USC not ready to pull trigger on Barkley’s replacement

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For those wondering who will replace Matt Barkley under center for USC, you’re going to have to wait a while longer for the answer.

In its latest depth chart released Saturday, the Trojans listed Max Wittek (pictured, No. 13) OR Cody Kessler (pictured, No. 6) — in that order, for what it’s worth — at the quarterback position.  The redshirt sophomores have engaged in essentially what’s been a two-man battle for the starting job since the start of spring practice.

Thus far head coach Lane Kiffin has declined to tip his hand as to which direction he’s headed, even as some think he already knows who the starter will be and is simply making the season-opening opponent — Hawaii, coached by former USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow — guess right up until kickoff.

Gamesmanship aside, USC will head into the 2013 season with co-starters at the position, with Kiffin making it crystal clear that neither contender grabbed the job by the throat.

“If somebody would have outperformed the other one, we wouldn’t be here,” Kiffin said. “But they both did really well.”

The quarterback position, though, is not the only position without a designated starter for the Thursday opener at Aloha Stadium.

In fact, all four positions in the secondary have an “OR” between the top two players, with both safety positions carrying an “OR” between the top three players.  Right guard, tight end and tailback also include co-starters.  Or co-co-starters for the latter as the RB pecking order goes “Tre Madden OR Silas Redd OR Justin Davis.”

Redd, the Trojans leading rusher in 2012, missed the latter half of spring practice with a knee injury.  Earlier this week, Kiffin said he’s “not sure he will be” available for the opener as the back continues his recovery.

Four-star 2015 signee second Aggie to leave Texas A&M this week

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With a new head coach in town, it’s far from surprising to see somewhat of a personnel exodus in the spring.  In that vein, Jimbo Fisher‘s first-year Texas A&M roster is the latest FBS football program to see such attrition.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, offensive lineman Koda Martin announced that he would be transferring from A&M to Syracuse.  On the same social media website a day later, teammate Kemah Siverand announced that he too will be leaving College Station as a transfer.

Unlike Martin, Siverand (pictured, left) did not reveal his next college football home in the tweet.

As Siverand will be leaving the Aggies as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school in 2018 if that’s the tack he takes.

Siverand was a four-star member of A&M’s 2015 recruiting class.  After beginning his collegiate career as a wide receiver, the Cypress, Tex., native moved to defensive back between the 2016 and 2017 seasons.  He caught two passes for 16 yards in two games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, then was credited with six tackles in 12 games last season.

Iowa LB Aaron Mends to miss extended time with injury

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Talk about a hard-luck story.

After never starting a game at Iowa, Aaron Mends (pictured, blocking punt) had earned a starting job at outside linebacker during practice this spring.  With football being the cruel mistress that it can be at times, the Hawkeyes announced Friday night that Mends “will miss an extended period of time due to injury.” The program offered no details as to the specific nature of the injury, although it’s believed to involve the knee.

According to the school’s release, the fifth-year senior suffered the injury during the final week of Iowa’s spring drills.

Mends was a three-star member of the Hawkeyes’ 2014 recruiting class.  He was the highest-rated linebacker in Iowa’s class that year.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Mends has played in 38 games the past three seasons.  A baker’s dozen of those appearances came during the 2017 season.

Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, James Franklin and Clay Helton among 15 CFB coaches attending NFL Draft

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We’re less than a week away from former college players officially finding out their new homes with the start of the 2018 NFL Draft and the excitement is palpable no matter if you’re a Cleveland Browns fan or somebody who dons the cardinal and gold of USC.

Naturally this is a big deal for the players’ former programs as well and their recent head coaches will be taking full advantage of the marketing opportunity to future recruits by stopping by the draft itself at AT&T Stadium for the festivities. The NFL released a list of 14 college football coaches and one recent one on Friday as being confirmed to attend the event and there are a few notable names beyond the big ones we’re used to seeing every year:

In addition, Stanford head coach David Shaw will serve as a draft analyst on NFL Network for a seventh year in a row and even ESPN’s College GameDay is getting involved with a pregame show outside the stadium they are quite familiar with from big games over the years.

Georgia DB Mark Webb tears meniscus in practice but expected back before fall camp

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Georgia’s injury luck this spring isn’t getting much better as the defending SEC champions move toward their annual G-Day spring game over the weekend.

Head coach Kirby Smart confirmed with reporters after Thursday’s practice that sophomore defensive back Mark Webb suffered a knee injury earlier in the week and tore his meniscus. He already had the knee scoped and is expected back before fall camp after the rather minor procedure.

Webb originally landed in Athens as a wideout but made the move to the secondary just as the season was getting going. He appeared in 13 games in 2017, mostly on special teams, but was expected to challenge for one of the starting spots at cornerback heading into the upcoming campaign.

The absence of Webb in the lineup for the final week of spring adds to a growing list of injuries for the team during practice as they do a little bit of roster building toward the future. Receiver Michael Chigbu’s career may be over due to lingering injuries and defensive back Divaad Wilson tore his ACL not long after enrolling this semester.

Safe to say that G-Day on Saturday might not be as physical as Smart and the coaching staff would otherwise like as a result of trying to keep the team healthy as they prepare to head into a big offseason.