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.

Lott IMPACT Trophy announces semifinalists

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You know we are getting close to award season in college football because it seems this week has been filled with announcements about semifinalists for every award possible. Welcome to the party, Lott IMPACT Trophy. A total of nine semifinalists were announced by the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is awarded to the best defensive player with a focus on success on and off the field, integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.

The nine semifinalists for this year’s Lott IMPACT Trophy are:

  • Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
  • Cole Christiansen, LB, Army
  • Jordan Fuller, DB, Ohio State
  • Brandon Jones, DB, Texas
  • Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
  • Chris Orr, LB, Wisconsin
  • Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
  • Curtis Weaver, DL, Boise State
  • Evan Weaver, LB, Cal

Linebacker remains a strong position for the Lott IMPACT Trophy this season, with five of the nine semifinalists playing a linebacker position.

This year’s recipient of the Lott IMPACT Trophy will be announced on Dec. 15 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach. This list of nine semifinalists will be trimmed down to four finalists prior to the announcement.

Kentucky’s Josh Allen took home the award last season.

Class of 2019 four-star Baylor commit says he’s heading to Utah

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Former Baylor quarterback Peyton Powell has a new football home in the Pac-12. Powell announced on Thursday he is heading to Utah to join the Utes program.

“It’s time for me to clear the air and I WILL be doing that at THE University of Utah,” Powell said in a statement share don his Twitter account on Thursday afternoon.

Powell came to Baylor with the hopes of being able to compete and play quarterback for the Bears. That opportunity was one of the reasons Baylor ended up winning his commitment out of high school, while many schools hoping to sign the four-star athlete could find ways to use his athleticism at different positions. Powell, a member of the Baylor Class of 2019, has not played this season and will have four years of eligibility remaining. NCAA rules would force Powell to sit out the 2010 season before being ruled eligible to play, but he may be given a chance to play right away considering he did not play during his freshman year at Baylor.

Arizona continues shaking up coaching staff with reported firing of defensive line coach

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As a year of disappointing results comes down the final stretch for the Arizona Wildcats, changes are already in the air for Kevin Sumlin and the program. On Thursday, Arizona continued to go through the process of overhauling its defensive coaching staff with the firing of defensive line coach Iona Uiagalelei.

News of the coaching change was first reported by Jason Scheer of Wildcat Authority. According to that same report, defensive analyst Greg Patrick will be moved into the position of defensive line coach, at least for the remainder of the current season.

Arizona ranks 73rd nationally in rushing defense, 113th in sacks, and 119th in tackles for a loss. These are all stats most commonly used to evaluate the performance of the defensive line, and the results this late in the season just simply aren’t good any way you look at it.

A month ago, Arizona parted ways with defensive coordinator Marcel Yates and linebackers coach John Rushing. Uiagalelei is the third defensive coach to be removed from the staff during the 2019 season.

Jonathan Taylor, Chuba Hubbard among semifinalists for Doak Walker Award

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Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is attempting to do something that has only been done twice before by winning the Doak Walker Award in back-to-back seasons. Taylor was one of the 10 semifinalists revealed by the Doak Walker Award on Thursday, putting last year’s top running back one step closer to pulling off the rare feat on the college football award circuit.

Taylor will have some stiff competition for the award this season. Among the other semifinalists for the award include Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard, the nation’s rushing leader with 1,726 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns (Taylor has 1,463 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns in the same number of games as Hubbard).

Darren McFadden of Arkansas is the most recent player to win the Doak  Walker Award in back-to-back seasons, doing so in 2006 and 2007. The only other player to win the award in consecutive seasons, and the only other two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award, is Ricky Williams of Texas. Williams won the award in 1997 and 1998. Taylor joined former Wisconsin running backs Melvin Gordon (2014), Montee Ball (2012) and Ron Dayne (1999) to move Wisconsin into first place for most all-time Doak Walker Award winners. Texas also has four awards won, but by three players (Ricky Williams twice, Cedric Benson in 2004 and D’Onta Foreman in 2016).

The other semi-finalists for the Doak Walker Award this year include LeVante Bellamy of Western Michigan (21 touchdowns leads the nation), AJ Dillon of Boston College, JK Dobbins of Ohio State, Clyde Edwards-Helaire of LSU, Travis Etienne of Clemson, Kenneth Gainwell of Memphis, Xavier Jones of SMU, Zack Moss of Utah.