Derrick Henry

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Report: Christian McCaffrey to declare for NFL Draft

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Christian McCaffrey will declare for the NFL Draft, according to a report from Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.

He would join Texas’s D'Onta Foreman and LSU’s Leonard Fournette among early entrant running backs.

McCaffrey, of course, offers a different skill set than those two and any other running back. Just as much a threat catching the ball or as a returner, McCaffrey set the FBS single-season all-purpose yardage record — rushing for 2,019 yards and eight touchdowns, receiving for 645 yards and five scores, accumulating 1,070 kick return yards with one touchdown and returning punts for 130 yards and a touchdown. He finished runner-up to Derrick Henry in the Heisman Trophy voting while leading Stanford to the Pac-12 championship and a Rose Bowl victory.

This season, McCaffrey’s profile dropped as Stanford dropped from the national title conversation, but he actually improved as a running back. McCaffrey’s averages jumped in both yards per game (145.1 vs. 144.2) and yards per carry (6.3 vs. 6.0).

Assuming he does indeed declare, McCaffrey will wrap up his Cardinal career as Stanford faces North Carolina in the Sun Bowl (2 p.m. ET Dec. 30, CBS).

Jabrill Peppers, Deshaun Watson see Bovada Heisman odd shorten

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With five weeks remaining in the regular season, all signs point to Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson as the overwhelming favorite to take home the 2016 Heisman Trophy.  There are still at least two players, though, who could have a significant say in the stiff-armed race before it’s all said and done.

In early October, Jabrill Peppers, Michigan’s do-it-all, all-purpose star, was 33/1 to win the 2016 Heisman according to Bovada.lv.  Last week, those odds dropped to 15/2; this week, coming off yet another highlight-filled performance,they’ve shortened even further and now stand at 9/2.

That’s 15/2-to-9/2 move is the same one-week move as Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, although both still lag significantly behind Jackson at 1/3.  The sophomore was at 1/3 a week ago as well.

To put the current state of the race into perspective, at this time last year the ultimate winner of the 2015 Heisman, Alabama running back Derrick Henry, stood at 2/5. Watson, another finalist for last year’s award, was at 3/1. Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, the third finalist and runner-up to Henry, was a longshot at 50/1.

Just four other players are on Bovada‘s board this time this year, and all four have longer odds than a week ago: Washington quarterback Jake Browning at 10/1 (20/1 Oct. 24), Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett at 33/1 (12/1), Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts at 33/1 (22/1) and Florida State running back Dalvin Cook at 50/1 (40/1).

Louisville’s Lamar Jackson is Bovada’s overwhelming Heisman favorite

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As the Lamar Jackson Heisman hype train hurtles down the tracks, at least one wagering establishment has wholeheartedly hopped aboard.

In its latest set of odds released Tuesday afternoon, Bovada.lv has pushed the Louisville quarterback to its pole position for the 2016 Heisman Trophy.  In fact, Jackson, whose 18 touchdowns this season are more than all but seven teams have scored through three weeks, is the site’s overwhelming favorite at 1/2 after being at 6/1 just one week ago.

The Sept. 13 favorite, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, has gone from 5/1 to 8/1.  Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (9/2) has slightly longer odds at 11/2, while Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett held steady at 6/1.

Greg Ward Jr. saw one of the biggest surges as the Houston quarterback went from 25/1 a week ago to 16/1.

Leonard Fournette was Bovada‘s preseason Heisman favorite at 4/1.  The LSU running back dropped to 12/1 after Week 2 and 20/1 after Week 3.  Around this time last year, Fournette was the Bovada favorite for the Heisman that ultimately went to Alabama running back Derrick Henry, who couldn’t even crack the top six 12 months ago.

Two players that were off the board last go ’round were added: San Diego State running back Donnell Pumphrey (25/1) and Washington quarterback Jake Browning (40/1).  A handful of players were taken off the board, most notably quarterbacks Chad Kelly (Ole Miss), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) and Josh Rosen (UCLA).

Below is the complete list of Heisman Trophy odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv:


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2015 finalists Leonard Fournette, Christian McAffrey part of Walker Award watch list

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With 2015 winner Derrick Henry of Alabama off to the NFL, there will be a new winner of the Doak Walker Award in 2016.  Based on the projected performances of a couple of other finalists from a year ago, this year’s winner could very well come from the group below.

Thursday, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced a watch list that contains a whopping 76 players.  The Walker Award has ben handed out annually since 1990 to the nation’s top running back and is named in honor of former SMU great Doak Walker.

Two finalists for last year’s award have made the cut this preseason — LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.

The SEC led all conferences with 13 watch listers, followed by the Big 12 (9), Big 12 (9), Pac-12 (9), ACC (8), Mountain West (6), Sun Belt (6), MAC (5), Conference USA (4) and AAC (3).  There were also four from independents (BYU, Notre Dame).

Those two independents were two of the 13 schools with two running backs listed, the others being Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Cal, Duke, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, USC, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan.

Below is the complete 2016 Doak Walker Award preseason watch list:

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Deshaun Watson, Christian McCaffrey headline Maxwell watch list

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One of the most prestigious awards in college football has thrown its annual hat into the watch list ring.

Tuesday morning, the Maxwell Football Club unveiled its 2016 watch list for the Maxwell Award, a group this year that consists of 90 players from all 10 FBS conferences as well independents in BYU and Notre Dame.  Two finalists for the 2015 version of the Maxwell Award, handed out annually since 1937 to the nation’s player of the year, won by Alabama running back Derrick Henry are included in the 90-player group — Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.

The ACC, with 15 players named to the watch list, paces all conferences, followed by 12 apiece for the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12.  Interestingly, the SEC has the fewest of any Power Five conference with just nine.

Of the Group of Five leagues, the AAC, Conference USA and Mountain West lead with six apiece.  The MAC is next with five, while the Sun Belt brings four to the watch list party.  A total of thee players come from independents, two from Notre Dame and one from BYU.

Baylor and Clemson lead all individual schools with three players apiece.

Of the 90 players listed, 72 of them play either quarterback or running back — 39 of the latter, 33 of the former.  There are 16 wide receivers on the list, and two tight ends.

Below is the complete watch list for the 2016 Maxwell Award:

2016 Maxwell Award watch list