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Saban, Meyer, Harbaugh, Swinney and more among 19 Dodd Trophy watch list candidates

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When you really think about it, a watch list for a college football award is nothing more than a way to keep public relations staffers in college football programs busy this summer. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it is nice to have a number of key players for the upcoming season highlighted whenever possible (unless you are a Big Ten team going to Big Ten media days). But a watch list is generally pretty pointles sin the long run for most awards. This is especially true for a watch list of college football coaches.

The Dodd Trophy watch list was released today with a list of 19 coaches from many of the top programs around the country. Yep, a watch list for head coaches. Silly, right? It really is the easiest watch list to put together.

The award watch list, compiled by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, includes four coaches from the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC, two coaches from the Big 12 and one from the American Athletic Conference. You know all of the names, like national championship coaches Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Dabo Swinney; household names like Jim Harbaugh, Mark Richt, Bill Snyder, and Chris Petersen; and conference championship coaches like David Shaw, James Franklin.

Some notable names not on the list? How about Jimbo Fisher of Florida State? Fisher has a playoff contender in Tallahassee and is the ACC favorite. He also has a national championship ring. Not having Fisher on a preseason watch list for top coaches seems like a bad oversight. Not having new Big 12 coaches Tom Herman (Texas) and Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma) also feels like a swing and a miss if pulling together a list of potential coach of the year candidates. If we are not going to just list all 130 head coaches in FBS, it seems silly to have such a weird collection of watch list candidates when Butch Jones is on the list.

Five coaches on the watch list are former winners of the Dodd Trophy; Snyder, Petersen, Swinney, Saban, and Paul Johnson. Paul Chryst, Ken Niumatalolo, and Petersen were finalists for the award last season as well.

2017 Dodd Trophy Watch List

  • Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
  • James Franklin, Penn State
  • Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech
  • Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
  • Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
  • Clay Helton, USC
  • Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
  • Butch Jones, Tennessee
  • Gus Malzahn, Auburn
  • Jim McElwain, Florida
  • Urban Meyer, Ohio State
  • Ken Niumatalolo, Navy
  • Chris Petersen, Washington
  • Mark Richt, Miami
  • Nick Saban, Alabama
  • David Shaw, Stanford
  • Bill Snyder, Kansas State
  • Dabo Swinney, Clemson
  • Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Davey O’Brien Award watch list highlighted by former finalists, semifinalists and SEC

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The Davey O’Brien Award (top quarterback) took the spotlight in the ongoing college football watch list tour on Wednesday morning. A total of 30 quarterbacks were named to the initial watch list for the award, including six from the SEC along with a few potential Heisman Trophy candidates and a Heisman Trophy winner.

Highlighting the watch list are two finalists from last season; Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. Mayfield has been a two-time finalist for the award. Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and Washington State’s Luke Falk are also on the watch list and are each two-time semifinalists for the award. Joining them on the watch list are former semifinalists Jake Browning (Washington), Sam Darnold (USC), Jalen Hurts (Alabama), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State)m and Wilton Speight (Michigan).

While the SEC led the way with six watch list players, the ACC, Big 12, and Pac-12 each had four players named to the watch list. The Big Ten had three, with Penn State’s Trace McSorley joining Barrett and Speight.

Clemson’s Deshaun Watson won the Davey O’Brien Award each of the past two seasons, becoming the second two-time winner of the award (Oklahoma’s Jason White in 2003-04). A player does not need to be included on the watch list in order to win the award, but only quarterbacks from the 130 FBS programs are eligible.

2017 Davey O’Brien Award Watch List

Austin Allen, Arkansas
Josh Allen, Wyoming
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Jake Bentley, South Carolina
Jake Browning, Washington
Shane Buechele, Texas
Sam Darnold, USC
Eric Dungey, Syracuse
Jacob Eason, Georgia
Jesse Ertz, Kansas State
Luke Falk, Washington State
Riley Ferguson, Memphis
Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State
Quinton Flowers, USF
Deondre Francois, Florida State
Jalen Hurts, Alabama
Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Daniel Jones, Duke
Tanner Mangum, BYU
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Trace McSorley, Penn State
Shea Patterson, Ole Miss
Josh Rosen, UCLA
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
Brett Rypien, Boise State
Brandon Silvers, Troy
Wilton Speight, Michigan
Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee
Mike White, WKU
Logan Woodside, Toledo

The Davey O’Brien Award will be trim its watch list down to a handful of semifinalists on November 7. Finalists for the award will be unveiled two weeks later on November 21, and the winner will be announced on December 7 at the annual Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN.

Vandy, Vols may be next for transferring Duck Rutger Reitmaier

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Expected to contribute immediately, a touted member of Willie Taggart’s first Oregon recruiting class will instead apparently be moving on.

247Sports.com was the first to report over the weekend that Rutger Reitmaier has decided to leave Taggart’s football program. The Oregonian subsequently wrote that the defensive lineman “did not respond to a text message seeking comment late Sunday, but his biography is no longer listed on the team roster.”

The website ScoopDuck.com is reporting that “the primary reason cited was distance from home.”

Reitmaier was recruited heavily by Brady Hoke when the latter was the Ducks’ defensive coordinator. Reitmaier’s a native of Nashville, while Hoke is currently the defensive line coach for the Tennessee Volunteers. Given that connection, as well as his reported desire to move closer to home, the Vols are already being rumored as a potential landing spot.

Obviously, hometown Vanderbilt would be a possibility as well. There’s also a personal connection to the Commodores.

Both of those SEC schools offered the lineman a scholarship prior to his signing with UO.

A three-star member of UO’s 2017 recruiting class, Reitmaier was rated as the No. 23 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 11 player at any position in the state of Tennessee. Only a pair of cornerbacks, Deommodore Lenoir and Jaylon Redd, and linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia were rated higher on the defensive side of the ball than Reitmaier in the Ducks’ class this year.

An early enrollee who participated in spring practice this year, Reitmaier would likely have to sit out the 2017 season if he transfers to another FBS program.

Former Oregon WR Darren Carrington says he’s ‘disappointed’ in dismissal

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It’s not often a team dismisses one of its top returning play-makers just weeks before fall camp, but Darren Carrington kind of forced Oregon’s hand. The rising senior was arrested for DUII on July 1 and dismissed by the team close to two weeks later.

It was far from his first run in with the law in Eugene. He was ruled ineligible for Oregon’s College Football Playoff championship game loss to Ohio State, cited for open container in October of 2015 and accused of breaking a man’s arm in a fight last Halloween.

In a statement on his behalf to The Oregonian, Carrington’s family said he was disappointed in the dismissal but believes this is not the end of his football career.

“Darren is definitely disappointed, as are we (his family). Firstly, Darren is a leader and has grown immensely over the course of his four years at Oregon. So with that, it is truly an unfortunate situation especially witnessing the work ethic and dedication he has put forth with his training. Darren has worked extremely hard to put himself in position to have a great season, this was his year! Secondly, with having another year of eligibility, his plan was to finish his collegiate years as a Duck along with all his teammates, and he was honored and looking forward to being under the coaching of Willie Taggart. Lastly, no one can be blamed for his actions, but himself! Without question, he has acknowledged that and has taken full responsibility for his actions.

 

“His faith is what keeps him optimistic, with hopes that another school will give him an opportunity to make the next chapter in his life the best one yet; both on and off the field.”

In 43 receptions last season, Carrington led Oregon with 606 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Year after critiquing UCLA’s $280 million deal with Under Armour, QB Josh Rosen models new uniforms

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It’s a time for change in many college football programs and perhaps nobody in the Pac-12 is going through more of that than UCLA. The Bruins will enter 2017 with a very different coaching staff under Jim Mora as they look to rebound from a 4-8 season and are moving into a much-needed football facility on campus in a few weeks as well.

The biggest change though? That just might be on the team’s actual shoulders as the longtime Adidas school has changed apparel providers to Under Armour as part of a record-setting $280 million deal. On Friday, the two teamed up to unveil the latest UCLA football uniforms for this year in a look that is both clean and a nod to the school’s historical look by revealing some slick powder blues and home whites.

It’s pretty normal noways to have a few current players help show off the uniforms as part of the unveil but one of the promotional photos the school sent out did seem to stand out a bit. That would be junior quarterback Josh Rosen.

One can’t be too surprised to see Rosen involved in the marketing of the uniforms considering he’s the biggest name on the team and a potential first-round draft pick next year for the school. What is a bit interesting though is that the signal-caller very publicly critiqued the massive deal with Under Armour back when it was announced, noting that he and his fellow players wouldn’t see a dime because ‘we’re still amateurs though … gotta love non-profits.’

The outspoken Rosen swirled up plenty of debate after posting that on social media but seems to have cooled off on commenting about amateurism in the NCAA and turned into a willing model for the Bruins’ new look. Mora has previously said that he’s told his star player to be a little smarter with some of his actions and it seems playing the game off the field in order to play the game on it is now a part of the kid’s repertoire.