Former OSU QB doesn’t want Braxton Miller to be a ‘glorified Denard Robinson’

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Troy Smith knows what it takes to be a successful, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at The Ohio State University. He also makes sure to take every opportunity to slam that team up north.

When asked about current Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, Smith told Cleveland.com, “I don’t want him to be a glorified Denard Robinson. I want to see him be a quarterback. I know he loves to be a quarterback, regardless if when he runs the football he looks like a superhero. I think he loves to throw the football, but that takes time.”

During Robinson’s career with the Michigan Wolverines, the quarterback was as much of a running threat as he was a passer, if not more so. Robinson was eventually drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars to serve as a hybrid running back/wide receiver.

Smith is concerned with Miller’s development as a passer and how effective the senior can be at the NFL level.

“With this spread offense, I think hopefully he gets a chance to understand what he really needs to do as a quarterback to still be a quarterback,” Smith said. “Sometimes, to me, when I watch Braxton, his athleticism is his downfall at times. He’s so athletic, he’s so fast, he’s so strong, I think he takes away, sometimes, from being that guy that can just understand and maintain that the pocket is your savior.

“I didn’t get the whole gist of what happened with Braxton and his shoulder, but to me, it’s a product of the hits over the years, possibly. I truly believe in his ability to throw the football, his decision making and I know he’s the guy to lead us to a national championship.”

While Smith had a tremendous career at Ohio State — he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame Friday — he didn’t exactly have the type of professional career to critique Miller’s potential. Smith spent four uneventful seasons in the NFL as a backup quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. He’s been a part of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes since 2013.

But Smith does have a point about Urban Meyer‘s offensive scheme. Previous quarterbacks under Meyer — Bowling Green’s Josh Harris, Utah’s Alex Smith and Florida’s Chris Leak and Tim Tebow — didn’t exactly make a big impact at the NFL level. Only Alex Smith is still in the league leading a team.

The key for Miller at this point in his career is getting healthy. The Ohio State quarterback required a second surgery on his throwing shoulder in August. Miller still has eight months before the 2015 NFL draft to get healthy and continue to work on his throwing mechanics and footwork in the pocket if he decides to leave Columbus.

The injury may have been exactly what Miller needed to improve in the areas Troy Smith identified.

Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich intimates opting out over COVID-19 concerns is fine, not so much for Pac-12 players movement

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Another layer has been added to a Washington State story that exploded across the college football world late this weekend.

Sunday afternoon, players from across the Pac-12 confirmed that they will sit out the 2020 season en masse unless a laundry list of concerns are addressed.  A short time later, allegations began to emerge that Washington State football players were being “released from the team” over their support for the movement. One of those making such a claim was the mother of wide receiver Kassidy Woods.  A Wazzu spokesperson subsequently told the Dallas Morning News “is a member of our football roster.”

Woods himself confirmed to the Morning News that he is opting out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns related to the sickle-cell trait he possesses.  The player had previously confirmed to Washington State head football head coach Nick Rolovich in a phone call that he would be opting out.  Rolovich told Woods “I got nothing wrong with that” on the coronavirus front.  Where Rolovich started down a slippery slope was when Woods confirmed he is joining the Pac-12 football unity movement.

At that point, Rolovich intimated that Woods’ future with the Cougars is in jeopardy.  And how do we know that?  Because Woods recorded the phone conversation with his coach.  And the Morning News transcribed it.

Rolovich: OK so that’s going to be, that’s gonna be an issue if you align with them as far as future stuff, cause the COVID stuff is one thing. But, um, joining this group is gonna put you on a, on a — that’s obviously, you know, you get to keep your scholarship this year, but it — it’s gonna be different. You know, if you, if you say, ‘I’m opting out ‘cause of COVID and health and safety,’ I’m good. But this group is gonna change, uh, I guess, how things go in the future for everybody, at least at our school. Um, so just think about that is, if it’s about getting paid and not (inaudible) about racial justice and that stuff. Then it’s probably, it’s there’s two sides, there’s two sides here. I’m good with the Sickle Cell and the COVID, and but this, this group is gonna be at a different level as far as how we’re kind of going to move forward in the future. Does that make sense?

Woods: Yes sir.

Rolovich: OK so it’s not, you know, there’s one way we’ll handle it if it’s COVID-related. And then there’s one way we’re going to handle it if it’s joining this group. So I appreciate you letting me know. And I was going to address this tomorrow night at the Zoom.

(To read the entire transcript, including Rolovich confirming players who opt-out will, understandably, not be permitted to practice or work out with the team this season, click HERE.)

Woods, a redshirt sophomore, went on to tell the newspaper that he is unsure if he will still have a scholarship beyond this year.  Thus far, and the brief roster statement to the Morning News aside, neither Wazzu nor Rolovich has commented publicly on any of the developments of the past 24 hours.

Arizona QB Kevin Doyle Jr. is third Power Five player to opt out of 2020 season over COVID-19 concerns

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By way of Arizona, a third college football player has opted out of the 2020 season.  Certainly, though, he won’t be the last.

On Twitter over the weekend, Kevin Doyle Jr. announced that he will not play for the Arizona football team in 2020.  The quarterback cited concerns over COVID-19 in making what he described as “a really tough decision.”

Doyle’s announcement came prior to players from the Pac-12 threatening to sit out the season en masse.  It also came after one of his Arizona football teammates was suspended for repeatedly violating the school’s COVID-19 protocols.

”We are in challenging times,” Doyle began his missive. “I have been watching and reading about the Covid pandemic and I understand that it is new for everybody.  The only thing I can do is listen to professionals and watch professionals and make decisions off that information.  Dozens of high-profile NFL players are opting out of playing football and giving up tens millions of dollars.  There must be more risk than I can even perceive.

”I love the University of Arizona and I support my teammates and coaches. With that being said, [Friday] I gave my official notice that’s I will be opting out of the upcoming football season.

”I am looking forward to getting past this pandemic and redoing my teammates as quickly as possible.”

Doyle was a three-star member of the Arizona football Class of 2018.  He took a redshirt as a true freshman, then didn’t see the field this past season.  A shoulder injury, though, factored into his inaction in 2019.

Late last month, Illinois running back Ra’Von Bonner became the first FBS player to opt out over COVID concerns.  A couple of days later, standout Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley became the second.

College Football amidst Coronavirus Pandemic: On this day in CFT history, including the family of Joe Paterno filing an appeal of the NCAA’s sanctions of Penn State

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The sports world, including college football, had essentially screeched to a halt in the spring as countries around the world battled the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there was a dearth of college football news as the sport went into a COVID-induced hibernation.  Slowly, though, the game is coming back to life.  Hopefully.

That being said, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on August 3, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football down-time, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Les Miles adds second transferring son to Kansas football roster
THE SYNOPSIS: It was a veritable All in the Mad Hatter Family reunion in Lawrence. In November of 2018, Miles was officially introduced as Kansas’ next head football coach.  Early on in the 2019 offseason, quarterback Manny Miles transferred in from North Carolina.  Then former Nebraska and Texas A&M fullback Ben Miles followed his dad and brother to KU.  Ben Miles ran for one yard on three carries and caught a pass for two yards in his first season with the Jayhawks.  In three games, Manny Miles completed 9-of-17 passes (52.9%) for 114 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

2019

THE HEADLINE: Ex-Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus acquitted of sex assault charges
THE SYNOPSIS: This was the end of a very trying year and a half off the field for the standout wide receiver.  Cephus, incidentally, returned to the Badgers for the 2019 season.  He then left UW early for the 2020 NFL Draft.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Urban Meyer tweets statement, says he has always followed proper procedures
THE SYNOPSIS: This came shortly after the Ohio State coach was placed on on paid administrative leave amidst the Zach Smith imbroglio.  Eventually, Meyer would be suspended for three games.  And then retired.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Nick Saban not suspending Alabama DL Da’Shawn Hand after DUI
THE SYNOPSIS: It just means more.  More leniency, apparently.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Report: Maurice Smith ostracized, found ‘personal belongings in the trash’ after decision to transfer from ‘Bama
THE SYNOPSIS: After initial blocking him, Alabama ultimately relented and allowed the defensive backs to transfer to Georgia.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Paterno family files appeal against NCAA for PSU sanctions
THE SYNOPSIS: The family of three late Joe Paterno subsequently filed a counter to the Freeh report that led to historic sanctions a on the Penn State football program. And then sued the NCAA in May of 2013.  Before dropping the suit four years later.  Three years after that, the Penn State Board of Trustees announced the university and the Paterno family have reached a resolution on their ongoing issues.

2010

THE HEADLINE: After shaky media days appearance, Paterno Watch resumes in earnest
THE SYNOPSIS: With a tainted legacy in tow, Joe Paterno retired 16 months later.  Two months later, the disgraced Penn State legend died at the age of 85.

Nevada picks up JUCO QB after losing one to the FCS

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The reshaping of the quarterback room at Nevada football continued at a brisk pace this past week.

Last month, Kaiden Bennett, who previously transferred in from Boise State, opted to leave the Nevada football team. A short time later, it was confirmed that the quarterback had decided to continue his collegiate playing career at FCS Sacramento State.

The same day Bennett’s father confirmed the move to the FCS, Nevada announced that it has added another quarterback to its football roster. Below is the school’s release on the signal-calling addition:

The Nevada football team announced the signing today of junior college quarterback Jacob Barlage to a scholarship agreement to join the Wolf Pack for the upcoming season.

Barlage, 6-foot-1 and 205-pounds, comes to Nevada after one standout season at Riverside (Calif.) College where he completed more than 69 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards with 30 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He will be a true sophomore at Nevada with three seasons of eligibility and a redshirt year available.

Barlage will be eligible to play this fall for the Wolf Pack, which is scheduled to open up fall camp beginning on Friday.

In 2019, Barlage led Riverside to a perfect 13-0 record and a California state championship. He threw for 286 yards and a touchdown in the championship game, a 31-14 win over San Mateo, and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Barlage starred at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., where he played for his father, Daniel. Valley View won a CIF championship with Barlage under center for the Eagles. His mother, Jen, played volleyball collegiately at Northern Michigan and is the head coach at Valley View HS.