Walter Camp last of major awards to release watch list

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Finally, and mercifully, our long national watch list nightmare has come to an end as the prestigious Walter Camp Award has become the final major award to announce its 2011 preseason group of players to watch.

A total of 40 players made the initial Camp watch list, including 2010 finalists LaMichael James of Oregon and Andrew Luck of Stanford.  Of the 40 players on the list, 30 were from the offensive side of the ball and 10 the defensive.

There are just four sophomores on the list — San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman, South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and Wisconsin RB James White.

Quarterback was the most popular position with 15 players named, followed by running backs and wide receiver with seven apiece.  Linebackers and defensive ends accounted for three players each.

The award has been handed out annually since 1967 and is named in honor of Walter Camp, the former Stanford and Yale head coach in the latter part of the 19th century who has been dubbed “The Father of American Football”.

Last year’s winner was Auburn’s Cam Newton.

Below is the complete list of the 2011 preseason Camp watch listers:

Matt Barkley, QB, USC, Junior
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State, Junior *
Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma, Senior *
Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State, Junior
Tank Carder, LB, TCU, Senior
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina, Senior
Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State, Senior
Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska, Senior
Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas, Junior
Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri, Senior *
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame, Senior
Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M, Senior
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor, Senior
Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois, Senior
Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State, Sophomore
Jayron Hosley, DB, Virginia Tech, Junior *
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon, Junior *
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina, Junior @
Brandon Jenkins, DT, Florida State, Junior
Damarais Johnson, WR, Tulsa, Senior
Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma, Junior
Case Keenum, QB, Houston, Senior %
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College, Junior *
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina, Sophomore @
Robert Lester, DB, Alabama, Junior @
Brandon Lindsey, DE, Pittsburgh, Junior
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford, Senior @
Jonathan Massaquoi, DE, Troy, Junior
Bryant Moniz, QB, Hawaii, Senior
Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State, Senior
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, Sophomore
Eric Page, WR/KR, Toledo, Junior *
Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern, Senior
Chris Polk, RB, Washington, Junior
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama, Junior
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan, Junior
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia, Junior
Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon, Junior
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State, Senior
James White, RB, Wisconsin, Sophomore

*- 2010 Walter Camp First Team All-America selection
@ – 2010 Walter Camp Second Team All-America selection
% – 2009 Walter Camp Second Team All-America selection

Butch Jones says the most Butch Jones quote of all time

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It’s become a theory among some in the media that Butch Jones is conducting a social experiment or participating some sort of performance art. While that’s the more charitable and fun interpretation, I tend to think the Tennessee head coach is just frighteningly insecure and, thus, fighting for every inch of public approval he can in a likely doomed attempt to keep his job.

That approach has backed him into some verbal corners that, in the long run, make his job more difficult on himself.

I’m talking about the “Champions of Life” quote of last season or, in February, actually stating that he didn’t want 5-star players, he wanted 5-star hearts.

This season has seen Jones go on an odd rant blaming the media for negative recruiting and saying Tennessee had one of the best bye weeks ever last week.

It wasn’t one of the best bye weeks ever, because Tennessee lost at home to South Carolina, 15-9. And you’re not going to believe Jones’s explanation for why Tennessee loss. Scratch that. You will believe his explanation, and that’s the problem here, isn’t it?

Here’s the full quote.

Jones is 33-24 in his four-plus seasons in Knoxville, and 14-21 in the SEC. Those numbers will likely fall to 33-25 and 14-22 after Saturday, when the Vols face No. 1 Alabama. The end is likely near.

And here’s the grand irony of Jones’s everything’s-sunny-here p.r. strategy: his attempt to keep his job by stating blatantly cliche quotes in the state of the obvious will live on much longer than Jones’s actual tenure. Two and three years from now, when Jones is working on someone else’s staff or sitting on his buyout money, the next time an on-the-hot-seat coach says his team won the game everywhere except the scoreboard, we’ll see he Pulled a Butch.

Houston Nutt settles lawsuit with Ole Miss

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Houston Nutt wanted money and an apology from Ole Miss. He’ll have to settle for the second of the two — and a largely different future for the program he used to lead.

It was Nutt’s lawsuit, remember, which exposed the documents that led to a Mississippi State fan finding Hugh Freeze‘s call to a Tampa escort service, which led to Freeze’s resignation, which led to… we have no idea what it will lead to, but, whatever that future is, it will be wildly different than if Freeze was still the Rebels’ coach.

Nutt amended his lawsuit in August to seek simply an apology from Ole Miss, and that apology finally came on Monday.

Each side released their own bitter, short statements.

Nutt will go on, with his apology but without any monetary compensation, while Ole Miss will play out the string of this season, hire a new coach, and move into a future that will be immeasurably different that the one it would have lived had it apologized to Nutt in the first place.

Washington loses LT Adams, CB Miller for the season

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No. 12 Washington’s loss to Arizona State was a disaster on the field — for more reasons than one.

The Huskies not only put their College Football Playoff hopes in danger — they’ll need to sweep their next six games, including a finishing kick that calls for games against No. 22 Stanford, No. 15 Washington State and, presumably, No. 11 USC, two of them away from Seattle. But the road to get there became noticeably more difficult after losing two starters.

Left tackle Trey Adams suffered a torn ACL in his right knee, and cornerback Jordan Miller sustained a broken ankle. Head coach Chris Petersen confirmed Monday that both will be lost for the season. Miller is the third Husky this season to suffer a broken ankle.

The Seattle Times noted that Washington is also without another starting corner in Byron Murphy, who is expected to return later this year from a broken foot. The Huskies are expected to replace Miller with either a pair of true freshmen or a converted running back.

But Adams may be the bigger loss for the Huskies. A junior, Adams was widely expected to be a first round pick in this spring’s NFL Draft. It’s the second straight season Washington has lost a key player in the trenches to a season-ending injury; a year ago, it was linebackers Joe Mathis, who finished one sack away from the team lead despite playing in only seven games, and third-leading tackler Azeem Victor.

Maryland AD Kevin Anderson to take 6-month sabbatical

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Maryland AD Kevin Anderson will not be the Maryland AD for the next six months.

Anderson announced Monday he will take a 6-month sabbatical to focus on “professional development.” That leave of absence will see him remain on his national committees with the NCAA and NACDA, the professional organization of ADs.

It was reported over the weekend that Anderson would be out completely as Maryland’s AD, but those reports were knocked down by the university.

Additionally, Maryland announced that former Georgia AD and current Terps associate AD/CFO Damon Evans will run the department in Anderson’s stead.