Half of O’Brien Award semifinalists come from Big 12, SEC

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Not long after the Lombardi Award announced its 2014 semifinalists, an award that rewards outstanding play at the quarterback position has done the same.

The Davey O’Brien Award Tuesday released its list of 16 semifinalists for this year’s trophy.  Eight different conference affiliations are represented (AAC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, C-USA, Independents, Pac-12 and SEC), with the Big 12 and SEC leading all leagues with four each.

The Big Ten and Pac-12, with two apiece, were the only other conferences with more than one semifinalist.

Class-wise, there are nine seniors and five juniors. There is just one sophomore (Florida State’s Jameis Winston) and one freshman (Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett).

Winston, of course, was last year’s winner of the O’Brien as he collected numerous pieces of major trophy hardware on the Seminoles’ road to the BCS title. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Baylor’s Bryce Petty join Winston as semifinalists from a year ago who are in that group for the second consecutive year.  This is actually Mariota’s third consecutive year as a semifinalist, and he will be considered the favorite for the 2014 award.

Below are all 16 semifinalists, with brief bios provided by the O’Brien Award.

J.T. Barrett, Ohio State, Freshman, Wichita Falls, Texas, 6-1, 225
Lone freshman among the semifinalists; Fourth in the nation in passing efficiency (170.0) and points responsible for (174); Eighth in NCAA in touchdown passes (23)

Trevone Boykin, TCU, Junior, Dallas, Texas, 6-2, 205
Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week on Oct. 28; Fourth nationally in total offense (361.9) and eighth in points responsible for (156); Seven touchdown passes vs. Texas Tech

Shane Carden, East Carolina, Senior, Houston, Texas, 6-2, 221
Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week on Sept. 16; Third in the nation in total offense (362.0) and sixth in passing yards (2,791); 2014 Senior CLASS Award candidate

Rakeem Cato, Marshall, Senior, Miami, Fla., 6-1, 176
All-time NCAA record holder for consecutive games with a touchdown pass (40); Eighth in the nation in passing efficiency (160.1) and 10th in points responsible for (150)

Connor Cook, Michigan State, Junior, Hinckley, Ohio, 6-4, 218
Seventh in the nation in passing efficiency (163.1); 19 total touchdowns (17 passing); 19-2 career record as a starter; Semifinalist for 2014 Maxwell Award

Everett Golson, Notre Dame, Senior, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 6-0, 200
Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week on Oct. 21; Third in points responsible for (176) and 11th in touchdown passes (22); First Notre Dame player to throw and rush for three TDs in a game

Brett Hundley, UCLA, Junior, Chandler, Ariz., 6-3, 226
Second in nation in completion percentage (.710) and 12th in passing efficiency (156.5); Shares school’s all-time record for career TD passes (68); 2013 Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist

Marcus Mariota, Oregon, Junior, Honolulu, Hawaii, 6-4, 219
Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week on Sept. 9; First nationally in points responsible for (204) and passing efficiency (187.2); 2012 and 2013 Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist

Nick Marshall, Auburn, Senior, Pineview, Ga., 6-1, 210
Has 631 yards and nine touchdowns rushing and 1,357 yards and 13 scores passing; School quarterback record eight career 100-yard rushing games; 2014 Maxwell Award semifinalist

Bryce Petty, Baylor, Senior, Midlothian, Texas, 6-3, 230
Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week on Oct. 14; Seventh in points responsible for per game (19.7); Team leads nation in scoring offense (50.3); 2013 Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist

Dak Prescott, Mississippi State, Junior, Haughton, La., 6-3, 230
Two-time Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week (Sept. 23, Oct. 7); Sixth in points responsible for (162), seventh in total offense (343.8) and 10th in passing efficiency (157.8)

Blake Sims, Alabama, Senior, Gainesville, Ga., 6-0, 208
Third in the nation in passing efficiency (172.7) and 19th in completion percentage (.655); 20 total touchdowns (15 passing) with 2,034 yards passing and 250 yards rushing

Clint Trickett, West Virginia, Senior, Tallahassee, Fla., 6-2, 186
One of two multi-time winners of Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week (Sept. 16, Oct. 21); Fourth in NCAA in passing yards (2,925) and eighth in completion percentage (.675)

Bo Wallace, Ole Miss, Senior, Pulaski, Tenn., 6-4, 217
2014 Maxwell Award semifinalist; 2,416 yards passing and 20 touchdowns plus three rushing scores; Among NCAA’s top 20 in passer rating; Led Ole Miss to national top-5 ranking

Jake Waters, Kansas State, Senior, Council Bluffs, Iowa, 6-1, 210
Maxwell Award semifinalist; 404 rushing yards and seven touchdowns plus 1,878 passing yards and 11 TDs; Nine straight games passing for at least 200 yards

Jameis Winston, Florida State, Sophomore, Bessemer, Ala., 6-4, 230
21-0 career record as starting quarterback; Ninth nationally in total offense (331.9) and 10th in completion percentage (.672); 2013 Davey O’Brien Award winner

Highest-rated signee in Georgia State’s 2017 recruiting class enters transfer portal

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After landing a couple early on in the offseason, Georgia State football finds itself on the wrong side of the portal this go ’round.

According to 247Sports.com, offensive tackle Connor Robbins has placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.  While he didn’t confirm it on his personal Twitter account, the Georgia State football player did retweet the report.

The 6-9, 310-pound lineman will be leaving the Panthers as a graduate transfer.

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.

Robbins was a three-star member of the Georgia State football Class of 2017.  He was the highest-rated signee for the Panthers that cycle.

Robbins took a redshirt as a true freshman.  The past two seasons, the Florida native played in 15 games.  Most of that action, though, came on the point-after and field goal units.

In the third season under Shawn Elliott, GSU went 7-6 this past year. It was a five-win improvement from the 2-10 record the year before. In Elliott’s first season, the Panthers went 7-5. The seven wins are the best-ever for the Georgia State football program since moving to the FBS level in 2013.

Tulane confirms signing of Georgia Tech transfer Ajani Kerr

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The Power Five transfer train has officially made yet another stop at the Tulane football program.

In late MarchAjani Kerr entered his name into the NCAA transfer database.  Three months later, Tulane confirmed in a release that the Georgia Tech defensive back has officially signed and been added to the football roster.

Kerr comes to the Green Wave as a graduate transfer.  This coming season will serve as his final year of eligibility.

Kerr was a two-star member of Tech’s 2016 recruiting class coming out of high school in Georgia.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Kerr played in 29 games the past three seasons.  Five of those appearances came in 2019.

In that action, Kerr had been credited with 66 tackles (55 solo, 11 assisted) and one fumble recovery.

Kerr is one of four Power Five transfers to join Tulane football this offseason.

Jan. 24, Tulane football officially welcomed Oklahoma State transfer linebacker Kevin Henry. Four days later, former Oklahoma wide receiver Mykel Jones was formally added to the roster as well. In late January, Florida State cornerback Kyle Meyers tweeted his move to the Green Wave.  Last month, Tulane confirmed the signing of Duke transfer offensive lineman Jaylen Miller.

Additionally, running back Corey Dauphine was granted a sixth season of eligibility in March.  Dauphine has been the Green Wave’s second-leading rusher each of the past two seasons.

Both Clemson, Georgia will receive at least $4 million each for 2021 opener

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Not surprisingly, it will pay handsomely for Clemson and Georgia to open up next season’s slate.

In February of this year, both Clemson and Georgia announced that the two football programs will kick off the 2021 season against each other.  The game will be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Sept. 4.

According to information obtained by the Athens Banner-Herald, “[e]ach school will receive the greater of $4 million or 45 percent of the event’s net revenue” for the non-conference, neutral-site affair.  The Banner-Herald added that “[p]art of the event’s revenue is expected to be generated by media rights, ticket sales and sponsorships.”

The fact that each school will receive at least $4 million will help to offset the cost of getting this game on the schedule.  To make room for the non-conference matchup, Clemson canceled a previously-scheduled tilt with Wyoming while Georgia did the same with one against San Jose State.  Because of the cancellation, Clemson will pay Wyoming $1.1 million and Georgia will cut San Jose State a $1.8 million check.

That said, it’s the cost of putting on such a quality matchup.  One that has been and will continue to be must-see TV for the foreseeable future.

Along with the addition of a new home-and-home announced in April of last year, the Tigers and Bulldogs are now scheduled to face each other six times between 2021 and 2033, including the 2024 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.  There’s also a previously announced home-and-home series scheduled for 2029 (in Clemson) and 2030 (in Georgia).

The two football programs have met 64 times previously, the first in 1897 and the most recent in 2014.  UGA leads the all-time series 42-18-4.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including 200-plus former Penn State football players calling for Joe Paterno statue to be put back on campus

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, 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 July 5, 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 hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Hawaii confirms death of LB Scheyenne Sanitoa, 21
THE SYNOPSIS: You never, EVER, want to write a headline like this.

2019

THE HEADLINE: Latest 2019 title odds have Alabama, Clemson neck and neck
THE SYNOPSIS: LSU, the eventual national champion, was given 20/1 odds.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Texas makes Corona Light the official beer of Longhorns sports
THE SYNOPSIS: Corona. F ck 2020…

2016

THE HEADLINE: 200-plus former Nittany Lion football players call on Penn State to put statue of Joe Paterno back
THE SYNOPSIS: Yeah, that didn’t happen. So, where is the JoePa statue now? The Athletic had an excellent piece on that recently.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Duke WR in critical condition following jet ski accident
THE SYNOPSIS: Fortunately, this headline had a positive ending.  And an inspiring one as well.