Jameis Winston, Pac-12 QBs headline O’Brien Award watch list

5 Comments

Don’t worry.  We’re just a couple of days away from the end of the dreaded “Watch List Season.”

The latest to release its watch list are the fine folks at the Davey O’Brien Award, which announced a 39-strong group of quarterbacks to watch in 2014.  Not so surprisingly, last year’s winner headlines the individual names on the list.

Florida State’s Jameis Winston, the 2013 trophy winner, is looking to become the fourth quarterback to ever claim two O’Briens.  If a repeat is in order, Winston would join BYU’s Ty Detmer (1990-91), Florida’s Danny Wuerffel (1995-96) and Oklahoma’s Jason White (2003-04) as the award’s only two-time winners.

Winston, though, will face some stiff competition. There are five semifinalists for last year’s award on this year’s watch list: UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller and Baylor’s Bryce Petty.

The Pac-12 easily paced all conferences with eight players on the watch list, followed by the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC with five apiece. Of the 39 players selected, just 13 came from non-Power Five conferences.

Class-wise, there were 19 seniors, 13 juniors and seven sophomores on the list.

Below is the complete 2014 Davey O’Brien Award preseason watch list:

Anthony Boone (Duke, Senior)
Terrance Broadway (Louisiana-Lafayette, Senior)
Shane Carden (East Carolina, Senior)
Rakeem Cato (Marshall, Senior)
Connor Cook (Michigan State, Junior)
Jeff Driskel (Florida, Junior)
Cody Fajardo (Nevada, Senior)
Devin Gardner (Michigan, Senior)
Jared Goff (California, Sophomore)
Everett Golson (Notre Dame, Junior)
Garrett Grayson (Colorado State, Senior)
Christian Hackenberg (Penn State, Sophomore)
Connor Halliday (Washington State, Senior)
Grant Hedrick (Boise State, Senior)
Taylor Heinicke (Old Dominion, Senior)
Taysom Hill (BYU, Junior)
Kevin Hogan (Stanford, Junior)
Brett Hundley (UCLA, Junior)
Matt Johnson (Bowling Green, Junior)
Chuckie Keeton (Utah State, Senior)
Taylor Kelly (Arizona State, Senior)
Cody Kessler (USC, Junior)
Trevor Knight (Oklahoma, Sophomore)
Sean Mannion (Oregon State, Senior)
Marcus Mariota (Oregon, Junior)
Nick Marshall (Auburn, Senior)
Hutson Mason (Georgia, Senior)
Braxton Miller (Ohio State, Senior)
John O’Korn (Houston, Sophomore)
Bryce Petty (Baylor, Senior)
Dak Prescott (Mississippi State, Junior)
Keenan Reynolds (Navy, Junior)
Joel Stave (Wisconsin, Junior)
P.J. Walker (Temple, Sophomore)
Bo Wallace (Ole Miss, Senior)
J.W. Walsh (Oklahoma State, Junior)
Jake Waters (Kansas State, Senior)
Davis Webb (Texas Tech, Sophomore)
Jameis Winston (Florida State, Sophomore)

Reports: Tim Drevno stepping down as Michigan’s OC

Getty Images
2 Comments

An offseason of change in Jim Harbaugh‘s Michigan coaching staff continues, with one of the Wolverines’ million-dollar assistants stepping down.  Reportedly.

Multiple reports, including ones from The Wolverine Lounge and SI.com‘s Bruce Feldman, are indicating that Tim Drevno has decided to step down from his post as U-M’s offensive coordinator.  Drevno has been Harbaugh’s coordinator on that side of the ball each of his three seasons in Ann Arbor.

Drevno also served as the Wolverines’ offensive line coach.

Under Drevno’s direction, Michigan’s offense was tied for 91st nationally in averaging 25.2 points per game this past season.

The reports come three days after McElwain was officially announced as U-M’s new quarterbacks coach.  In the run-up to that hiring, it was reported that McElwain, the former coordinator at Alabama prior to his run as Florida’s head coach, could take over play-calling duties at U-M.

Arizona QB Brandon Dawkins to transfer from Wildcats

Getty Images
Leave a comment

An already crowded graduate transfer market has gained yet another entrant.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, Brandon Dawkins announced that he has decided to transfer out of new head coach Kevin Sumlin‘s football program. While no specific reason was given for the quarterback’s decision to move on, the presence of a Heisman Trophy contender, rising junior Khalil Tate, for the next two seasons likely played a significant role.

Dawkins is set to graduate this May, which will make him eligible to play immediately in 2018 at another FBS school if that’s the tack he takes.

Dawkins started nine games in 2016 and the first four games this past season before Tate took over.  For the Wildcats portion of his playing career, Dawkins completed just over 56 percent of his 334 passes for 2,418 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.  He ran for another 1,582 yards and 20 more touchdowns.

Fresno State DC Orlondo Steinauer headed back to CFL

Getty Images
Leave a comment

That certainly didn’t last long.

In December of 2016, it was confirmed that Orlondo Steinauer would be leaving his post as the defensive coordinator of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League to take the same job at Fresno State.  After one season at the Mountain West Conference school, Steinauer announced on Twitter that he has decided to move back to the CFL with the same organization.

“Orlondo is an accomplished CFL coach with a great track record at this level,” said Ticats head coach June Jones in a statement. “He’s a coach whose great work ethic, intelligence, knowledge of the Canadian game and ability to get the most out of his players will be a huge asset to our staff.

“We’re very happy to bring him home to Hamilton after an exceptional year at Fresno State.”

Prior to his one season at Fresno, Steinauer had spent his entire coaching career in the CFL, including a four-year stint as the defensive coordinator for Hamilton from 2013-16.  Steinauer, a Seattle native who played his college football at Western Washington, also played professionally in Canada from 1996-2008 prior to embarking on his coaching career.

Chris Ash adds another assistant to Rutgers staff

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It was a busy day on the assistant hiring front for Chris Ash.

Earlier Thursday, Rutgers confirmed that Noah Joseph had been hired as co-defensive coordinator as well as safeties coach.  Not long after, the football program again confirmed that Cory Robinson has been hired by Ash as well.

Robinson will serve as passing-game coordinator for the Scarlet Knights as well as cornerbacks coach.

“We are excited to have Cory and his family join our program,” said Ash in a statement. “Cory is a fast-rising young coach that will bring tremendous energy and passion to our defense. We look forward to having him develop and mentor our corners.”

Robinson spent the past two seasons as a cornerbacks coach, at Temple in 2017 and Toledo the year before.  Those were his first two years as an on-field assistant at the FBS level.