Every lineman, LB in college football on Lombardi Award watch list

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Okay, not really, but you get the point.

In addition to the Butckus Award watch list, the Rotary Lombardi Trophy watch list was released today sporting an obvious lack of modesty with the number of players on it. Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to offensive (including tight ends) or defensive linemen and  linebackers.

Last year’s winner was Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly.

You can view all of the individual preseason watch lists in one handy repository HERE, and the entire Lombardi Award watch list below:

OT Oday Aboushi, Virginia
LB Denicos Allen, Michigan State
OT Jacolby Ashworth, Houston
LB Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech
C Alvin Bailey, Arkansas
LB Dion Bailey, USC
OT David Bakhtiari, Colorado
G Chris Barker, Nevada
C Mario Benavides, Louisville
LB Chris Borland, Wisconsin
LB Jonathan Bostic, Florida
LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State
LB Jonathan Brown, Illinois
LB Travis Brown, Fresno State
DE Michael Buchanan, Illinois
LB Max Bullough, Michigan State
C Nick Carlson, Wyoming
C Braxston Cave, Notre Dame
LB Michael Clay, Oregon
DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
DE/LB Jamie Collins, Southern Miss
G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
DE Scott Crichton, Oregon State
LB Kenny Demens, Michigan
DE Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
TE Gavin Escobar, San Diego State
OT Chris Faulk, LSU
TE Joseph Fauria, UCLA
DE Sharrif Floyd, Florida
OT DJ Fluker, Alabama
G Blaize Foltz, TCU
LB Winston Fraser, FIU
C/G Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
C Dalton Freeman, Clemson
DE Ben Gardner, Stanford
DE James Gayle, Virginia Tech
DE William Gholston, Michigan State
DE Ryne Giddins, USF
LB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
LB Steve Greer, Virginia
TE Ryan Griffin, Connecticut
LB Jeremy Grove, East Carolina
C Ben Habern, Oklahoma
DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
G Braden Hansen, BYU
G Eric Herman, Ohio
LB Jordan Hicks, Texas
DT Jordan Hill, Penn State
LB Gerald Hodges, Penn State
C Khaled Holmes, USC
DE Wes Horton, USC
DE Margus Hunt, SMU
OT Alex Hurst, LSU
OT James Hurst, North Carolina
G Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
G Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
LB Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky
DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
DE Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
LB Jelani Jenkins, Florida
NT John Jenkins, Georgia
OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
LB Nico Johnson, Alabama
DE Travis Johnson, San Jose State
C/G/T Barrett Jones, Alabama
DL Chris Jones, Bowling Green
OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
G Joe Kellogg, Boise State
C Zac Kerin, Toledo
LB A.J. Klein, Iowa State
LB Jake Knott, Iowa State
C Tyler Larsen, Utah State
LB DeDe Lattimore, USF
DE Corey Lemonier, Auburn
OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
LB Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State
DE/DT Rob Lohr, Vanderbilt
G Spencer Long, Nebraska
DE/OLB Travis Long, Washington State
DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn
LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
LB Trent Mackey, Tulane
C Joe Madsen, West Virginia
DE Stansly Maponga, TCU
OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame
OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
G Chris McDonald, Michigan State
DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU
DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
LB Sio Moore, Connecticut
LB James Morris, Iowa
OT Morgan Moses, Virginia
LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
OT Jeff Nady, Nevada
LB Corey Nelson, Oklahoma
DE Roosevelt Nix, Kent State
DE Alex Okafor, Texas
LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, Boston College
LB Sean Porter, Texas A&M
DE Sean Progar, Northern Illinois
OT Justin Pugh, Syracuse
LB Hayes Pullard, USC
OT David Quessenberry, San Jose State
LB Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
LB Taylor Reed, SMU
G Cyril Richardson, Baylor
C Weston Richburg, Colorado State
DE Marcus Rush, Michigan State
DT Kawann Short, Purdue
DE John Simon, Ohio State
LB Shayne Skov, Stanford
G Adam Smith, Western Kentucky
LB Keith Smith, San Jose State
DT Akeem Spence, Illinois
DT Baker Steinkuhler, Nebraska
TE Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State
LB Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech
DE Devin Taylor, South Carolina
G Lane Taylor, Oklahoma State
LB Mike Taylor, Wisconsin
LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
LB Chase Thomas, Stanford
TE Levine Toilolo, Stanford
G Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech
LB Kyle Van Noy, BYU
DT Joe Vellano, Maryland
OT LaAdrian Waddle, Texas Tech
OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin
LB Brian Wagner, Arizona
G Mason Walters, Texas
G Larry Warford, Kentucky
G Chance Warmack, Alabama
C Stephen Warner, Louisiana Tech
DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
DT Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest
DE Jesse Williams, Alabama
DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
DE Trevardo Williams, Connecticut
TE Luke Willson, Rice
OT Brian Winters, Kent State
LB Dwayne Woods, Bowling Green
G Carson York, Oregon

LOOK: Arizona State to wear Pat Tillman-themed uniforms

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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.”

Jim McElwain says family, players have received death threats over 3-3 start

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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.

Report: Sam Darnold expected to return to USC in 2018

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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.

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger, C Zach Shackelford in concussion protocol

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Texas has lost two straight upset bids in strikingly similar fashion: true freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger leads a potential-game winning drive, scrambles, hits his head on the turf and ends the possession in a puzzling throw.

The first came in last week’s loss to No. 10 Oklahoma. Trailing 29-24 late in the fourth quarter, scrambled for two yards to the Texas-48 yard line but hit his head on the Cotton Bowl turf and was forced to leave the game for five plays. Shane Buechele pushed the Longhorns to the Oklahoma 31, but he was replaced after a sack and Ehlinger ended up throwing the ball away on 4th-and-13 from the OU 34 with two minutes to play. That, as they say, was that.

Fast forward to Saturday and Texas was trailing No. 11 Oklahoma State 13-10 in overtime when Ehlinger opened the possession with a scramble that again saw the back of his head bang against the Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium turf. He stayed in the game this time, but ended the game on a puzzling (to say the least) interception to absolutely no one on 3rd-and-4 from the OSU 6.

While Ehlinger was not evaluated for a concussion during the game, he did not practice Sunday and head coach Tom Herman said Monday that Ehlinger and center Zach Shackelford are in concussion protocol.

Complicating matters for Texas is that sophomore back-up Shane Buechele is playing on a gimpy ankle that kept him out against San Jose State and Kansas State that Herman said will not improve as the season goes on.

No matter, Texas will face a hungry Baylor team on Saturday (noon ET, ESPNU) that nearly completed a comeback against No. 22 West Virginia on Saturday night.