Kevin Sumlin hasn’t taken playing two A&M QBs off the table

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When it comes to the quarterback position at Texas A&M entering summer camp, there’s only one absolute certainty — Kyle Allen is the starter under center.  What happens after that is somewhat up in the air.

Allen, a five-star member of A&M’s 2014 recruiting class, started the last half of his true freshman season and finished his initial FBS season on a high, throwing for nearly 300 yards and accounting for five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) in earning Offensive MVP honors in the Liberty Bowl win over West Virginia. Kyler Murray, though, is the heralded four-star 2015 signee who many think can, and will, challenge Allen for the starting job right out of the gate.

At the SEC Media Days Tuesday, Kevin Sumlin was, of course, asked about his quarterback situation.  While the head coach seemed to intimate that Allen is indeed the favorite to be the starter, and there will be a competition between all of his quarterbacks, a package involving the true freshman Murray is most certainly on the table.

From the Dallas Morning NewsKate Hairopoulos:

Would he play two quarterbacks:
“I really haven’t done it before. We’ll see. We’ve never started out that way. That doesn’t mean that we won’t. We’ll see where we are in fall. Kyle is confident right now and should be. … Kyler is a guy who all he’s done is won. It’s like anything else. It’s not like Kyler didn’t know Kyle Allen was the MVP of the bowl game. That didn’t stop him. He’s coming to compete, and that’s what makes both of those guys who they are. Kyle is the same way. He committed before Johnny’s [Manziel] junior year. He didn’t know what was going to happen. Those guys aren’t going to back down from each other. That’s going to make us a better football team. We’ll make a decision.”

The guess here is that, when A&M opens the season with a neutral-site clash with an Arizona State team that finished 2014 season ranked 12th by the Associated Press, the decision will be that Allen takes the field as the starter and Murray will bide his time, with perhaps a small package of play at Sumlin’s disposal. After that, Sumlin and his offensive staff will determine in which direction the position will head based on the play of both individuals, Allen specifically.

In Allen’s five starts, he tossed five interceptions — one in each game — in going 3-2. If Allen can get a handle on the turnovers — and there’s no reason to think there won’t be a big jump in that area from freshman to sophomore years — Murray won’t sniff the starting job. If the season starts to head south because of Allen’s play? Sumlin & Company could have a decision at the position to make, one that would be somewhat similar to last year when Kenny Hill‘s season went off the rails after it began with way-too-early Heisman hype, leading to Allen’s ascension to starter perhaps earlier than most thought.

CB Tony Butler posts classy, heartfelt goodbye in announcing transfer from Nebraska

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Thanks to a Nebraska football player, we won’t have to go through an entire day without a portal post.  Hurray?

Late this past week, Tony Butler announced in a very classy, heartfelt post on Twitter that he will be entering the NCAA transfer database.  The move would serve as the first step in a departure from the Nebraska football program.

The cornerback could also return to the Nebraska football team if he so desires.

That said, Butler would be leaving the Cornhuskers as a graduate transfer.  The 2020 season will be his final year of collegiate eligibility.

“In 2016, I came here as an 18-year-old kid lost and looking for a home.  Nebraska, you became my home and brought me in with open arms,” Butler wrote. “This place became very special. …

“Nebraska, you have done an incredible job at helping a lost boy become a man.  My family and I are forever grateful for this opportunity.”

A three-star 2016 signee, Butler was rated as the No. 22 player regardless of position in the state of Ohio.  He took a redshirt as a true freshman.

The past three seasons, Butler played in 27 games.  Four of those appearances came in 2019, which was likely the trigger for the decision to transfer.  Most of the games played came on special teams.

Butler is the third player to leave the Nebraska football program in a week.

Linebacker Pernell Jefferson, a three-star 2016 signee, entered the portal Wednesday.  Days before that, offensive lineman John Raridon decided to retire from football to pursue a career in architecture.

Five-star Penn State WR Justin Shorter tweets transfer to Florida

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The Florida Gators football program is the latest to benefit from Ye Olde Transfer Portal.

In late November, Justin Shorter took the initial step in transferring from Penn State by entering the NCAA database.  Two months to the day later, the wide receiver took to Twitter to announce that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career as part of the Florida Gators football team.

As of yet, UF has not announced Shorter’s addition to the roster.

A five-star member of the Nittany Lions’ 2018 recruiting class, Shorter was rated as the No. 1 receiver in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in the state of New Jersey; and the No. 8 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Only defensive end Micah Parsons was rated higher than Shorter in Franklin’s class that year.

Limited to four games as a true freshman in large part because of injuries, Shorter caught three passes for 20 yards in 2018.  In 11 games this season, Shorter caught 12 passes for 137 yards.

Barring the unexpected, Shorter will have to sit out the 2020 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws.  He would then have two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2021.

World of college football reacts to tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, 13-year-old daughter in helicopter crash

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As is the case across the entire world of sports, college football is reacting to the devastating news involving Kobe Bryant.

Sunday morning, Bryant was one of nine people killed — initial reports had the number at five — in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on his way to a travel basketball event.  The former NBA superstar, who retired from the sport following the 2015-16 season, was 41.

Adding to the devastation, one of Bryant’s daughters, who was also a player on her father’s travel basketball team, 13-year-old Gianna Maria Bryant, was killed in the crash as well.

Kobe and Gianna are survived by wife/mother Vanessa and three daughters/sisters.  The oldest is 17, the youngest will turn one in June.

In the hours after the heartbreaking news was confirmed, the world of college football mourned the passing of Kobe Bryant. Below is just a sampling.

 

Georgia state rep. proposes pay-for-play legislation with a twist that will make no one happy

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Ever since California’s SB 206 passed last September, more than a dozen states followed with their own versions of the Golden State’s Fair Pay to Play Act, to go along with a number of concurrent pushes in Washington. No matter your stance on the pay-for-play issue or what side of the political aisle you sit on, it seems we can all agree that politicians are not the people to solve this issue, and yet the NCAA kept dragging its feet, and dragging its feet, and draaaaggging its feeetttt and, well, here we are. And Sandra Scott‘s bill a large reason why.

Scott, a state representative in Georgia (D-Rex) has introduced HB 766, a type of compromise bill that will make no one happy.

The appeal, at least from the outside, of California’s SB 206, is that it would allow college athletes to capitalize on their popularity during the lifetime of that popularity while costing the school very little money, since the money would come from third-parties.

Scott’s bill does neither. In fact, it goes out of its way to do the opposite.

According to HB 766, Georgia would require its schools to set aside a third of all monies earned in postseason play into an escrow account, which would then be given to players upon graduation.

Read for yourself below.

To recap, Scott’s bill would cost the schools millions of dollars and also shut out a lot of the players who generate those millions. Why should, say, Jake Fromm be barred from having a hand in the money he produced for Georgia just because he went pro?

In short, Scott’s (well-meaning) bill would anger both schools and athletes while continuing the overly paternalistic attitudes adults have adopted toward college athletes that applies to no other demographic in college sports.