Florida Gators

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the inside of Neyland Stadium during a game between the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers on September 15, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee.    (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
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David Blackburn comes out and says he wants the Tennessee AD job

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In reading the tea leaves in and around Knoxville, it seems most in orange want David Blackburn to be the Volunteers’ new athletics director.

Blackburn wants that, too.

A former Vol student and administrator, Blackburn has racked up an impressive resume as the AD at Chattanooga. Considering his only competition for the job at this point seems to be former Vols head coach Phillip Fulmer — who has zero AD experience — that seems like a logical choice for Big Orange.

While Blackburn has hemmed and hawed around the idea of becoming Tennessee’s next AD over the past, oh, six months since it was announced back in August Dave Hart was on his way out, Friday was the first time he came out and said he’d like to be the next head Vol.

“If asked to be a part of this process officially, in terms of an interview I would love to,” Blackburn, said Friday on WNML FM 99.1 (via SEC Country).

“It would mean the world to me to be able to lead the institution that led me, by all the people that allowed me the opportunity to do what I do.”

The AD search has, understandably, been stuck in a holding pattern until the university could hire and install a new chancellor — which it has now done. Beverly Davenport took office Wednesday and said the school was working “very quickly” to hire a new AD, and seemed to outline Blackburn as the type of leader she’d want to fill the post.

“I’m looking for a leader with a proven track record of success on and off the field,” Davenport said in a statement. “I will hire someone who is committed to maintaining the integrity of our program and is dedicated to the success of all of our student-athletes and all of the management of our nationally recognized athletic programs.”

It seems like Blackburn will be the eventual choice for Tennessee. Young-ish career administrators with fundraising chops are the new mold for big-time athletics directors — see Florida’s hiring of  Scott Stricklin and Alabama’s of Greg Byrne — but this is Tennessee. The Volunteers haven’t been good in football since Fulmer was the head coach, so would it really be any surprise if they turned to him to be their AD?

Michigan, SEC earn most invites to NFL’s Scouting Combine

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Defensive lineman Joey Bosa of Ohio State participates in a drill during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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The annual Underwear Olympics has a new individual “champion” and a familiar one when it comes to the dominant conference.

The NFL Wednesday announced the 330-plus players who will partake in the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis later this month.  Michigan saw 14 of its former players receive invitations, the most of any individual school.  The only others in double digits were Alabama and LSU with 10 apiece.

The conference of the latter schools, the SEC, paced all leagues with 66 invitations.  The ACC was next with 60, followed by the Big Ten’s 51 and the Pac-12’s 46.  The Big 12 lags far behind the other Power Fives with just 19 players on the receiving end of invitations, just ahead of the best the Group of Five has to offer, the AAC’s 18.

In addition to those in double figures already mentioned, there were eight schools that have eight or more players heading to the combine: Clemson, Miami, Texas A&M and USC with nine each, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State and Ohio State with eight apiece.

Below is the conference-by-conference breakdown of the invites:

AAC — 18
ACC — 60
Big 12 — 19
Big Ten — 51
Conference USA — 11
Independents — 5
MAC — 11
MWC — 11
Pac-12 — 46
SEC — 66
Sun Belt — 5

Jim McElwin defines roles for five Florida assistants

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 07: A general view of a Florida Gators flag before the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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With a couple of departures and new additions, Jim McElwain was forced to do a little staff shuffling this offseason.  Friday, there was some clarity as to the roles for all involved.

Over the past several days, Florida announced the hirings of three new assistants — Corey Bell (HERE), Brad Davis and Ja’Juan Seider (HERE). Bell replaces Torrian Gray, who took a job with the Washington Redskins; Davis replaces Mike Summers, who left for Louisville; and Seider takes over for Tim Skipper, who will remain on the staff but in a different role.

The changes impacted two current assistants as well, so below are the responsibilities/titles for all five of the assistants:

  • Chris Rumph – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
  • Skipper – Assistant Coach, Linebackers
  • Bell – Assistant Coach, Defensive Backs
  • Seider – Assistant Coach, Running Backs
  • Davis – Assistant Coach, Offensive Line

Rumph was the line coach last year and simply adds the title of co-coordinator.  Skipper was the running backs coach, which is now manned by Seider.

Michigan-Florida 2017 season opener locked in for Saturday kickoff

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01: Michigan Wolverines and Florida Gators players line up before a snap during the second half of the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl game at Orlando Citrus Bowl on January 1, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The first full Saturday of college football is jam packed with good games to pay attention to at the start of the 2017 season, which is why there was a suspicion the Advocare Classic between Michigan and Florida might be bumped back a day to Sunday over Labor Day weekend to attract more of an audience. Scratch that idea, as the game is now locked in for Saturday, September 2.

The day may be locked in, but an exact kick time has yet to be confirmed. What network will carry the game also remains to be confirmed, but that information will start leaking out in the coming months.

The 2017 meeting will be the first regular season meeting between the Gators and Wolverines, although they have crossed paths in the postseason. The game was first announced in mid-December 2013. Both teams are expected to be paid $6 million for their participation in the game in Arlington, which is a bump from the $4.7 million Michigan was paid to face Alabama in the same game at the start of the 2012 season.

LSU a potential landing spot for transferring Clemson lineman

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 20:  The Louisiana State University Tigers enter the stadium to face the Ole Miss Rebels at Tiger Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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While we don’t yet know to where Jake Fruhmorgen will transfer, we do know one possible destination.

Citing multiple sources, 247Sports.com has reported that Fruhmorgen is taking an unofficial visit to LSU this week and “will travel to Baton Rouge to spend a few days on LSU’s campus.” It was reported nearly a month ago that the offensive tackle would be transferring from Clemson.

Florida and Michigan have also been mentioned as potential landing spots for the lineman, who’ll have to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. He’d then have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.

No reason was given for the departure from the reigning national champions, although the offensive lineman had been dealing with personal issues for months and didn’t play in a game after suffering a shoulder injury in late October of last season. While the injury kept him out of a couple of games, he missed the latter quarter of the regular season, as well as the postseason, dealing with the unspecified issues that kept him away from the team.

Prior to all of that, the true sophomore had started the first eight games of the 2016 season at right tackle.

A four-star 2015 signee, Fruhmorgen was rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 8 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Florida. As a true freshman, the 6-5, 290-pound lineman played in 11 games, starting one of those contests.