One of the more controversial (wankingmotion) storylines of this offseason has hopefully taken its final twist.
Late last week, an image surfaced on social media showing Clemson’s Tee Higgins posing in front of a $200,000 McLaren Spider, with the missive from the auto dealership thanking the wide receiver “for coming to True Auto Mart… to purchase a vehicle.” Mindful of potential NCAA consequences, the tweet was swiftly deleted as both the player and the mother very publicly denied Higgins bought any type of vehicle at the dealership, let alone a six-figure sports car. It was further clarified that Higgins did take a test drive in the McLaren.
As Higgins had no knowledge that his image would be used for promotional purposes by the dealership, no NCAA no-no’s are expected to arise from the social media flap.
On Wednesday, Higgins’ head coach used the situation to decry the “fish bait” environment in which we currently reside, and which he claimed helped escalate a situation that never should’ve arisen in the first place.
“That’s the world we live in. It is what it is. I think everything’s an opportunity to learn. He’s one of the best kids that you’ll ever have and be around and it just kind of comes with the territory,” Dabo Swinney said by way of the Charleston Post & Courier. “You learn from it, but obviously there’s a lot of what do you call it — fish bait? Or click bait? Isn’t that what they call it, click bait? Trying to get some story.
“That’s just the world that we live in. So you’ve got to be smart and hope that you can just avoid those types of situations that create false perceptions. But as long as you do what’s right, you ain’t gotta worry about it.”
In response to the initial flap, a school spokesperson stated earlier this week that “we sent a cease-and-desist (order to the dealership) and it was removed and we move on.” “We’ve been in contact with the [ACC] and it won’t impact Tee’s eligibility,” the Clemson official added.
Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant will not get a chance to redeem himself against the team that knocked him out and handed the Tigers their only loss in the regular season last fall. Trevor Lawrence will be the new starting quarterback for Clemson when they face Syracuse at home this weekend.
The official roster decision was announced Monday, although head coach Dabo Swinney says the plan will still be to include Bryant in the game plan to some degree.
Through the first four games of the season, the freshman Lawrence has been the more productive of the two quarterback options for Clemson. Lawrence has completed 65.0 of his 60 pass attempts for 600 yards and nine touchdowns with two interceptions. Bryant has completed 66.7 percent of his 54 pass attempts for 461 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Bryant has been more of an asset with his running ability, rushing for 130 yards and two touchdowns this season, but production and potential for Lawrence seemed to be too much to tie down in a backup or secondary role in a split situation for too long.
The Orange may not be on the same level as Clemson overall, but this Syracuse team is not one being taken lightly by Clemson, and for good reason.
Although the Tigers are clearly the more talented team, it was Syracuse that handed Bryant an injury that knocked him out of their meeting last year at Syracuse, and the Orange handed Clemson their only loss until meeting Alabama in the College Football Playoff. Syracuse is also off to a 4-0 start with 50+ points scored in three of the four wins. Syracuse also has a 30-7 victory over Florida State.
With news that Bryant will not start for Clemson this weekend, he becomes the second quarterback who started a College Football Playoff game last season to be reduced to the sidelines, joining Alabama’s Jalen Hurts.
Clemson hosts Syracuse at 12:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 29.
The 2018 season has not gotten off to the start Arkansas fans were hoping to see. After three straight losses have dropped the Razorbacks to a woeful 1-3 record, wide receiver Jonathan Nance has decided he is ready to move on from the program and look for a fresh slate.
Nance took to Twitter to announce his intention to transfer from the Razorbacks. He also noted he will use the 2018 season as a redshirt season, as he qualifies for that redshirt eligibility after appearing in the maximum games allowed before being forced to burn a year of eligibility under the NCAA’s new redshirt rule.
“I want to thank Arkansas and my coaches for giving me [an] opportunity to compete on this level,” Nance said in his Twitter statement.”It has been a great ride and have made life long friends that I will never take for granted.”
After leading Arkansas in receiving in 2017 with 37 receptions for 539 yards and five touchdowns, Nance caught just one pass for a loss of two yards in 2018. Nance will have one final year of eligibility to use wherever he lands next. There has been no indication of where his next stop may be at this time.
Nance’s announcement to transfer after four games may be a hint of things to come under the new redshirt rule. Because players can appear in up to four games before eligibility for the year is officially used up, it would not be shocking to see more players decide to make their transfer plans around this time of year after getting a sense of how the season may be going for them and having an idea where they fit in, or in Nance’s case, don’t fit in under a new scheme or a new coach.
Georgia starting right guard Ben Cleveland suffered a fractured left fibula in the Bulldogs’ 43-29 win at Missouri, according to Dawgs247.
According to the site, the injury will not require surgery or a cast, but Cleveland will miss “at least a month.” No. 2 Georgia hosts Tennessee on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS) and Vanderbilt before a massive visit to No. 5 LSU on Oct. 13. They’ll take Oct. 20 before closing SEC play with Florida, No. 17 Kentucky and No. 10 Auburn.
The fibula is a non-weight bearing bone and, thus, a significantly less damage break than the tibia.
Cleveland is a redshirt sophomore from Toccoa, Ga. He has started Georgia’s last nine games at right guard.
The Cleveland injury is not the only ailment Georgia is dealing with at the moment. Dawgs247 noted starting left tackle Andrew Thomas, who missed the Middle Tennessee game with a left ankle injury and seemingly re-aggravated it in the first half, when a player rolled up on him. He did not return to the game afterward.
Fellow sophomore Justin Shaffer replaced Cleveland at right guard in the Missouri win.
On a night the Vols celebrated their 1998 national championship team, Tennessee played about as far away from national championship-caliber football as you’ll ever see a Tennessee team play. The Vols lost to Florida 47-21 in a game that was simultaneously better and worse than the final score. Tennessee was only out-gained 387-364 and won the first downs battle 18-14, but much of that was due all the short fields the Vols gave Florida after coughing up half a dozen turnovers. When fans started pouring out of Neyland Stadium early in the third quarter, the scoreboard read Florida 33, Tennessee 3.
And that’s not all.
Over the course of the game, head coach Jeremy Pruitt told linebacker Quart’e Sapp to leave the field after Sapp, Pruitt said, declined to enter the game.
“Since I’ve been here, Quarte has been a really good ambassador to our program, he’s done everything I’ve asked him,” Pruitt said. “He left the field because he wouldn’t go into the game when he was asked to go in. I don’t know how things were done before, but when you tell somebody to go in and they refuse to go in, we’re not going to do that around here. So I asked him to leave.”
On Sunday, Sapp released a statement on Twitter saying he did not refuse to go in the game. Sapp’s statement does not clarify exactly what happened, but he expressly denies he was asked to enter the game and refused.
“During the UT vs. UF game I was never asked nor did I refuse to go into the game. There was a sideline confrontation (I’m sure will be resolve internally that occurred and the other party had to be restrained.”
Sapp, a redshirt junior, was listed as Tennessee’s No. 2 weakside linebacker entering the Florida game. Given the praise Pruitt heaped upon Sapp above and the fact Tennessee can’t exactly turn away able bodies with Georgia, Auburn and Alabama coming up in its next three games, but bet here is this spat gets resolved internally and everyone moves on.