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Everybody has a podcast, Heisman edition: USC gives Sam Darnold his own podcast

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Media folks have joked for the past few years that everybody who is anybody in this world has a podcast and apparently that line of thinking is filtering down to the college football ranks. No, we’re not just talking about your favorite reporters or team site this time around, we’re talking about actual players. One in particular.

On Wednesday evening, USC announced a new podcast produced by the school to cover the Trojans’ 2017 season. While such an endeavor isn’t all that abnormal, the fact that the program is calling it ‘Season of Sam’ and focusing it exclusively on quarterback Sam Darnold is a bit different and is one of the first times we can remember that a school has given such a platform to one of their team’s star athletes.

Per the description:

‘USC quarterback Sam Darnold and broadcaster Yogi Roth bring you ‘Season of Sam.’ It’s the first-of-its-kind podcast, where you are taken inside the mind of college football’s most elite position, quarterback. Each week during the 2017 college football season, they will share a conversation that will detail much more than just USC’s most recent game; they will unveil untold stories of Darnold’s life, discover what makes a quarterback click and hear from special guests and Trojan teammates offering unique insight regarding leadership, team building and more.’

It’s not like Darnold needed that much more attention after he was on the cover of just about every preseason preview magazine but a podcast certainly is a unique new way of marketing somebody as part of a campaign clearly designed to help them when it comes to winning the Heisman Trophy. The signal-caller is already the odds-on favorite to bring the award back to Heritage Hall this season but it seems the sports information and marketing departments at USC wanted to get a little creative in terms of keeping Darnold on the radar on a weekly basis.

Cardinal and gold die-hards can subscribe to the new podcast on iTunes if they want.

As interesting as it might be to hear Darnold breakdown his last game and preview the next opponent though, it might be even more intriguing to see if this starts a new trend in the sport. Something says a podcast coming from across town at UCLA featuring QB Josh Rosen might be a little more interesting to listen to, after all.

Lamar Jackson leapfrogged by Baker Mayfield as Bovada’s Heisman favorite

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So much for that wagering momentum, I guess.

Entering the 2017 season as not only the reigning winner but also as seemingly an afterthought, a pair of scintillating performances to open the year pushed Lamar Jackson to the head of Bovada.lv‘s Heisman Trophy pack.  Coming off a 26-point Week 3 loss to now-No. 2 Clemson in which he totaled nearly 400 yards of offense and three touchdowns, the Louisville quarterback has seen his odds lengthen a bit from 7/4 a week ago to 11/2 in Bovada‘s latest Heisman release.

Bovada’s new betting front-runner?  Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who went from 4/1 to 7/4.  Sam Darnold, 6/1, also saw his odds shorten slightly to a Jackson-match 11/2.

Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph, 10/1 in the previous odds release, is now at 9/1, same as the holding-steady-from-a-week-ago Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.

There’s also, interestingly, one true freshman on the board: J.K. Dobbins.  The Ohio State running back went from off the board to 40/1 odds.  His starting quarterback, J.T. Barrett, saw his odds go from 25/1 to 33/1.

Below is the latest set of 2017 Heisman Trophy odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv.

Illinois adds UCF grad transfer QB Pete DiNovo

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Illinois has an immediate addition to its quarterback room.  Or its wide receivers room, depending on how things play out.

Pete DiNovo confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times Monday that he has decided to transfer to the Illini.  The acknowledgment comes a month after DiNovo decided to transfer from Central Florida.

As a graduate transfer, DiNovo would be eligible to play immediately this season.  Per the player, a former high school teammate and former high school coach currently at Illinois played a role in his decision.

“I couldn’t be happier with the way everything turned out,” DiNovo told the Times. “I can come up here and learn from Lovie (Smith) and everyone else on the coaching staff.”

DiNovo began his Knights career as a quarterback — he replaced Blake Bortles as UCF’s starter before being quickly replaced himself — before being moved to wide receiver before being moved back under center this offseason.  How the Illini will use DiNovo, who has an eye on a career in coaching after his playing days are over, remains to be seen.

UTEP stays in-house to replace fired OC Brent Pease

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Not surprisingly, UTEP will stay in-house following its in-season dismissal of one of its coordinators.

The Miners confirmed Sunday that offensive coordinator Brent Pease had been fired.  A day later, the football program announced that Brian Natkin has been given the keys to the offense by Sean Kugler and will call the plays moving forward.

Natkin began the season as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach.  He was an All-American tight end at UTEP a decade-and-a-half ago and became a full-time assistant at his alma mater in 2011.

Through three games, UTEP ranks second-to-last nationally in total offense at 204.7 yards per game and in yards per play (3.89). The Miners are also 125th (out of 130 teams) in scoring at 13 points per game.

The promotion of Natkin also means there will be some additional adjustments to Kugler’s staff.  Wide receivers coach Chuck Veliz will take over Pease’s other role as quarterbacks coach, while safeties coach Don Yanowsky assume Natkin’s duties as special teams coordinator.

Natkin will continue in his role as tight ends coach.

Oregon State QB Jake Luton discharged from hospital after leaving Wazzu game on a stretcher

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Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton was taken away on a stretcher after a tackle left him motionless on the Reser Stadium turf on Saturday.

Family members were called to the field, where medical professionals stabilized an apparently unconscious Luton and removed his face mask. The game continued, of course, as Oregon State lost to Washington State 52-23 despite Luton’s 179 passing yards and 22 rushing yards.

Luton tweeted on Saturday night that he’ll “be back.”

Luton has since been discharged from the hospital, according to The Oregonian, though his father posted a message stating Luton was probably dealing with a “thoracic spine fracture.”

Oregon State is off Saturday before hosting Washington on Sept. 30.