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Baker Mayfield, Saquon Barkley among Sullivan Award semifinalists

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Four players from the FBS level of college football are in the running for one of the most prestigious awards in amateur athletics.

Wednesday, a total of 28 semifinalists for the 2016 Sullivan Award were announced.  The four with college football connections include 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) and 2017 Heisman Trophy finalist Bryce Love (Stanford), along with Penn State’s Saquon Barkley and Virginia’s Micah Kiser.

That quartet is looking to become the fourth college football player to win the award in the last five years, the most recent being Navy’s Keenan Reynolds in 2016.

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott was the 2015 winner of the Sullivan, while Penn State offensive lineman John Urschel claimed the 2014 honor.  Six other college football players have earned an honor handed out annually since 1930: Felix “Doc” Blanchard (Army, 1945), Arnold Tucker (Army, 1946), Charlie Ward (Florida State, 1993), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997), Tim Tebow (Florida, 2007) and Andrew Rodriguez (Army, 2011)


Clemson’s Deshaun Watson was a semifinalist for last year’s award, the only college football player up for the honor in 2017.

Stanford transfer Terrence Alexander set for April LSU visit

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The speculation concerning Terrence Alexander is getting closer to coming to fruition.

Not long after he decided to transfer from Stanford, reports began to circulate that LSU could have an interest in the defensive back. Monday, Alexander confirmed to the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he will visit the Tigers in early April.

Alexander is on the market as a graduate transfer, meaning he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

As noted by the Times-Picayune, head coach Ed Orgeron had previously confirmed the team will add a transfer in the secondary who can contribute immediately after early losses to the NFL — Donte Jackson (HERE) and Kevin Toliver (HERE) — as well as on National Signing Day — losing five-star Patrick Surtain Jr. to rival Alabama.

A three-star member of Stanford’s 2014 recruiting class, Alexander was rated as the No. 23 player at any position in the state of Louisiana coming out of high school in New Orleans. He played in a total of 40 games his first three seasons before an injury in the 2017 opener cost him the remainder of the season.

Stanford QB signee Tanner McKee announces 2-year mission trip to Brazil

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Stanford quarterback signee Tanner McKee has committed to… Brazil.

A 6-foot-6 signal caller from Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., McKee signed with Stanford over Alabama, Texas and others in February, but with a catch. McKee is a Mormon, and would serve his 2-year mission before reporting for duty as a college football player, essentially making him a 2020 recruit.

Stanford also signed Saraland, Ala., quarterback Jack West in February to make up for McKee’s delayed enrollment.

“It’s not often in a class that you take two quarterbacks that are actually in different classes,” Stanford coach David Shaw told the San Jose Mercury News last month. “Two great guys that we feel excited about that at some point are going to be the guys pulling the trigger for Stanford football.”

On Saturday, McKee announce he will serve his 2-year mission in Curitiba, Brazil, a city of nearly 2 million people southwest of São Paulo, beginning July 10.

McKee was a consensus 4-star recruit and rated the No. 46 player nationally in 2018 on the 247Sports Composite rankings. 

Tennessee makes addition of Stanford grad transfer QB Keller Chryst official

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Just below this post, we noted that wide receiver Jauan Jennings is back in the good graces of the Tennessee football program.  Now, one of the players who could be throwing to Jennings is officially in the Rocky Top fold as well.

Earlier this month, Keller Chryst announced on social media that he had committed to continuing his collegiate playing career at Tennessee.  Friday, UT confirmed that the quarterback signed a financial aid agreement earlier this week and will join the team after he graduates from Stanford in the spring.

As a graduate transfer, Chryst, who announced in late January that he was leaving the Cardinal, will immediately join a quarterback fray on Rocky Top that includes Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride.

Chryst began the 2016 season as the backup to Ryan Burns, who started the first seven games after winning the job coming out of camp before losing it to Chryst midseason.  While he suffered a torn ACL in Stanford’s Sun Bowl win over North Carolina in that postseason, he began the 2017 season as the starter; another injury in the Week 4 win over UCLA opened the door for redshirt freshman K.J. Costello to start the following week against Arizona State.  Chryst returned in Week 6 and started the next three games.

Ahead of the Washington State game in early November, however, a healthy Chryst was benched in favor of Costello.  In what turned out to be the final three starts of Chryst’s career with the Cardinal, he completed just under 57 percent of his passes for 453 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

In parts of three seasons, Chryst, whose uncle Paul Chryst is the head coach at Wisconsin, passed for 1,926 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions in 289 attempts.

Stanford head coach David Shaw to serve as NFL draft analyst for seventh year in a row

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Death, taxes and the top football Cardinal representing The Farm on one of the biggest days of the NFL’s offseason calendar.

Stanford announced via a press release Monday that, yet again, its head football coach, David Shaw, will join the NFL Network’s coverage of the 2018 NFL draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., April 26. This will mark Shaw’s seventh straight appearance on the network for draft coverage; suffice to say, he’s far and away the only coach that can make such a claim.

In its release, the school also noted that Shaw will be on the main desk as the only college football coach covering the first round of the NFL Draft live in primetime.

Prior to his time at Stanford, Shaw was an NFL assistant for nine seasons, including stops with the Philadelphia Eagles (1997), Oakland Raiders (1998-2001) and Baltimore Ravens (2002-05).

Shaw has been the head coach at Stanford since 2011, posting a 73-22 record and winning three Pac-12 titles in that span. “Stanford’s 26 drafted players and six first-round selections since the 2012 NFL Draft are the most of any Pac-12 Conference program,” the release stated.