Carey, Yeldon among 63 RBs on Doak Walker Award preseason watch list

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Oh, you know. Just another preseason watch list coming your way.

The Doak Walker Award, given annually to college football’s most outstanding running back, released its preseason watch list on Friday with 63 candidates. Among those to be included were Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, who was the nation’s leading rusher in 2012, Miami’s Duke Johnson, Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas and Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon.

The winner of the Doak Walker Award will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 12. Last year’s winner was Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.

As always, you can view the entire list of preseason candidates below. You can now also check out our preseason watch lists repository HERE.

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Michael Alisa, BYU
Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky
Dri Archer, Kent State
Brendan Bigelow, California
Beau Blankenship, Ohio
Alfred Blue, LSU
Dominique Brown, Louisville
Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona
B.J. Catalon, TCU
Orleans Darkwa, Tulane
Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
Trayion Durham, Kent State
Jahwan Edwards, Ball State
David Fluellen, Toledo
D.J. Foster, Arizona State
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
Marion Grice, Arizona State
Todd Gurley, Georgia
Joe Hill, Utah State
John Hubert, Kansas State
Carlos Hyde, Ohio State
Waymon James, TCU
Duke Johnson, Miami
Storm Johnson, UCF
Matt Jones, Florida
Henry Josey, Missouri
Ben Malena, Texas A&M
Raymond Maples, Army
Venric Mark, Northwestern
Keith Marshall, Georgia
Glasco Martin, Baylor
Tre Mason, Auburn
Lyle McCombs, Connecticut
Adam Muema, San Diego State
David Oku, Arkansas State
Branden Oliver, Buffalo
Jordan Parker, Middle Tennessee
LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State
Senorise Perry, Louisville
Christian Powell, Colorado
Darrin Reaves, UAB
Silas Redd, USC
Bishop Sankey, Washington
Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
David Sims, Georgia Tech
James Sims, Kansas
Kiero Small, Arkansas
Jeremy Smith, Oklahoma State
Jerome Smith, Syracuse
De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon
Zurlon Tipton, Central Michigan
Trey Watts, Tulsa
Mark Weisman, Iowa
James White, Iowa State
James White, Wisconsin
Andre Williams, Boston College
Damien Williams, Oklahoma
Jamaal Williams, BYU
Jonathan Williams, Arkansas
Storm Woods, Oregon State
T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
Zach Zwinak, Penn State

Ohio State announces it has halted voluntary workouts because of the results of recent COVID-19 testing

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Thanks to Ohio State, there’s yet another sign that starting the 2020 college football season on time may be a pipe dream.

As with other schools in the Big Ten, Ohio State welcomed back student-athletes, including football players, to campus for voluntary workouts last month.  Wednesday, those workouts for Buckeyes across several sports have come to a halt.

Below is a release from OSU addressing the development:

The Ohio State Department of Athletics has paused all voluntary workouts on campus following the results of its most recent COVID-19 testing of student-athletes. Seven teams’ workouts are affected by this pause: men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

The university is not sharing cumulative COVID-19 information publicly as it could lead to the identification of specific individuals and compromise their medical privacy.

If a student-athlete tests positive for COVID-19, he/she will self-isolate for at least 14 days and receive daily check-ups from the Department of Athletics medical staff. Student-athletes living alone will isolate in their residence. If they have roommates, they will self-isolate in a designated room on campus.

The health and safety of our student-athletes is always our top priority.

OSU is but the latest FBS program impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

July 3, Kansas was the latest FBS program to pause voluntary workouts after 12 players tested positive for COVID-19.  Earlier in that same week, Arizona announced that it was pausing its phased return of student-athletes to campus.  Prior to that, eight individuals connected to the Boise State football program tested positive, forcing the school to temporarily scuttle workouts.  June 20, K-State announced that it is pausing all voluntary workouts as well.  The reason?  “[A] total of 14 student-athletes have tested positive for active COVID-19 following PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of more than 130 student-athletes.” The weekend before that, Houston decided to put a halt to voluntary on-campus workouts after six symptomatic UH student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19.

Other programs have seen a high number of players test positive but continue workouts.  Among those are Clemson (37 players tested positive), LSU (30 players quarantined), Texas (13 confirmed positives for football players) and Texas Tech (23 positives for players/staffers).

Ivy League officially postpones 2020 football season, other fall sports

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The college football sky is falling! The college football sky is falling!

At least, that’s the case if you follow college football Twitter.

Last week, it was reported that the Ivy League would soon announce its plans for the 2020 college football season.  It has been expected that the conference would push this season to next year.  Wednesday, that officially came to fruition as the Ivy League announced that football and other fall sports have been postponed.  Football could be moved to the spring, although such an issue won’t be taken up until after the end of the fall semester.

The Ivy League does become the first Div. I conference to cancel football for this coming fall.

Below is a statement from the Ivy League Council of Presidents:

As a leadership group, we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students who attend our institutions, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our schools. These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many value and cherish.

With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall.

We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations. There can be no greater responsibility — and that is the basis for this difficult decision.

It should be noted that the Ivy League’s decision has zero impact on the 2020 FBS season, especially when it comes to the Power Five.  Is it possible that the upcoming college football season at the FBS level moves to the spring of next year?  Absolutely, especially as the number of cases in states such as California, Florida and Texas — and football programs — continue to grow.  But such a decision won’t be made because the Ivy League, and its members with combined endowments in the neighborhood of $150 billion who don’t worry about trifling things like the FCS playoffs, made it.

As one Power Five administrator put it to Brandon Marcello of 247Sports.com, “I don’t think people understand how [the Ivy League’s decision] simply doesn’t affect us.” More from Marcello’s report:

FBS conferences followed the lead of the Ivy League in mid-March, when the league was the first to cancel its postseason basketball tournament. The real-time decision in March amid a new growing threat, however, is much different in circumstance and scope than the impending decision Wednesday concerning football in the Ivy League. Power 5 commissioners have discussed the need to wait and not follow the Ivy League in meetings this week.

This tweet, though, puts everything into perspective. Financial perspective, that is.

One-time starting QB Armani Rogers enters transfer portal

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The quarterback room for UNLV football will be less experienced if/when the 2020 season kicks off.

On Twitter this week, Armani Rogers revealed that he is set to transfer out of the UNLV football program.  The quarterback confirmed that he will be entering the NCAA transfer database as a graduate.  That would allow the fifth-year senior to use his final season of eligibility at another FBS program in 2020.

“I want to thank this school and all of the coaches who gave me a chance here at UNLV,” Rogers wrote. “It was a great time I had here being with my teammates who have always [shown] me support and the fans who have also been here along the way.  This school will always have a special place in my heart.

“It was a tough decision for me, but I have decided to enter the transfer portal as a graduate.”

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Rogers was a three-star member of the UNLV football Class of 2016.  The California native was rated as the No. 16 dual-threat quarterback on the 247Sports.com composite.  He was the highest-rated signee for the Rebels that cycle.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Rogers had a breakout 2017 campaign.  In being named as the Mountain West Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year, Rogers ran for 780 yards and eight touchdowns.  he also threw for 1,471 yards and another six scores.

Where Rogers always struggled, though, was accuracy.  In 350 career attempts, he completed just 174 (49.7%).  That 2017 season, Rogers started nine of the 10 games in which he played.  The past two seasons, however, injuries helped limit him to 11 games (five starts).

Rogers is the second Rebels quarterback to hit the portal this offseason.  Earlier this month, Travis Mumphrey took a dip into the database.  With the twin moves, it leaves UNLV football with just 2019 starter Kenyon Oblad and former Cal transfer Max Gilliam at the position.  Oblad threw for 2,081 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions a year ago.  Gilliam attempted 214 passes in 2018, but none this past season.

After Mark Hudspeth’s abrupt resignation, Austin Peay names interim head coach for 2020 season

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Austin Peay is officially moving forward without Mark Hudspeth on the sidelines.

Late last week, Austin Peay announced that Mark Hudspeth was stepping down as the head coach of the Governors.  According to the coach, he stepped away for unspecified family reasons.  Tuesday, the FCS school announced that Marquase Lovings will take over as the interim head coach.  And he will do so for the entire 2020 season.

The Governors’ defensive line coach, Lovings also held the title of associate head coach for the 2019 season.

“I am excited for Marquase, but more importantly I am excited for our student-athletes and our football program,” said athletic director Gerald Harrison. “After meeting with our student-athletes and coaching staff following Mark (Hudspeth)’s resignation it was clear our best chance to bring another championship to Stacheville this year was promoting Marquase.

“Marquase understands and shares my expectations for Austin Peay Football. Along with our outstanding coaching staff and dedicated Governors student-athletes, I am confident we will continue on a positive trajectory. In short, Marquase is the right leader to lead this team.”

Hudspeth’s lone season at Austin Peay was a historic one.  The 11 wins for the Governors were a school record.  Hudspeth guided the program to its first-ever appearance in the FCS playoffs.  That run to the quarterfinals included a pair of playoff wins.

“I am excited to get started and humbled by the opportunity Gerald has given me,” said Lovings. “Really love the fact I get to lead these young men and blessed to have these coaches by my side. We will coach these young men with love and respect but will still be demanding. We want Clarksville and Austin Peay to be proud of this football team both on and off the field.”