of a reminder. It kind of humbles me and keeps me motivated. …
“It’s not a grudge at all. It’s just something that keeps it on the back of your shoulder like, yeah, it’s still there. Remember why you’re doing it because at the end of the day, the goal for this team is to win the national championship.
The father of Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph was killed Friday in an accidental shooting, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Monday.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Darryl Rudolph was working on repairs inside a West Palm Beach, Fla., when a gun accidentally fired in an adjacent room, hitting him in the back/neck area. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 55 years old.
The younger Rudolph was Florida State’s leading receiver over the past two seasons before becoming an early-entrant into this week’s NFL Draft. He gained viral notoriety after a photo snapped of him sitting at lunch with an autistic elementary school student hit Facebook.
“When I used to coach and help other kids with football, basketball and sports, Travis was small but he used to pay attention to what I was doing,” the elder Rudolph said in an interview with ESPN last year. “I told them get your education. You can be the best athlete in the world, but without an education, you’re not going very far. That’s what Travis followed through on.”
LSU quarterback Danny Etling has undergone surgery to relieve back pain, the program announced Monday.
“Danny had a minor back procedure this morning and everything went alright,” head coach Ed Orgeron said in a statement (and not in an Arrested Development way).
Etling has played through back pain for months, according to Ross Dellenger from The Advocate, and this procedure should remove that pain.
In a possibly related story, Etling went 4-of-11 for 53 yards in LSU’s spring game.
A transfer from Purdue, Etling appeared in 11 games for the Tigers last season, completing 160-of-269 passes (59.5 percent) for 2,123 yards (7.9 yards per attempt) with 11 touchdowns against five interceptions.
Etling’s recovery from Monday’s procedure is expected to be a short one.