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K-State announces 2013 recruiting class

Kansas State Wildcats head coach Bill Snyder looks on as his quarterback Collin Klein comes to the sidelines during a time-out against the Oregon Ducks at the Fiesta Bowl football game in Glendale Reuters

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

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Head football coach Bill Snyder released Kansas State’s 2013 recruiting class Wednesday with the announcement of 32 student-athletes who plan on joining or already are a part of the Wildcat program.

Kansas State’s class of 2013 includes 26 players from the high school ranks and six community-college players. Of the group, nine are currently enrolled at Kansas State and will participate in spring practice.

“As we’ve always maintained, it takes several years to accurately assess the quality of a recruiting class and the young men who represent it,” said Snyder. “Hopefully we have assessed the skills, capabilities and intrinsic values of these young people accurately. As always, time will tell. Part of the value of this class lies in the fact that nine of these student-athletes either have been or will be in classes and participate in our out-of-season program and spring practice. We are impressed by the desire of each of these young men to become the best person, best student and best athlete possible as they seem committed to work hard toward that end.

As always, we greatly appreciate the high school and community college coaches, faculty members and administrators throughout the state of Kansas and the United States who have received our coaches and our program so very graciously, and I am especially proud of the Kansas State faculty for their assistance in conveying the great support services and equally great education provided by this University.”

The defensive side of the ball boasts 18 players, including seven linebackers, six defensive linemen and five defensive backs. K-State’s offensive recruiting haul also includes three offensive linemen, tight ends and wide receivers as well as a pair of quarterbacks. Also included are a place kicker and long snapper, as well as one player listed as an “athlete” who could play on either side of the ball.

As is the case in past years, Kansas State’s class of 2013 also continues to show how broad and thorough Snyder and his staff were on the recruiting trail as 10 different states are represented, including 12 players from the state of Kansas, eight from the state of Texas, three from Iowa, two from the states of Missouri and Nebraska, and one each from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

(Writer’s note: below the jump are the complete bios of all 32 members of Kansas State’s 2013 recruiting class.)

Chance Allen
6-5, 295
Offensive Tackle
Klein, Texas (Duncanville)

AT BOOKER T. WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL: A two-year letterman and a two-year starter for coach Drew Svoboda… Helped Duncanville to back-to-back district runner-up finishes… An all-state honorable mention selection as a senior… Attended the same high school as former Wildcat and current Arizona Cardinal running back William Powell.

PERSONAL: Chance Allen was born on January 16, 1995… Son of James and Wendy McClure.

Blake Baird
6-1, 225
Linebacker
Silver Lake, Kan. (Silver Lake)

AT SILVER LAKE HIGH SCHOOL: Kansas 3A Defensive Player of the Year… A 3A all-state pick by VarsityKansas.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal… An all-league selection at linebacker as a senior… Helped Silver Lake to back-to-back 3A state title game appearances in 2011 and 2012… Was a member of the 2010 3A state championship team as well as Eagle teams that won four-straight league and district titles… Recorded 273 tackles and 15 sacks during his prep career… A two-year letterman in football and a three-year letterman in baseball.

PERSONAL: Blake Baird was born in 1995… Son of Ric and Anne Baird.

Brogan BArry
6-2, 195
Defensive Back
Topeka, Kan. (Hayden)

AT HAYDEN HIGH SCHOOL: Named to the Topeka Capital-Journal’s All-City first team as a senior… An all-league and all-state pick in 2012… Named team MVP following his senior season… Was an all-city and all-league honorable mention selection as a junior… Also participated in basketball and track and field for Hayden.

PERSONAL: Brogan Barry was born in 1994… Son of Anthony and Jana Barry.

Ajahne Brager
6-4, 280
Offensive Lineman
Magnolia, Texas (Magnolia)

AT MAGNOLIA HIGH SCHOOL: An all-district performer as a junior in 2011 and a second-team pick in 2012… Recorded 162 tackles, 14 sacks and 11 forced fumbles during his prep career.

PERSONAL: Ajahne Brager was born in 1994… Son of Paul and Rashindra Brager.

Chris Brown
6-4, 345
Defensive Tackle
Mesa, Ariz. (Scottsdale Community College)

AT SCOTTSDALE CC: Tallied 68 tackles, including 13 for loss, and six sacks during his sophomore season in 2011… Committed to Washington State following the 2011 season but chose to sit out the 2012 season due to a coaching change at WSU.

AT SKYLINE HIGH SCHOOL: Named first team all-region…Helped his school win a division championship in 2009… Participated in track and wrestling… Recorded a school record for pins in a season with 34.

PERSONAL: Chris Brown was born in 1992… Son of Christopher and Patricia Brown… Has one brother, Michael.

Austin Butterfield
6-4, 207
TIGHT END
AURORA, COLO. (GRANDVIEW)

AT GRANDVIEW HIGH SCHOOL: Played for the Wolves under head coach John Schultz… Team advanced to the semifinals of the Class 5A state championship… Hauled in 10 receptions for 96 yards and one touchdown… Also named a first team all-league punter after averaging 33 yards on 35 punts.

Jesse Ertz
Quarterback
6-4, 199
Burlington, Iowa (Mediapolis)

AT MEDIAPOLIS HIGH SCHOOL: Named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year following his senior year… An All-American honorable mention selection by Parade Magazine… Broke the Iowa high school state record for most touchdowns in a career (98) and ranks fifth in state history in career passing yardage (7,317)… Registered over 9,000 total yards and 130 touchdowns in his prep career … Named the 2012 Offensive Player of the Year as well as a first team all-state selection by Iowa Preps after leading Mediapolis to a state runner-up finish and a 13-1 record… Honored as the All-Hawkeye Player of the Year… A two-time Des Moines Register and Iowa Newspaper Association First Team All-State honoree… Twice named to the all-district first team as well as the district’s 2012 MVP… Was named to the Iowa Sports Connection’s First Team All-State squad in 2011… Named the All-Hawkeye Co-Offensive Player of the Year as a junior… An Iowa Preps Elite Second Team All-State selection as a junior… A three-year letterwinner in basketball… Named a first team all-state pick by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Sports Connection as a junior… A first team all-conference selection and a second team all-state performer by the Iowa Newspaper Association in 2012… A first team all-conference and a third team all-state performer as a sophomore… Also a three-year letterwinner in track… Won a state championship in the 4×100 in 2012.

PERSONAL: Jesse Ertz was born in 1994… Son of David and Denice Ertz.

Andy Friesen
Defensive End
6-8, 229
Meade, Kan. (Meade)

AT MEADE HIGH SCHOOL: A 2012 first-team all-State 1A pick at defensive end by VarsityKansas.com… Named to the all-district and all-league first teams as a senior… An honorable mention selection at defensive end by the Topeka Capital-Journal as a senior… Led the Buffaloes to a 2-1A state championship in 2010 and 2012 as well as three-straight league titles from 2010-2012… An honorable mention 2-1A player at defensive end and tight end as a junior… Also a standout for the Meade basketball team… Named a first-team all-league and All-Southwestern Kansas pick as a junior… An all-state second-team performer in 2012… Led Meade to a 2A state runner-up finish in 2012.

PERSONAL: Randy Friesen was born in 1994… Son of Buck and Margaret Friesen.

Will Geary
Defensive Lineman
6-0, 290
Topeka, Kan. (Topeka)

AT TOPEKA HIGH SCHOOL: A 2012 All-City League first-team pick at defensive linemen… Named to the Topeka Capital-Journal and VarsityKansas.com 2012 Top 11 teams… An All-State 6A first-team offensive lineman according to the Topeka Capital-Journal and VarsityKansas.com… Named Kansas 6A Defensive Player of the Year… Selected to play in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl… The back-to-back 6A state wrestling champion in the 285-pound class… The defending 6A state power lifting champion… Also participated in baseball and track and field.

PERSONAL: Will Geary was born in 1995… Son of Mike Geary and Lee Geary.

LeAndrew Gordon
Wide Receiver
5-7, 160
Arlington, Texas (Pantego Christian Academy)

AT PANTEGO CHRISTIAN ACADEMY: Helped Pantego Christian Academy to a 6-4 record and a district championship during his senior year… Listed as the fastest wide receiver in the class of 2013 according to ESPNU… Was a first-team all-district selection following his junior year… Also a standout for the Panther basketball and track teams.

PERSONAL: LeAndrew Gordon was born in 1994… Son of former K-State defensive back Joe Gordon and Zina Barrow.

Travis Green
6-1, 210
Defensive Back
Omaha, Neb. (Iowa Western CC)

AT IOWA WESTERN CC: Helped IWCC win its first NCJAA National Championship in 2012… Played outside linebacker and strong safety for the Reivers during his redshirt freshman year… Named to the All-Midwest Conference first team as a defensive back in 2012… Earned back-to-back Player of the Week honors for his performances against North Dakota SCS and Ellsworth CC… Recorded 62 tackles, including seven tackles for loss… Also tallied one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and five interceptions, two of which he returned for scores… Signed and redshirted at Dodge City CC in 2010-11 before deciding to play closer to home at IWCC.

AT OMAHA NORTH HIGH SCHOOL: Led North High School to back-to-back district titles in 2008 and 2009… A three-year letterwinner for coach Larry Martin… An all-state, all-district and all-metro performer in 2010… Tallied over 100 tackles and 10 interceptions during his last two prep seasons.

PERSONAL: Travis Green was born in 1993… Son of Troy Tyler and Roxanne Green.

Nate Jackson
5-11, 185
Defensive Back
Daly City, Calif. (College of San Mateo)

AT COLLEGE OF SAN MATEO: Helped College of San Mateo to a 7-4 finish in 2012… Registered nine interceptions during his two years at CSM… Earned all-conference honors at defensive back in 2011.

Dakorey Johnson
6-3, 210
Linebacker
Mesquite, Texas (Trinity Valley Community College)

AT TRINITY VALLEY: Tallied 82 tackles, including seven tackles for loss, and five sacks in his two seasons at TVCC.

AT MESQUITE NORTH HIGH SCHOOL: Named a Second Team All-District 11-5A linebacker as a senior in 2009.

PERSONAL: Dakorey Johnson was born in 1992… Son of Glen and Kristina Johnson… Younger brother of former K-State wide receiver Quincy Morgan.

Judah Jones
6-1, 180
Wide Receiver
Shreveport, La. (Evangel Christian)

AT EVANGEL CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL: Originally signed with K-State out of high school in 2012… Recorded just over 1,000 all-purpose yards and scored 16 touchdowns en route to all-district honors as a junior… Had 43 receptions for 728 receiving yards with six touchdowns as a senior… Also averaged 24.0 yards on eight kick returns in 2011… Evangel advanced to the Louisiana 2A State Semifinals in 2011.

PERSONAL: Judah Jones was born in 1993… Son of Dewitt and Kim Jones… Plays the drums for the highly-successful family Christian Gospel band, forever JONES… His parents formed the band with their five children… The band was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2011.

Kip Keeley
6-2, 205
Linebacker
LaCrosse, Kan. (LaCrosse)

AT LACROSSE HIGH SCHOOL: Named to the 2012 All-Class ‘Top 11’ third team by the Topeka Capital-Journal… An All-State selection at linebacker by VarsityKansas.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal… Tabbed as the 2-1A Defensive Player of the Year… Named to the Hays Daily News Super 11 team… Selected to play in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl… Led LaCrosse to back-to-back state runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2012… A three-time All-district and All-league linebacker… Named to the all-league second team at linebacker as a freshman in 2009… A three-year letterwinner in basketball and track and field… On the hardwood, was named to the all-atate second team as a junior in 2012… Is the defending Kansas 2A State Champion in the javelin… Set a school-record with a throw of 191-2.

PERSONAL: Kip Keely was born in 1995… Son of Bill and Kathy Keely.

Matthew McCrane
Kicker
5-11, 165
Brownwood, Texas (Brownwood)

AT BROWNWOOD HIGH SCHOOL: Connected on 7-of-12 field goals as a senior, including a school-record 52-yarder… Selected to play on Team USA in the 2013 U19 International Bowl… Won the Dallas Kicking Camp’s Golden Boot award in 2011.

PERSONAL: Matthew McCrane was born in 1994… Son of Steven and Lori McCrane.

Cre Moore
6-0, 175
Defensive Back
Broken Arrow, Okla. (Broken Arrow)

AT BROKEN ARROW HIGH SCHOOL: Named to the Oklahoma ‘Top 11’ All-State team as a senior… A 2012 All-State 6A selection at cornerback by The Oklahoman… A three-year starter who recorded four interceptions and 100 tackles in his final two years… Helped Broken Arrow to a runner-up finish in the 6A state championship game in 2011… A standout in track and field that helped set a school record in the 4×100 relay.

PERSONAL: Cre Moore was born in 1995… Son of Steve and Mary Moore.

Reid Najvar
6-4, 290
Offensive Lineman
Spring, Texas (Klein Oak)

AT KLEIN OAK HIGH SCHOOL: A first-team all-district pick as a senior… Named to the Houston Chronicle’s 2012 Top 100 football recruits… Voted a team captain as a senior… A 2012 Preseason First Team All-Greater Houston selection.

PERSONAL: Reid Najvar was born in 1994… Son of Don Najvar and LeeAnn Schultz… Brother, Jordan, plays tight end at Baylor.

Devon Nash
6-5, 260
Defensive End
Lincoln, Neb. (Iowa Western CC)

AT IOWA WESTERN CC: Helped IWCC win its first NCJAA National Championship in 2012… Earned First Team All-American honors as a defensive lineman… Was a Midwest Football Conference (MFC) first team all-conference pick as a sophomore… Ranked as the 53rd-best community-college player in the nation by Rivals.com… Tallied 36 tackles, four and a half sacks and one interception for a touchdown during his second season at IWCC… Named an Honorable Mention Region XI honoree as a freshman in 2011… Recorded 45 tackles and six sacks as a freshman in 2011.

AT LINCOLN EAST HIGH SCHOOL: Played linebacker at Lincoln East High School.

PERSONAL: Devon Nash was born in 1992.

Sean Newlan
Defensive Back
6-2, 200
Prairie View, Kan. (Phillipsburg)

AT PHILLIPSBURG HIGH SCHOOL: Named an all-state honorable mention performer as a junior and senior by VarsityKansas.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal… An all-league selection at quarterback, defensive back and punter… A four-year letterman in football and a three-year letterman in basketball and track and field… The back-to-back Kansas 3A State Champion in the 110M Hurdles… Also won the 3A crown in the 300M Hurdles and placed second in the discus in 2012.

PERSONAL: Sean Newlan was born in 1994… Son of George and Sue Newlan.

Nick Ramirez
6-1, 228
Linebacker
Lee’s Summit, Mo. (West High School)

AT WEST HIGH SCHOOL: A three-year starter for West High School… Dubbed a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and ESPN.com… Named to the MaxPreps 2012 Missouri Preseason All-State team prior to his senior season… Named to the Kansas City Star’s All-Metro Second Team as a linebacker following the 2012 season… Selected to play in the 2012 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl… Notched 115 tackles as a junior while leading the Titans to a 12-1 finish… Named a first team all-state linebacker by ESPNHS following his junior season in 2011… Helped Lee’s Summit West win a 5A state championship as a sophomore in 2010 as he registered 130 tackles and seven sacks.

PERSONAL: Nick Ramirez was born in 1994… Son of Humberto Ramirez and Tracy Ramirez.

Drew Scott
6-2, 205
Longsnapper
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Xavier)

AT XAVIER HIGH SCHOOL: Successfully connected on 67-of-67 snaps over the course of his junior and senior seasons… Received a five-star rating at Kohl’s Longsnapping Camp prior to his senior year… Helped the Saints to a 14-1 record and a 4A runner-up finish in 2012… Also competed in basketball (two years) and baseball (four years).

PERSONAL: Drew Scott was born in 1995… Son of Andrew and Sue Scott.

Matt Seiwert
Athlete
6-3, 260
Conway Springs, Kan. (Conway Springs)

AT CONWAY SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL: Originally signed with K-State out of high school in 2012… Made the Topeka Capital Journal’s Top 11 and was also an all-class pick… A 2011 MaxPreps All-American… A First Team All-Central Plains League pick on offense and defense… Named Co-Defensive MVP for the Central Plains League… Helped Conway Springs win the 2011 3A State Championship with four tackles, including one for a loss, and a fumble recovery… Led Conway Springs to a combined 38-4 record and two state titles in three seasons… Also earned all-league and all-state honors in basketball and javelin (187 feet).

PERSONAL: Matt Seiwert was born in 1993… Son of David and Mary Seiwert… Brother, Darin, played football for K-State.

Cody Small
Tight End
6-4, 237
Cypress, Texas (Cypress Woods)

AT CYPRESS WOODS HIGH SCHOOL: Originally signed with K-State out of high school in 2012… Helped Cypress Woods to a 9-3 record in 2011… Listed in VYPE’s Top 75 Football Prospects in the Northern Houston area at No. 38… An All-district performer as a junior and senior who also earned All-Houston area honors as a senior… A “Rising Star” in 2010 by 5ATexasFootball.com at defensive end… Competed on Cypress Woods’ 7-on-7 team, which reached the semifinals of the Cy Falls Tournament in 2011.

PERSONAL: Cody Small was born in 1993… Son of David and Jo Small.

Trent Tanking
Linebacker
6-2, 220
Holton, Kan. (Holton)

AT HOLTON HIGH SCHOOL: Named Kansas 4A Defensive Player of the Year… Named to the Topeka Capital-Journal and VarsityKansas.com 2012 Top 11 teams… Led Holton to the 2012 4A state championship… An All-4A first-team performer at linebacker by VarsityKansas.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal as a senior… Chosen to play in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl… Named an All-league performer at linebacker as a sophomore, junior and senior… An honorable-mention All-4A pick at linebacker in 2010 and 2011… A three-time All-county selection at linebacker… Helped Holton to three-consecutive league titles… Also a three-year letterman for the Wildcat basketball team… An All-league and All-county pick at guard as a junior.

PERSONAL: Trent Tanking was born in 1994… Son of Andrew and Karla Tanking.

Logan Thompson
Linebacker
6-3, 225
Sedgwick, Kan. (Sedgwick)

AT SEDGWICK HIGH SCHOOL: Selected to play in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl… A four-year letterman… Named to VarsityKansas.com’s All-State 4A first team at linebacker in 2012… Helped the Cardinals to back-to-back league, district and bi-district championships… Recorded over 2,900 total years and 36 total touchdowns in 12 games as a senior… A first-team all-league linebacker as a junior and senior… Named an all-state honorable mention linebacker and quarterback as a junior… Also a standout in baseball and basketball… A back-to-back All-league selection in baseball… A 2012 All-league firsr-team pick in basketball as a junior.

PERSONAL: Logan Thompson was born in 1995… Son of Bryan and Kim Thompson.

Dayton Valentine
6-4, 240
Tight End
Baldwin, Kan. (Baldwin)

AT BALDWIN HIGH SCHOOL: Selected to play in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl… Named a First Team All-State 4A defensive end by the Topeka Capital-Journal… An honorable mention all-state selection by VarsityKansas.com… A star in track and field who won the 4A state championship in discus and shot put as a junior.

PERSONAL: Dayton Valentine was born in 1995… Son of the late Jeff Valentine and Marilee Valentine.

Vernon Vaughn
Wide Receiver
6-2, 190
Kansas City, Kan. (Sumner Academy)

AT SUMNER ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL: Originally signed with K-State out of high school in 2012… A Kansas City-Atchison League first team pick… Named First Team All-Kansas during his sophomore and junior seasons… Had 58 catches for 865 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior… Finished career with 94 catches for 1,517 yards and 24 touchdowns… Averaged 16.1 yards per catch and one touchdown for every three catches… Led Sumner Academy’s basketball team to two state championships… Was a league honorable mention selection on the court as a junior… A Kansas Honor Scholar, USD 500 Scholastic Athlete and National Honor Society member… Accumulated a 3.48 GPA in high school.

PERSONAL: Vernon Vaughn was born in 1994… Son of Vernon and Debra Vaughn.

Jake Waters
6-2, 215
Quarterback
Council Bluffs, Iowa (Iowa Western CC)

AT IOWA WESTERN CC: Named the 2012 NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year after leading Iowa Western to a 12-0 record and a National Championship… Accounted for over 300 yards of total offense in the National Championship game, a 27-7 win over second-ranked Butler CC… Named a 2012 NJCAA First Team All-American, the Midwest Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a MFC First Team All-Conference honoree… Set a NJCAA national record for completion percentage after connecting on 73.3 percent (244-of-333) of his passes while throwing for 3,501 yards, 39 touchdowns and just three interceptions… Threw for 307 yards and a school-record five touchdowns in the first half of a 65-21 win over No. 17 Dupage (Ill.)… Named a Second Team MFC All-Conference selection in 2011… Named to the 2010 Academic All-Region XI First Team as a freshman.

AT ST. ALBERT HIGH SCHOOL: Led the Falcons to two 1A Iowa State Championships and a 37-2 mark as a three-year starter… Threw for 5,288 yards and 70 touchdowns while running for 1,820 and 28 touchdowns during his prep career… A three-time First Team Iowa Newspaper Association (INA) All-State 1A selection at quarterback… Also a standout for the Falcons on the hardwood… Named a Second Team INA All-State 1A selection as a senior.

PERSONAL: Jake Waters was born in 1992… Son of Rick Waters and Carolyn Waters.

Isaiah Williams
6-1, 223
Linebacker
Dallas, Texas (Skyline)

AT SKYLINE HIGH SCHOOL: A 2012 all-district and all-region pick by the Dallas Morning News… Recorded 68 tackles as a senior en route to a 14-2 record…. Lettered three years and won three district championships while compiling a 28-6 combined record.

PERSONAL: Isaiah Williams was born in 1994… Son of Willie and Cecilia Williams.

Jordan Willis
Defensive End
6-5, 250
Raymore-Peculiar, Mo. (Rockhurst)

AT ROCKHURST HIGH SCHOOL: A three-year letterman for the Hawklets… A 2012 Kansas City Star All-Metro First Team performer… Recorded 58 tackles and nine sacks during his senior season… Named to the MaxPreps 2012 Missouri Preseason All-State team prior to his senior year… Amassed 60 total tackles and 13 sacks during his junior campaign… Helped Rockhurst to a Class 6 Missouri State Championship and 13-0 finish as a sophomore in 2010.

PERSONAL: Jordan Willis was born in 1995… Son of Calvin and Demetrica Willis.

Tanner Wood
Defensive End
6-5, 235
Conway Springs, Kan. (Conway Springs)

AT CONWAY SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL: Named Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year following his senior year… An All-American honorable mention selection by Parade Magazine… A four-year letterman who led the Cardinals to a combined record of 45-5 during his high school career… Ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 2 player in the state of Kansas… Set a Kansas high school state record and the third-best single-game rushing yardage total in national high school history with a 659-yard, nine-touchdown effort in Conway Springs’ 84-56 win over Chaparral… Recorded 2,709 rushing yards, 43 total touchdowns and 110 tackles during his senior season … Named to the Topeka Capital-Journal and VarsityKansas.com 2012 Top 11 team… An All-3A first team performer at running back by VarsityKansas.com and at linebacker by the Topeka Capital-Journal as a senior… Chosen to play in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl… Named a First Team All-Central Plains League performer as a running back and linebacker in 2012… An all-state pick at linebacker as a junior… Led Conway Springs to a 13-1 record and a Kansas 3A State Championship in 2011… Tallied 88 tackles and three interceptions during his junior campaign… Also a standout in basketball and track and field.

PERSONAL: Tanner Wood was born on in 1994… Son of Tim and Michele Wood.

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OK State survives early punches, hits back vs. No. 1 FSU

J.W. Walsh

We knew what we were getting from top-ranked and defending national champion Florida State. The question was what kind of effort would Oklahoma State show, and what would happen when they got down early? A year ago, a 17-0 deficit against these Seminoles was an automatic death sentence, and usually a quite painful one.

Oklahoma State fell behind 17-0 in the second quarter and, so far, they’ve lived to tell about it. The Cowboys survived an awful J.W. Walsh pick six and a Mario Pender 11-yard touchdown rush to forge a 17-10 halftime deficit. Desmond Roland punched in a 1-yard scoring plunge with 3:58 to go in the first half and, after intercepting Jameis Winston for the second time of the night, set up a 37-yard Ben Grogan field goal as the clock hit quadruple zeroes on the first half.

A winning effort for these Cowboys undoubtedly requires two more Florida State turnovers and none of their own, because Walsh (8-of-14, 62 yards) isn’t getting it done through the air, and defensive coordinator Charles Kelly figures to sit on the run over the final 30 minutes.

Florida State (205 passing yards, 27 rushing) gets the ball to open the second half.

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Meet your first 2014 Heisman front-runner: Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley, Kyrin Priester

We theorized at halftime that Todd Gurley’s four first-half carries were a result of No. 12 Georgia coaches saving him for the all-important second half. Gurley rushed only 11 times in the second half. Those 11 carries, though, went for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

Add it all up and you get 15 carries for 198 yards and three touchdowns, a 100-yard kickoff return for a fourth touchdown, and our first bona fide Heisman Trophy front-runner performance of 2014.

Aside from his own numbers, Gurley’s battering ram effect open the floodgates for the entire Bulldog backfield. The same Georgia runners that accounted for only 14 yards on seven carries – aside from Gurley’s 44 – in the first half ended the night with cold-clocking No. 16 Clemson’s touted defensive line for a total of 328 rushing yards. Nick Chubb carried four times for 70 yards and a 47-yard score, and would have had another if not for a penalty. Sony Michel added 33 yards on six carries. Hutson Mason added 131 yards on 18-of-26 passing.

Elsewhere, Clemson’s two-quarterback system collapsed in on itself after a productive (276 yards of total offense) first half. Their longest second half possession? Four plays for 19 yards. Jeremy Pruitt’s defense got more and more suffocating as the game went on; Clemson’s final three possessions went minus-three, minus-six and minus-19 yards. In seven  second-half possessions, the Tigers produced seven punts and 15 total yards.

In a related story, after a 21-21 first half, Georgia won the second half 24-0.

In the end, the night belonged to Gurley. The talent is there – clearly. If he can stay healthy, and this is where those 15 precious carries are so crucial, and he’ll have his name booked for a flight to New York in December.

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Auburn picks up where it left off, cruises past Arkansas

Nick Marshall, Josh Liddell

The last time Auburn took the pristine field at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Chris Davis carried the ball 109 yards, past the Alabama field goal unit and into the pages of history. Nine months later, Gus Malzahn and the No. 6 Auburn Tigers picked up right where they left off, cruising past Arkansas 45-21.

Jeremy Johnson earned the start for a double-secret suspended Nick Marshall and could not have started hotter, guiding Auburn on touchdown drives of 75, 75 and 98 to open the game. The sophomore hit his first eight throws for 204 yards and two touchdowns, the first of which came on the same extended play-action that tied the Alabama game, carrying Melvin Ray 49 yards into the same end zone where Ricardo Louis stunned Georgia and where the Tigers scored the tying and winning touchdowns against Alabama. Johnson played the entire first half and did all of his damage through the air, hitting 13-of-17 passes for 243 yards and those two scores.

Marshall played the second half and got the familiar Malzahn-patented running game going. In addition to his own 19-yard scoring dash to open the second half, Marshall’s presence gave Auburn’s running backs space to do their best Tre Mason impressions. Cameron Artis-Payne rushed 26 for 178 yards and one touchdown, and Corey Grant added 10 carries for 87 yards and another score.

Arkansas matched Auburn score for score early. With an offensive line that the SEC Network broadcast noted as the fourth-largest in all of football, the Razorbacks pummeled the Auburn front for 151 yards on seven yards a pop in forging a 21-21 halftime deadlock, but defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson’s unit dominated the second half. Every second half Arkansas possession traveled 20 yards or less and ended in a punt, except for the one Jermaine Whitehead ended with a 33-yard pick six that effectively shut down any chance of an upset.

After rushing for those 151 first-half yards, Arkansas was nearly doubled up on the ground, 302-153. That means Arkansas rushed for two yards in the second half.

The second half was fractured by a one hour, 28 minute weather delay. And, in the ultimate act of vengeance by the football gods, after years debate over the hurry-up no-huddle and debates about “what we want football to be” that saw Bret Bielema and Malzahn taking polar opposite sides, the Jordan-Hare Stadium clocks were inoperable for the entire first half.

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Saban: WR DeAndrew White has ‘little separated shoulder’

West Virginia v Alabama

Alabama’s closer-than-expected win over West Virginia came with a little bit of personnel cost.

Following the game, Nick Saban said that starting wide receiver DeAndrew White suffered what the head coach described as a “little separated shoulder.”  At least for the moment, the prognosis is that White will be out for a week or so.

The Tide takes on FAU and Southern Miss the next two weeks before opening SEC play against Florida Sept. 20.  Based on that schedule, it’s likely the UA medical staff will err on the side of caution when it comes to a return.

Prior to the injury, White had six catches for 73 yards.  The receptions were a career-high, while the yardage was second to 82- and 80-yard efforts last season.

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Through one half, Todd Gurley is the best player on the field…. when he’s on the field

Todd Gurley

Georgia is a special football team when Todd Gurley has the ball in his hands, and something less than that when he doesn’t. We have plenty of evidence supporting that thesis.

Through one half against Clemson, it’s clear Georgia coaches are limiting Gurley’s reps in an effort to keep him in the game, and effective, throughout the entire game. As it stands at the break, the all-everything junior has just four rushes for 44 yards and a 23-yard touchdown (to go with one reception for a loss of five yards), and a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown that tied Clemson at 21 apiece at the 7:15 mark of the second quarter. Georgia runners other than Gurley have combined for 14 yards on seven carries, while new starter Hutson Mason has connected on 11-of-16 passes for only 68 yards.

On the opposite sideline, Tigers offensive coordinator Chad Morris has juggled snaps for quarterbacks Cole Stoudt and Deshaun Watson with mostly positive results. Stoudt has gotten the majority of the reps, completing only 9-of-20 passes for 115 yards and an interception, but adding some important rushes for an additional 27 yards. Watson led one of Clemson’s three scoring drives by rushing once for seven yards and completing two of his three passes for 59 yards and a fabulous 30-yard touchdown pass on a rope to Charone Peake.

Overall, Clemson outgained Georgia by a two-to-one margin (276-113) and allowed the ‘Dogs just nine first downs, but special teams breakdowns (the aforementioned Gurley kick return, plus a missed field goal by Ammon Lakip in the final minute of the half) prevented the Tigers from owning the scoreboard in the same way it dominated the box score.

With the game tied at 21-21 and the Bulldogs slated to touch the ball another half-dozen times or so, expect Georgia to give the rock to their all-terrain vehicle of a running back early and often in the second half.

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Alabama survives West Virginia scare

Blake Sims, Kyle Rose

No. 2 Alabama (1-0) was a heavy favorite against West Virginia (0-1), but Nick Saban‘s Crimson Tide had to fight for a victory to prevent a rare three-game losing streak. Alabama held off West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta, winning 33-23.

Alabama used Blake Sims under center and never had a need to mix things up by inserting Jacob Coker, the Florida State transfer. Sims was efficient enough to run the Alabama offense, completing 24 of 33 passes for 250 yards. He was picked off once and did not throw a touchdown pass, but Alabama thrived enough on the ground to make that meaningless. T.J. Yeldon rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns and Derrick Henry added 113 yards and a touchdown. Alabama rolled up over 500 yards of offense and West Virginia struggled to keep up in the second half.

There were some bright spots for Dana Holgorsen to build off from moving forward. Quarterback Clint Trickett passed for 365 yards an a touchdown, but there were too many missed opportunities and dropped passes by West Virginia’s offense to keep the pressure on Alabama.

West Virginia had chances, but dropped passes on key downs and situations prevented the Mountaineers from giving Alabama even more of a challenge. But let’s say this much about the effort shown by West Virginia. We may have seen signs that this year’s team should be better and more respected in the Big 12 than they were a season ago. This may not have been the strongest effort or team we have seen from Alabama in previous seasons, but the Crimson Tide are still a behemoth. West Virgina was not quite playing David to Alabama’s Goliath, but they were a significant underdog that took it to the Tide and kept this game interesting from start to finish. Few seemed to expect that. Can West Virginia compete in the Big 12? There is still some work to prove worthy of being in the same conversation with Oklahoma or Baylor, but we now are taking notice of some potential from West Virginia.

Alabama will hope to get a little more of a breather next week when the Crimson Tide open up the home schedule against Florida Atlantic. West Virginia will open its home schedule next weekend in Morgantown against Towson.

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FSU to be without starting LB for opener

Syracuse v Florida State

Florida State is just hours away Saturday night’s Cowboys Classic opener against Oklahoma State, and a revamped defense will be without one of its key cogs as its title defense begins.

According to Warchant.com, starting linebacker Chris Casher will not dress for tonight’s game for what has been described as “academic-related” issues, which could be resolved as early as next week. Casher missed practice on Thursday, as head coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters the sophomore was in class.

Casher played in 13 games as a redshirt freshman during the Seminoles’ title march. He collected 25 tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and returned another fumble for a touchdown as a reserve defensive end.

It is not known for sure how defensive coordinator Charles Kelly will account for Casher’s absence, but it known for certain that the ‘Noles are still regarded as heavy favorites. The Seminoles and Cowboys will kick off at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Points aplenty at Jordan-Hare, Auburn and Arkansas tied at 21 at the half

Jeremy Johnson

We knew Heisman Trophy candidate Nick Marshall would not start at quarterback for Auburn, but not much beyond that. As long as Jeremy Johnson stays white-scorching-hot, Marshall’s 2014 debut will remain to be determined.

The true sophomore quarterback connected on his first eight passes good for 204 yards and two touchdowns – equating to a passer rating of nearly 400 – in helping Auburn build a 21-7 second quarter lead over Arkansas. The only thing to halt Auburn’s first three drives was the end line, as Gus Malzahn’s bunch marched 75, 75 and 98 yards to open the game.

To Arkansas’ credit, at least the offense looks vastly improved from last season. The Razorbacks rallied to tie the game with 4:28 remaining in the first half by mounting consecutive drives of 75 and 93 yards after falling to that 21-7 deficit.

All told, these teams have combined for 578 yards of total offense. Alex Collins leads the Arkansas attack with six rushes for 70 yards, complimented by Brandon Allen’s 116 passing yards and two scores. The Hogs have pounded the Auburn front for 151 rushing yards on 21 carries, and then victimized Auburn over the top with play-action passes to tight ends A.J. Derby and Hunter Henry. Johnson has connected on 12 of 16 passes for 243 yards and those two scores, while Tigers receiver Duke Williams has collected seven grabs for 138 yards and a touchdowns.

Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson missed a field goal off the right upright to close the first half. Auburn gets the ball to start the second half.

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WVU’s Mario Alford one-ups Alabama’s TD, but Tide lead

Mario Alford, Cy Jones

Just when it looked as though Alabama had gained control and all was right in the world of college football, West Virginia’s special teams struck back. Alabama had scored a go-ahead touchdown late in the first half, but West Virginia’s Mario Alford returned the ensuing kick down the right sideline, found enough room to burst through and hit fifth gear on his way to a 100-yard touchdown return. Alabama, though, holds the halftime lead thanks to a late field goal, 20-17.

Alabama’s late half touchdown was keyed by a great move by receiver DeAndrew White, who broke loose for a 38-yard gain after making cut after cut once getting his hands on the football. T.J. Yeldon did the rest with a pair of carries to move closer to the end zone and then to punch it in himself. Yeldon, a Heisman Trophy hopeful, has 46 rushing yards at the half.

West Virginia has been sticking to what seems to be the best form of kryptonite to Alabama’s defensive style. Dana Holgorsen‘s offense has been keeping things moving when it can, pushing Alabama’s defense down field without allowing for a chance to substitute when possible. Clint Trickett has thrown for 168 yards and a touchdown, which was hailed in beautifully by a stretching Kevin White. White leads West Virginia with 69 receiving yards. Alabama’s Amari Cooper leads all players with 88 receiving yards at the half.

If you are wondering if Alabama might give quarterback Jacob Coker a shot in the second half, there does not appear to be a reason for a change just yet. Blake Sims has been efficient with his passing and has not done anything to cost Alabama in the process. That is pretty much what you expect from a Nick Saban quarterback.

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Starting D-lineman one of three Gators suspended for opener

Tennessee v Florida

Florida, especially along the defensive line, will be at less than full strength for its opener Saturday night thanks to a couple of moves made earlier today.

According to the school, defensive linemen Darious Cummings and Jay-nard Bostwick as well as wide receiver Demarcus Robinson have been suspended for the opener against Idaho in The Swamp. The two lineman will miss the game because of unspecified violations of team rules while Robinson is sitting for “university sanctions.”

It’s believe all three suspensions are one-game deals.

“I support the university sanctions,” head coach Will Muschamp said in a statement. “We have rules here that we have to follow – team, athletic department and university rules – and when you don’t follow them there are consequences. I expect all three players to return next week.”

After coming to the Gators as a JUCO transfer last year, Cummings started six of the 11 games in which he played in 2013. He was listed as the starting nose tackle on UF’s most recent depth chart.
Cummings’ backup on that depth chart? Bostwick, who took a redshirt as a true freshman last season.

Robinson, a true sophomore, played in seven games last season, catching five passes for 23 yards. He’s listed as the No. 2 X receiver behind starter Quinton Dunbar.

Last season, Robinson was suspended twice: for the Tennessee game in September and the final two games of the season.

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UCLA defense leads Bruins past Virginia

UCLA Virginia Football

No. 7 UCLA’s (1-0) defense had to do a little bit of everything in picking up what turned out to be a much tougher game than anticipated at Virginia (0-1). The Bruins held on for a 28-20 victory on the road, but the offense had little to do with the result.

UCLA scored three touchdowns in the second quarter of the game, and it could not have come on a better day. UCLA’s offense was off-key for most of the early afternoon kickoff, converting on just seven of 18 third down attempts and failing on both fourth down conversion attempts. The Bruins managed just 116 rushing yards and gave up five sacks to the Virginia defense. Brett Hundley, entering the season as a Heisman hopeful, did not have much of a Heisman-quality game. Hundley completed 20 of 33 pass attempts for 242 yards but failed to send one pass into the end zone. He did, however, rush for one touchdown and 39 yards.

Virginia managed to move the ball on UCLA for most of the game, and the Cavaliers held the edge in time of possession by holding the football for 34 minutes 30 seconds. Quarterback Greyson Lambert got off to a rough start, but a quarterback change to Matt Johns seemed to give the home team a spark on offense. Johns completed 13 of 22 passes for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns to give Virginia life in the second half. the damage done by the first half turnovers though were too much of a hole to dig out of on this day.

It was not much to speak of as far as a complete game effort by UCLA, but the offense did make some key plays in the fourth quarter to keep Virginia off the field. At some point though, and hopefully soon, the Bruins will have to get back to making things happen on offense as well. Perhaps they will be given a pass for playing a noon game on the east coast, which is no easy feat for any west coast team in football (college or NFL).

UCLA returns home next weekend to host Memphis. The following week the Bruins will head to Arlington, Texas to take on the Texas Longhorns.

Virginia will stay home and host Mike London‘s previous program, Richmond.

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Five-peat: Cyclones latest FBS victim for North Dakota State

Aaron Wimberly, Carlton Littlejohn AP

Fear the Bison indeed.

Saturday afternoon in Ames, North Dakota State beat — note the lack of the word “upset” — the homestanding Iowa State Cyclones, walking out with a 34-14 beating and/or woodshedding of ISU.  A few years ago, such a win would’ve been seismic.  Now?  Just another day at the football office for the Bison.

The season-opening win marks the fifth straight season that NDSU, the FCS champions the past three season, has knocked off an FBS team.  In fact, it’s the fourth win against a team from one of the so-called Power Five conferences in that span.

The growing list of slain FBS victims is as follows:

– a season-opening 24-21 win over Kansas State in 2013.
— a 22-7 win over Colorado State in 2012.
— a 2011 win over Minnesota by the score of 37-24.
–a 6-3 win over Kansas in the 2010 opener.

Memo to FBS football programs, especially those lower-level Power Five conference teams: Stop.  Scheduling. The Bison.  You’re welcome.

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Ohio State shows holes but powers past Navy

J.T. Barrett, Jacoby Boren, Bernard Sarra

It took some time for things to come together, but Urban Meyer finally saw his No. 5 Ohio State (1-0) team let their size and strength advantage paved the way to a season opening win in Baltimore against Navy (0-1). Playing without Braxton Miller at quarterback, the Buckeyes offense lacked much to give Navy trouble for most of the afternoon, but eventually the Buckeyes found a way to wear down the Navy defense and take advantage of some holes down the stretch of a 34-17 victory.

The second half started in wild fashion. Ohio State’s Darren Lee picked up and returned a fumble for a 61-yard touchdown early in the third quarter, but Navy stormed right down field with a quick four-play touchdown drive over 84 yards to regain the lead. Barrett unloaded a deep pass to Devin Street later in the third quarter for an 80-yard touchdown following a touchback on a punt. Ohio State went on to pull away in the second half by outscoring Navy 28-10 in the second half.

J.T. Barrett completed 12 of 15 pass attempts for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns with one interception. Barrett also led the Ohio State running game with 50 rushing yards. In the end, the formula was a familiar one for Ohio State without Miller, although at times the absence of Miller was unmistakable.

Going into the season the biggest questions for Ohio State were probably focused on the state of the running game and the stability of the offensive line. One game in, those concerns will still need to be addressed in Columbus. In this game, Navy managed to show why those concerns were legitimate, and the Midshipmen even showed an ability to wear down Ohio State’s defense at times. The Buckeyes had the talent to avoid letting it hurt them in the win column this weekend, but Meyer and his staff know what needs to improve moving forward.

Navy’s quarterback, Keenan Reynolds, ran the football 23 times for 42 yards and a touchdown before being removed from the game late in the fourth quarter. Ryan Williams-Jenkins was Navy’s leading rusher on the afternoon with 118 yards. Navy left points on the scoreboard though, but missed opportunities may not have led to a different outcome. The Buckeyes remain undefeated in the regular season since Meyer was named the head coach. Ohio State’s two losses last season both came in postseason play.

Ohio State will return home to Columbus next weekend, and it should make for another good defensive battle. Virginia Tech will be the opponent, and the Hokies could bring one of the better defenses in the ACC to town with them. Virginia Tech’s defense should be bigger and stronger than Navy’s, so Ohio State will have to really work on getting more out of the offense.

Navy will head to Philadelphia next week for a game against Temple. The Owls are coming off a season-opening victory at Vanderbilt. Navy will not play a true home game in Annapolis until September 20 when they host another Big Ten opponent, Rutgers.

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Irish will be down a starting DB for opener

BYU v Notre Dame Getty Images

An injury will cost Notre Dame an experienced member of its secondary for the season opener this afternoon.

According to IrishIllustrated.com, starting safety Austin Collinsworth has a strained MCL and will not play in the game against Rice.  The school would only confirm that Collinsworth would not play due to an unspecified injury.

Not only is the defensive back out for the opener, the website is reporting he could miss a couple of weeks.  That would put the senior’s availability for the primetime matchup next Saturday with Michigan up in the air as well.

Last season, Collinsworth started 11 of the 13 games in which he played.  Elijah Shumate and his five career starts will take over for Collinsworth.

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Blake Sims, not Jacob Coker, to get start for Tide vs. WVU

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In the end, the presumptive frontrunner will find himself on the sidelines when Alabama’s offense takes to the field for the first time in 2014.

A couple of hours prior to the opener against West Virginia, and as was hinted at earlier in the week, Nick Saban confirmed to ESPN that Blake Sims will be the Tide’s starting quarterback for this afternoon’s game.  Sims, AJ McCarron‘s backup in 2013, had been engaged in a competition throughout summer camp with Jacob Coker, the Florida State transfer who many (most?) had expected to stake his claim as McCarron’s successor.

The Tide head coach said the reason for his decision was that Sims knew the system better.  While both Sims and Coker are in their first year with new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, the former had the benefit of an entire spring learning the new scheme.  Coker, meanwhile, didn’t come to the Tide until the summer.

Even as  Sims will start the WVU game, it didn’t sound as if he’s locked down the job for the remainder of the schedule.

“We’ll start Blake … and we’ll make the decisions and judgments from there,” Saban told ESPN.

Sims, a redshirt senior, will be making his first start at the collegiate level.

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