Free-agency commences: USC reportedly interested in Silas Redd

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Wading through the aftermath churned up in the wake of the NCAA’s sanctions on Penn State, we wrote that “the NCAA has declared it’s open season on any and all current or incoming Penn State players, essentially creating a free-agent frenzy that has the potential to utterly dwarf what transpired at USC three years ago.”

CBSSports.com‘s Bruce Feldman wrote that “a feeding frenzyhas already begun in major college football, with FBS programs openly — albeit anonymously — acknowledging that their programs have already faxed to Penn State the names of current players in which they’re interested.

Ironically enough, the first specific reference connecting a current PSU player to a potential transfer destination is to a school that, up until today’s penalties were announced, had faced the most punitive measures handed down by the NCAA since SMU’s death penalty.

As ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad writes, “USC has notified Penn State of its interest in running back Silas Redd.”

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That, of course, would be the same USC that’s coming off a two-year bowl ban and a reduction of 30 scholarships over three years thanks to the Reggie Bush impermissible benefits fiasco.  And a Trojan program that saw, as a part of the NCAA’s punitive measures in that case, players who were either juniors or seniors in 2010 being permitted to transfer and play immediately at a new program.

A half-dozen or so Trojans took advantage of that loosening of transfer restrictions, none of them projected starters.  It remains unclear how many Nittany Lions, starters or otherwise, will take advantage of a similar loosening, although Penn State is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to that part of the punitive measures; any and all current players regardless of class standing as well as incoming freshmen are permitted to transfer without restriction.

The immediate eligibility for Redd, and the immediate need for help at the running back position for USC, however, would appear to make this speculation an on-paper match made in football heaven.  And a match that someone very close to Redd would not be adverse to in theory, with the back’s father reportedly stating that it’s his son’s decision whether or not to transfer and he will not stand in the way of whatever’s decided.

Last season, Redd led the Nittany Lions in rushing yards (1,241) and rushing touchdowns (nine).  So, yes, given a team with title aspirations and a glaring hole at the position, a player the caliber of Redd — with two years of eligibility remaining to boot — would make perfect sense to pursue.

Miami wideout Ahmmon Richards sits out Hurricanes’ scrimmage with pulled hamstring

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The focus in Miami’s preseason camp has been on the budding battle to be the starting quarterback but Mark Richt might have bigger concerns after an injury to another star offensive player.

The Hurricanes head coach confirmed to reporters on Saturday that receiver Ahmmon Richards missed the practice after he pulled his hamstring earlier in the week. Safe to say that’s not the kind of injury you want a burner like that to suffer right before the season starts.

The Palm Beach Post reports that senior Braxton Berrios stepped up in Richards’ absence during the scrimmage with six catches for 107 yards but things figure to be a little different against real opposing defenses this fall if his running mate can’t go full blast down the field like he potentially could.

Richards averaged 19 yards a catch last season and racked up nearly 1,000 yards through the air as a true freshman. He was expected to play a pivotal role in an offense that is breaking in a new signal-caller but, given the tricky nature of hamstring pulls and wide receivers, it could be a few weeks into the year before he trots out onto the field for the ‘Canes.

FAU-bound John Franklin III says he wasn’t having fun at Auburn

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John Franklin III has had a ton written about him for a player going on his fourth program in five years but here’s a little more.

The quarterback-turned-wide receiver recently gave an interview to Matthew DeFranks of the Florida Sun Sentinel on his decision to transfer to Florida Atlantic for his senior season and seemed to lob a subtle shot at his former coaching staff at Auburn while doing so.

The not “having too much fun” line will probably draw most of the attention but don’t discount the issue Franklin has with playing every snap. While he arrived on the Plains as a signal-caller, he gave way to Sean White as the starter last year and was moved all over the field in a variety of packages. This spring he changed positions to wide receiver full time as a result but decided to transfer before catching passes for the Tigers.

The former ‘Last Chance U’ star will now head to Boca to play for former coach Clint Trickett with the Owls. It’s not super clear what exact role he will have in the offense but hopefully for Franklin he can have a little more “fun” this season along the way.

Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough misses practice for second time

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A running back is on the loose in Tuscaloosa and no, that’s not as good as it sounds for the Crimson Tide.

Beat reporter Alex Byington noted on Saturday that star tailback Bo Scarbrough was noticeably absent from Alabama’s practice on Saturday when it came time for media viewing periods, the second straight time that he’s been out of sight on the field.

The Tuscaloosa News followed up on the matter and reports that Scarbrough’s attendance (or lack thereof) was “nothing serious” and Nick Saban confirmed as much later in the afternoon by saying the running back was sick with an illness that kept him out.

Sophomore Josh Jacobs also missed the viewing period on Saturday.

Scarbrough has had a light work load the past several months as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered in the national championship game. The presumed starter is still expected to be good to go for the season opener against Florida State but the absences at practice will at least make things interesting in the next two weeks at a crowded position on the depth chart.

Four-star DT Tyler Shelvin will redshirt at LSU after NCAA partially denies eligibility

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The state of Louisiana’s top recruit will not be playing for the state’s top football team this fall.

Four-star defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin will enroll at LSU next week, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate, but will not be eligible to play in 2017 following a ruling from the NCAA on his status. The news is a big blow not only to Shelvin, but to the Tigers who are thin on the interior defensive line and were hoping to rotate in the 380-pounder this year.

Shelvin’s high school coach told the paper that the NCAA “partially denied” the defender’s eligibility, forcing him to redshirt in his first year on campus. He reportedly took several classes over the summer in order to meet requirements but apparently fell short of hitting the association’s standard to be cleared.

The loss of Shelvin’s services is a tough one after he turned into one of the center pieces of head coach Ed Orgeron’s top 10 recruiting class from February. The Tigers have had a history of talented defensive tackles running into eligibility issues in the past but the rather thin depth chart in the middle of the defensive line made bringing in Shelvin a priority.

That is not to be the case however, as LSU will move forward sans the big defender just two weeks out from the start of the season.