James Franklin

Randy Edsall responds to James Franklin’s Maryland comments


Last month, James Franklin commenced a mini war of words with a pair of schools moving into the Big Ten this season, Maryland and Rutgers.  Essentially, the first-year Penn State head coach stated that he and his coaching staff have already planted their recruiting flags in the two states in which the football programs reside and need not bother looking for prospects in those areas.

“I consider [Maryland] in-state. I consider New Jersey in-state,” Franklin said while speaking to the Penn State fans and alums assembled in Baltimore in early May. “[T]hey might as well shut them down because they don’t have a chance.”

Tuesday, one of the head coaches of the two football teams set to embark on a B1G change responded… sort of.

Talk is cheap. We’re not gonna boast and brag,” Terps head coach Randy Edsall said at a charity golf tournament in Pennsylvania. “We’re more about substance at Maryland. We’re gonna find guys that fit the profile we’re looking for. We’re gonna worry about ourselves and not worry about anything else.”

OK, it’s not exactly Steve Spurrier vs. [insert coach here], but what exactly could Edsall say? Franklin’s actually correct for the moment.

The Nittany Lions are currently rated No. 3 — behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson — in the Rivals.com 2015 recruiting rankings. Of their 16 verbal commitments in that class, four are from the Terps turf of Maryland (three) and Washington D.C. (one). Two of the four are four-star prospects, the other two are three-stars.

Additionally, another three verbals are from the state of New Jersey. All three of those are four-star prospects.

Maryland is currently No. 36 in 2015 rankings, Rutgers No. 49.  The former has pulled no commitments out of Franklin’s state, the latter four.  Only one of those four, though, is rated higher than two-stars.

So, yeah, Franklin has a point. And the right to toot his Happy Valley horn… for now.

Video: There’s nothing wrong with Cardale Jones

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In the minds of some in the media and even more in the fan base, Ohio State in general and Cardale Jones specifically have been underwhelming through the first five games of the 2015 season.

Jones, in particular, has been a rather large target of much of the angst.  Coming off a Cinderella-like three-game postseason run that helped OSU to a national championship, the perception is that Jones has been underwhelming and underperforming; even head coach Urban Meyer appeared to be leaning in that direction as he considered making the switch to J.T. Barrett prior to the Western Michigan win before reaffirming his commitment to the redshirt junior.

Is that perception valid?  Statistically, he’s not that far off from where he was in the 2014 postseason, at least in a couple of categories.

He’s completing 61.3 percent of his passes this season compared to 59.4 percent in the games against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon.  It was 9.9 yards per attempt in that three-game stretch last season, 8.2 in five games this season.  When it comes to scoring and turning the ball over, however, that’s another matter entirely.

He threw a touchdown pass every 15 pass attempts in the 2014 postseason; this season, it’s one every 21 attempts.  Even more glaring, he’s currently throwing an interception every 21 attempts as well.  During the run that made him a household name, it was one pick every 37.5 throws.

So, fewer touchdowns plus more turnovers equals validation of the angst, right?  Not so fast, at least as far as the college arm of Pro Football Focus goes.

UCLA suspends P Adam Searl following arrest on rape charges

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A very serious allegation has triggered the latest resetting of the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker.

UCLA confirmed in a statement that Adam Searl (pictured, No. 39) has been indefinitely suspended from the football program.  The move comes nearly a day after the punter was arrested on three counts of rape.

He was released a handful of hours after his arrest on a $300,000 bond.

“We have been informed of the situation involving Adam Searl, and we take these accusations very seriously,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said in a statement. “Adam has been suspended from the team indefinitely while the legal process runs its course. Due to the ongoing police investigation, we are unable to discuss this matter further at this time.”

The arrest stems from an incident that allegedly occurred in the middle of last October, and is the result what the Los Angeles Police Department described as “an exhaustive investigation.” As for what led to the charges, here’s the Los Angeles Daily News‘ account of the alleged incident:

The victim, a student at UCLA, reported the alleged assault to the LAPD on Oct. 14, 2014. She told police that she had met the suspect outside of an off-campus house party in Westwood. They went to another residence, where she fell asleep and awoke to find him assaulting her. She was able to identify Searl following the police investigation.

Searl punted 11 times as a redshirt freshman last season. He had punted five times this season as the backup to Matt Mengel.