Jeff Driskel signs with the Red Sox, but will play for Gators
Posted by Ben Kercheval on July 4, 2013, 9:36 PM EDT
Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel isn’t the first college football player to sign with a Major League Baseball organization, but he is the latest.
Alex Speier of WEEI first reported Wednesday evening that Driskel has signed with the Boston Red Sox, who drafted him in the 29th round last month. Signing the junior was a bit of a surprising move as Driskel hasn’t played competitive baseball since high school, but the organization did secure his rights should there come a point if Driskel chooses baseball over football.
But it doesn’t look like Driskel will. In a statement Thursday, the Gators quarterback insisted he would sick with football.
“I plan on focusing on football and finishing my college career with the Gators,” Driskel said. “After my college football career is over I want to pursue a professional career in the NFL. If I ever decide I want to play baseball, I want to play with the Boston Red Sox who drafted me in the recent draft.”
NCAA rules allow athletes to sign MLB contracts while remaining eligible in football so long as the athlete doesn’t sign an endorsement deal. Theoretically, Driskel could play for the Red Sox and return to the football field for Florida this fall. It just doesn’t sound like that’s going to be the case.
Monday, Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads confirmed that P.J. Harris has a broken leg and will be out for the foreseeable future. Harris suffered the injury during ISU’s win over in-state rival Iowa this past weekend.
Rhoads stopped short of proclaiming Harris out for the season, saying instead that “P.J. may be able to be back later” this year. That, though, doesn’t sound promising.
Through three games, Harris is tied for second — with two other players — on the team with nine receptions. Harris, a three-star member of ISU’s 2012 recruiting class, caught seven passes as a redshirt freshman in 2013.
Rhoads did, though, confirm that backup offensive tackle Jacob Dunning suffered a ruptured patella tendon in the win over the Hawkeyes.
Posted by John Taylor on September 16, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT
And just like that, Kevin Olsen‘s very brief career as a Miami Hurricane football player has come to an end.
Early Tuesday afternoon, Miami confirmed the expected by announcing that the erstwhile UM quarterback no longer a part of either the football team or the university. “Kevin Olsen is no longer a student at the University of Miami. We wish him the very best in the future,” a statement from the school read.
The separation, needless to say, was far from a mutual decision by both parties.
Posted by John Taylor on September 16, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT
Forget about getting his football career back on track; the life of a touted 2015 quarterback prospect is hurtling straight toward years and years worth of incarceration.
Detroit Cass Tech (Mich.) High School’s Jayru Campbell is — or at least was — given a four-star rating by Rivals.com, rated as the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2015. He had been a Michigan State verbal before, ahem, “decommitting” from the Spartans back in June.
Late last week, the 17-year-old Campbell was arrested and charged after allegedly assaulting his 17-year-old girlfriend at Cass Tech. Campbell has officially been charged with unarmed robbery, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and misdemeanor domestic violence assault and battery.
Those charges came hours — literally — after Campbell had been released from jail after serving a 60-day sentence connected to an earlier assault on a school security officer. This latest assault will result in a probation violation, which in and of itself could trigger significant jail time for the troubled teen. And that doesn’t even take into account the potential sentences for his latest charges: assault to do great bodily harm, a felony that could lead to up to 10 years in jail; unarmed robbery, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in jail; and domestic violence, a misdemeanor worth up to 93 days in jail.
As for the details of what led to those potentially serious charges, this from the Detroit NewsHERE and HERE pretty much sums it up:
He reportedly grabbed his girlfriend’s phone, saw whom she was texting when he was in jail, went into a rage and began choking her.
According to the prosecutor’s office, “during school hours it is alleged that Campbell was at Cass Tech when he assaulted his girlfriend in front of other students over a dispute over a phone.”
Again, that alleged assault came just 3-4 hours after he had been released from jail at noon for an earlier assault.
Campbell missed the start of the 2014 season, his senior year, because he was in jail serving 47 of the 60 days to which he was sentenced. This latest incident all but assures his high school career is over, although that’s not the least bit surprising given the player’s propensity for violence.
The school security guard incident wasn’t the first instance of violence involving Campbell, however.
Last November, Campbell was again (somewhat) caught on video, this time punching a Detroit Catholic Central player in the handshake line following a Cass Tech playoff loss. The Detroit News reported Campbell was suspended for 3-5 days by the school immediately following that incident. He was also suspended for the 2014 season opener, a suspension he served while behind bars.
In the video below, you don’t see the actual punch that was acknowledged by the player’s own coach, but you do see the aftermath — including, ironically enough, Campbell being put to the ground by another man:
“I’m not a thug,” Campbell said during a June TV interview, prior to serving his jail term. “I would not consider myself as a criminal. I would consider myself as a natural-born leader and someone that likes to help others. …
“I just learned that violence is not the answer. There’s different ways that you can solve a problem. … Learn to forgive. It took some time but I would say I definitely got to the point where I’m thinking before I react.”
What’s the old axiom, actions speak louder than words? Yeah, that pretty much sums up this whole sordid situation.
Posted by John Taylor on September 16, 2014, 9:39 AM EDT
Thanks to what transpired in 2013, Utah State and its fan are rather cognizant of any type of injury scare when it comes to Chuckie Keeton.
Fortunately for USU and its followers, this latest one’s just that, a scare. Probably.
In the first half of USU’s win over Wake Forest Saturday, Keeton suffered an injury to his left knee — the same knee in which significant ligaments were torn asunder last year. While the quarterback finished out the half, he didn’t play the last two quarters because of the issue and instead spent the second half on the sidelines and on crutches.
The bad news is Keeton will not play in this weekend’s game against Arkansas State. The good news? Following the bye in Week 5, Keeton is expected to be back for the Oct. 3 game against BYU. Maybe.
“Chuckie is fine from a health standpoint,” head coach Matt Wells said. “The ACL is all intact; everything’s good. But it’s banged up, guys, and that’s the bottom line.
“So, we’re going to sit him out this week, and we’re going to sit him out next week. Then we’re going to re-evaluate him during the BYU week.”
In the first half of the game against the Demon Deacons, Keeton was 20-of-27 for 166 yards passing and a touchdown. And it won’t be his last on-field action as Wells was emphatic that “he’s not out for the year.”
With Keeton out for the ASU game at bare minimum, though, Darrell Garretson will get the start. After replacing Keeton in the road win over the ACC school, Garretson completed 11-of-16 passes for 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The fact that USU may be erring on the side of caution when it comes to one of the most underrated players in the country is not the least bit surprising.
Posted by John Taylor on September 16, 2014, 8:08 AM EDT
Marcus Peters sat out Washington’s win over Illinois this past Saturday because of what was essentially a toddler-level temper tantrum on the sidelines the week before.
After serving that timeout, it appears the cornerback is set for a return. Probably.
“We got him back,” UW head coach Chris Petersen said after Peters had returned to practice. “He’s back with us. We’ll just take it one day at a time.”
Petersen was non-committal, at least for now, when it comes to Peters reassuming his starting roll. When asked if Peters has been doing well since his eviction from the doghouse, Petersen quipped, “for the first six hours, yes.”
Not counting the Illini game, Peters has started 22 of the last 23 games at cornerback for the Huskies. He was named second-team All-Pac-12 following the 2013 season.
Posted by Zach Barnett on September 15, 2014, 10:42 PM EDT
Well, this isn’t what you want to happen five days before No. 4 Oklahoma comes to town.
West Virginia cornerback Daryl Worley has been suspended indefinitely for the ubiquitous “violation of team rules”, head coach Dana Holgorsen announced Monday night.
Worley registered 45 tackles and an interception in five starts a year ago as a freshman. The Philadelphia native was one of three Mountaineers selected to represent the club at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas this summer, if you’re looking for an idea of where he stood on the team. Through three games this season, Worley has posted 17 tackles, two tackles for loss, and a team-best two interceptions.
The good news here is that West Virginia’s secondary won’t be totally depleted. As Worley moves off the active roster, senior cornerback Ishmael Banks replaces him. Banks’ three-game, NCAA-mandated suspension for academic issues is now over. Banks started all 12 games at cornerback in 2013, and posted two interceptions.
Posted by Zach Barnett on September 15, 2014, 10:28 PM EDT
Arizona State’s leadership is serious about renovating Sun Devil Stadium. So serious, in fact, that two major figures inside the athletics department have pledged a cool $1 million to get it done.
Head coach Todd Graham and athletics director Ray Anderson, along with their wives, have each pledged $500,000 to the $50 million fundraising campaign to renovate the 56-year-old stadium. They are the largest gifts in the history of the Arizona State athletics department made by ASU employees.
“Pick the cliche, skin in the game, put your money where your mouth is, you’ve got to walk the walk,” Anderson told the Arizona Republicon Monday. “I think intuitively the four of us understood we needed to step up and be able to answer those challenges, and we believe we have in a significant way to the extent our circumstances allow. Now Todd and I can go out much more credibly and much more comfortably to ask others to say, ‘Join us in this transformational experience.’ We can do it much more emphatically, because in fact we put skin in the game.”
Graham earns $2.4 million in his third year as the Sun Devils’ head coach. Anderson earns $600,000, but can afford to pledge more than 80 percent of his salary after multiple decades in high-paying positions within the sports business. Anderson spent many years as an agent before working as a labor lawyer in Atlanta, then executive vice president and chief administration officer for the Atlanta Falcons, and then as executive vice president of football operations for the NFL before joining the Sun Devils’ athletics department. He reportedly made $1.69 million with the NFL.
“We’re not following anybody else’s model,” Graham said. “It’s the Arizona State model. We have an opportunity to do something great. It’s a family decision for us, but it wasn’t something I spent a lot of time thinking about. It was a no-brainer because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we wanted to step up and say, ‘The Grahams are committed.'”
So committed is Anderson to getting this project done that he hired Greg McElroy Sr. away from the Dallas Cowboys to serve as associate vice president and chief business development officer.
All told, the project is slated to cost $225 million, with construction beginning next year.
Posted by Zach Barnett on September 15, 2014, 9:33 PM EDT
Army is but two games into its 2014 season, but its 2015 schedule is already set.
The Black Knights unveiled their 2015 slate on Monday, highlighted by a trip to Penn State, a home date with Duke, a return to Yankee Stadium to face Rutgers, and the traditional finale versus Navy. Army will also face Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy rival Air Force on Nov. 7 in Colorado Springs; the Black Knights have not claimed the trophy since 1996, and have posted a combined 4-34 record against their service academy rivals since then.
The Rutgers game will be Army’s third appearance in the new Yankee Stadium. The Black Knights fell to Notre Dame 27-3 on Nov. 20, 2010, and will face Connecticut in the House That Jeter Built on Nov. 8 of this season.
The date with Penn State represents the 26th all-time meeting between the Black Knights and Nittany Lions, but first since 1979. Penn State holds a 13-10-2 lead, and has claimed the last nine meetings.
Army will be one just three FBS Independents next season, as Navy begins is maiden voyage in the American Athletic Conference.
Army is 1-1 in the debut campaign of head coach Jeff Monken.
The full schedule:
Sept. 5 – vs. Fordham
Sept. 12 – at Connecticut
Sept. 19 – vs. Wake Forest
Sept. 26 – at Eastern Michigan
Oct. 3 – at Penn State
Oct. 10 – vs. Duke
Oct. 17 – vs. Bucknell
Oct. 24 – at Rice
Nov. 7 – at Air Force
Nov. 14 – vs. Tulane
Nov. 21 – vs. Rutgers (at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.)
Dec. 12 – vs. Navy (at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia)
Posted by Zach Barnett on September 15, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT
With Brett Hundley, Myles Jack and company on the field, the present state of UCLA football looks pretty good. And with today’s news, the future looks pretty dang sunny as well.
The Bruins formally announced the signing of quarterback recruit Josh Rosenon Monday afternoon. A five-star recruit if there ever was one, Rosen is the No. 2 ranked player among the Class of 2015 according to Rivals.com, and the nation’s highest rated quarterback. Hailing from St. John Bosco High School and Bellflower, Calif., Rosen has 5,287 career passing yards and 61 touchdowns to his credit. As a junior, the 6-foot-4, pro style signal caller completed nearly 70 percent of his throws for 3,200 yards with 39 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
Rosen guided St. John Bosco to a 16-0 record and a CIF State Open Division Bowl title a year ago, and has his club ranked No. 1 nationally by USA Today. But other than that, the kid has nothing going for him.
Rosen is set to join the Bruins at the beginning of the winter quarter, which starts Jan. 2.
With redshirt junior quarterback Brett Hundley figured to accept the riches some NFL team will bestow upon him this spring, Rosen will compete with the blonde locks and late-game heroics of Jerry Neuheisel, Asiantii Woulard, Mike Fafaul and a host of others for the staring role in 2015.
The Bruins also added four-star junior college outside linebacker Takk McKinley on Monday.
Posted by Zach Barnett on September 15, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT
Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will have even fewer excuses for not getting the ball to Todd Gurleyfor the next week or so. Freshman running back Nick Chubb underwent thumb surgery on Monday after suffering an injury during practice last week.
Playing with his left thumb under extra glove and protective wrapping, Chubb toted the rock four times for 34 yards in the 13th-ranked Bulldogs’ 38-35 loss to No. 14 South Carolina.
Chubb’s availability for Saturday’s date with Troy figures to be in doubt, but nothing has been finalized.
“They said they would see how he’s doing (Tuesday) before they make that decision,” his mother, Lavelle Chub, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Possibly this week but they’re not really sure (how long he’ll be out).”
The freshman has splashed on the scene in a loaded backfield through two games, rushing eight times for 104 yards and a touchdown. His 13 yards per carry average places him second nationally.
Georgia hosts Troy on Saturday, and then re-opens SEC play with consecutive home dates against Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Posted by Zach Barnett on September 15, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT
One of the strangest stories of this young 2014 season has come full-circle in a positive way.
After abruptly leaving the team under uncertain circumstances 11 days ago, Iowa State offensive tackle Jacob Gannon rejoined the team on Monday.
The reason for Gannon’s departure was anxiety, and thankfully his condition is well enough under control that he can return to the club immediately.“I have been recently diagnosed with anxiety,” Gannon said in a statement. “I am receiving treatment for my condition and I am looking forward to being a part of the football team. I want to thank Coach Rhoads and my teammates for their support.”
“We are glad Jacob is back with the Cyclone football family,” added head coach Paul Rhoads. “We are behind Jacob 100 percent and will continue to support him throughout the process.”
Kudos to Gannon for realizing he had an issue, and credit to Iowa State for creating an environment where he can get treatment for an unseen ailment. That’s not always the case in the rah-rah, macho football culture.
Gannon started 13 of his 36 career appearances before leaving the club in the aftermath of the Cyclones’ 34-14 season-opening loss to North Dakota State. He was replaced at right tackle by redshirt freshman Jake Campos.
A three-year letterwinner, Gannon is also a two-time Academic All-Big 12 performer and was honored with a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award.
Posted by Zach Barnett on September 15, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT
The release of the Ray Rice video has changed the reality a lot of people live in – including those inside college athletics. If the spotlight was not bright enough on domestic assault – or any other sort of violence – it is now. And that puts Norman, Okla., at the epicenter of the domestic violence issue inside college athletics.
Of the three, Green-Beckham’s case has cast the highest scrutiny upon Oklahoma, partly because DGB is the most high-profile player among the group, and partly because Oklahoma accepted him as a transfer and then petitioned for him to play immediately on nebulous grounds. Reached by Sports Illustrated recently, Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione said Green-Beckham more than likely would not be a Sooner if available today – not because of any newfound moral clarity, but simply because Castiglione thinks the case would simply be too hot for Oklahoma to handle.
“If someone presented a case like that now, I think you would be fair to say that he probably wouldn’t be at Oklahoma,” Castiglione said. “Just because of the attention and the cases now in the public consciousness, the university would have been unlikely to take on a situation like that.”
This is an issue that isn’t going away soon for Oklahoma. Shannon maintains his innocence. The media has seen the Mixon incident on video, but the public has not. Recall again how quickly the Rice fiasco engulfed the news cycle once that video went public.
I still wonder what’s going to happen when that Joe Mixon tape comes out. Oklahoma open records law changes in November. It’ll be public.
To be fair, Oklahoma is not the only school in college football, not even the only school in its conference, dealing with this issue. And this is college football, after all. There is no doubt to Green-Beckham’s ability to play the game at the highest of levels.
If Oklahoma didn’t take him, someone else would have.
Posted by John Taylor on September 15, 2014, 3:48 PM EDT
In a season full of tumult and turmoil, SMU is looking to the outside for help in fixing something on the inside of the football program.
Earlier Monday, SMU interim head coach Tom Mason announced that he has added Tim Davis to his Mustangs coaching staff. Davis will aid current offensive line coach Wes Saun with that positional group.
Davis brings extensive experience to the squad, especially at the collegiate level. In a 31-year coaching career, Davis has spent time on coaching staffs at, among other places, Wisconsin, Utah, USC, Alabama and Minnesota.
Davis served as the line coach at Florida for two seasons before being fired shortly after the end of the 2013 regular season.
“I felt like we needed some help there and he can give us some help,” Mason, who took over the program after June Jonesabruptly resigned a week ago today, said as his team was coming off a bye this weekend. “He’s an expert at that and he’ll bring a little energy.”
If Davis is going to help SMU’s beleaguered line, he has a tough row to hoe ahead of him.
This season, the Mustangs are 102nd in passing yards per game and dead last in rushing yards with minus-16 — yes, they’ve run for negative yardage this season. Of SMU’s 39 carries, 24 of them either lost yards (21) or went for no gain (3). Mustang quarterbacks have been sacked 11 times in just two games.
So, yes, Davis — and the new coaching staff next year — has his work cut out for him.
Posted by John Taylor on September 15, 2014, 3:03 PM EDT
Not that it actually needed them, but Baylor was down all four of its leading returning wide receivers from 2013 for last Friday’s 63-12 romp over Buffalo.
For the Bears’ next game, they should be back to near full-strength in the receiving corps.
On his teleconference Monday, head coach Art Briles confirmed that Antwan Goodley (pictured), Corey Coleman and Clay Fuller will play in BU’s next game against Iowa State. Neither Goodly (quad) nor Coleman (hamstring) nor Fuller (clavicle) have caught a pass this season after combining for 138 receptions last season. Goodly alone accounted for 71 of those.
There’s no word on when Levi Norwood (47-733-4 in 2013) will return. Two weeks ago, Norwood underwent wrist surgery and was originally scheduled to be out for at least three weeks. That would’ve put him back on the field for the Cyclones game, although that doesn’t appear to be the case as of today.
With all of that experience sidelined, youth has been served for Baylor in the passing game. True freshman KD Cannon has proven to be one of the early breakout stars in the whole of college football, catching 14 passes for 471 yards and five touchdowns. The receiving yards lead the FBS, while his receiving scores are tied for second nationally.
Posted by John Taylor on September 15, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT
The key word in that headline, though, is “may,” especially as it pertains to the latter.
With their SEC opener against looming five days down the road, Nick Saban used part of his allotted time during the SEC coaches teleconference to address the status of a pair of injured starters, wide receiver DeAndrew White and cornerback Jarrick Williams. Of the two, it appears White is the one closer to a return.