Jameis Winston

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

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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)

Ex-Arkansas WR Kendrick Edwards moves on to Arkansas State

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 10:  Reggie Ragland #19 of the Alabama Crimson Tide breaks up this reception intended for Kendrick Edwards #6 of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 10, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Kendrick Edwards may have left Arkansas, the Razorbacks, but he hasn’t left Arkansas, the state.

According to a tweet posted to his personal Twitter account, Edwards revealed that he has been “[e]xtremely blessed and thankful for this new opportunity at Arkansas State University.”  That Sun Belt football program, it should be noted, has yet to confirm Edwards’ addition to the roster.

This development is the latest twist in what’s thus far been an odd collegiate odyssey for Edwards.

In March of 2015, it was announced that Edwards had been removed from the Razorbacks football program and was given permission to speak to other schools about a transfer.  However, Edwards was reinstated to the program shortly thereafter; however, the sequel, Edwards was permanently dismissed in the midst of the 2015 season for unspecified reasons.

Coming out of high school in Miami, Edwards was rated by 247Sports.com as a three-star recruit in the Class of 2014.  In parts of two seasons with the Razorbacks, Edwards caught eight passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.

After sitting out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Edwards will have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

CB Josh Jenkins, injured last year in fight with teammate, ‘looking to transfer from Army’

Josh Jenkins ,Joseph Pavlik's
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The West Point career of Josh Jenkins has apparently taken yet another twist.

On his personal Twitter account earlier Tuesday — he pinned it for emphasis — Jenkins posted a tweet that included a YouTube highlight video with the text consisting of “looking to transfer from Army West Point.” Just why the defensive back has decided to leave the service academy is unclear.

Jenkins reportedly suffered a serious and significant head injury during an on-post fight with a teammate over the Fourth of July weekend last year. The teammate, linebacker Seth Combs, was dismissed from the team; Jenkins was unable to play at all in 2015 because of the injuries he sustained.

During spring practice, Jenkins was not allowed to participate in contact drills. Sal Interdonato of the Times Herald-Record wrote that Black Knights head coach “Jeff Monken said near the end of spring practice that he was ‘hopeful’ that Jenkins would be cleared to practice with full contact in the preseason.”

In 2014, Jenkins was tied for second on the team with 63 tackles, while his four interceptions and eight passes broken up were the most of any Black Knight. He also blocked two kicks, a total that was tops on the team as well.

Former Michigan WR, Notre Dame DB move on to JUCOs

MORTON GROVE, IL - JANUARY 23: A U-Haul truck sits in front of a U-Haul store January 23, 2003 in Morton Grove, Illinois. Reno, Nevada-based U-Haul Co. is discussing debt restructuring. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
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Two former members of Power Five football programs have decided to slide far down the college football ladder in restarting their respective careers.

According to 247Sports.com, Cole is on the campus of East Mississippi Community College and will play for the JUCO team in 2016.  The report comes nearly four months after it was reported that Cole had decided to transfer from Michigan to Kentucky.

The recruiting website writes that UK “is a school Cole continues to consider.”

Cole was a highly sought after four-star 2015 recruit who was an early enrollee in Jim Harbaugh‘s first UM class.  The No. 74 player nationally on 247Sports.com‘s composite board, Cole was also the No. 1-rated player at any position in the state of Michigan.  He played in two games at receiver with the Wolverines; he’ll move to safety with his new program.

Speaking of defensive backs, former Notre Dame safety Mykelti Williams has also decided to go the JUCO route.  It was confirmed in March of this year that Williams had decided to leave the Irish and transfer elsewhere.

As it turns out, that elsewhere is Iowa Western.

Williams was a three-star member of the Irish’s 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 29 safety in the country; the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Indiana; and the No. 464 player overall according to 247Sports.com. The 5-11, 200-pound defensive back chose Notre Dame over offers from, among others, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Purdue and Wisconsin.

He took a redshirt as a true freshman last season.

Transferring Utah DT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu visits Alabama, too

Stevie Tu'ikolovatu
Utah athletics
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Earlier this month, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu made the decision to transfer from Utah. Over the weekend, the defensive lineman paid a visit to Nebraska as he began the process of finding a new college football home.

Earlier this week, Tu’ikolovatu continued that process at the defending national champions.

According to the defensive tackle’s Twitter account, Tu’ikolovatu paid a visit to Alabama on Monday. While the Tide, as always, remains loaded along the line even after losing so much to the NFL draft, they could certainly use someone with the talent — and size — the 6-1, 320-pound Tu’ikolovatu possesses if the player and team find common ground.

Last season with the Utes, Tu’ikolovatu played in all 13 games, starting two of those contests. His four fumble recoveries were tied for the lead in the Pac-12 and second nationally.

All told, Tu’ikolovatu played in 25 games the past two seasons. As a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2016 whether he moves on to Alabama, Nebraska or any other FBS program.

The 2016 season will, though, be his final year of eligibility.