Petersen reportedly UCLA’s first, top target

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With the carcass of Rick Neuheisel‘s UCLA tenure not yet cold but still hurtling toward the final stages of rigor mortis, potential replacements for Pistol Rick have already begun to surface.

Houston’s Kevin Sumlin, Cincinnati’s Butch Jones and ex-Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach have all been mentioned as possibilities for the flailing football program.  So has Boise State’s Chris Petersen, who we — OK, I — feel simply will not happen based on myriad factors, including the perceived lack of commitment to football as evidenced by its subpar football facilities.

According to one report, however, the Bruins are still going to make a run at a coach who has consistently turned down high-profile opportunities over the past handful of seasons.

Citing influential people with knowledge of the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported late Monday afternoon that the Bruins have identified Petersen as the first coach the athletic department will target, with Guerrero set to take a trip to Boise to meet face-to-face with the Broncos coach.  The Times notes that the university would be prepared to provide annual compensation to Petersen in the neighborhood of $3 million, although that likely wouldn’t get his attention.  The following, though, just might:

Plans to refurbish the Bruins’ practice facility and a commitment of about $2 million for assistant coaches are expected to be part of the package, accord to one person close to the situation.

Again, there’s a general consensus among those in the college football know that, while Petersen may listen to Guerrero’s pitch, he would ultimately turn down whatever was presented.  However, addressing facilities and assistant salaries in a meaningful way would seemingly go a long way in maintaining Petersen’s interest, or at least more so than other opportunities that have arisen in the past.

In the end, though?  Expect Petersen to do to the Bruins what he’s done to them on at least one other occasion — “thanks, but no thanks.”

Once Petersen turns Guerrero down, the Bruins could then turn their attention to Sumlin and Jones, as well as, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com, former Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti and Tom Cable, the former Oakland Raiders head coach who is now a member of Pete Carroll‘s Seattle Seahawks’ coaching staff.

Florida’s Cece Jefferson reportedly out four months after surgery

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One of the most heralded members of Florida’s 2015 recruiting class has hit a medical speedbump.

According to Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun, Cece Jefferson underwent surgery on his right shoulder earlier this week after injuring it during the Gators’ spring game.  As a result of that surgical procedure and the ensuing rehab, the defensive lineman is expected to be sidelined for the next four months.

Such a timeline would see Jefferson returning to on-field football action in mid-August, which would be right in the middle of summer camp.  Whether the lineman would be ready for the start of the 2018 regular season remains to be seen.

Jefferson was a consensus five-star prospect, rated as the No. 2 strongside defensive end in the Class of 2015; the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 7 player overall on 247Sports.com’s composite board.

This past season, Jefferson led the Gators with 13.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.  After considering early entry into the 2018 NFL draft, the 6-1, 242-pound lineman opted to return to Gainesville for one more season.

Ohio State OL Matthew Burrell transferring from Buckeyes

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For the third time this offseason, Ohio State has lost an offensive lineman to transfer.

The latest to leave the trenches in Columbus is Matthew Burrell (pictured, right), with the rising redshirt junior taking to Instagram to announce that, “after prayer and thought, I will be transferring from OSU.” While no specific reason for the decision to transfer was given, the lineman’s placement on the depth chart likely played a significant role.

A four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2015 recruiting class, Burrell was rated as the No. 7 guard in the country and the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Virginia.  The past two seasons, the lineman had seen action in a total of 25 games, including 12 this past season.

In addition to Burrell, OSU offensive linemen Jack Wohlabaugh (HERE) and Kevin Feder (HERE) have all left the program since the end of the 2017 regular season.

UCF police go all in on national championship campaign

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Look, I get it. I know exactly how this game is played. They do it so that people like me will write about it and people like you will read it. It’s all a ploy to make everyone on campus puff their chests out just a little bit further and to keep their name on our lips just a little bit longer.

But doggone if it isn’t working.

More than three months after claiming its 2017 national championship, UCF has found a way to keep itself relevant, this time by having the campus police department get in on the act.

AD Danny White already committed to pay national championship bonuses for coaches who are no longer in the school’s employ, but that’s not even the end of this. There’s still a ring ceremony that is (or at least should) be forthcoming, and the banner reveal at Spectrum Stadium that’s surely coming at the 2018 season opener.

If you’re going to go all in on a publicity campaign, it’s best to go all the way in. As UCF has done here.

NCAA tables proposal that would allow players to play in up to four games and retain redshirt

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The NCAA’s Division I Council on Wednesday tabled a proposal that would allow players to compete in up to four games and retain their redshirts. Championed by AFCA executive director Todd Berry, the rule was touted as a necessary change in an era where teams play 14- and 15-game seasons.

The rule would allow redshirting players to replace injured players without personal cost to their careers. Presently, a coach with dwindling numbers at a given position is put in between the rock and the hard place of burning an innocent player’s redshirt or putting players at risk of injury through overuse.

Here’s how the NCAA presented the news:

The Council tabled a proposal that would allow football student-athletes to participate in up to four games per year without using a season of competition. Proponents argue that late-season injuries and other factors often require student-athletes who hadn’t played all season to burn a year of eligibility for a small number of games. Others wonder whether the proposal could be applied to other sports, as well, whether the number of games in the proposal is appropriate, and whether the timing of the four games matters.

It is not clear what opposition exists to the rule, though Big 12 commissioner, Council member and noted fear-mongerer Bob Bowlsby posited in January that teams could, for some unexplained reason, hold their best players back until the final four games of the season.

“I think it’s got a lot of merit,” he said, “but there are some hooks in it. I don’t know how comfortable people are with, suddenly in the last three games and a bowl game, you go from being a guy who’s on the scout team to [a prominent role].”

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The proposal is not all dead, as Miracle Max would say. The Council will now turn the tabled proposal over to the Football Oversight and Student-Athlete Experience Committees for discussion and feedback solicitation.