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

Conference USA releases 2018 schedule

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Conference USA released its 2018 schedule on Tuesday, confirming that once again the league will play football this fall.

The league slate kicks off Sept. 8 with FIU’s visit to Old Dominion, while the first game involving a C-USA team is set for Aug. 25, when Rice hosts Prairie View A&M. Conference games are scattered throughout the month of September, with the first full Saturday slate coming on Oct. 6 with Old Dominion at Florida Atlantic, UAB at Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee at Marshall, North Texas at UTEP and UTSA at Rice.

While the MAC has opted for a full embrace of midweek football, Conference USA has gone in the exact opposite direction. Not one C-USA game is scheduled as of today for a weeknight — Thursday or Friday included — and only one game will be played on a day other than Saturday, a Friday, Aug. 31 visit to Wisconsin by Western Kentucky.

The most-anticipated non-conference games involving C-USA teams are Florida Atlantic’s opener at Oklahoma and on Sept. 1 and the Owls’ Sept. 22 visit to reigning American and Peach Bowl champion UCF. North Texas also has two shots to win nationwide respect for the league in its opener against SMU on Sept. 1 in Denton and a Sept. 15 visit to retooling Arkansas.

The highlight of the league schedule comes on Nov. 17 with a rematch of the 2017 title game when Florida Atlantic visits North Texas. The Owls won both meetings last season by a combined score of 110-48.

The 14th C-USA Championship will be held on Dec. 1 at the home of the division winner with the best conference record. FAU will look to become the second straight back-to-back C-USA champion, joining Western Kentucky in 2015-16.

Former LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada reportedly lands at Maryland

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It’s good to be Matt Canada.

He parachuted into Baton Rouge for a year, got paid a bunch of money, then got paid even more money to leave. And now he’s set to get paid from another school.

According to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, Canada is set to join the Maryland staff as offensive coordinator. Rittenberg notes that Canada signed a multi-year agreement with the Terps, though salary terms were not revealed. Walt Bell, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Florida State, made $500,000 in 2017, according to USA Today.

Maryland will be Canada’s seventh school to call plays for in this decade alone. He spent 2010 (and three years before that) at Indiana, then moved to Northern Illinois in 2011. He parlayed that into one season at Wisconsin, three at NC State, and then one season stints at Pittsburgh, LSU and now Maryland.

Report: Oklahoma State signs 27-year-old Australian punter

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Australian punters are the hot new commodity in college football, and word has made it back to the Land Down Under: punt the ball far and high enough and you, too, can receive a full scholarship to an American university.

According to the Latrobe Valley Express — which you now is legit, because its header as of press time already reads Wednesday, January 24 — 27-year-old Australian punter Tom Hutton has signed with Oklahoma State. Hutton hails from Newborough, Australia, about a two hour ride from Melbourne, and in December attended a training session at Prokick Australia.

“I was told about [American football] a few years ago so I thought ‘I’ll probably be too old for it now’, thinking that it was like Aussie Rules and that if you were over 21 then you had no chance,” Hutton told the paper. “But then I saw a few older blokes getting scholarships so I thought I may as well give it a go.”

Prokick Australia claims the last five Ray Guy Award winners as alums, including 2017 victor Michael Dickson of Texas. Oklahoma State saw his ability up close, as Dickson punted 11 times for a 50.9-yard average in October, nearly booting his way to victory in a 13-10 Cowboys overtime victory. “Their punter is — did he win the Ray Guy Award last year?” Mike Gundy said after that game. “He should have won it. He changed the field on us. I don’t know what the yardage is, I just know that every time we go a little bit of field position, he changed the field … he was fantastic for them.”

The story of how Hutton was approved for an Oklahoma State offer doesn’t go into details, but Hutton’s recollection of how Hutton, who works overnights at a paper mill in addition to playing Aussie rules football in the Mid Gippsland Football League, received the offer is perfect.

“I woke up after night shift on two hours sleep and this person said ‘we know where you’re going, you’re going to Oklahoma State and we’ve got the coach on the phone,'” he said. “I thought ‘Jesus Christ, can you give me half an hour? I need to have a shower and actually wake up and make sure this is not a dream.'”

According to the Oklahoma State blog Pistols Firing, Hutton will arrive in Stillwater in July and have four years of eligibility.

Arkansas adds TCU signee who signed with New York Yankees

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Austin Aune‘s circuitous sports journey, one which Chris Weinke and Brandon Weeden would approve, has taken its next stop in Fayetteville.

According to 247Sports.com, Aune has joined the Arkansas football program and is enrolled in classes at the university.  At least initially, the quarterback will be a part of the Razorbacks as a walk-on; it’s expected he’ll take the field with the rest of his new teammates when spring practice kicks off month after next.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Aune had also considered TCU and North Texas before the SEC’s mystique proved to be too much.

“The allure of the SEC and the SEC West and Chad [Morris] and Coach [Joe] Craddock, and everybody being on the same page up there as far as the opportunity goes,” the player’s father, Greg Aune, told the Democrat-Gazette. “He likes their system. It’s a fast-paced system, wide-open system. That’s what he played in high school. It’s a pass-oriented offense. He’s a read-run oriented guy, so that’s a lot of what those guys do.”

The fact that Aune considered TCU as a potential landing spot before settling on Morris and UA shouldn’t come as a surprise as he actually signed with the Horned Frogs back in 2012.  However, he was drafted by the New York Yankees that same year and, after signing a contract that included a $1 million signing bonus, embarked on what turned out to be a six-year career in the minor leagues.  Despite that financial commitment, Aune never made it past Single-A ball.