Getty Images

Record number of players on NFL’s official early-entry list for 2018 draft

1 Comment

If it seemed to you like there were an inordinate number of early cannonballers jumping into the draft pool, you were correct.

Four days after the Jan. 15 deadline, the NFL Friday announced that 106 players have been granted special eligibility for the April draft.  That sets a new record for early entrants, breaking the mark of 98 set in 2014.  The past two seasons, there were 95 and 96 in 2017 and 2016, respectively.  In 2015, there were just 74.

The SEC was hit hardest by attrition with 26 players leaving early, although the ACC wasn’t far behind at 24.  The Pac-12 was next among the Power Five conferences with 17, followed by the Big 12’s 13 and the Big Ten’s 11.

Among Group of Five leagues, Conference USA lost the most with four.  The Mountain West saw three go early, with the AAC (two), MAC (one) and Sun Belt (one) coming next in line.  There were also two non-FBS players who left early, as well as two from Notre Dame.

As far as individual schools go, there were three that lost six apiece — Florida State, LSU and Texas.  Alabama lost five, while Auburn, Miami, Oklahoma, UCLA, and USC all lost four apiece.  Clemson, Florida, Louisville, Stanford and Tennessee were on the losing end of three players each.

In addition to the 106 granted special eligibility — they’ll be listed at the end — the NFL also granted eligibility to 13 players who the league writes “have in timely fashion under NFL rules officially notified the league office that they have fulfilled their degree requirements.” Those players are listed below:

» Jordan Akins, TE, UCF
» Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
» Kyle Allen, QB, Houston
» Will Clapp, C, LSU
» Terrell Edmunds, DB, Virginia Tech
» Taylor Hearn, G, Clemson
» Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
» Sam Jones, G, Arizona State
» Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
» Brian O’Neill, T, Pittsburgh
» Christian Sam, LB, Arizona State
» Tre'Quan Smith, WR, UCF
» Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Courtesy of the NFL, below is the complete list of 106 players who have been granted special eligibility for the 2018 NFL Draft:

» Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame
» Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, DE, Toledo
» Jaire Alexander, DB, Louisville
» Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
» Dorance Armstrong, DE, Kansas
» Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State
» Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
» Jessie Bates, DB, Wake Forest
» Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma
» Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
» Deontay Burnett, WR, USC
» Deon Cain, WR, Clemson
» Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
» Geron Christian, T, Louisville
» Simmie Cobbs, WR, Indiana
» Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech
» Vosean Crumbie, DB, Nevada
» J.J. Dallas, DB, Louisiana-Monroe
» James Daniels, C, Iowa
» Sam Darnold, QB, USC
» Carlton Davis, DB, Auburn
» Michael Dickson, P, Texas
» Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
» DeShon Elliott, DB, Texas
» Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
» Matt Fleming, WR, Benedictine
» Nick Gates, T, Nebraska
» Rashaan Gaulden, DB, Tennessee
» Frank Ginda, LB, San Jose State
» Rasheem Green, DT, USC
» Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
» Ronnie Harrison, DB, Alabama
» Quadree Henderson, WR, Pittsburgh
» Holton Hill, DB, Texas
» Nyheim Hines, RB, NC State
» Jeff Holland, LB, Auburn
» Mike Hughes, DB UCF
» Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
» Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, Western Kentucky
» Ryan Izzo, TE, FSU
» Donte Jackson, DB, LSU
» J.C. Jackson, DB, Maryland
» Josh Jackson, DB, Iowa
» Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
» Derwin James, DB, FSU
» Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee
» Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
» Courtel Jenkins, DT, Miami
» Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn
» Ronald Jones, RB, USC
» John Kelly, RB, Tennessee
» Arden Key, LB, LSU
» Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
» Du’Vonta Lampkin, DT, Oklahoma
» Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA
» Chase Litton, QB, Marshall
» Tavares Martin, WR, Washington State
» Hercules Mata’afa, DE, Washington State
» Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson
» Tarvarus McFadden, DB, Florida State
» R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami
» Reginald McKenzie, DT, Tennessee
» Quenton Meeks, DB, Stanford
» Kolton Miller, T, UCLA
» D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
» Ryan Nall, RB, Oregon State
» Nick Nelson, DB, Wisconsin
» Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami
» Isaiah Oliver, DB, Colorado
» Dwayne Orso-Bacchus, T, Oklahoma
» Da’Ron Payne, NT, Alabama
» Kamryn Pettway, RB, Auburn
» Eddy Pineiro, K, Florida
» Trey Quinn, WR, SMU
» D.J. Reed, DB, Kansas State
» Justin Reid, DB, Stanford
» Will Richardson, T, NC State
» Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
» Austin Roberts, TE, UCLA
» Korey Robertson, WR, Southern Miss
» Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
» Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama
» Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford
» Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech
» Andre Smith, LB, UNC
» Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
» Van Smith, DB, Clemson
» Breeland Speaks, DE, Ole Miss
» Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
» Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
» Auden Tate, WR, Florida State
» Maea Teuhema, T, Southeastern Louisiana
» Trenton Thompson, DT, Georgia
» Kevin Toliver, DB, LSU
» Travonte Valentine, NT, LSU
» Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
» Vita Vea, NT, Washington
» Mark Walton, RB, Miami
» Denzel Ward, DB, Ohio State
» Chris Warren, RB, Texas
» Toby Weathersby, T, LSU
» Jordan Whitehead, DB, Pittsburgh
» JoJo Wicker, DT, Arizona State
» Jalen Wilkerson, DE, Florida State
» Connor Williams, T, Texas
» Eddy Wilson, DT, Purdue

After getting woodshedded by Michigan, Scott Frost has now lost more games as Nebraska’s coach than he did as NU’s starting QB

Getty Images
3 Comments

Earlier this week, Scott Frost warned that things could get worse before they got better at Nebraska. Little did we know how prescient that statement was.

Michigan jumped out to a 39-0 first-half lead and never looked back, taking Nebraska to the Big House woodshed in a 56-10 blowout win Saturday afternoon in the Big Ten opener for both schools. To put a point on just how vast the gulf was between these two squads, the Wolverines totaled more points in the first quarter (20) than the Cornhuskers totaled yards in the first half (17).

The most glaring difference was in the trenches as U-M rushed for 285 yards — they had 190 in the first half alone — while NU mustered just 39 on the ground — that number includes minus-six in the first half.

All told, the Wolverines’ offense outgained the Cornhuskers 493-132.  Karan Higdon led all ball carriers with 136 yards on just 12 carries, while teammate Ben Mason scored three rushing touchdowns.

The loss drops the Cornhuskers to 0-3 for the first time since 1945 and means Frost, who was 24-2 as NU’s quarterback in the nineties, now has more losses as a Cornhuskers head coach than he had as a Cornhuskers starter.

To add insult to injury, the Cornhuskers were trolled by a fast food chain during the course of the blowout loss.

For Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines, it’s the third straight dominating performance after a disappointing start to Season 4 under the former U-M quarterback.

In the season opener against Notre Dame, U-M dropped a 24-17 decision that didn’t seem nearly as close as the final score would indicate.  In the next three games, however, U-M outscored Western Michigan, SMU and NU (150-33), giving the team some confidence heading into a six-week stretch in which they’ll face 1-2 Northwestern in Evanston, 3-1 Maryland, No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 24 Michigan State in East Lansing and No. 10 Penn State.

Winless Purdue upends undefeated Boston College

Getty Images
2 Comments

Well, that was fun while it lasted.

Last Sunday, Boston College, at a perfect 3-0, came in at No. 23 in the Associated Press Top 25, the first time the Eagles had been ranked since 2008.  Less than a week later, BC is about to fall back into the “others receiving votes” category as previously-winless Purdue dropped the Eagles 30-13 in West Lafayette.

In fairness to all involved, Purdue may have been 0-3 coming into today’s game but those three losses, to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan and Missouri, were by a combined eight points.

In winning its first game of the season, Purdue rode a surprisingly stifling defense.  BC’s AJ Dillon came into the afternoon contest with 432 yards rushing, including 185 in the Week 3 win over Wake Forest and 149 on just six carries against FCS Holy Cross the week before; today, the running back was held to 59 yards on 19 carries.  That’s Dillon’s lowest output since he had 35 yards on 10 carries in an early-October loss to Virginia Tech last season.

Offensively for the Boilermakers, David Blough was deadly efficient as he completed 75 percent of his 28 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns.  It was Blough’s second straight three-touchdown performance after not throwing one in the season’s first two games.

Boston College had been looking to start a season 4-0 for the first time since Matt Ryan was the starting quarterback in 2007.

WATCH: Wake Forest breaks out ‘missing kicker’ FG formation

Getty Images
1 Comment

Things haven’t exactly gone Wake Forest’s way, and one series of events pretty much encapsulates the ACC team’s Week 4 struggles.

Midway through the first quarter, Wake was lined up for a 38-yard field goal attempt that, if good, would’ve given them an early 3-0 lead on Notre Dame.  The only problem?  Their kicker, Nick Sciba, was nowhere to be found as he was still on the sidelines practicing for a field goal attempt that his 10 other teammates were already on the field for ready to execute.

To add to the misery, Sciba, after he actually got on to the field, clanged the attempt off the uprights.

As of this posting, the Fighting Irish lead the Demon Deacons 35-13 with just under eight minutes left in the third quarter.  Sciba did convert on both of his next two field goal attempts (from 30 and 39 yards out) as well as an extra point try, so he;’s got that going for him.  Which is nice.

Big House blowout unfolding with Michigan smothering Nebraska, 39-0

Getty Images
3 Comments

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost suggested things were going to get worse before they get better in Lincoln. One half in Ann Arbor suggests he knew what he was talking about. Nebraska is being obliterated on the road in a Big Ten opener by Michigan, with the Wolverines leading Nebraska by a score of 39-0 at the half. The score is every bit representative of the way this game has unfolded to this point.

Michigan’s defense got things going right from the start of the game when Josh Metellus picked off a tipped pass from freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez on the fourth play of the game. The Wolverines then went to the ground with Karan Higdon breaking off a 46-yard run and Ben Mason taking care of business inside the 10-yard line with three straight running plays to get in the end zone for a touchdown.

Nebraska went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and it took one play for Higdon to rip off a 44-yard touchdown run, his third carry of the game taking him to 92 rushing yards at the time. It continues to spiral out of control for Nebraska from there. Another three-and-out, losing three yards of offense, led to a third Michigan touchdown. Mason, once again, did the honors from just outside the goal line.

Nebraska seemed to be in a spot to get some good field position to work with soon after digging the 20-0 hole, but a muffed punt return near midfield was recovered by the Wolverines. Quinn Nordin knocked down a 50-yard field goal to tack on to the Michigan lead a few plays later.

Higdon has rushed for 136 yards. Shea Patterson has completed 12 of 17 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Nebraska’s Martinez has passed for 23 yards and has been taken down for a loss of 12 yards on the ground.

At this point, Nebraska knows it won’t stand a chance of winning this game, so working on some details the rest of the way is what needs to happen. And there are a lot of details to work on after halftime.