While Auburn’s run to the national title game last season was spurred by the team’s innovative offense and overwhelming rushing attack, the Tigers’ defense was led by defensive tackle Gabe Wright. Wright proved to be one of the most disruptive interior defenders in the nation, but his role is expected to expand this fall.
Wright will start the season at defensive tackle, but he’ll also be expected to receive repetitions at defensive end.
Wright was forced to play defensive end during spring practice due to injuries along the defensive line, and the Tigers’ coaching staff came away impressed with his play.
“(Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Gardner) actually wanted to put me in last year, but he just stated I wasn’t mentally ready,” Wright told al.com’s Brandon Marcello. “I respect and I don’t second-guess his decision. If I’m called upon, I will answer the call. There’s no doubt about that. It just shows his confidence in me.”
Wright also wasn’t physically ready to play defensive end last year. He’s down to 290 pounds with enough the athleticism to set the edge and rush the passer.
“I’ve been wanting to drop down body weight since I’ve been here — and body fat — which has been done,” Wright said.
Wright’s versatility will provide insurance along the Tigers’ defensive line after losing Dee Ford to the NFL and Carl Lawson to a potential season-ending ACL injury. Wright’s ability to provide depth at defensive end also allows the ultra-talented Montravius Adams to gain more repetitions at defensive tackle.
While Wright remains one of the best interior defenders in college football, his biggest contribution this season may be his ability to play defensive end until Lawson is fully healthy or one of the Tigers’ young pass rushers are ready to take over the spot.
One Indiana football player has climbed out of the program’s doghouse.
In late February, Peyton Hendershot was arrested on multiple charges in connection to an alleged domestic violence incident. The tight end was facing one count each of residential entry, domestic battery, criminal mischief and criminal conversion. The residential entry charge was a felony; the other three were misdemeanors. That felony charge was shortly thereafter reduced to misdemeanor criminal trespassing.The Indiana football program subsequently announced that Hendershot had been indefinitely suspended from all team activities.
In early June, Hendershot pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor criminal trespass. The other three misdemeanors were dropped. A month later, Indiana head coach Tom Allen confirmed that Hendershot has been cleared by the football program and has been fully restored to the team.
“He has completed his team-sanctioned discipline,” the coach said. “He has completed the conduct process that we went through for the student conduct as a student athlete of Indiana University. He completed that. He’s closed his matter with the judicial system. We have a campus committee that determines when a student athlete is reinstated to their team and to be able to be cleared and that is the case. He’s been completely cleared and he is back with the team now fully as he completed all the things that he was asked to do.”
The Hoosiers returned for voluntary on-campus workouts in mid-June.
Hendershot was a three-star member of the Class of 2017 for Indiana Hoosiers football. An injury his true freshman season allowed the Indiana native to take a redshirt. In 2018, Hendershot started 10 games, catching 15 passes for 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
This past season, Hendershot set a school record for tight ends by catching 52 passes for 622 yards. After starting all 13 games, Hendershot was named third-team All-Big Ten.
This is certainly an unexpected — and significant — loss for the Marshall football team.
According to multiple media outlets, Isaiah Green has left the Thundering Herd and entered his name into the NCAA transfer database. The quarterback’s name is no longer listed on the Marshall football roster that’s available online.
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.
If the move is permanent, it’s a significant one for Marshall football.
Green was a three-star member of the Class of 2017 for the Thundering Herd. The Fairburn, Ga., product took a redshirt as a true freshman.
The past two seasons, Green has started 22 of the 23 games in which he played. Included in that were starts in all 13 games in 2019. In that action, Green completed 56.5 percent of his 666 passes for 4,897 yards, 30 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He’s also added another 416 yards and six scores on 159 carries.
With Green apparently out of the picture, Grant Wells Will Likely take over. Wells didn’t attempt a pass last season as a true freshman.
Marshall is coming off an 8-5 campaign in Doc Holliday‘s 10th season with the football program. Included in that was a Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl loss that ended the Herd’s bowl winning streak at seven straight.
While all of the focus is on the 2020 season — and rightly so — Florida State and Notre Dame are peeking ahead to the following campaign.
Back in 2014, as part of the football independent’s scheduling agreement with the ACC, it was announced that Notre Dame and Florida State would square off on Sept. 6 of 2021. That just happens to be the date on which Labor Day falls next season.
Tuesday, however, the Seminoles confirmed that the game versus the Fighting Irish has instead been shifted to Sept. 5. That’s the Sunday before the holiday and the day after the first full weekend of the 2021 football season. At this point, it’s unclear exactly why the date of the game was changed.
The game, which will be played in Tallahassee at Doak Campbell Stadium, is expected to be played in primetime. A time and television network will be announced at a later date.
Florida State and Notre Dame have met nine times previously, with the first coming in 1981. The most recent meeting was in 2018. The most famous of the nine? The 1993 matchup that saw No. 2 Notre Dame knock off No. 1 Florida State in South Bend.
The Seminoles have won six of the nine meetings in the series. In four of those matchups, both teams were ranked in the Top Ten.
It appears TCU has landed one of the more intriguing football transfers on the market.
Following a late-June conversation with the LSU coaching staff, Marcel Brooks entered his name into the NCAA transfer database. It was thought at the time that the Lone Star State native would likely head back closer to home.
Tuesday, that’s close to becoming a reality as 247Sports.com is reporting that Brooks will transfer into the TCU football team. In fact, according to the website, the linebacker was on campus Tuesday and “will be able to start working out with the team as soon as he passes a physical.”
Thus far, the TCU football program has not confirmed Brooks’ addition to the roster.
It’s expected Brooks will have to sit out the 2020 season to satisfy current NCAA bylaws. That would then leave him with three years of eligibility starting in 2021 to use with the Horned Frogs.
Brooks was a five-star member of the LSU football Class of 2019. The Flower Mound, Tex., native was rated as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the country. He was also the No. 5 prospect regardless of position in the state of Texas. The only two signees in the Tigers’ class that year rated higher? Freshman All-American cornerback Derek Stingley and running back John Emery.
As a true freshman, Brooks appeared in 11 games in the run to the national championship. He was credited with eight tackles and 1½ sacks.