If you’re a junior and have a fairly decent shot at being a first- or second-round pick in the NFL draft, it’d be somewhat difficult to return to college for another season.
If you’re a near-lock to be a Top 20 pick, it’s a no-brainer; you jump early.
The latter is the situation Akeem Ayers finds himself in, and the UCLA linebacker did about the only thing he could do. He jumped.
In a release issued by the school, Ayers announced he was foregoing his senior season and entering the NFL draft.
“I want to thank my coaches, teammates and everyone at UCLA for all of their help the last few years,” said Ayers. “I have had a great experience at UCLA and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such an outstanding school.
“I will miss playing with my UCLA teammates next year but I feel that the decision to go to the NFL is what is best for my family. I will always be a Bruin.”
“Akeem has been a big-play performer throughout his career at UCLA and we support his decision to move to the next level,” said head coach Rick Neuheisel. “Who will ever forget his interceptions against Oregon and Temple that he turned into touchdowns or his many sacks? We will miss Akeem, but we look forward to watching him make those same types of plays on Sundays in the NFL.”
Despite nagging injuries that limited his production in 2010, he was still a first-team All-Pac-10 performer, as well as earning a spot on the second team of the Walter Camp All-American squad.
A potentially serious, or even deadly, situation involving one member of the Arkansas football team has turned out okay for all involved.
According to multiple media outlets in the area, defensive back Jordon Curtis was hit by a car after leaving practice Sunday night. Curtis was walking in a crosswalk near the Razorbacks’ practice facility when he was struck.
From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:
According to UAPD, officers were dispatched to the scene at 5:26 p.m. Sunday. The officer reported that Curtis was bleeding from a wound above his right eye, but was able to answer cognitive questions about his date of birth and hometown. An ambulance transported Curtis to Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville.
The driver of a blue 2007 Hyundai Veracruz was issued two citations for failure to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk and for speeding too fast for conditions. The report states that four witnesses observed the driver never hit his brakes, but the driver stated he tried to stop but was unable to avoid hitting Curtis.
Thankfully for all involved, Cutis was treated and released from the hospital not long after the incident.
“We’re very fortunate, and our thoughts and prayers will be with him and his recovery,” head coach Chad Morris said Monday. “He will not be around this week, but is doing good. We’re very, very, very fortunate. Again, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
A redshirt freshman, Curtis played in the 2018 season opener but hasn’t seen any game action since.
We don’t know yet to where Kelly Bryant will transfer. Based on the most recent intel, though, we can divine one destination that has been taken out of play.
It was reported last week that, after rumored interest, the former Clemson quarterback would be visiting Miami on Nov. 24, with a decision on a future college football home coming on Dec. 4. While the decision date is still the same, the visit to the Hurricanes reportedly won’t take place.
Miami was supposed to be the fifth of five official visits the graduate transfer can take. Instead, that fifth visit will go to Auburn at some point next week. Bryant has already taken an unofficial visit to Auburn earlier this month.
Officially, Bryant has taken visits to North Carolina (HERE), Missouri (HERE), Arkansas (HERE) and Mississippi State (HERE).
As a graduate transfer, Bryant will be eligible to play in 2019 regardless of where he ultimately lands. Next season would be his final year of eligibility.
The 2018 Heisman Trophy was all but handed to Tua Tagovailoa earlier this month, but, if he’s going to ultimately go down, Kyler Murray and his Heisman website are not going down without a fight.
In the latest set of odds to be released by Bovada.lv, Tagovailoa is still listed as the prohibitive favorite to claim this year’s stiff-armed trophy, although his odds have lengthened a bit from 2/9 a week ago to 1/4. Murray, meanwhile, has seen his odds shorten from 5/1 to 9/2.
This is actually the second week in a row that Murray has pecked away at Tagovailoa’s wagering lead. On Nov. 5, the Alabama quarterback was at 1/10 while the Oklahoma signal-caller sat at 6/1.
Another pair of quarterbacks, Washington State’s Gardner Minshew and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, saw their odds shrink significantly over the last seven days, with the former going from 50/1 to 30/1 and the latter moving from 100/1 to 50/1. West Virginia’s Will Grier went from 7/1 a week ago to 12/1 this week.
Just four other players remain on Bovada‘s board, although they are distant underdogs to the two frontrunners:
Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence (25/1 a week ago, 50/1 this week)
UCF QB McKenzie Milton (100/1, 50/1)
Clemson RB Travis Etienne (25/1, 60/1)
Michigan QB Shea Patterson (20/1, 100/1)
Necessary or not, you knew this was coming.
Following Texas’ huge win over Iowa State Saturday night, eccentric UT defensive end Breckyn Hager punctuated a postgame meeting with the media with an “OU still sucks” blast directed at bitter rival Oklahoma. Monday, the Big 12 publicly reprimanded Hager for his words and stated that it expected a public apology from the player.
Monday night, that apology came from a contrite Hager.
I consider sportsmanship to be an essential part of the game I so truly love. I spoke with our athletics director Chris Del Conte and Coach Herman about what I said after Saturday’s game and understand why it reflected poorly on me and my team. I had no ill intentions when I made my comments about Oklahoma, which included a phrase that’s used by fans, but I have to realize that it’s different coming from me. My thought process was that it would put a fun and light-hearted charge into the greatest rivalry in college football that my family has been involved in playing in for many years, but I can see now that was not the way to do it.
I have the utmost respect for the University of Oklahoma and their football program and know a number of players on their team, and I want to apologize to them. I want to represent myself, my family, my football program, my university and the Big 12 Conference in the best possible way. I’m truly sorry for the comments I made, will learn from this and will keep working to improve my ability to think about the ramifications of what I say before I say it.
If Texas beats Kansas and Oklahoma beats West Virginia this Saturday, the two Red River Shootout rivals will meet the following weekend in the Big 12 championship game.