Meandering our way through the offseason minutia, a lone one-liner at a time…
— Associated Press: “Condolences streamed in from as far as Texas and Massachusetts as fans and friends gathered Thursday to pay tribute to former West Virginia University football Coach Bill Stewart.”
— Ohio State linebacker/freak John Simon (pictured) says Urban Meyer “calling me ‘Tebowish,’ that means a lot.”
— After setting a personal best in the long jump (25′ 5.5″), Marquise Lee, whose day job is stud wide receiver at USC, moved on to the NCAA Championships next month in Iowa.
— Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News takes a sledgehammer to Larry Scott‘s “plus-one is gaining traction” notion, and gets a shot in at the Rose Bowl as well.
— Florida’s Will Muschamp makes the 10th and final stop on his spring booster tour, reiterates his past stance on the quarterback position: a starter won’t be named until sometime during summer camp.
— The esteemed and/or imitable Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times does his post-spring thing in a Q&A centered on the Washington Huskies.
— New Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien reviews the Nittany Lions’ spring and previews the 2012 schedule in an interview with the school’s official website.
— AnnArbor.com: Michigan football commit Mike McCray, son of former Ohio State captain, receives offer from Buckeyes.
— al.com: Auburn targeting some big-name prospects during Big Cat recruiting weekend.
— The Deseret News reports that BYU has landed a verbal commitment from former Washington signee and current “massive” JUCO defensive lineman Ma’ataua Brown, and by “massive” they mean 6-5, 360 pounds.
— Stanford head coach David Shaw has been named Male Coach of the Year by the Black Coaches & Administrators.
— Former Arizona State quarterback Andrew Walter spent some time this past week with the three players vying for his old job.
Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s something. Regardless, it’s something that bears watching.
Losers of two in a row and off to a 3-3 start to the season, Florida has underperformed and underwhelmed to say the least. So much so, in fact, that head coach Jim McElwain indicated Monday that he, his family, his coaching staff and players have been subjected to death threats by unknown individuals.
The head coach went into no detail publicly regarding the nature of the threats. Apparently, it was the same privately when discussing the situation with his employer.
Again, it could be in the same neighborhood as naked shark humping — nothing. Bears watching, though, as one very outspoken member of the Florida media is very much already doing publicly about a situation that was apparently reported to the media before it was reported to the police or even the university.
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.”
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.
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.