Dee Hart

Nearly 30 percent of early entries weren’t selected in NFL draft

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Not surprisingly, some of the players who left eligibility on the table for an early shot at the pros were left without a chair when the draft music stopped Saturday.

By the deadline in mid-January, a total of 84 players with eligibility remaining filled out their paperwork to make themselves available for the 2015 NFL draft.  As noted by Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com, 24 of those 84 players went undrafted as the seven-round event concluded yesterday evening.

While that’s 28.6 percent, it’s actually a better rate than a year ago.  In 2014, 36.7 percent (36 of 98) of the early entrants went undrafted.  That total of 98 last year was a record number of draft-eligible players who left with eligibility remaining, which prompted the NFL to change its protocol in an attempt to roll back the number of players leaving early.

Getting back to this year, 16 of the 24 who weren’t selected came from Power Five football programs.  TCU was the only school with two early entrants who weren’t picked (running back B.J. Catalon, safety Chris Hackett), while two of the players came from non-FCS levels.

It should be noted that most if not all of the players in this group will sign as an undrafted free agent.

Below is the complete list of those who went undrafted.

SS Durell Eskridge, Syracuse
CB Jacoby Glenn, UCF
FS Chris Hackett, TCU
WR DaVaris Daniels, Notre Dame
RB Trey Williams, Texas A&M
DE Deion Barnes, Penn State
TE Jean Sifrin, Massachusetts
DT David Irving, Iowa State
WR Deontay Greenberry, Houston
DT Ellis McCarthy, UCLA
RB B.J. Catalon, TCU
WR Chris Harper, California
LB Max Flores, Northern Colorado
RB Dee Hart, Colorado State
RB Braylon Heard, Kentucky
WR George Farmer, USC
WR Nigel King, Kansas
OT Patrick Miller, Auburn
WR Zach D’Orazio, Akron
WR Tacoi Sumler, Appalachian State
OG Tyler Moore, Florida
WR Jaquel Pitts, Trinity International
LS Easton Wahlstrom, Arizona State
OLB Darien Rankin, North Carolina

NFL calls, Colorado State’s Dee Hart answers

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In December of 2013, Kapri Bibbs, Colorado State’s leading rusher, announced that he was leaving early for the NFL.  A little over a year later, the Rams’ running game has taken a similar hit.

In a conversation with the Fort Collins Reporter-Herald, Dee Hart confirmed that he has decided to make himself available for the 2015 NFL draft.  Although the running back already has his degree, he still had two years of eligibility remaining before deciding to forego them.

I’m going to declare for the draft,” Hart told the Reporter-Herald. “It was just a dream I always had growing up, and it’s an opportunity I have this season, so I want to take advantage of it.”

Hart transferred to CSU from Alabama in August of this past year and, because he had already received his degree from UA, was eligible to play immediately.  In what turned out to be his lone season at the school, Hart led the Rams in rushing (1,275) and rushing touchdowns (16).

Hart’s route to Fort Collins and the success he found in 2014, however, was a circuitous one filled with far more downs than ups.

In July of 2011, Hart, a five-star recruit rated as the No. 1 all-purpose back in the country, suffered a torn ACL that forced him to miss his true freshman season.  After rehabbing that injury, Hart tore the ACLin the same knee during an October 2013 win over Ole Miss and, obviously, missed the remainder of the season.

In February of this 2014, Hart was arrested and charged with giving false information and possession of marijuana. It was revealed at that time that Hart hadn’t been a part of the team since shortly after the Tide’s Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma.

“I think Colorado State went out on a limb and took me in a student and a player, it was a risk for them as well,” said Hart. “They didn’t know what I was going to be able to come in and do. I think it worked for both of us this season. It helped me, giving me the confidence back that I could play with the guys I used to play with.”

Air Force Falcons clip Colorado State Rams with last-second field goal

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The Air Force Falcons have played the role of spoiler all season.

The latest example came Friday against the Colorado State Rams. A Will Conant field goal as time expired proved to be the difference as the Falcons claimed a 27-24 victory.

With the win, Air Force improved its record to 9-3 this season. Colorado State, meanwhile, dropped to 10-2, and the program’s aspirations of possibly being the highest-ranked Group of Five program quickly vanished.

For Colorado State, the Boise State Broncos still needed to lose Saturday against the Utah State Aggies to become the top team from a non-Power Five conference. Now, it doesn’t matter.

Air Force also upset Boise State earlier in the season which made the Broncos’ trek through the season far more difficult before finally being ranked in the College Football Playoff committee’s Top 25 for the first time this past week.

The Falcons haven’t made life easy for any of their opponents.

The academy also claimed its first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy since 2011 despite the Navy Midshipmen being considered the favorites to win the award.

But Air Force would never have been in the position it currently resides without a poor decision from Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain.

With 44 seconds remaining, the Rams faced a 4th-and-2 from the Falcons’ 42-yard line. McElwain decided to go for it instead of trying to pin Air Force deep into their own end. Running back Dee Hart, who ran for 115 yards, was stopped short of the first down, and Air Force took over with 38 seconds left.

A 26-yard pass from Air Force quarterback Nate Romine to junior wide receiver Garrett Brown was the big play the Falcons needed to move into field goal position. Conant proved to be up to the task when it came time to attempt the field goal.

Despite the loss, McElwain provided the quote of the day regarding Conant’s field goal:

At 9-4, Air Force is the fourth team in the Mountain West Conference to win at least nine games.

Week 13, Statistically Speaking

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A statistical snapshot of the week that was in college football…

.592 – Winning percentage of visiting teams in Pac-12 road games (29-20) this season. The six teams ranked in last week’s Associated Press Top 25 (Oregon, UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona, Utah and USC) have a combined overall road record of 23-6 (.793).

.815 — Ohio State’s winning percentage (97-22) in Big Ten play since 2000, the highest league winning percentage among all Power Five schools.  Oklahoma 99-24 is next at .805.

.933 — Career field-goal percentage for Florida State’s Robert Aguayo (42-45).  The all-time career mark, for at least 45 attempts per the 2014 FBS record book, was .900 (45-50) by Louisiana-Lafayette’s Brett Baer (2009-12). The career mark, for at least 55 attempts, is .895 (68-76) by Nebraska’s Alex Henery (2007-10).

0 — Touchbacks this season for Wake Forest punter Alex Kinal, the only player in the Top 25 in punting average who can make that claim.

1 — 400-yard passing games for Jake Waters in his career, the lone one coming in Kansas State’s win over West Virginia Thursday night (400 even).  Waters had only one previous 300-yard game, that coming in November of last year against Oklahoma (348).

Ohio State v Maryland
Brad Craddock

1 — Kickers at the FBS level who have yet to miss a field goal attempt (minimum eight attempts) this season: Maryland’s Brad Craddock (17-17).  Craddock has made 23 straight attempts dating back to 2013, the longest current streak at the FBS level and third-longest in Big Ten history.

1.2 — Yards per play Savannah State averaged in its 64-0 loss to BYU.  The Cougars limited the Tigers to 40 yards passing on 28 attempts and 23 yards rushing on the same number of attempts.

4 — FBS teams currently undefeated in conference play:

Florida State (ACC, 8-0)
Georgia Southern (Sun Belt, 7-0)
Marshall (Conference USA, 7-0)
Ohio State (Big Ten, 7-0)

5 — Consecutive games Auburn allowed 30 or more points prior to playing Samford, the first time that’s ever happened in the history of the football program.

5 — Number of undefeated home seasons in the history of Utah State football: 1968 (4-0), 1972 (5-0), 1982 (4-0), 2012 (6-0) and 2014 (6-0).

6 — Total touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving) for Colorado State’s Dee Hart in a win over New Mexico, the second-highest single-game total in Mountain West History.

(more…)

Colorado St waves MWC flag in win at Boston College

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The Mountain West Conference may be lacking in victories over power conferences, but somehow Colorado State (3-1) has managed to win two of them. The Rams battled back from a 14-point deficit to leave Boston with a victory, beating Boston College (3-2) by a score of 24-21.

Colorado State outscored the Eagles 10-0 in the fourth quarter. After scoring a field goal off the leg of Jared Roberts to bring the Rams within four points (21-17 in favor of Boston College at the time), it looked as though Boston College was going to have a decisive answer. A seven-play drive instead ended up with a pass from Tyler Murphy being picked off by Bernard Blake to give Colorado State’s offense the football from its own 11-yard line with an illegal block on the return. Colorado State did not pick up any points on the drive but keeping Boston College off the board and proved to be critical.

Boston College went three-and-out on its next drive and Colorado State got right back to work. Garrett Grayson led the offense down field and running back Dee Hart broke off a 43-yard run to move the Rams into the red zone. A 12-yard touchdown pass from Grayson to Charles Lovett with 1:02 to play gave Colorado State its first lead of the game. Boston College still had a chance, and Colorado State gave them one more chance thanks to an unsportsmanlike penalty at the end of the game. Boston College was unable to capitalize on the free yards as Colorado State came up with a stop on the final play of the game from the Boston College 42-yard line.

As a result, Colorado State picked up its second win over a power conference opponent, with wins against Colorado nd Boston College. That could become critical. If Colorado State manages to come back and win the Mountain West Conference, they will likely have a very good case to receive the reserved New Years bowl spot for the highest ranked champion from a Group of Five conference. East Carolina probably still has the edge for th time being with wins against Virginia Tech and North Carolina, but if ECU does not win the AAC, their profile may mean nothing. Meanwhile, Colorado State would own wins against the ACC and Pac-12.

Colorado State is already behind the eight-ball with a conference loss to Boise State, but there is so much football to be played.