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AP All-American Team highlighted by Mayfield and Sooners on First Team

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The Oklahoma Sooners will bring three AP First Team All-Americans into the College Football Playoff this year, including Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. Mayfield was named a First Team All-American by the Associated Press on Monday, and he is joined by fellow Sooners offensive tackle Orlando Brown and tight end Mark Andrews.

Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, and Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell were also named to the AP’s First Team to combine to match Oklahoma’s First Team total. Other First Team All-Americans included Heisman finalist and Doak Walker Award winner Bryce Love of Stanford, Biletnikoff Award winner James Washington. Lombardi Award winner Saquon Barkley of Penn State was named to the First Team as an all-purpose player, and the nation’s leading rusher, Rashaad Penny of San Diego State joined Love as a First Team running back.

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Baker Mayfield, senior, Oklahoma.

Running backs — Bryce Love, junior, Stanford; Rashaad Penny, senior, San Diego State.

Tackles — Orlando Brown, junior, Oklahoma; Mike McGlinchey, senior, Notre Dame.

Guards — Quenton Nelson, senior, Notre Dame; Braden Smith, senior, Auburn.

Center — Billy Price, senior, Ohio State.

Tight end — Mark Andrews, junior, Oklahoma.

Receivers — James Washington, senior, Oklahoma State; Anthony Miller, senior, Memphis.

All-purpose player — Saquon Barkley, junior, Penn State.

Kicker — Matt Gay, junior, Utah.

DEFENSE

Ends — Bradley Chubb, senior, North Carolina State; Clelin Ferrell, sophomore, Clemson.

Tackles — Hercules Mata’afa, junior, Washington State; Maurice Hurst, senior, Michigan.

Linebackers — Roquan Smith, junior, Georgia; Josey Jewell, senior, Iowa; T.J. Edwards, junior, Wisconsin.

Cornerbacks — Josh Jackson, junior, Iowa; Denzel Ward, junior, Ohio State.

Safeties — Minkah Fitzpatrick, junior, Alabama; DeShon Elliott, junior, Texas.

Punter — Michael Dickson, junior, Texas.

———————-

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Lamar Jackson, junior, Louisville.

Running backs — Jonathan Taylor, freshman, Wisconsin; Kerryon Johnson, junior, Auburn.

Tackles — Mitch Hyatt, junior, Clemson; Isaiah Wynn, senior, Georgia.

Guards — Cody O’Connell, senior, Washington State; Will Hernandez, senior, UTEP.

Center — Bradley Bozeman, senior, Alabama.

Tight end — Troy Fumagalli, senior, Wisconsin.

Receivers — David Sills V, junior, West Virginia; Michael Gallup, senior, Colorado State.

All-purpose player — Dante Pettis, senior, Washington.

Kicker — Daniel Carlson, senior, Auburn.

DEFENSE

Ends — Sutton Smith, sophomore, Northern Illinois; Nick Bosa, sophomore, Ohio State.

Tackles — Ed Oliver, sophomore, Houston; Christian Wilkins, junior, Clemson.

Linebackers — Malik Jefferson, junior, Texas; Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, senior, Oklahoma; Dorian O’Daniel, senior, Clemson.

Cornerbacks — Jalen Davis, senior, Utah State; Carlton Davis, junior, Auburn.

Safeties — Derwin James, junior, Florida State; Justin Reid, junior, Stanford.

Punter — Johnny Townsend, senior, Florida.

———————-

THIRD TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Mason Rudolph, senior, Oklahoma State.

Running backs — Ronald Jones II, junior, Southern California; Devin Singletary, sophomore, Florida Atlantic.

Tackles — David Edwards, sophomore, Wisconsin; Jonah Williams, sophomore, Alabama.

Guards — Beau Benzschawel, junior, Wisconsin; Tyrone Crowder, senior, Clemson.

Center — Frank Ragnow, senior, Arkansas.

Tight end — Jaylen Samuels, senior, North Carolina State.

Receivers — Steve Ishmael, senior, Syracuse; A.J. Brown, sophomore, Mississippi.

All-purpose player — D.J. Reed, junior, Kansas State.

Kicker — Eddy Piniero, junior, Florida.

DEFENSE

Ends — Austin Bryant, junior, Clemson; Mat Boesen, senior, TCU.

Tackles — Vita Vea, junior, Washington; Harrison Phillips, senior, Stanford.

Linebackers — Micah Kiser, senior, Virginia; Tremaine Edmunds, junior, Virginia Tech; Devin Bush, sophomore, Michigan.

Cornerbacks — Andraez Williams, redshirt freshman, LSU; Jack Jones, sophomore, Southern California.

Safeties — Armani Watts, senior, Texas A&M; Quin Blanding, senior, Virginia.

Punter — Mitch Wisnowsky, junior, Utah.

Pitt safety Jordan Whitehead declares for NFL Draft

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After three seasons in a Pitt football uniform, safety Jordan Whitehead is ready to turn pro. Whitehead announced his intention to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft on Monday morning with a brief statement.

“After much thought and discussion with my family, I have decided to begin preparing for the next step in my career and enter the 2018 NFL Draft,” Whitehead said in a released statement, via Twitter. “It has been an honor and a privilege to play for this university, Coach [Pat Narduzzi], and this coaching staff for the past three years. I would like to thank them for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime, but feel I am ready to take the next step in achieving my dreams.”

The former ACC Rookie of the Year and three-time All-ACC player will be one of the top underclassmen at the safety position on the NFL Draft board in the spring. He is the second Pitt player to declare for the NFL a year early, joining wide receiver Quadree Henderson in doing so.

Whitehead had one interception and 60 tackles in nine games this season. Whitehead also picked up some assignments in the running game and special teams, showcasing his ability to contribute in a variety of ways for the Panthers, and that could be used to improve his draft outlook moving forward.

No. 18 Washington State dismisses leading WR Tavares Martin, Jr.

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No. 18 Washington State his dismissed wide receiver Tavares Martin, Jr., the school announced Sunday. Martin committed the ever-vague violation of team rules.

A junior from Belle Glade, Fla., Martin led the club with 70 grabs for 831 yards and nine touchdowns, the most on the team in every category. He caught 10 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns in a 52-23 win over Oregon State on Sept. 16, hauled in four grabs for 114 yards and two scores in a 45-7 drubbing of Nevada a week later, and snared 11 passes for 136 yards in a 58-37 loss to Arizona on Oct. 28.

He was also suspended for the Cougars’ 28-0 win over Colorado on Oct. 21 for poor behavior.

“He was a little angry, saying things hadn’t gone his way the last couple of games. He broke a team rule and needs to be punished for that,” Tavares Martin, Sr., told the Seattle Times at the time. “He just made a mistake and he had to pay a price for it. It was a miscommunication between him and the coaches. He was upset. He said he felt like he should have been more involved in that game. There were a lot of things that took place in the Cal game. T.J. also understands that you lose as a team and you win as a team.”

The Cougars will meet No. 16 Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28 (9 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1).

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield wins 2017 Heisman Trophy

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As the 2017 season continued to play on, it became more and more apparent Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield would be winning the Heisman Trophy. On Saturday night in New York, the inevitable result became official. Mayfield was named the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner by the Heisman Trust during a ceremony in the PlayStation Theater in Times Square of New York City.

Mayfield beat out Stanford running back Bryce Love and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner. He becomes the sixth Heisman Trophy winner in Oklahoma history, officially moving the Sooners into a tie for second-most all-time Heisman Trophy winners with USC (USC has actually had seven Heisman Trophy winners, but Reggie Bush had his Heisman Trophy officially vacated, thus reducing USC’s official count to six).

Mayfield received 2,398 total point sin the voting. Love received 1,300 points, and last year’s Heisman winner (Jackson) received 793 points. Mayfield received 732 first-place votes.

  1. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma – 2,398 points (732 first-place votes)
  2. Bryce Love, Stanford –  1,300 points (75 first-place votes)
  3. Lamar Jackson, Louisville – 793 points (47 first-place votes)
  4. Saquon Barkley, Penn State – 304 points (15 first-place votes)
  5. Rashaad Penny, San Diego State – 175 points (7 first-place votes)
  6. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin – 58 points (2 first-place votes)
  7. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State – 56 points (2 first-place votes)
  8. McKenzie Milton, UCF – 54 points (4 first-place votes)
  9. Kerryon Johnson, Auburn – 45 points (0 first-place votes)
  10. Roquan Smith, Georgia – 38 points (3 first-place votes)

Only Ohio State and Notre Dame have more Heisman Trophy winners in the history of the award. The Buckeyes and Irish each have seven winners in Heisman Trophy history. Oklahoma fans will also take pride in knowing the Sooners now have three Heisman Trophy winners since the last Texas Longhorn player won the award (Ricky Williams in 1998).

The most recent Oklahoma player to win the Heisman Trophy before Mayfield was Sam Bradford in 2008 and Jason White in 2003. Officially, Oklahoma is the first school to have three Heisman Trophy winners in the 21st century (again, USC is also in this category if not for the Reggie Bush Heisman). Mayfield is also the first Heisman Trophy winner from the Big 12 since Robert Griffin III of Baylor won the award in 2011. Among power conferences, the Big Ten owns the longest Heisman Trophy drought; the last Big Ten Heisman Trophy winner was Troy Smith of Ohio State in 2006.

Mayfield will now attempt to become the second Heisman Trophy winner of the College Football Playoff era to lead his team to a national championship. Heisman Trophy winners are 1-1 in the national championship game in the playoff era. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota lost to Ohio State in the first playoff national championship game, but Alabama’s Derrick Henry captured a national title against Clemson in the second season of the playoff. Jackson and Louisville did not reach the playoff a year ago.

Heart condition forces WR James Robinson to end career at Florida

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A heralded recruit with a headline-making past even before he got to Gainesville, James Robinson has seen his playing career at Florida come to an end before it ever really got started.

In early September, doctors diagnosed the true freshman with a heart abnormality.  Further genetic testing in mid-October, UF stated at the time, wasn’t expected to yield any results for at least another month.  Friday, those results were made public, first cryptically by the player on Twitter…

… and then specifically by the football program in a statement that confirmed the wide receiver has not been medically cleared to play football at the university.

After a thorough evaluation by doctors from across the country and our medical staff, it has been determined that James Robinson will not be medically cleared to play football at the University of Florida. The University Athletic Association has offered their support to James and his family during this very difficult time.

The combination of the health concern and off-field issues means that Robinson never suited up or took the field for the Gators.

Because of an August citation for marijuana, Robinson was suspended for the season opener.  The fact that Robinson even made it to the Gainesville campus to be suspended initially served as somewhat of a surprise.

The four-star recruit was arrested for a pot possession offense during an official visit to Ohio State in late January of this year. As a result of his arrest, Florida reportedly was set to prevent the Gators from adding Robinson to their recruiting class.  However, he did end up signing with the Gators this past February and was the team’s second-highest-rated recruit, behind only offensive lineman Tedarrell Slaton.