Roster management is a term you often hear in SEC circles but the process of deciding who’s really on the team or not is certainly practiced far and wide across college football. The latest coach to make that very clear? None other than Jim Harbaugh.
Least you think the Michigan head coach is only about showing up on the sidelines of big games or taking players to Europe, he let it drop that some of the Wolverines’ 85 scholarship players could not be involved with fall camp later this year thanks in equal part to the play of some walk-ons with the team and because they aren’t making the cut.
“We posted it for the squad, so they know who was in the 110 as of June 1 and who is not in the 110 as of June 1. We do expect there will be movement, we hope it ignites competition in the summer,” Harbaugh said on his weekly podcast that was released on Tuesday. “Our guys know that 110 number is strictly based on merit. The team’s needs, talent, who is going to help at certain positions. Who the best players are.
“There already are scholarship players who aren’t in the 110 and there are walk-ons, preferred walk-ons and tryout guys who are in the 110.”
Talk about a big notice to the players to step things up for summer workouts.
Note that the 110 limit is just for UM’s fall camp and you can’t remove a player from scholarship if they didn’t to make the cut. You’re limited to just 85 scholarships in FBS football but Harbaugh noted there are a whopping 154 players in the program (including incoming freshman, preferred walk-ons and tryout players) right now. Eventually even that number will need to get pared down to around 135, which is generally the level the Wolverines have operated at the past few years and a figure that reportedly leads the Big Ten.
It will be a fascinating process to see play out given that Harbaugh has allowed this peak behind the curtain a bit. He mentioned nearly two dozen walk-ons by name on the podcast who had a chance to not only make the 110, but also crack the rotation. Given that, we could see a handful of transfers out of Ann Arbor come August without Harbaugh even having to reveal who didn’t make the fall camp roster and who did.
Central Michigan’s football program held a fun softball game over the weekend, pitting coaches against seniors. CMU head coach John Bonamego used the opportunity to award a well-deserved scholarship to tight end Logan Hessbrook.
Central Michigan shared the moment with a quick video clip on Twitter, accompanied by a pair of interviews with the newly awarded scholarship player and the head coach.
Hessbrook was CMU’s sixth-leading receiver in 2017 with 132 yards on 10 receptions in three games. The majority of that production came in games against FCS Rhode Island and Big 12 doormat Kansas. With last year’s top tight end Tyler Conklin having graduated and moved on from the program, Hessbrook could be in line for a much more pivotal role in the offense this fall.
The Ithaca, Michigan native has worked hard since joining the Chippewas however, and now his commitment and dedication to the program has paid off with a scholarship.
It’s a tremendous challenge getting fans to come out to the stadium these days. When (nearly) every game is on TV, why go to the stadium when you have to miss out on the six other games on TV plus you have to deal with spotty in-stadium plus having to fight through traffic and parking and obnoxious fans to your left and right — and, oh yeah, you still have to pay for your tickets and concessions on top of all that.
UNLV has now eliminated one of those objections.
Borrowing a page from baseball, the Rebels have introduced an all-you-can-eat ticket package. For just $79, fans get tickets to UNLV’s games against UTEP (Sept. 8), Fresno State (Nov. 3) and Nevada (Nov. 24) while gaining access to all the hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and soft drinks they can stomach.
“It’s a great way for your family to enjoy first-class entertainment and create a memory for an affordable price,” UNLV athletics director Desiree Reed-Francois told the Las Vegas Sun.
Season ticket holders will also have the option of adding the all-you-can-eat option for $30 a ticket — which works out to $5 per ticket per game.
The move feels more like a promotion that will keep on-the-fence ticket buyers in the stadium rather than brining new people out, but Reed-Francois is determined to increase attendance as UNLV plays its penultimate season in the 47-year-old Sam Boyd Stadium. The Rebels drew 17,449 fans per game to the 35,000-seat stadium.
“I’m told all of the time that this isn’t a football town,” she said. “We’ll flip that (opinion). There’s an opportunity for football in this town.”
It won’t affect the scoreboard one whit come September, but Wisconsin got a nice little victory on Saturday.
The annual Manning Passing Academy came to a close on Saturday with the Air It Out competition among the camp’s counselors, which was comprised of a who’s who of returning college quarterbacks. Among a group that included Penn State’s Trace McSorley, Missouri’s Drew Lock, UCF’s McKenzie Milton, Washington’s Jake Browning, Georgia’s Jake Fromm, Alabama’s Jalen Hurts and others, Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook was the only player able to hit the golf cart streaking down the right sideline.
Hornibrook, a rising junior, completed 198-of-318 passes (62.3 percent) for 2,644 yards (8.3 per attempt) with 25 touchdowns against 15 interceptions, good for a 148.61 efficiency rating, which rated 24th nationally. He led the Badgers to a 13-1 record, a Big Ten West championship, an Orange Bowl victory over Miami and a No. 7 final ranking in the AP poll.
LSU graduate transfer cornerback Terrence Alexander is set to get his purple-and-yellow stripes on Monday, according to Nola.com.
Alexander announced his intention to graduate transfer from Stanford to LSU in the spring, but the thing about graduate transfers is that you have to graduate before you can play. Alexander earned his degree from Stanford last Sunday, clearing him to play for LSU this fall. (Stanford operates on the quarters system, pushing its graduation ceremonies a month later than schools that follow the semester system.)
A New Orlean native, Alexander played in only one game in 2017 after suffering a season-ending injury in the opener against Rice. He appeared in 13 games as a reserve in 2016.
He figures to compete for the open cornerback spot opposite All-America candidate Greedy Williams against sophomores Kary Vincent, Jontre Kirklin and Mannie Netherly. Kristian Fulton would be included in that group, but he remains suspended by the NCAA.