Kerryon, my wayward son.
As sorry as I am for that truly reprehensible pun, it was pretty much required in this situation. Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson announced Tuesday night he will enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Johnson made his announcement through a coordinated Twitter post with the Auburn football program.
Johnson led the SEC in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, toting the rock 285 times for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns, despite missing two games in September. He racked up 32 carries for 167 yards in a win over CFP finalist Georgia, and rushed 30 times for 104 yards and a touchdown in a win over the other CFP finalist Alabama.
He was named a First Team All-SEC running back this fall.
“I would like to thank KJ for all he has done for our program over the last three years,” Tigers head coach Gus Malzhan said in a statement. “Kerryon has made this team better both on and off the field with his great character, competitiveness and leadership. He will be very successful at the next level and more importantly in life. We wish KJ nothing but the best.”
With Johnson off the roster, Auburn’s leading returning rusher will be rising junior and Baylor transfer Kam Martin. He carried 74 times for 453 yards and two touchdowns in 2017. Senior Kamryn Pettway also figures to be a factor again in 2018; after leading the club with 1,224 yards in 2016, Pettway played in just five games this fall due to injuries.
We hope you’re sitting down to hear this next bit of news… But Alabama is the media’s pick to win the SEC in 2019.
Yes, it’s shocking that a program that has made the national title game in each of the last four seasons and has one of the greatest coaches of all time leading the program would be the media’s selection to win the league but we’re just passing along the news release here folks.
In all seriousness though, the Crimson Tide were the overwhelming favorites in both the SEC West and the conference overall to take home the trophy at the beginning of December. Alabama garnered 253 first place votes, compared to runner-up LSU (five). The full West division predictions were as follows, first place votes in parentheses:
SEC West Predicted Order of Finish
- Alabama (253)
- LSU (5)
- Texas A&M
- Auburn (1)
- Mississippi State (1)
- Ole Miss
In the East, things were a bit more interesting. Georgia was still the massive favorite to win the division but all schools sans Vanderbilt received at least one first place vote to make it to Atlanta.
SEC East Predicted Order of Finish
- Georgia (233)
- Florida (21)
- Missouri (3)
- South Carolina (1)
- Tennessee (1)
- Kentucky (1)
Finally… somebody voted for Tennessee and another voted for South Carolina to win the entire SEC in 2019. That is a thing that happened and sadly we won’t be able to find out who without bribing somebody in the league office.
SEC Champion Prediction
- Alabama (203)
- Georgia (49)
- LSU (3)
- Mississippi State (1)/Tennessee (1)/Florida (1)/South Carolina (1)/Auburn (1)
Les Miles isn’t the only big addition to Kansas football for the 2019 season.
No, the school has something much better that will help pass the time during Jayhawks losses in the form of expanded beer and alcohol sales to general seating areas of Memorial Stadium.
“In consultation with the University, Kansas Athletics has introduced the sale of beer and wine at selected venues on a trial basis to help assess the viability of a broader offering of alcoholic beverages,” athletic director Jeff Long said in a release. “That program has been very successful, and with the support and collaboration of on-campus entities, we are now prepared to expand it. Fans have told us that one of the best ways to enhance their experience at Kansas Athletics events is for them to have the ability to enjoy beer and wine, and we are pleased to provide this opportunity.”
We’re not sure if by “enhance their experience” the fans of KU football mean forget what they’re seeing on the field by we digress.
The school notes that the Jayhawks will be the sixth Big 12 school (along with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Texas and Texas Tech) to allow such sales in the general seating areas. That should make the conference the first with a majority of its programs selling beer and alcohol to the public during football games this upcoming season.
It also makes Kansas one of some 50 total FBS schools who have opened up the taps officially. Something says the new head coach is no stranger to just such an environment either so good news all around for KU fans during a week where negative headlines were more closely associated with the program.
We’re in the final stages of the offseason in college football with training camps across the country starting as early as next week but it’s never too late for a player to transfer elsewhere for 2019.
One such case comes in the form of Rutgers wide receiver Zihir Lacewell, who NJ.com reports is transferring to Garden City Community College in Kansas. While a backup player leaving the Scarlet Knights from time-to-time isn’t all that interesting, the fact that Lacewell is departing to flip sides and play defensive back is.
The Staten Island, NY native did see action last season at Rutgers but played in only four games to preserve his redshirt. He was not expected to crack the starting rotation on offense in 2019.
Rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports, Lacewell was one of the program’s highest-rated recruits in the class of 2018 and held offers from a host of Power Five programs in the Northeast.
The Heisman Trophy has generally been synonymous with the best quarterback on one of the best teams in recent years but there have been a few running backs who have broken through to win the most prestigious award in all of college football.
Hoping to become the next tailback to break the signal-callers’ grip on the stiff arm? That would be Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, who appears to have a budding campaign for the trophy that was launched by the school on Thursday:
“Herschel Walker. Ron Dayne. Ricky Williams. Adrian Peterson. LaDainian Tomlinson. Dominant running backs. Legendary names. Unrivaled production … until now,” one tagline reads. “There’s a new kid on the block and he’s “Bringing Running Back,” back into the spotlight, just like those that came before him. And his name is Jonathan Taylor.”
The website goes through all of the notable stats that Taylor has piled up in just two seasons in Madison and while it doesn’t explicitly say everything is designed to raise the junior’s awareness ahead of Big Ten Media Days and the upcoming 2019 campaign, it does note that his fellow Wisconsin Doak Walker Award winners have all been finalists in New York at some point in their career.
i.e. hint, hint media this guy is pretty good.
And nobody is debating that after he has set numerous records during his first two years on campus. Key to actually making it to New York though might be how Taylor’s team does around him. If the Badgers can get back to being in contention for the Big Ten title once again in 2019, chances are high that the tailback’s play will play a bigger part in getting him the attention he deserves than a website and a hashtag.