Marcus Mariota now tops Bovada’s Heisman odds

3 Comments

Before the start of the 2013 season, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller was listed by Bovada.lv as its Heisman favorite.  A week later, that honor shifted to Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater.

Two weeks later?  A Pac-12 quarterback has grabbed the front-runner mantle.

In the latest set of odds released by Bovada, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota is listed as a 9/2 favorite to claim the 2013 Heisman Trophy.  On Sept. 3, Mariota was at 8/1.  Despite less than two games worth of actually playing time in the Ducks’ first three games, Mariota has passed for 889 yards, rushed for another 262 and accounted for 11 touchdowns (seven passing, four rushing).

Johnny Manziel, coming off a Herculean effort in a loss to Alabama, has continued his rise in the eyes of Bovada, coming in right behind Mariota at 5/1.  Earlier this month, Manziel had been listed at 15/2.  The reigning Heisman winner, who sits atop Chris Huston‘s HeismanPundit Straw Poll, had been a 4/1 favorite before the off-field issues dropped him to 15/1; those odds jumped back up to 7/1 after his “situation” was resolved with a half-game suspension.

Manziel’s actually off to a better start than he was last season, accounting for 1,137 yards of total offense and 12 touchdowns compared to 903/12 in 2012.

Another player rising is fellow SEC quarterback AJ McCarron.  At 12/1 two weeks ago and behind seven other players, Alabama’s McCarron, thanks to his own superb performance in the win over the Aggies, is now behind only Mariota and Manziel at 13/2.

Bridgewater is also at 13/2, while Florida State redshirt freshman Jameis Winston is at 9/1.

Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas is the first non-QB listed at 14/1 — Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon is right behind at 16/1.  Maryland’s Stefon Diggs is the first wide receiver at 75/1.

Below are all of the latest odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv:

Marcus Mariota (QB Oregon) 9/2
Johnny Manziel (QB Texas A&M) 5/1
A.J. McCarron (QB Alabama) 13/2
Teddy Bridgewater (QB Louisville) 13/2
Jameis Winston (QB Florida State) 9/1
Tajh Boyd (QB Clemson) 10/1
Braxton Miller (QB Ohio State) 12/1
De’Anthony Thomas (RB Oregon) 141
T.J. Yeldon (RB Alabama) 16/1
Aaron Murray (QB Georgia) 18/1
Brett Hundley (QB UCLA) 18/1
Todd Gurley (RB Georgia) 20/1
Jadeveon Clowney (DE South Carolina) 25/1
Lache Seastrunk (RB Baylor) 25/1
Devin Gardner (QB Michigan) 33/1
Kevin Hogan (QB Stanford) 33/1
Ka’Deem Carey (RB Arizona) 40/1
Duke Johnson (RB Miami) 50/1
Jordan Lynch (QB Northern Illinois) 50/1
Stephen Morris (QB Miami) 66/1
Stefon Diggs (WR Maryland) 75/1
Sammy Watkins (WR Clemson) 100/1
Taylor Martinez (QB Nebraska) 100/1
Marquis Lee (WR USC) 150/1

Florida makes signings of ex-Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire, former Clemson OL Jake Fruhmorgen official

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two Power Five transfer players are officially Florida Gators.

Monday, the Gators confirmed that offensive lineman Jake Fruhmorgen and quarterback Malik Zaire have enrolled in classes at the university.  Zaire was given his unconditional release from Notre Dame in late November and, after awaiting the SEC’s tweaking of its graduate transfer policy, confirmed his move to UF earlier this month, while Fruhmorgen left Clemson in mid-January before two months later revealing that Gainesville would serve as his next college football home.

As Zaire is coming to the Gators as a grad transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017 and is looked upon as a potential, or even likely starter under center.  Fruhmorgen will have to sit out the 2017 season, but will then have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.

Zaire started three games during his time with the Fighting Irish — the first in the Music City Bowl win over LSU following the 2014 season then the first two games of the 2015 season before an ankle injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year.  He played in eight games last season as the backup to DeShone Kizer.

Fruhmorgen didn’t play another game last season after suffering a shoulder injury in late October. While the injury kept him out of a couple of games, he missed the latter quarter of the regular season, as well as the postseason, dealing with unspecified personal issues that kept him away from the team.

Prior to all of that, the true sophomore had started the first eight games of the 2016 season at right tackle.

A four-star 2015 signee, Fruhmorgen was rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 8 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Florida. As a true freshman, the 6-5, 290-pound lineman played in 11 games, starting one of those contests.

WR T.J. Simmons transferring from Alabama to West Virginia

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A former Miami Hurricane wasn’t the only Power Five transfer West Virginia landed over the weekend.

On his personal Twitter account Sunday, T.J. Simmons surprised many by announcing that he would be transferring from Alabama. Not only that, but the wide receiver announced his new college football home — West Virginia.

After sitting out the 2017 season, Simmons will have three years of eligibility remaining with the Mountaineers.

A three-star member of the Crimson Tide’s 2016 recruiting class, Simmons was rated as the No. 58 receiver in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Alabama. While he played in 12 games as a true freshman, mainly on special teams, he caught six passes for 82 yards and a touchdown in this year’s spring game.

In addition to Simmons, former Miami tight end Jovani Haskins announced Saturday he would be transferring to WVU as well. All told, four Power Five players have come to Morgantown this offseason — those two, plus former Syracuse defensive back Corey Winfield (HERE) and ex-Miami quarterback Jack Allison (HERE).

Meanwhile, In Tuscaloosa, Simmons has joined linebacker Shawn Jennings (HERE) and O.J. Smith (HERE) as transfers away from UA in the last month. As 247Sports.com noted, that trio of transfers gets the Tide down to 86 scholarship players, one above the 85-man limit.

East Carolina mourns loss of former Pirate Domonique Lennon in fatal shooting

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The extended Eastern Carolina football family is in mourning following the passing of one of their own.

Over the weekend, Domonique Lennon was shot and killed following an incident outside of a Raleigh, NC restaurant. He was just 24 years old.

Witnesses described hearing upwards of 15 gunshots, with police arriving at 9:45 p.m. Friday night. No suspect or suspects are in custody as police continue to investigate the fatal shooting, which they believe involved more than one shooter.

It’s unknown if Lennon was the target or just caught up in the crossfire.

Lennon played defensive back for the Pirates from 2011-15. He played in 26 games his last two seasons with ECU, starting 14 of those contests in 2014.

“East Carolina University, the athletics department and Pirate football program are saddened by the tragic passing of Domonique Lennon,” a statement from the school began. “He made a positive impact on many people during his time as a student-athlete at ECU and earned the respect of both his teammates and coaches. We extend our condolences to Domonique’s family, friends and all those who knew and loved him.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help start a college fund for Lennon’s young son Landon. You can reach it by clicking HERE.

VIDEO: LSU RB Derrius Guice squats 650 pounds

Getty Images
5 Comments

Derrius Guice may be the most underrated player in college football.

Playing in the shadow of Leonard Fournette, Guice posted an eye-popping 8.55 yards per carry (51 rushes for 436 yards) as a freshman in 2015, then kept his big-play ability as his usage increased while Fournette battled injuries in his final college season. Guice rushed 183 times for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns; his 7.58 yards per carry average was the most among Power 5 rushers with at least 180 carries.

So, yes, Guice is really good. He’s also a physical freak.

LSU captured and tweeted video Friday of Guice squatting 650 pounds, more than three times his listed 212 pounds.

If — and this is a massive, Les Miles-firing if — LSU can consistently throw the ball in 2017, go ahead and make Guice your darkhorse Heisman contender in 2017.

(HT CBS Sports)