In the race to replace Mason Rudolph under center, there’s a clear leader in Stillwater.
Exiting spring practice, it was widely thought that Taylor Cornelius was the odds-on favorite to claim Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback job. At the Big 12 Media Days Tuesday, Mike Gundy confirmed as much, stating that Cornelius “is our guy” heading into summer camp.
A former walk-on, Cornelius will enter the 2018 season as a fifth-year senior.
“When we came out of spring, we felt very comfortable with Taylor,” the OSU head coach said. “He’s been with us a number of years, he understands our offense. We’re confident in his abilities.”
While Cornelius is the favorite now, he will have a fight on his hands to remain the starter for OSU’s opener Aug. 30 against Missouri State.
After not taking part in spring practice, Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders will enter the fray in early August. Brown comes to OSU as a graduate transfer from Hawaii, where he was a two-year starter for the Rainbow Warriors. Sanders was a four-star member of the Cowboys’ 2018 recruiting class, rated as the No.8 dual-threat quarterback in the country on 247Sports.com’s composite board.
During his time with the Cowboys, Cornelius has thrown for 220 yards on 15-of-24 passing. Six of those completions, 10 of the attempts and 148 yards came during a 2017 season in which he served as Rudolph’s primary backup.
This is some McGyver-level moxie right here.
Joshua and Jacob Johnson are twin brothers who are getting set to begin the eighth grade in Geismar, Louisiana. At 5-11 and already weighing in the neighborhood of 240-245 pounds, they are also very talented football players on both the offensive and defensive lines.
Too young to actually participate in an LSU football camp last month, the twins were taken to it by their trainer, former collegiate defensive back Keith Ballard, under the assumption that they would be spectators and not participants. Unbeknownst to both the trainer and the players’ father, however, the sibling duo fudged some of their particulars — i.e., they “enhanced” their ages upwards — in order to participate in the clinic.
“They must have taken their money out of their piggy bank, because when I turned around, they had forged the paperwork and had signed up for the camp and started doing drills with the rest of the linemen,” Ballard said by way of USA Today High School Sports. “I asked them, ‘What are you doing?'”
From the report:
The twins’ father, Herm Johnson, said he was a little shocked but not angry that his sons had signed up for the camp, even if they had to lie about their age to get in.
“These dudes have put us on a roller coaster ever since they came about,” he said. “I’m not going to lie. I think they have the heart and skill level to compete.
Despite the shenanigans that got them there, the twins caught the attention of the Tigers’ current football boss.
And, yes, the Johnson brothers would be a part of the 2023 recruiting class. Whether Coach Eaux will still be there to sign them as part of that year’s class certainly remains to be seen.
According to the family of Jordan McNair, the Maryland offensive lineman died earlier this offseason as a result of heatstroke.
McNair was hospitalized in late May after collapsing during a strength & conditioning workout. After being hospitalized in critical condition for a little over two weeks, and after receiving a liver transplant, McNair died June 13.
Following McNair’s death, the lineman’s parents established a foundation in honor of their son. On that foundation’s website, whose goals in part are to “promote awareness, educate, and advocate for parents and student-athletes about heat-related illnesses at youth, high school, and collegiate levels,” it was written that “Jordan’s untimely death was the result of… heatstroke he suffered during an organized offseason team workout.”
From the Washington Post:
The workout was designed and supervised by the Maryland strength and conditioning staff, and certified athletic trainers were present throughout, according to an account provided by the university. Maryland Coach DJ Durkin was also at the workout, which began around 4:15 p.m. McNair, who was listed as 6-foot-4 and 325 pounds, had trouble recovering after completing a series of 110-yard sprints, a standard conditioning test, and received medical attention. McNair soon was transported to the team’s practice facility and later airlifted to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore at approximately 6 p.m., according to the university’s timeline of that day.
In the wake of McNair’s death, the university launched an investigation into the tragedy that will include a thorough evaluation of the football program’s procedures and protocols. A report on the findings of the external probe is expected to be completed at some point in late September or early October.
“Jordan’s death was a shock to his family, friends, former classmates, and the entire football community near and far,” the foundation’s website stated. “His parents were left with a void and pain that only those who have lost a child could fully understand.
“But in his death, the world learned about the humble young man whose smile communicated more than words ever could. Jordan was a quiet spirit, whose size never went unnoticed in any room, but whose spirit took up the entire room.”
Once the Conference of Defenses, has the SEC morphed into the Conference of Quarterbacks?
According to the folks at the Davey O’Brien Award, that certainly could be the case as the hardware handed out annually to the nation’s top quarterback released its 2018 watch list Tuesday morning, with the SEC accounting for six of the 26 players listed. Next up are the remaining Power Five conferences, with the Pac-12 leading that group with four, followed by three apiece for the Big Ten and ACC as well as two for the Big 12. With two each, Conference USA and the MAC pace all Group of Five leagues, with the AAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt all seeing one player on the initial watch list.
Individually, there are a pair of two-time O’Brien Award semifinalists on the roll — Washington’s Jake Browning and Alabama’s Jalen Hurts (whether Hurts gets the opportunity to three-peat as a finalist is another matter entirely). Additionally, there are six other 2017 semifinalists on the list as well — Clemson’s Kelly Bryant, Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald, West Virginia’s Will Grier, Penn State’s Trace McSorley, UCF’s McKenzie Milton and Arizona’s Khalil Tate.
Of the 26 players on the list, 13 are listed as seniors and 12 as juniors. The lone sophomore is Georgia’s Jake Fromm.
Below is the complete 2018 Davey O’Brien Award Watch List:
Jake Bentley, South Carolina, (Jr., Opelika, Ala.)
Jake Browning, Washington (Sr., Folsom, Calif.)
Kelly Bryant, Clemson (Sr., Calhoun Falls, S.C.)
Mason Fine, North Texas (Jr., Peggs, Okla.)
Ryan Finley, NC State (Sr., Phoenix, Ariz.)
Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State (Sr., Richmond Hill, Ga.)
Andrew Ford, UMass (Sr., Camp Hill, Penn.)
Jake Fromm, Georgia (So., Warner Robins, Ga.)
Will Grier, West Virginia (Sr., Charlotte, N.C.)
Justice Hansen, Arkansas State (Sr., Edmond, Okla.)
Justin Herbert, Oregon (Jr., Eugene, Ore.)
Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin (Jr., West Chester, Penn.)
Jalen Hurts, Alabama (Jr., Houston, Texas)
Tyree Jackson, Buffalo (Jr., Norton Shores, Mich.)
Daniel Jones, Duke (Jr., Charlotte, N.C.)
Kyle Kempt, Iowa State (Sr., Massillon, Ohio)
Brian Lewerke, Michigan State (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.)
Drew Lock, Missouri (Sr., Lee’s Summit, Mo.)
Trace McSorley, Penn State (Sr., Ashburn, Va.)
McKenzie Milton, UCF (Jr., Kapolei, Hawaii)
Nathan Rourke, Ohio (Jr., Oakville, Ontario)
Brett Rypien, Boise State (Sr., Spokane, Wash.)
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (Jr., Stephenville, Texas)
Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee (Sr., Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Khalil Tate, Arizona (Jr., Inglewood, Calif.)
Manny Wilkins, Arizona State (Sr., Novato, Calif.)