Reigning Biletnikoff winner Marqise Lee one of 75 on preseason watch list

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The next stop on our tour of preseason watch lists is the Biletnikoff Award.

The award is presented annually to the top receiver in college football. Last year’s winner was USC’s Marqise Lee.

Lee is featured as one of 75 players on this year’s Biletnikoff preseason watch list. Other notable preseason candidates include Jared Abbrederis (Wisconsin), Amari Cooper (Alabama), Stefon Diggs (Maryland), Rashad Green (Florida State), and Sammy Watkins (Clemson). The SEC leads all major conferences with 14 candidates, followed by the ACC and Big 12 with 10. The list is not final, however, as players can be added to it later.

The winner of this year’s award will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 12, 2013.

As always, you can view the entire list of preseason candidates below. You can now also check out our preseason watch lists repository HERE.

Jared Abbrederis, Sr., Wisconsin
Davante Adams, So., Fresno State
Nelson Agholor, So., USC
Alex Amidon, Sr., Boston College
Odell Beckham, Jr., Jr., LSU
Kenny Bell, Jr., Nebraska
Michael Bennett, Jr., Georgia
Chris Boyd, Jr., Vanderbilt
Corey Brown, Sr., Ohio State
Aaron Burbridge, So., Michigan State
Damiere Byrd, Jr., South Carolina
Michael Campanaro, Sr., Wake Forest
Brandon Carter, Jr., TCU
Brandon Coleman, Jr., Rutgers
Brandin Cooks, Jr., Oregon State
Amari Cooper, So., Alabama
Jamison Crowder, Jr., Duke
DaVaris Daniels, Jr., Notre Dame
Mike Davis, Sr., Texas
Quinshad Davis, So., North Carolina
Titus Davis, Jr., Central Michigan
Stefon Diggs, So., Maryland
Phillip Dorsett, Jr., Miami
William Dukes, Jr., FAU
Quinton Dunbar, Jr., Florida
Bruce Ellington, Jr., South Carolina
Mike Evans, So., Texas A&M
Shaquelle Evans, Sr., UCLA
Austin Franklin, Jr., New Mexico State
Jeremy Gallon, Sr., Michigan
Keyarris Garrett, Jr., Tulsa
Ryan Grant, Sr., Tulane
Rashad Green, Jr., FSU
Dorial Green-Beckham, So., Missouri
Deontay Greenberry, So.,  Houston
Noel Grigsby, Sr., San Jose State
Je’Ron Hamm, Sr., Louisiana-Monroe
Justin Hardy, Jr., East Carolina
Chris Harper, So., California
Robert Herron, Sr., Wyoming
Cody Hoffman, Sr., BYU
Josh Huff, Sr., Oregon
T.J. Jones, Sr., Notre Dame
Cody Latimer, Jr., Indiana
Marqise Lee, Jr., USC
Jordan Leslie, Jr., UTEP
Jordan Matthews, Sr., Vanderbilt
J.D. McKissic, So., Arkansas State
Trey Metoyer, So., Oklahoma
Matt Miller, Jr., Boise State
Malcolm Mitchell., Jr. Georgia
Donte Moncrief, Jr., Ole Miss
Tracy Moore, Sr., Oklahoma State
Alex Neutz, Jr., Buffalo
Kevin Norwood, Sr., Alabama
DeVante Parker, Jr., Louisville
Charone Peake, Jr., Clemson
Bernard Reedy, Sr., Toledo
Tevin Reese, Sr., Baylor
Paul Richardson, Jr., Colorado
Allen Robinson, Jr., Penn State
Shaq Roland, So., South Carolina
Alonzo Russell, So., Toledo
Jalen Saunders, Sr., Oklahoma
Jaxon Shipley, Jr., Texas
Tommy Shuler, So., Marshall
Devin Smith, Jr., Ohio State
Willie Snead, Jr., Ball State
Josh Stewart, Jr., Oklahoma State
Devin Street, Jr., Pittsburgh
Eric Thomas, Sr., Troy
Jordan Thompson, So., West Virginia
Eric Ward, Sr., Texas Tech
Sammy Watkins, Jr., Clemson
Brandon Wimberly, Sr., Nevada

Report: North Texas adds FCS running back transfer

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North Texas is adding running back Loren Easly to the roster, according to a message posted to his Twitter account Saturday.

Easly spent the past two seasons at Stephen F. Austin, a member of the FCS Southland Conference. A Houston native, he appeared in 20 games over two seasons as a Lumberjack, carrying 213 times for 1,256 yards with 11 touchdowns while adding 17 catches for 139 yards.

Denton Record-Chronicle reporter Brett Vito confirmed the transfer on his Twitter account.

As an interdivisional transfer, Easly will be able to play immediately with two seasons of eligibility remaining.

He would join a backfield led by rising senior Jeffrey Wilson, who paced the Mean Green with 936 yards and 14 touchdowns on 169 carries in 2016.

Kansas AD Sheahon Zenger signs extension, vows to fix football

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Kansas athletics director Sheahon Zenger has signed an extension to remain on the job through the 2020-21 academic year, the school announced Sunday.

Zenger has been on the job since 2011, meaning the new deal will take him past the decade mark in Lawrence.

“Since Sheahon’s arrival in Jan. 2011, Kansas Athletics has enjoyed success on and off the field,” Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a statement. “I am confident that under Sheahon’s leadership Athletics will experience even more success in the coming years.”

Zenger did not hire Bill Self, but he did hire Charlie Weis, which cost KU more than $5.6 million in buyout money after he was fired for going 6-22 leading the Jayhawks from 2012-14.

David Beaty was since hired to run the program, who has infused an outlook brighter than his 2-22 record would suggest.

Zenger said the new contract will allow him to fix football. Via the Kansas City Star:

Under Zenger’s watch, KU has most notably added numerous construction projects, including Rock Chalk Park and the DeBruce Center, which houses the original rules of basketball. He has spoken previously about completing those ventures to “clear the deck” financially so focus could be placed on football and Memorial Stadium renovations — two things he now says are “really the top priorities for me in the next four years.”

“We want it to be a place that people just love to come to,” Zenger said of Memorial Stadium. “We have such history there. I think it’s the greatest setting in the nation for college football. We just need to get it to the point where it’s a place that’s just revered.”

The extension includes a raise from a base salary of $619,000 to $700,000.

Alleged victim of Tennessee WR Josh Smith threatens $3 million civil suit

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Earlier this month, Tennessee wide receiver Josh Smith was charged with domestic assault following an incident at an off-campus house with his roommate. Now, the roommate is seeking damages of $875,000. If that sum is not paid, then the alleged victim may bring a $3 million civil suit to the court.

According to Jimmy Hyams of WNML, Kennedy Foster suffered a broken nose, broken teeth and damage to his eyes and right ear in the incident earlier this month that led to the charges filed against Smith. Foster sent a settlement demand letter to the attorney representing Smith.

“I’m not accusing him (Foster) of extortion, but that’s what it looks like,’’ Smith’s attorney, Keith Stewart said according to Hyams. “Given my understanding that Mr. Foster’s attempts to press charges against Malcolm Stokes were unsuccessful, it seems his motives are clear.’’

“I think when the truth comes out, Josh will be exonerated,” Stewart said of his client.

The deadline for paying the settlement demand is set for May 30 (tomorrow) by 5:00 p.m. and is to be delivered in the form of a cashier’s check along with a letter of apology for the incident. If the Smith family does not pay the requested sum, the legal team for Foster will move forward with a $1.5 million lawsuit seeking compensatory damages and a $1.5 million lawsuit for punitive damages. How either will hold up in court remains to be seen.

How some college football teams are recognizing Memorial Day on Twitter

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It’s not Memorial Day until the social media teams at college football programs start pumping out branded Memorial Day messages on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. As expected, teams and conferences are busy at pumping out the social media content for their followers today. Here is a sampling of what has been seen so far.

If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to read John’s annual Memorial Day post.