2012 winner headlines Groza preseason watch list

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It’s been 14 years since a placekicker has won back-to-back Lou Groza Awards.  Cairo Santos, you’re officially on the clock.

The Tulane kicker was one of 30 players named to the 2013 preseason watch list for the Groza Award, named in honor of the Hall of Fame kicker/offensive lineman from the Cleveland Browns.  In addition to Santos, 10 other semifinalists for last year’s award appear on this year’s watch list.

Santos, who was not listed on last year’s preseason watch list, connected on all 21 of his field goal attempts in 2012.  The only other kicker to hit on every field-goal attempt, San Jose State’s Austin Lopez (17-for-17), is one of the 30 preseason watch players as well.

The Big Ten, ACC, Conference USA and MAC all placed four kickers each on the list.  The Mountain West was next with three.

The Groza Award was first handed out in 1992 and won by Joe Allison of Memphis State (now Memphis).  Florida State’s Sebastian Janikowski won the award in 1998 and 1999.

Chris Boswell – Rice
Kyle Brindza – Notre Dame
Jeff Budzien – Northwestern
Chandler Catanzaro – Clemson
Brian Davis – Arkansas State
Jeremiah Detmer – Toledo
Nick Diaz – Utah State
Mitch Ewald – Indiana
Nate Freese – Boston College
Andrew Furney – Washington State
Brendan Gibbons – Michigan
Warren Harvey – East Carolina
Michael Hunnicutt – Oklahoma
Cody Journell – Virginia Tech
Ty Long – UAB
Austin Lopez – San Jose State
Ross Martin – Duke
Mike Meyer – Iowa
Tony Miliano – Cincinnati
Dylan Mulder – Eastern Michigan
Jaden Oberkrom – TCU
Cody Parkey – Auburn
Kaleb Patterson – Miami (OH)
Jared Roberts – Colorado State
Trevor Romaine – Oregon State
Cairo Santos – Tulane
Will Scott – Troy
Mathew Sims – Northern Illinois
Carey Spear – Vanderbilt
John Wallace – Louisville

Report: Big 12 still raking in SEC-level cash

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It’s a bad time for the Big 12. The conference isn’t signing blue chip prospects at the rate of its peers, isn’t producing draft picks at the rate of its peers and isn’t reaching and winning big games at the rate of its peers.

But the Big 12 is still getting paid at the rate of its peers.

The league’s contracts with ESPN and FOX combined with its 10-team set up have allowed the Big 12 to keep pace with the SEC and Big Ten and remain ahead of the ACC and Pac-12 in financial distribution. The Dallas Morning News‘s Big 12 writer Chuck Carlton tweeted on Friday the league’s per-school distribution will again grow 10 percent to more than $33 million in 2017-18.

The SEC distributed just north of $40 million in 2016-17, while the Big Ten was at $33 million by 2014-15.

However, since the Big 12 does not have its own television network, its conference distributions do not include third-tier rights, which its schools keep and sell on their own — like the Longhorn Network. So schools like Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas are likely getting paid equal or above their SEC and Big Ten peers.

Now if only they could start recruiting and winning like them, too.

Former Texas DT Jordan Elliott headed to Mizzou

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Former Texas defensive tackle Jordan Elliott will now be a Missouri Tiger, he announced on Friday.

Elliott chose Missouri to follow Brick Haley, his defensive line coach in Austin that landed at Mizzou after Charlie Strong‘s firing.

“They’re a program that’s on the come up, SEC ball is the highest level,” Elliott said in an interview with Power Mizzou. “Coach Haley is one of the best D-Line coaches out there. Missouri’s a powerhouse for defensive linemen. They’re coming and going first round every year. That’s real appealing to me.

“I talked to coach Haley and got it rolling.”

Elliott was a Signing Day addition to Strong’s 2016 class who was committed to Michigan before his late flip. He said that his one season in Austin amounted to a year-long version of buyer’s remorse.

“There’s a lot of speculation going around, but at the end of the day I just wasn’t happy there,” he said. “It’s nothing against the coaches at Texas, they’re great coaches. It’s a great program and I really learned a lot of things, but I just never really enjoyed Texas since I first got there.”

Elliott posted eight tackles and 1.5 TFLs in six appearances as a true freshman last season before suffering a torn MCL against Iowa State in October.

He would have been in line for starter’s snaps had he remained on Tom Herman‘s squad this fall. Instead, Elliott will sit out the 2017 campaign and have three years remaining to compete as a Tiger beginning in ’18.

 

WATCH: FCS player paralyzed in 2015 game vs. Georgia walks

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Tired of the continuous stream of negative college football news? Here ya go.

During a September 2015 game against Georgia, Southern wide receiver Devon Gales sustained a severe spinal injury that left him paralyzed and hospitalized for five months. This week, Gales used Twitter to offer up a very encouraging and inspiring update — the former wide receiver, with the assist of a couple of physical therapists, taking a dozen steps.

On the way indeed.

In February, Georgia announced that it was launching “Drive to Build a Dawg House” for Gales and his family.

Nebraska WR Stanley Morgan avoids felony pot possession charge

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One of the top playmakers in Nebraska’s passing game has avoided what was originally a serious legal charge.

According to KETV-TV in Omaha, Stanley Morgan was arrested following a traffic stop May 6 in Port Orange, Fla., for possession of 21.4 grams of marijuana; according to the penal code in the state of Florida, possession of more than 20 grams of weed is considered a felony.  However, the television station wrote, “prosecutors charged the case as ‘possession of cannabis not more than 20 grams,’ making it a misdemeanor.”

Why the the charge against Morgan went from a potential felony to a misdemeanor — or reduced as the Associated Press reported — wasn’t detailed.  A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia charge was dropped as well.

Cornhuskers defensive back Antonio Reed was also in the vehicle that was driven by his teammate and was charged with misdemeanor pot possession as well.

“Head Coach Mike Riley and the Athletics Department are aware of a recent incident in Florida involving Stanley Morgan Jr.,” a statement from the university began. “We will have no additional comment until we have all information regarding this matter.”

Morgan’s 33 receptions for 453 yards were second on the team last season.  With Jordan Westerkamp‘s departure, the junior is the Cornhuskers’ leading returning receiver.

Also a junior, Reed played in 22 games last season.  He was credited with 22 tackles.