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Monday offseason one-liners

Insight Bowl - Iowa v Oklahoma Getty Images

Some links from around college football on a Monday…

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Clowney headlines Hendricks Award watch list

Whitney Mercilus AP

Thought we were done with the preseason watch lists? Not quite.

The Hendricks Award watch list was released today, which has awarded college football’s best defensive end for the past decade. Among those on this year’s watch list are Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina), William Gholston (Michigan State), Jackson Jeffcoat (Texas) and Bjoern Werner (Florida State).

Last year’s winner was Whitney Mercilus (Illinois). Below is the full list.

Also, as a reminder, you can view all of the individual preseason watch lists in one handy repository HERE, and the Hendricks Award watch list below:

MICHAEL BUCHANAN, ILLINOIS
ANTHONY CHICKILLO, MIAMI
JADEVEON CLOWNEY, SOUTH CAROLINA
DEANDRE COLEMAN, CALIFORNIA
IZAAN CROSS, GEORGIA TECH
AARON DONALD, PITTSBURGH
DOMINIQUE EASLEY, FLORIDA
BEN GARDNER, STANFORD
JAMES GAYLE, VIRGINIA TECH
WILLIAM GHOLSTON, MICHIGAN STATE
RYNE GIDDINS, SOUTH FLORIDA
MALLICIAH GOODMAN, CLEMSON
WES HORTON, USC
MARGUS HUNT, SMU
JACKSON JEFFCOAT, TEXAS
BRANDON JENKINS, FLORIDA STATE
TRAVIS JOHNSON, SAN JOSE STATE
ABRY JONES, GEORGIA
DION JORDAN, OREGON
DEVON KENNARD, USC
COREY LEMONIER, AUBURN
KAPRON LEWIS-MOORE, NOTRE DAME
BRAD MADISON, MISSOURI
STANSLY MAPONGA, TCU
CASSIUS MARSH, UCLA
KAREEM MARTIN, NORTH CAROLINA
CAMERON MEREDITH, NEBRASKA
BARKEVIOUS MINGO, LSU
ANDRE MONROE, MARYLAND
SAM MONTGOMERY, LSU
DAMONTRE MOORE, TEXAS A&M
ALEX OKAFOR, TEXAS
TOBEN OPURUM, KANSAS
CRAIG ROH, MICHIGAN
JOHN SIMON, OHIO STATE
DEVIN TAYLOR, SOUTH CAROLINA
RJ WASHINGTON, OKLAHOMA
BJOERN WERNER, FLORIDA STATE
MESHAK WILLIAMS, KANSAS STATE
TREVARDO WILLIAMS, CONNECTICUT

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First player officially bolts from Penn State

Tom O'Brien AP

After a week’s worth of speculation and rumor, the first Nittany Lion has jumped from the listing Penn State ship.

In a press release, North Carolina State announced that safety Tim Buckley has transferred from the Nittany Lions to the Wolfpack  Because of the NCAA sanctions, Buckley will be eligible to play immediately in 2012.

Buckley played his high school football in the state, so the move is a homecoming for the defensive back.

“I am excited to be a member of the NC State Wolfpack,” said Buckley in a statement. “The opportunity to come here and play at my state university, so close to home, was something that I couldn’t pass up.”

Buckley, a two-star member of PSU’s 2011 recruiting class, took a redshirt as a true freshman last season.  He will have four years of eligibility remaining.

In addition to Buckley, running back Silas Redd is expected to announce at some point this week — perhaps as early as Tuesday — that he will be transferring to USC.  Suffice to say, the loss of Redd would have a much bigger impact than Buckley’s departure.

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Starting Utes safety slapped with multi-game suspension

Kevin Prince, Brian Blechen AP

When Utah opens its second season as a member of the Pac-12, the Utes will do so without the services of a key contributor in its secondary.

Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham announced Monday that safety Brian Blechen has been suspended for the first three games of the 2012 season.  Other than the standard “violation of unspecified team rules,” no reason for the disciplinary action was given by Whittingham.

The suspension means the junior defensive back will miss games against Northern Colorado, Utah State and BYU.

As a sophomore in 2011, Blechen played in all 13 games last season, starting one of those contests.  He finished third on the team in tackles with 78 and tied for second on the team with three interceptions, earning  honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors.

Coming out of spring practice, Blechen was the Utes’ starter at strong safety.

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Current Trojan would give up scholarship to make room for Redd

Silas Redd AP

Exactly one week after NCAA sanctions against Penn State were announced and his name was first connected to USC, current Nittany Lions running back Silas Redd is expected to make a decision in short order as to his football future.

If as all the signs seem to indicate that he will head out west to continue his playing career, one current Trojans player would (grudgingly) take one for the team and make room for the talented back.

While not identified by the Orange County Register, the unnamed player told the paper that, if asked by the coaching staff, he would give up his scholarship in order to provide room on USC’s roster for Redd.  Because of its own NCAA sanctions, the Trojans are limited to 75 scholarship players this season; the Register writes that, based on its tally, the Trojans are right at that 75-man limit and would need to create roster space to add Redd.

The player, a former walk-on, used words like “heartbroken” to describe having to give up the scholarship he earned, but would understand if it comes to that.

The player said he would be “heartbroken” if it came to that because he had worked so hard to earn the scholarship. However, when the player initially received it, Kiffin explained that it was a year-to-year deal and that the player might have to give it back if USC’s roster limitations left no other recourse.

Although losing his scholarship would be a source of frustration, the player said he would remain with the squad. “I love this team,” he said.

The player said he understood the current situation regarding Redd and how his addition would improve the team’s chances to win the national championship. While hopeful of keeping his scholarship, the player would be willing to sacrifice it if absolutely necessary. I found his team-first approach to a potentially unpleasant situation admirable.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported earlier today that a decision from Redd is expected Monday.  However, Redd’s hometown newspaper, the Hartford Hour, reports that no decision is expected until Tuesday at the earliest.  Redd is currently headed back to the East Coast and will spend the day Tuesday talking over his decision with family and friends.

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ESPN reportedly picks up another bowl’s broadcast rights

Bob Bowlsby AP

ESPN’s 12-year TV extension with the Rose Bowl and its conference tie-ins (Big Ten and Pac-12) is said to be worth $80 million annually. The only other postseason/alternating semifinal game expected to come close to that kind of payout was the yet-to-officially-be-named Champions Bowl between the Big 12 and SEC conference champions.

That’s reportedly come to fruition. The Sports Business Daily reports Monday morning that the Champions Bowl will also receive $80 million annually from its new broadcast partner, ESPN, through 2026. During Big 12 media days last week, commissioner Bob Bowlsby (pictured) said he anticipated TV rights and hosting site details to be ironed out in the next several weeks.

The news means the WWL would have broadcast rights for two major postseason games, and is “closing in” on the rights for the three-game playoff package. ESPN will also have a good shot at the Orange Bowl. Talks between the ACC and Notre Dame on the Irish becoming a tie-in opponent have already taken place.

As for Champions Bowl site bidding? That should be starting in earnest, and multiple reports indicate that Dallas is the favorite to land the game. In that case, it would almost certainly take on the Cotton Bowl title.

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Updated: Ohio State freshman RB hit with pot related charges

Ohio State mascot

Preseason practice is a time when coaches can finally have a stranglehold on their players again. Until then, it’s a long three months from the end of spring practices where just about anything can happen.

Unfortunately for Ohio State, one player has reportedly decided to make a bad decision on the verge of preseason camp. Cantonrep.com reported Sunday night that freshman running Bri’onte Dunn (not pictured) was charged over the weekend with four misdemeanors stemming from a traffic stop. 

The story says Dunn was pulled over by police when he almost ran a blinking red light, nearly striking a patrol car. When stopped, police found a marijuana pipe and less than 200 grams of pot. Dunn was officially charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, not wearing a seat belt and a tail-light violation.

Ohio State has yet to officially comment in the matter as the school is still in the fact-gathering stage. However, the Buckeyes are a bit thin at running back — at least to start the season — with projected starter Jordan Hall sidelined with a foot injury. Hall will likely miss a good portion of the month of September after he needed surgery to repair a cut on his foot, which he sustained after stepping on glass.

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Iowa RB busted by police for second time in three days

double-facepalm1

Oh, my Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God.

Not one full weekend after he was cited by police on suspicion of disorderly house, Iowa running back De’Andre Johnson has once again found himself on the wrong side of the law.

According to a complaint from University Heights Police via the Iowa City Gazette, Johnson was charged with speeding and eluding on Saturday after he failed to pull over for speeding.

The report states Johnson was going 60 miles per hour on his motorcycle in a 25 mph zone in his neighborhood. When an officer turned on his sirens to pull Johnson over, he continued to drive until he pulled over in the driveway of another house, which he said belonged to a friend.

As a result of his little adventure, Johnson has been suspended indefinitely by coach Kirk Ferentz just before the start of fall practices.

“I was very disappointed to learn of the situation involving De’Andre Johnson Saturday evening.  As a result, De’Andre has been suspended immediately from all team activities,” Ferentz said in a statement.

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