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Iowa QB Jake Rudock permitted to transfer with “no strings attached”

Jake Rudock

Jake Rudock‘s future at Iowa – or, more accurately, lack thereof – became apparent in January when the Hawkeyes released a depth chart with C.J. Beathard in the all-important QB1 spot. On Wednesday, head coach Kirk Ferentz all but gave him his bus ticket out of town, allowing the senior-to-be to transfer with “no strings attached.”

“He’s exploring some other options at this point, with our support. Not our encouragement, but certainly our support. We’ll work through the process,” Ferentz told the Associated Press. “Until he decides what he’s going to do definitively, we’ll just keep him outside the program.”

Rudock was not listed on the Hawkeyes’ 2015 spring roster. His imminent transfer has been in the works for a week now.

Where will he end up? The smart money is on Michigan, where the quarterback-challenged Wolverine roster meets quarterback-friendly coach Jim Harbaugh, seemingly giving Rudock a nice opportunity to extend his career beyond college football. Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman reported last week Rudock was expected to visit the Wolverines.

In the meantime, Rudock is permitted to use Iowa’s facilities even if he’s not practicing with the team. “He’s not banned from the building by any stretch, yet,” Ferentz told HawkCentral.com. “I think right now he just kind of has to finalize what his plans are going to be, and we’ll move from there.”

Rudock has completed 417-of-691 passes (60.3 percent) for 4,819 yards (7.0 per attempt) with 34 touchdowns against 18 interceptions while adding 394 yards and eight scores on the ground.

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Carl Pelini files defamation suit against former assistant

Carl Pelini

Carl Pelini resigned as Florida Atlantic’s head coach on Oct. 30, 2013 after admitting illegal drug use, then rescinded that resignation a week later. No matter. Three weeks after that, Florida Atlantic repealed his resignation and fired its former head coach with cause, officially for failure to report a staff member for using illegal drugs. (Then-defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis also resigned for using illegal drugs.)

Now, Pelini is going after the former assistant that turned him in.

According to Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated, Pelini filed a defamation lawsuit against former FAU defensive line coach Matt Edwards, seeking damages in excess of $25,000. (Edwards is now the defensive coordinator at Tiffin University in Ohio; Pelini was hired earlier this month as Youngstown State’s defensive line coach.) Pelini alleges that Edwards turned his then-boss in for using cocaine and marijuana after Pelini confronted Edwards about an alleged inappropriate relationship with a woman close to the program named Allison Stewart.

“It’s been a very frustrating time,” Pelini told SI. “An embarrassing time. There’s a lot of false information and misinformation out there. Everybody seems to have a theory as to what happened. I feel like this is going to be an opportunity for me to go under oath and state the facts as they really happened.”

Stewart reiterated her claim in a phone conversation with SI that she witness Pelini using drugs.

Pelini said he waited until landing a job on his brother Bo’s staff to file the suit because he didn’t want it getting in the way of any potential job prospects.

“People wonder why I’ve stayed quiet and not been more aggressive, but ultimately, I wanted to be hirable again,” he said. “I wanted to allow Youngstown State or any perspective employer to have some input on how I went forward. Different employers may have looked at it differently. I wanted to make sure this was approved before I went forward.”

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Irish, UCLA, Vols, Vandy return most P5 starters for 2015

Michigan v Notre Dame Getty Images

If you are in the camp of returning starters equating to success, then get some money down on Notre Dame, UCLA, Tennessee and Vanderbilt post-haste.

According to numbers provided by the esteemed Phil Steele in his 2015 Spring Guide, the Irish return 19 starters — 9 offensively, 10 defensively — which, for the moment, is the most of any Power Five team.  The other three schools return 18 starters for the 2015 season.  The Vols and Bruins return 10 starters each on offense, while the Commodores return nine on each side of the ball.  Michigan, North Carolina, Baylor and Texas Tech are right behind that trio, though, with 17 returners apiece.

It should be noted that, of the seven teams mentioned thus far, three of them weren’t bowl-eligible with those starters in 2014: the Commodores, Red Raiders and Wolverines.

Of the four College Football Playoff participants, defending champion Ohio State returns the most with 15 (nine offense/six defense); that number would jump to 17 if all three quarterbacks who started games in 2014 were included. Oregon is next up in that group with 12 (7/5), while Alabama (4/7) and Florida State (4/7), which both lost in the semifinals, have 11 each returning.

Just as interesting, the Ducks, Seminoles and Tide will also be replacing their starting quarterbacks.

Of the Power Five conferences, Kansas returns the least number of starters with eight (4/4); given the fact that the Jayhawks won just three games for the second year in a row, that might not be a bad thing. Others bringing up the rear include the nine each for the ACC’s Boston College (3/6) and Louisville (5/4); the 10 each for the Big Ten’s Maryland (6/4) and Rutgers (5/5); the 10 each for the Pac-12’s Oregon State (8/2) and Washington (6/4); and the nine for the SEC’s Mississippi State (5/4).

While OSU has the market on returning quarterbacks individually, the ACC has it conference-wise. Of that league’s 14 members, 11 of them (78.5 percent) return their starters under center. The Big 12 and Pac-12 each return seven signal-callers, although that equates to 70 percent for the latter and 58.3 percent for the former. Both the Big Ten and SEC return nine players at that position (64.3 percent).

The overall leader in returning starters in of FBS actually comes from a Group of Five member, with Appalachian State of the Sun Belt returning 10 starters each on both sides of the ball for a total of 20. The other Group of Five leaders include the AAC’s Temple and MAC’s UMass (19 each); and Conference USA’s FIU and Western Kentucky and the Mountain West’s Boise State (16 each).

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Ole Miss’ Laquon Treadwell 80% healthy, should be 100% for summer

cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwm3ndnkm2rmymfln2q5mdzhytcyndmyowjlyzg4zjk5 AP

If you witnessed, either live or via one of the way-too-many plays, the gruesome leg injury sustained by Laquon Treadwell last November, you would’ve wondered whether he’d be able to play the game of football again. Not only is that not the case, but the Ole Miss wide receiver is exceeding rehab expectations as he works to get back on the playing field in 2015.

By his estimation, Treadwell is currently about 80-percent recovered from a dislocated ankle and broken fibula he suffered as he was set to cross the goal line for what would’ve been the game-winning score in the loss to Auburn. While he’s not being permitted to work with his teammates during team drills, he is running patterns, with no defenders, this spring.

“No,” Treadwell said when asked if he thought he’d be this far along in his rehab. “It’s been just a blessing. … I’m feeling great. I’m just getting my rhythm back.”

Treadwell’s head coach, Hugh Freeze, expects the player to be 100-percent healthy before the start of summer workouts a couple of months down the road.

Through nine games, Treadwell was easily the Rebels’ leading receiver, with his 48 receptions for 632 yards and five touchdowns tops on the team. Despite missing the last four games, Treadwell still led the team in receptions.

With Ole Miss breaking in a new starting quarterback in 2015, having Treadwell back and healthy will be imperative for Freeze’s offense.

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A&M, TCU added to Colorado’s future slates

Jeff Fuller Getty Images

Another post, another Pac-12 school adding to its future slates.  And, as fortune would have it, TCU is once again involved.

Colorado announced in a release Wednesday afternoon that it has scheduled future home-and-home-series’ against TCU and former Big 12 rival Texas A&M.  The Buffs will host the Horned Frogs Sept. 3 in Boulder to open the 2022 season, while CU will travel to Fort Worth to open the 2023 season Sept. 2.

One-half of the A&M series is set: the initial game will be played in College Station Sept. 19, 2020. The return game will be played somewhere in Colorado the following season, with CU noting that “[the] Sept. 11, 2021, [game] most likely [will be played] at CU’s Folsom Field in Boulder but [there is] a clause in the contract making Sports Authority Field in Denver a possible option.”

Regardless of where that second A&M game is played, the Buffs have made it clear why they’re scheduling games against Texas schools: recruiting.

“We feel these series with two of the preeminent schools in Texas are important for several reasons,” athletic director Rick George said in a statement. “With the emphasis we put on recruiting in the state of Texas, it is vital that we return to areas both in the northern and southern areas of the state. We played a number of road games there in the 1990s and 2000s and need to get back there, we have a good alumni base in Texas who will enjoy seeing us return, and fans of A&M and TCU travel well and will like coming to Colorado.

“Lining up these two quality opponents at this time is great for us, as practically every day you read about an agreement between teams scheduling up to a decade down the road,” George added. “Schools are scheduling tougher non-conference games in case they are in position for the College Football Playoff or to quality for a ‘New Year’s Six’ bowl game, and at the same time, you need attractive opponents to help with season ticket sales and to earn maximum revenue from your gate.”

Colorado and A&M have faced each other nine times: once prior to the latter’s move from the SWC to the Big 12, eight times as conference foes.  The Buffs own a 6-3 edge in the series, with the last a CU win in 2009.  The Buffs and the Aggies left the Big 12 for the Pac-12 and SEC, respectively, in 2012.

The 2022 game will mark the first between Colorado and TCU.

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Stanford schedules future games against TCU, Vandy

David Shaw, Kevin Hogan AP

Stanford has decided to double-up on its spring scheduling announcements.

In a press release Wednesday, Stanford announced that it has reached an agreement on home-and-home series’ against both TCU and Vanderbilt. There are four games with the latter scheduled, two vs. the former.

The Cardinal and Commodores will meet four times between 2021 and 2027: at Vanderbilt on Sept. 18, 2021, and Sept. 6, 2025; at Stanford on Sept. 7, 2024, and Sept. 11, 2027. The home-and-home series with TCU will be played at Stanford on Aug. 31, 2024, and in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sept. 4, 2027.

Stanford has never played Vandy in football, while they’ve played TCU twice — 2007, 2008.

The 2021 game against Vandy will mark the eighth Stanford has played against members of the SEC, the last coming in 1992 against Texas A&M (then a member of the SWC). The last game against a team that was in the SEC at the time of the meeting came vs. LSU in 1977. The 2024 game in Stanford will serve as the first time the Cardinal has played host to an SEC school.

The games against TCU will be the 15th and 16th against Big 12 opponents, the last of which was against Oklahoma State in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl.

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OSU looking into potential NCAA violation involving Braxton Miller

Virginia Tech v Ohio State Getty Images

Well, this would certainly be an odd, and far from preferred, way to whittle down Ohio State’s three-headed quarterback conundrum.

A school spokesperson confirmed to The Lantern, OSU’s student newspaper, that the university is currently looking into a potential NCAA rules violation committed by Braxton Miller.  ElevenWarriors.com wrote that “Miller… had a bit of a lapse in judgement last night when he appeared to endorse Advocare, a weight-loss and nutrition multi-level marketing firm that some people consider a pyramid scheme.”

The social media post in question was deleted a short time ago, but the OSU-centric website saved a screen grab of it, and it clearly shows Miller sitting in front of various nutritional products and next to trainer Brandon Oshodin of Authentik Fitness.

Here’s the site’s screen grab:

Braxton Miller

Also, here are the pertinent NCAA bylaws…

NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2.1 Advertisements and Promotions After Becoming a Student-Athlete.
After becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual: (a) Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind; or (b) Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service.

NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2.2 Use of a Student-Athlete’s Name or Picture without Knowledge or Permission.
If a student-athlete’s name or picture appears on commercial items (e.g., T-shirts, sweatshirts, serving trays, playing cards, posters) or is used to promote a commercial product sold by an individual or agency without the student-athlete’s knowledge or permission, the student-athlete (or the institution acting on behalf of the student-athlete) is required to take steps to stop such an activity in order to retain his or her eligibility for intercollegiate athletics. Such steps are not required in cases in which a student-athlete’s photograph is sold by an individual or agency (e.g., private photographer, news agency) for private use.

… as well as a passage from an NCAA document titled “NCAA Compliance Information:”

NCAA rules prohibit the use of an enrolled student-athlete’s name or picture to endorse a commercial product or service. All requests for any commercial appearances in conjunction with an event or commercial product must be approved by the Compliance Staff. Modeling, appearances in commercial advertisements, or acting in movies or TV could be considered an amateurism issue and must receive prior approval. The penalty for violating this rule is loss of eligibility. Remember, seemingly harmless things such as posing for a calendar may be a violation.

A common problem for student-athletes is in the area of implied endorsements. Remember that if you demonstrate a product on behalf of a company, and/or provide a comment or interview about a product, service or company, you are jeopardizing your eligibility. Please be cautious about these types of circumstances and contact the Compliance Staff BEFORE engaging in any type of activity.

It’s highly unlikely that anything even remotely significant will come of Miller’s gaffe, although it’s certainly a situation that bears watching — especially if Miller received compensation or any type of financial benefit in exchange for his appearance in front of/association with the product. Such an occurrence could trigger anything from lost eligibility until monetary restitution is made to suspension from a game or games depending on the amount of money involved.

Miller is not participating in spring practice as he continues to recover from a shoulder issue that knocked him out for the entire 2014 season. Along with Cardale Jones, the postseason hero, and J.T. Barrett, the regular season hero who’s limited this spring because of his own injury, Miller will enter summer camp as part of the most-watched quarterback competition in recent memory — provided there’s nothing deeper to this potential NCAA issue, of course.

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Report: Ex-LSU DB Rashard Robinson set to re-enroll at the school

Rashard Robinson, Vince Sanders

One former member of LSU’s defensive backfield is continuing down the path that could once again make him a current member of the LSU secondary.

In January, it was announced that Rashard Robinson was one of two Tiger players who were no longer enrolled at the school and wouldn’t play football for the Tigers ion 2015. The cornerback landed at a community college in Florida, with the goal being a return to Baton Rouge in January of next year.

However, Robinson told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he is planning on re-enrolling at LSU in May of this year. Robinson, though, is not expected to rejoin the Tigers football team in 2015, instead opting to focus on academics with an eye on playing in 2016.

Robinson entered the 2014 season as a projected starter after starting two games as a true freshman the year before. He was suspended for the opener against Wisconsin, and then again for the early-November game against Alabama.

In between the suspensions, Robinson started six of the eight games in which he played. Those were the only games he played last season as he didn’t see the field following his second suspension.

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Concussion concerns caused Jack Miller to walk away from Michigan

Miami Ohio v Michigan Getty Images

It appears Chris Borland is not alone.

Just a little over a week ago, the former Wisconsin and now-former San Francisco 49er linebacker stunned the college football world by announcing that he was retiring from the NFL after just one season, citing long-term concerns as it relates to head injuries.  A couple of days prior to Borland’s announcement, it was announced that Jack Miller would not be returning to Michigan and was walking away from the sport.

As it turns out, Miller’s decision was based on concerns similar to that of Borland.

In an interview with Miller that appears on ESPN.com, Joe Schad writes that the offensive lineman cited “concern about the long-term impact from past and possible future concussions [as] a factor in the decision” to step away from the game. Even as he’s garnered interest from several programs, the former starting center stated that his health is front and center in his thought process.

“I know I’ve had a few and it’s nice walking away before things could’ve gotten worse,” Miller said. “And yes, multiple schools have reached out. But I’m ready to walk away from it. My health and happiness is more important than a game. …

“I know it’s pretty unorthodox for a 21-year-old to see past his own nose. This game requires such a passion to excel, and my flame is burned out. However, I’d be lying if I said that the concussion thing doesn’t scare me a little.”

Miller told Schad that he suffered one concussion in high school, and sustained two or three others during his time with the Wolverines. However, he only informed the UM medical staff about one of them, stating that “[y]ou’re supposed to be tough in this game.”

Then-head coach Brady Hoke, then-athletic director Dave Brandon and the entire UM athletic department came under intense fire last season after quarterback Shane Morris was put back into the September loss to Minnesota shortly after he sustained what was later determined to be a concussion.

Three months after that firestorm, the Big Ten adopted a conference-wide concussion protocol.

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When it comes to NFL playoff expansion, Roger Goodell’s ‘respectful of college football’

Roger Goodell

Whether the owners and their checkbooks feel the same remains to be seen.

For the better part of a year, there has been talk of the NFL expanding its playoff field from the current 12 teams to 14. That would leave one team per conference with a bye in the opening round, with the other 12 teams presumably playing six games on Wildcard weekend. One idea being bandied about is playing two of the games Saturday, three on Sunday and the last Monday night.

The problem with that? Wildcard weekend, some years, would take place around the College Football Playoff title game, which is scheduled to be played on Monday night for the remainder of the 12-year broadcast agreement.  A Monday night NFL playoff game wouldn’t have had an impact on the title game played after the 2014 season — that game was played Jan. 12, while the opening round of the NFL playoffs was the weekend before — nor would it have an impact on the 2015 game (Jan. 11), but it potentially could have an effect on the title games following the 2016 (Jan. 9), 2017 (Jan. 8) and 2018 (Jan. 7) seasons.

In an interview with Peter King for his iconic Monday Morning Quarterback column, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the oft-discussed issue of playoff expansion. In the course of answering the expansion questions, he twice mentioned college football, The Shield’s free minor league system, when it came to adding postseason games.

The MMQB: What about playing a wild-card game on a Monday night?

Goodell: You could. Potential conflict that comes in there is the national championship game, because that would interfere in some years with that. We’re respectful of college football.

The MMQB: Theoretically doesn’t it make a lot of sense, if you don’t have to worry about college football, to have six games on wild-card weekend? You play two Saturday, three Sunday, and one Monday. Is that the most logical?

Goodell: Sure. But again, you have to consider college football, which is important to us.

While there doesn’t seem to be much momentum for expansion in 2015, why not, if/when additional teams are added, play one of the wildcard games on Friday night instead of Monday night? The argument against such a tack would be that two teams would be going on short rest, having just five days between the regular-season finale and playoff opener. Of course, if the game is added and played Monday night, the winner would be going on short rest, five or six days, in the divisional round.

PFT‘s Mike Florio has a simple solution to the potential dilemma, writing that, once the financials of adding a pair of playoff games is realized, “the other details will easily fall into place, with the college title game sliding to Tuesday night if need be.”

The people running the College Football Playoff have been very strident that they are not willing to budge when it comes to moving this year’s semifinal games — the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl — off New Year’s Eve to a couple of night’s later as they are looking to establish tradition and continuity. In that same vein, they’ve been just as strident in wanting to ensure that the CFP title game is played on a Monday night every year; whether or how much they’d push back against an NFL playoff game being scheduled that same night remains to be seen.

(Writer’s note: CFT reached out to the CFP for comment, but they’ve thus far declined to respond.)

One thing is fairly certain, and Goodell’s current deference notwithstanding: If the monolith that is the NFL decides to add to its playoff field and put a wildcard game on Monday night, the CFP will have no choice but to move its game. Or, more to the point, its broadcast partner, ESPN, and the advertisers would make certain CFP officials know that they have no choice but to move the game off Monday.

After all, the NFL doesn’t have a monopoly on dollars being the driving force behind decisions.

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Most Power Five wins since 2009? Tide, Ducks, Bucks

LSU v Alabama Getty Images

Not surprisingly, a who’s who of college football elites have been very successful in the won-loss ledger over the last half-decade plus a year.

In a note sent out by the fine folks in the Wisconsin sports information department — it’s truly one of the best SIDs in the country — Alabama has 72 wins over the past six seasons, the most for any Power Five team in the country. Oregon is the only other team with at least 70 wins, with the Ducks hitting exactly that mark from 2009-14.

The next five in order are Ohio State (67), Florida State (65), Stanford (62), LSU (61) and UW (60).

The Tide won three BCS titles in that span (2009, 2011, 2012), with the Buckeyes (2014) and Seminoles (2013) accounting for two of the other three. Auburn claimed the other in 2010; the Tigers have won 53 games the past six seasons.

There were 10 other teams that averaged at least nine wins a season in that span: Michigan State with 59; Oklahoma and TCU with a Big 12-best 59 wins (the latter spent three seasons in the Mountain West during that time); Clemson, Nebraska and Oklahoma State with 57; South Carolina with 56; and Georgia, Missouri and Virginia Tech with 54. An additional nine teams, counting Auburn, compiled at least 50 wins: USC (53); Baylor, Kansas State and Notre Dame (51 each); and Florida, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Texas A&M (50 each).

In a development that should surprise absolutely no one, Big 12 bottom-feeder Kansas is at the opposite end of the success spectrum with 17 wins, the fewest for any Power Five member. To put the Jayhawks’ football struggles into perspective, you have to go back 16 years, to 1999, for KU (74 wins) to top the 72 wins UA has over the past six seasons — and that’s with a 12-win season (2007) in the mix. Take that out, and you’d have to go back another three years to 1995 for their win total (75) to exceed the Tide’s.

There are two other P5 teams that failed to win at least 20 games in this particular time frame, and both come from the Pac-12: Colorado (18) and Washington State (19). For the other three Power Five conferences, Indiana of the Big Ten (23), Kentucky of the SEC (27) and Virginia and Wake Forest of the ACC (26 each) had the fewest wins for their respective leagues.

Also unsurprisingly? Boise State leads all Group of Five programs with 69 wins.

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Gamecocks unlikely to name starting QB exiting spring

South Carolina 2014 spring football game

If you’re a South Carolina fan looking for a quick answer to the question of who will replace Dylan Thompson at quarterback, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Following the fifth of the Gamecocks’ 15 spring practice sessions Tuesday, head coach Steve Spurrier was asked about the current state of the competition between redshirt sophomore Connor Mitch (pictured), the presumptive favorite, redshirt junior Brendan Nosovitch, redshirt freshman Michael Scarnecchia and redshirt junior Perry Orth. Not surprisingly, the Ol’ Ball Coach indicated that a decision on a starter isn’t even remotely imminent.

“We’re all practicing right now,” Spurrier said of the position. “We won’t determine who’s going to start next year until probably preseason practice (in the fall).”

You could expect Spurrier to pull the trigger on a decision at a couple of weeks ahead of the Sept. 3 opener against North Carolina, perhaps in mid-August, although a D-Day is far from set in stone.

Mitch, a four-star 2013 signee, served as Thompson’s primary backup in 2014, although wide receiver Pharoah Cooper attempted more passes (eight) than did Mitch (six). Still, he’s widely considered the front-runner at this early stage of the battle, and will get a lion’s share of the first-team reps this spring, Spurrier acknowledged.

Scarnecchia was a three-star prospect who took a redshirt his true freshman season last year.

A walk-on, Orth actually moved to No. 2 in the Gamecock quarterback pecking order last spring before being leapfrogged by Mitch. He attempted two passes last season, the first attempts of his career.

Nosovitch was a three-star member of USC’s 2012 recruiting class who has attempted two passes in his career, with both of those coming in 2013. In 2014, he moved from QB to tight end, although he mainly saw action on special teams.

Interestingly, in the quotes distributed by the school, Nosovitch, who contemplated a transfer last August, was the only player mentioned by name by Spurrier, who raved about the extra dimension he brings to the position — a skillset that could put the player in line for some type of package regardless of who’s named the starter.

“Nosovitch is an excellent play-action quarterback who can run the option and all that kind of stuff,” said Spurrier. “Maybe there’s a spot for him to play a bit next year also. He’s more of a combination guy, whereas the other three quarterbacks are not considered outstanding runners. There’s a spot for that running quarterback as we all know.”

Speaking of that type of quarterback, Lorenzo Nunez will enter the fray this summer. A four-star member of the Gamecocks’ 2015 recruiting class, Nunez was rated as the No. 16 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 26 player at any position in the state of Georgia.

While it’s unlikely he’d win the starting job right out of the gate, his dual-threat capabilities could certainly make things interesting in Columbia come August.

One final note on USC’s offense: Spurrier confirmed that he will indeed be in charge of calling plays in 2015 after “experimenting” with allowing others to handle that job on a (very) part-time basis in 2014.

“I did delegate at times last year, but I usually took over before the game was over,” Spurrier explained. “I certainly plan on doing it. I’ll be ready to do it and we’ll go from there.”

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Urban Meyer miffed over practice that ‘wasn’t a pleasant one’

Urban Meyer AP

While the three-way quarterback competition is the main attraction, Urban Meyer has an entire three-ring football circus to orchestrate. For at least one day, however, the performances fell woefully short of the ringmaster’s expectations.

Reigning College Football Playoff champion Ohio State returned to spring practice Tuesday from spring break, a session that also coincided with the spring’s first go-’round in pads.  Those two factors collided to create an unpleasant practice experience for the Buckeyes’ head coach, although he stopped short of pointing fingers — for now.

“Today was not a pleasant one,” Meyer said according to the Associated Press. “Not going to blame players or coaches yet. That’s coming though if we don’t get better. …

“You just got to be smart [about managing wear and tear on players], which I think we are being smart. Though sometimes when you look out at practice and see how awful it is, but it’s still the right thing to do.”

Coming off a BCS title following the 2012 season, Alabama’s third in the last four years, Nick Saban was publicly concerned about his 2013 squad getting too comfortable and complacent, going so far as acknowledging that he showed his team tape of Buster Douglas‘ monumental upset of Mike Tyson. The Tide ended up losing its last two games that season, to Auburn in the Iron Bowl and Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, giving the Nicktator his motivation for that offseason.

The Tide’s starting quarterback, AJ McCarron, alluded to complacency and a sense of entitlement when it came to that 2013 season, saying in an interview that “[t]oo much success and a lot of young guys coming in who didn’t know what it took to get back to that point to win. They thought we’d just show up and we’d win.”

In his talk with the media following the “awful” practice session, Meyer also mentioned complacency, although the coach thinks that his squad right now is 180 degrees from the dreaded c-word.

“Discomfort is good. And there’s a little discomfort right now. That was not a good day,” Meyer said. “Complacency is comfort. I equate the two. Discomfort is a learning opportunity. Our coaches know that. So there’s going to be discomfort right now. That wasn’t what we’re supposed to be.”

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Transferring Badger DB wants to play closer to Tampa home

Maryland v Wisconsin AP

It appears it’s a good thing that erstwhile Wisconsin quarterback Tanner McEvoy is giving the defensive backfield another look this spring.

Last week, Austin Hudson (pictured, No. 27) confirmed that he will be transferring out of the UW football program. The safety had nothing negative to say about the team, and that the new coaching staff under first-year Badgers head coach Paul Chryst wasn’t an issue either, stating instead that a desire to play closer to his home in Tampa, Fla., was the impetus for the decision.

He did, though, say “a culture thing” in Madison played a role.

“I have nothing negative to say,” Hudson told Scout.com. “It was a journey I needed to make to understand where I belong and Wisconsin just wasn’t the right fit. Football-wise it may have been but in terms of what I idealize, the school itself wasn’t the right fit.

“The new staff was great. It had no effect on me leaving… It was more of a family thing why I wanted to leave and just a culture thing. I just never fit at Wisconsin.”

The defensive back did say that he knows to where he will be transferring, although he won’t acknowledge his new school until it’s announced.

Hudson was a two-star member of the Badgers’ 2014 recruiting class. He held offers from Georgia and Missouri prior to signing with UW.

As a true freshman last season, Hudson played in all 14 games. He’ll be forced to sit out the 2015 season if he lands at another FBS program.

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PHOTO: Ex-‘Bama LB Brent Calloway wears Tide t-shirt in mugshot

Brent Calloway

It appears that Brent Calloway still has an attachment to his former football program, at least when it comes to haberdashery.

Along with three teammates, Calloway was arrested in connection to a pair of robberies in February of 2013.  While Calloway did not physically participate in the robberies, he was charged with fraudulent use of a credit/debit card.  That, though was Calloway’s second arrest since coming to the Tide as a four-star recruit in 2011; in October of that year, he was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

All four players were dismissed from the football program roughly two weeks after the alleged crimes were committed.

The former highly-touted recruit dropped down to the JUCO level before ultimately giving a rugby career a go. His off-field legal issues also continued after leaving Tuscaloosa, with al.com reporting that Calloway was arrested this past weekend and charged with felony unlawful possession of dangerous drugs and second degree possession of marijuana.

What makes this pertinent is that Calloway was proudly sporting an Alabama Crimson Tide t-shirt for his mugshot after being arrested:

Brent Calloway Mugshot

Parole Tide!!!

Calloway was a four-star member of the Tide’s 2011 recruiting class, rated as the No. 5 outside linebacker in the country; the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama at any position; and the No. 38 player overall according to Rivals.com.  His signing with Alabama was the culmination of a recruiting roller coaster ride that continued on into his very brief playing career in Tuscaloosa, with Calloway redshirting his true freshman season and playing a very limited role in the 12 games in which he appeared last season.

(Photo credit: Florence (Ala.) Police Department)

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