SEC players lead Hornung Award watch list

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The Paul Hornung Award watch list was released Thursday, sporting 49 players from around college football with a chance to be named the most versatile player in major college football. Last year’s winner was Georgia’s Brandon Boykin.

The SEC leads the watch list with 12 players followed by the Pac-12 with 10 players. The Big Ten and Big 12 each have six representatives. USC leads all teams with three players.

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

Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Keenan Allen, California
Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Kenjon Barner, Oregon
Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
D.J. Beshears, Kansas
Matt Brown, Temple
Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State
Trey Burton, Florida
Adrian Bushell, Louisville
Jesse Callier, Washington
Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest
Brandon Carter, TCU
Tommy Davis, Illinois
Quandre Diggs, Texas
Jerry “BooBoo” Gates, Bowling Green
Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Jordan Hall, Ohio State
Dustin Harris, Texas A&M
Terry Hawthorne, Illinois
Dennis Johnson, Arkansas
Chandler Jones, San Jose State
Perry Jones, Virginia
Tracy Lampley, Southern Mississippi
Marqise Lee, Southern California
Josh Lenz, Iowa State
Venric Mark, Northwestern
Onterio McCaleb, Auburn
Qunicy McDuffe, Central Florida
Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
Jamal Miles, Arizona State
T.J. Moe, Missouri
Ty Montgomery, Stanford
Warren Norman, Vanderbilt
Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
Theo Riddick, Notre Dame
Nickell Robey, Southern California
Ace Sanders, South Carolina
Jeff Scott, Mississippi
Branden Smith, Georgia
Orwin Smith, Georgia Tech
Darryl Surgent, Louisiana-Lafayette
De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon
Justin Veltung, Idaho
Sammy Watkins, Clemson
Trey Watts, Tulsa
Kerwynn Williams, Utah State
Robert Woods, Southern California

Big Ten lines up Thursday and Friday night football for 2018

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The Big Ten is planning ahead to buckle down and try to make Thursday night and Friday night football a thing in the conference. After breaking the ice on Thursday and Friday night football in the 2017 season, the conference has officially moved five games on the 2018 conference schedule to Thursday and Friday nights.

Purdue will host Northwestern in the Big Ten season opener on Thursday, August 30, marking the second straight season the Big Ten will kick off the college football season with a Thursday night football game. Indiana hosted Ohio State in a Thursday night season opener this season. The opening week of the season will continue the following night with Michigan State hosting Utah State and Wisconsin hosting Western Kentucky on Friday, August 21, 2018. This will mark the second straight season Wisconsin will open the season at home on a Friday night in Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers hosted Utah State on Friday, September 1 this season.

The three games on Thursday and Friday night in the opening week of the 2018 season keeps the Big Ten on the primetime lineup on various TV partners between ESPN, FOX Sports, and the Big Ten Network, although the programming specifics will come later on. But the idea of adding games to Thursday and Friday nights has been designed to add programming to TV partners and add content across all partner networks as part of the latest contracts with ESPN and FOX, along with the Big Ten Network.

The Big Ten has moved two additional games Friday nights next season as well. Illinois will host Penn State on Friday, September 21, 2018. Minnesota will host Indiana on Friday, October 26, 2018.

In statement, Mark Dantonio says LJ Scott’s ‘status will be affected for Saturday’s game, but he will play’

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At least on the field, LJ Scott‘s latest boneheaded misstep won’t prove too costly.

Thursday, it was reported that Scott was arrested Wednesday for the seventh time in the last year and a half for driving on a suspended license or similar offense.  There was some question as to whether this latest off-field incident will cost the running back playing time for Michigan State’s game this weekend against Indiana.

In a statement, head coach Mark Dantonio said it would. Kinda.  Sorta.

In what has been a lengthy process, LJ Scott now has a valid driver’s license, free of any restrictions. He has resolved the matter completely, and has paid a price, both financially and publicly. His status will be affected for Saturday’s game, but he will play.

Scott currently leads the Spartans with 408 yards rushing and is tied for tops on the team with three rushing touchdowns.  He’s coming off a career-high 194 yards in last Saturday’s win over Minnesota.

Ragin’ Cajuns LB dismissed after felony identity theft arrest

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After a rather quiet week or so on the arrest front, the last couple of days have made some noise.

The latest racket can be attributed to a Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns football player, with multiple media outlets reporting that Ferrod Gardner was arrested last Friday for felony identity theft.  The linebacker was released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

No details of what led to the arrest and charge have been released.

As a result of the felony arrest, Gardner has been dismissed from the football program for violating unspecified team rules.  UL confirmed the dismissal nearly a week after the arrest, and not long after the news of the situation became public knowledge.

Gardner was a JUCO transfer who joined the Sun Belt Conference team this past offseason.  The Daily Advertiser writes that “Gardner was slated to start at the Will inside linebacker position, but he never played a game for the Cajuns after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a foot injured early in preseason camp.”

FAU will allow star WR with felony charges pending to return, play

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I’m going to go ahead and guess that some will have some fun with and/or angst over Lane Kiffin for the decision made by his current employer.

In mid-June, Kalib Woods was arrested on two counts of felony battery. The charges stemmed from a January party in which it’s alleged that the Florida Atlantic wide receiver broke the jaw of one man and caused internal bleeding in another.

Because of the charges, Woods was suspended for the Owls’ first six games of the season. Despite the fact that the felony charges are still pending — his next court appearance is Jan. 10 — his lawyer has confirmed to OwlAccess.com that his client will be allowed to play in this Saturday’s Homecoming Game against North Texas.

The decision was made during a university disciplinary hearing Monday.

“I applaud the university or doing the right thing despite the fact that criminal charges are still pending,” Woods’ attorney, Michael Gottlieb, told the website.

Initially barred from campus after the arrest, the school ultimately reversed course, which allowed Woods to attend classes and practice with the team. The website also reports that Woods was removed from scholarship and is now a member of the team as a walk-on.

Last season, Woods was easily the Owls’ top threat in the passing game as he led the team with 68 receptions for 934 yards. For his career, the redshirt senior’s 111 catches have produced 1,487 yards and six touchdowns.