Tommy Tuberville

Cincinnati announces 22-member signing class

Leave a comment

(Below is Cincinnati’s press release on the players added as part of its 2013 recruiting class.)

CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati football added 22 student-athletes to its roster, including five who enrolled in January 2013 and will participate in spring football, head coach Tommy Tuberville announced Wednesday, the beginning of the NCAA initial signing period for football.

“Our coaches did an outstanding job of catching up,” Tuberville said. “We are bringing guys in who can help the team win. I don’t want to give offers and scholarships out just to give them out. We have immediate needs at starters and backups so there is no better way than doing that than bringing in some junior college players. The players we have signed will be able to help the team in the near future and we are looking forward to getting started this spring.”

One need Tuberville and his staff were able to address was speed.

“I feel good about the qualities for the players we signed,” Tubervile said. “Speed is one of the main ingredients of the class. We felt it was something that needed to improve as a whole. I don’t look at size as much as much speed and quickness of the players.”

DB Darren Doston (Daytona Beach, Fla./Seabreeze/College of the Sequoias), DB Zach Edwards (Middletown, Ohio/Middletown), ATH Javon Harrison (Dayton, Ohio/Huber Hts. Wayne), DL Jerrell Jordan (Alta Vista, Va./Alta Vista/Copiah-Lincoln CC) and OL Kyle Williamson (Madiera, Ohio/Madiera) made up the early enrollees. Edwards, Harrison and Williamson have freshman eligibility while Doston and Jordan enter with junior eligibility and two seasons to play.

The class is comprised of five defensive backs, three tight ends, four defensive linemen, three athletes, two offensive linemen, two running backs, a pair of wide receivers and a quarterback. Seven junior-college players dot the ranks along with 15 high school student-athletes.

Five are Ohio natives with four, Edwards, OL Ben Flick (Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton), LB Rasheen Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/Northwest) and Williamson coming from the greater Cincinnati area.

TE Travis Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Jesuit) is the No. 162 player in the ESPN 300 and he is listed as the nation’s sixth-best tight end and the No. 33 player in the State of Florida.

RB Rodriguez Moore was ranked as the No. 1 junior college running back by and RB Hosey Williams (Miami, Fla./Southridge/ASA College) was an NJCAA First-Team All-American in 2012. Totaling their individual statistics, the pair combined to rush for 3,687 yards and score 36 touchdowns at the junior college level.

QB Brent Stockstill (Murfreesboro, Tenn./Siegel), a left hander, threw for 2,690 yards and 32 touchdowns while rushing for 653 yards and 10 scores as a senior. His father Rick is the head coach at Middle Tennessee State University and a former All-American QB at Florida State.

DL Terrell Hartsfield (Wake Forest, N.C./Rolesville/Copiah-Lincoln CC) a four-star recruit, was a teammate of Jordan at Copiah-Lincoln CC. The duo combined for 105 tackles and 12.5 sacks as freshmen. They were part of a Wolfpack team that won their first MACJC State Championship since 1985 this past season.

Tshumbi Johnson (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee) totaled 6,468 yards passing for 57 touchdowns and 2,111 yards rushing for 41 TDs as a prep. Immokalee was the 2012 Class 5A State Runner-up, Region 3 Champions and District 5A-12 Champions with Johnson earned Associated Press Honorable Mention Class 5A All-State honors.

2013 Cincinnati Recruiting Class

Oklahoma and Iowa move into top four in latest College Football Playoff rankings

C.J. Beathard, Zach Poker, Mike Caprara
Associated Press
1 Comment

The fourth set of College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, and Clemson is No. 1 for the fourth consecutive week. Alabama remained second, and Oklahoma leapt from seventh to third after winning their second consecutive game against a top-20 team. Iowa moved up a spot from fifth to fourth, and Michigan State jumped from No. 9 to No. 5 after its massive road win over Ohio State.

Ohio State fell from third to eighth due to that loss. Baylor passed the Buckeyes for No. 7 following their decisive win at then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, and Notre Dame dropped from fourth to sixth after a close win a Boston College.

Washington State, Mississippi State, UCLA, Toledo and Temple jumped into the rankings, while Houston, Memphis, USC and Wisconsin fell out.

The full rankings:

1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma
4. Iowa
5. Michigan State
6. Notre Dame
7. Baylor
8. Ohio State
9. Stanford
10. Michigan
11. Oklahoma State
12. Florida
13. Florida State
14. North Carolina
15. Navy
16. Northwestern
17. Oregon
18. Ole Miss
19. TCU
20. Washington State
21.  Mississippi State
22. UCLA
23. Utah
24. Toledo
25. Temple

Finalists for O’Brien, Outland, Bednarik, other awards announced

Christian McCaffrey
Associated Press

A slew of finalists for college football’s major individual awards were announced Tuesday evening, highlighted by multi-award finalists Derrick HenryChristian McCaffrey and Deshaun Watson. Eleven of the 12 awards listed below (excluding the Burlsworth Trophy) are members of the National College Football Awards Assocation and will have their winners announced during ESPN’s Home Depot 25th Anniversary College Football Awards Show, to be broadcast from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 10 (7 p.m. ET).

The winner of the Rimington Award as the nation’s top center will also be revealed on ESPN’s show, but finalists aren’t announced until Monday, Dec. 7.

The finalists are:

Maxwell Award (best overall player)
Derrick Henry, Alabama
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
Deshaun Watson, Clemson

Davey O’Brien Award (best quarterback)
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Deshaun Watson, Clemson

Doak Walker Award (best running back)
Leonard Fournette, LSU
Derrick Henry, Alabama
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

Biletnikoff Award (best wide receiver)
Corey Coleman, Baylor
Josh Doctson, TCU
Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss

John Mackey Award (best tight end)
Hunter Henry, Arkansas
Austin Hooper, Stanford
Jordan Leggett, Clemson

Outland Trophy (best interior lineman)
Spencer Drango, Baylor
Joshua Garnett, Stanford
A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama

Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player)
Tyler Matakevich, Temple
Carl Nassib, Penn State
Reggie Ragland, Alabama

Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back)
Jeremy Cash, Duke
Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Desmond King, Iowa

Lou Groza Award (best kicker)
Daniel Carlson, Auburn
Jake Elliott, Memphis
Ka’imi Fairbairn, UCLA

Ray Guy Award (best punter)
Michael Carrizosa, San Jose State
Tom Hackett, Utah
Hayden Hunt, Colorado State

Burlsworth Trophy (best walk-on)*
Luke Falk, Washington State
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Carl Nassib, Penn State

Wuerffel Trophy (best community servant)
Ty Darlington, Oklahoma
Landon Foster, Kentucky
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana

* – winner not announced at ESPN awards show

Gamecocks WR Pharoh Cooper turning pro, says father

Pharoh Cooper

South Carolina wide receiver Pharoh Cooper will play his final collegiate game this Saturday against Clemson. The junior wide receiver will not return for his senior season in Columbia and will instead enter the 2016 NFL Draft, according to his father.

“He definitely appreciates the opportunity to play for South Carolina, and we as parents appreciate the opportunity they gave him,” Cooper’s father, Glen Cooper, said in a story for The Slate. “He wants to ride the wave at its high point.”

According to The Slate report, Cooper’s decision to turn pro was more about what kind of potential he is believed to have entering the NFL next season and not the coaching change underway with the Gamecocks. Steve Spurrier resigned as head coach during the season and South Carolina will have a new coach in 2016, which is still to be determined. And he does have the pro potential. Josh Norris of RotoWorld ranks Cooper as the eighth-best wide receiver in the NFL Draft Class of 2016. Cooper also wanted to avoid risking an injury in 2016 before taking the next step toward the NFL, which can tend to be a wise choice for so many players given the uncertainty revolving around the sport.

Cooper leads South Carolina with 887 yards and seven touchdowns this season. With South Carolina out of postseason contention, Cooper will likely fall shy of his 2014 total of 1,136 yards (if he matches that, good night to Clemson’s title hopes), but he could have a chance to tie his team-leading nine touchdown mark from a season ago.

Gary Patterson wants a six or eight-team playoff

Gary Patterson

Last year TCU’s Gary Patterson took the high road when his 11-1 Horned Frogs, declared co-champions of the Big 12 with Baylor, were passed over by Ohio State for the fourth and final spot in the College Football Playoff. While he may not have been happy about the end result of the first playoff selection process, TCU took care of sending a message by hammering Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl. Fast forward to today. Patterson and TCU are nowhere close to being in the playoff discussion now with two losses, but the head coach in Fort Worth knows his conference is at risk of being left out of the playoff fun for a second straight season, and he is backing a call for expansion of the playoff field.

“I’m not going to be a person who’s going to be an advocate of the four after this season,” Patterson said (you can see video of Patterson’s full comments via The Star-Telegram). “I think you need to take the winner of all five [power conferences] and then you have an at-large or three more and have either a six or an eight [team playoff]. I think we need to take people’s opinions out of it and what you do during a season is what gives you the opportunity to play into it. Then I think it’s a lot easier. ThenI think a lot of people would be a lot happier.”

The playoff rankings will be updated later tonight, and one spot will open up after Ohio State was knocked down by Michigan State this past weekend. That spot may not go to the Big 12 as the season draws to a close however, as Iowa is undefeated and Michigan State has a pretty strong one-loss argument to make as well, leaving Oklahoma and Baylor wondering where exactly each will fall in the updated rankings (Oklahoma has a shot of sneaking into the top four, it should be recognized). We already knew one power conference was going to be left out with five power conferences and just four spots to fill. Notre Dame remaining in the playoff picture makes things a bit more nervous for conferences on the fringe like the Big 12 (and the Big Ten), and could also spark expansion of the playoff field sooner than the College Football Playoff would have you believe.

The bottom line is this. There is no perfect way of crowning a college football champion, and there likely never will be. However, if the Big 12 is left out once again while another one or two one-loss teams get a spot, then the Big 12 should start gathering support and finding allies to fight for playoff expansion as soon as possible.