James Conner will head to next week’s Combine with a clean bill of health, according to a report Thursday from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“Pitt RB James Conner, who missed most of 2015 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, received a clean scan today, a week prior to combine, per source,” Schefter tweeted.
Conner led the ACC in rushing in 2014, rushing for 1,765 yards and 5.92 yards per carry with 26 touchdowns in 2014, before a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis caused him to miss all but one game of the 2015 campaign. (And in that one game, Conner still rushed for nearly 10 yards per carry and two touchdowns.)
He battled back to return to the field in 2016, again leading the Panthers with 216 carries for 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns while finishing third on the club with 21 grabs for 302 yards and four touchdowns.
Conner will compete at the Combine for draft positioning with fellow running backs Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and D'Onta Foreman, among others.
Lane Kiffin may be comatose onscreen, but off the field on the recruiting trail he’s a machine. Still.
UCLA has been in hot pursuit of DeAndre McNeal, a California junior college wide receiver who began his collegiate career with the Texas Longhorns. Instead of Westwood, however, McNeal has opted to commit to Kiffin and Florida Atlantic.
“I know FAU can make me the top wide receiver in the nation,” the receiver told 247Sports.com. “I already know their offense and I know I will get the ball there. At this point in my life I don’t need to go where I know I’m going to play and be used.”
As long as the commitment holds, this would make Kiffin 3-1 lifetime vs. UCLA, including 2-1 as USC’s head coach.
McNeal was the No. 8 JUCO receiver in the country entering National Signing Day. This is actually the second time he’s spurned UCLA as the Bruins were finalists during his initial recruitment before he opted for the Longhorns.
A four-star member of UT’s 2015 recruiting class, McNeal was indefinitely suspended by then-head coach Charlie Strong in August of last year. Not long after, the player opted to transfer out.
Brent Musburger has called his final college football game, hanging up the play-by-play headset for good following tomorrow night’s Georgia-Kentucky basketball game. This means Musburger’s final college game was marred by some poorly-worded comments regarding former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, wishing the player a long NFL career while discussing recently-surfaced video showing him hitting a female Oklahoma student in 2014.
Blowback was such that he felt compelled to defend those comments one quarter later of OU’s eventual win in the Sugar Bowl.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Musburger insisted the comments had nothing to do with the departure and, in fact, received very little attention from ESPN or Disney proper.
“We had already started the process of me leaving,” Musburger said. “The morning after the Sugar Bowl I had breakfast with [ESPN president] John Skipper and [senior vice president of event & studio production] Stephanie Druley, and they wanted to work out a plan to keep me at ESPN. There was not even a discussion about what had been said specifically about Mixon. In fact, the only person who mentioned it to me was a telephone call two days later from [Disney chairman] Bob Iger, who is an old friend, and he said, ‘This too shall pass.’ That was the only comment. There was no blowback. There is absolutely no connection.
“I did not want them to be in the middle [of gambling issues]. I am sure they have had some phone calls about [gambling] comments that I have made on the air over the years. It certainly never came back to me, but I have no doubt it happened. I just wanted no connection whatsoever. I will tell you that my relations with ESPN and everyone there could not be better. We have been completely up front in this process. I leave with nothing but good feelings about these people. I never had a bad day for them and enjoyed it very much.”
Musburger is leaving to join a sports book start up in Las Vegas while co-hosting a gambling talk show on SiriusXM, appropriately titled My Friends in the Desert.
In your “yeah, what?” news of the day, two Oklahoma students were arrested over the weekend after breaking into LSU’s Tiger Stadium.
According to WBRZ, LSU police responded to a call of two men trespassing inside Tiger Stadium. When police approached them, they both attempted to run away, resulting in their arrests. They were charged with unauthorized entry of a place of business and resisting an officer by flight.
WBRZ reported that the two students didn’t cause any property damage or steal anything, so this wasn’t like some rivalry-fueled defacing spree. In all honestly, I thought most of these big stadiums were open to the public when not in use, given they’re on campus grounds and all.
And since we’re here, Oklahoma and LSU have only played twice in their illustrious football histories, with the Sooners winning the 1950 Sugar Bowl and the Tigers winning the 2004 Sugar Bowl.
Explosive allegations surfaced on Friday as a result of a new lawsuit filed against Baylor relating to the school’s ongoing scandal involving sexual assaults.
According to the Dallas Morning News, a woman alleges she was gang raped by then-Bears football players Tre'Von Armstead and Shamycheal Chatman after a party in April of 2013. The two players were not charged in the incident, but were named as suspects according to police records and at least one of them had previously been accused of rape before but nothing was done.
Perhaps most notable is that the lawsuit also alleges that 31 Baylor football players committed 52 acts of rape over a four year period starting in 2011. Those numbers, in addition to being throughly repulsive, are figures that are well over double the number of incidents and players that have previously been reported in conjunction with the scandal at the school during the tenure of former head coach Art Briles.
According to the lawsuit that the DMN has viewed, former Bears offensive coordinator Kendal Briles is also alleged to have contributed to the “culture of sexual violence” at the school and once told a recruit, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players.”
Briles is now offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic under Lane Kiffin, who claimed the school did their “due diligence” and vetted the Baylor assistant prior to him being hired.
The disgusting revelations of the lawsuit are, sadly, only the latest in a long line of sexual assaults that have allegedly took place at the school over the past several years.