For the fifth time since 2004, a player from the SEC was drafted number one overall in the NFL Draft. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was drafted with the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans Thursday night in New York City. Clowney is the first defensive player to be drafted with the top pick in the draft since the Texans drafted Mario Williams out of NC State in the 2006 draft.
Clowney will be a great addition to the Texans, a franchise in need of getting tougher on defense but not one with a tremendous amount of ground to make up in the AFC South. New head coach Bill O’Brien, who coached Penn State the past two seasons, may still be searching for his franchise quarterback but he may be able to pick up a nice option in the second round. Having Clowney though makes Houston a more difficult team to guard against with J.J. Watt already demanding attention from opposing offensive lines. With Watt one one side and Clowney likely on the other, Houston could have a tenacious defensive line.
Clowney is the second number one overall draft pick in South Carolina history. He joins running back George Rogers, who was drafted first overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 1981 NFL Draft. Since 2004 the SEC has now had five number one overall picks in the draft, but the rest have been quarterbacks. Eli Manning (Ole Miss) was drafted by San Diego in 2004 before being traded away to the New York Giants. LSU’s JaMarcuss Russell was drafted by Oakland in 2007, Georgia’s Matt Stafford was drafted by Detroit in 2009 and Cam Newton was taken by Carolina in 2011.
Auburn linebacker Audray Bruce was the last defensive player from the SEC to be drafted number one overall, going to the Atlanta Falcons in the 1988 NFL Draft.
It appears Georgia’s quarterback room will have a new addition, courtesy of a Group of Five program.
According to Nevada Sports Net‘s Chris Murray, Austin Kirksey has decided to leave the Nevada football team. The reason given for the true freshman’s departure was a personal family issue.
As for the quarterback’s future, Murray reports that the Marietta, Ga., native plans to walk-on at Georgia after finishing out the semester at Nevada.
“He’s going to move back to Georgia to be close to his family,” head coach Jay Norvell said. “Really sad to see him go. What a great kid. He’s like a straight-A student, an awesome young man and very close to his family. A great family. We’re sad to see him go, but I certainly understand him wanting to be closer to his family.”
A three-star member of the Wolf Pack’s 2019 recruiting class, Kirksey was rated as the No. 59 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 170 player at any position in the state of Georgia. Only three players in Norvell’s class this past cycle were rated higher than Kirksey.
Kirksey hadn’t seen the field this season prior to his decision to leave the program.
Amidst negotiations on yet another contract extension, Frank Solich has added yet another notch to his résumé.
Thanks in part to Nathan Rourke‘s four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing), Ohio took Bowling Green State to the woodshed in a 66-24 road rout Tuesday night. The Bobcats averaged 8.6 yards per carry in rushing for 342 yards, led by O’Shaan Allison‘s career-high 175 yards on the ground. Allison also ran for three touchdowns after coming into the game with just two in his career.
The win is the 111th for Solich during his time at Athens, making him the all-time winningest head coach in MAC history. The 75-year-old Solich surpassed Herb Deromedi, who won 110 games at Central Michigan from 1978-93.
“It seemed like it stalled itself out a little bit for a while, but we’re interested in winning football games, and this record goes with it,” Solich, in the midst of his 15th season with the football program, said in quotes distributed by the school. “I feel really good about it, but a lot of people were involved in this. A lot of great players over the years that have come through Ohio that have set the tradition to where we were able to recruit well and win football games.
“There have been tremendous athletes and tremendous coaches. If you have that combination, you’re going to have a few wins. A lot of people have been involved in winning some football games, so I appreciate everything that people have been done during my time at Ohio. I will say this, it is as good as I could ever hope for in a coaching business in terms of those 15 years and how it all worked.”
With the win, Ohio also moved to 5-6 and within one more win of becoming bowl-eligible. With a win over winless Akron next Tuesday, Ohio would qualify for the postseason for the fifth straight season and 11th time overall under Solich.
The third edition of the 2019 College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday, and the top seven teams remained the same from last week’s rankings. This means, as expected, Alabama remained No. 5 following the devastating loss of Tua Tagovailoa.
Minnesota remained in striking distance following their loss to Iowa (now at No. 17) at No. 10, with No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 2 Ohio State (potentially) still on their schedule. Oklahoma and Penn State moved one spot apiece, keeping the Top 10 stagnant.
Auburn fell three spots to No. 15, one spot behind No. 14 Baylor, who will spend the week wondering how high they would’ve climbed if the rankings were taken at halftime on Saturday night.
Memphis swapped spots with Cincinnati as the highest-rated Group of 5 team at No. 18; the Tigers and Bearcats SMU rejoined the rankings after falling out last week. They were joined by Iowa State at No. 22, who replaced then-No. 19 Texas, and USC at No. 23.
The full rankings:
2. Ohio State
8. Penn State
16. Notre Dame
20. Boise State
21. Oklahoma State
22. Iowa State
24. Appalachian State
It’ll be a fun story to share for years to come, and thank God for that. Because at the time it looked so much worse.
Late in the first half of No. 4 Georgia’s 21-14 win over No. 12 Auburn, Georgia running back Brian Herrien ran into a photographer on the sideline. The photographer’s identity was not immediately known, but the game stopped for several minutes as she laid motionless on the Jordan-Hare Stadium sideline before she was eventually carted out of the stadium.
She was later identified as Chamberlain Smith, an intern in the UGA sports information department. Smith was taken to the East Alabama Medical Center in nearby Opelika, where she was diagnosed with a concussion, an eye bruise and a cut above her right eye, presumably from when her camera forcefully collided wither her head.
“I haven’t had a chance to respond to everyone, but I just wanted to say thank you all so much for the overwhelming outpouring of support in the form of kind comments, messages & prayers!! .. last night was very scary, but I’m so glad to be walking away with nothing more than a concussion & some bruises,” Smith tweeted Sunday. “I will be home resting & recovering for the next several days, but I’m looking forward to being back on the sidelines soon!”
Smith is recovering in her Ringgold, Ga., home recovering, and on Tuesday she tweeted the photo she paid such a price for.
Herrien retweeted the image with a message of support.
Smith, thankfully, will make a full recovery, and now she’ll have a photo to hang on her wall and a heckuva thousand words to go with it.