NCAA FOOTBALL: JAN 02 TaxSlayer Bowl - Penn State v Georgia
Getty Images

2017 finalist Trace McSorely of Penn State headlines Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award preseason watch list

1 Comment

If you thought Watch List Season 2018 had come and gone, you’re sorely (McSorely?) mistaken.

Tuesday morning, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award announced its preseason watch list, which features 49 of the top quarterbacks in the country.  In our annual reminder, the award is given yearly to the top signal-caller in the country who is either a senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class and takes into account his accomplishments both on and off the field.

Headlining this year’s preseason watch group is Penn State’s Trace McSorely, who was a finalist for the 2017 version of the award claimed by Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph.

All nine FBS conferences are represented, with the Pac-12’s nine and SEC’s seven leading the way.  Next up at six each are the ACC, Big Ten and Conference USA, followed by the Mountain West (five), AAC (three), Big 12 (three), MAC (two) and Sun Belt (one).  One football independent, Notre Dame’s Brandon Wimbush, made the initial cut as well.

Below is the complete 2018 preseason watch list for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award:

Jake Bentley, South Carolina
David Blough, Purdue
Ross Bowers, Cal
Jake Browning, Washington
Kelly Bryant, Clemson
K.J. Carta-Samuels, Colorado State
Christian Chapman, San Diego State
Keller Chryst, Tennessee
Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State
Eric Dungey, Syracuse
A.J. Erdely, UAB
Ryan Finley, NC State
Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State
Ty Gangi, Nevada
Will Grier, West Virginia
Justice Hansen, Arkansas State
Justin Herbert, Oregon
Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin
Tyler Huntley, Utah
Tyree Jackson, Buffalo
Daniel Jones, Duke
Kyle Kempt, Iowa State
Hasaan Klugh, UTEP
Brian Lewerke, Michigan State
Drew Lock, Missouri
Jake Luton, Oregon State
Trace McSorley, Penn State
Marcus McMaryion, Fresno State
McKenzie Milton, UCF
Gardner Minshew, Washington State
Steven Montez, Colorado
Hayden Moore, Cincinnati
James Morgan, FIU
Shea Patterson, Michigan
Bryce Perkins, Virginia
Gus Ragland, Miami of Ohio
Malik Rosier, Miami
Brett Rypien, Boise State
Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt
J’Mar Smith, Louisiana Tech
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee
Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss
Khalil Tate, Arizona
Alex Thomson, Marshall
Clayton Thorson, Northwestern
Brady White, Memphis
Manny Wilkins, Arizona State
Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame

Report: Georgia RG Ben Cleveland suffers fractured left fibula

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

Tennessee LB booted from Florida loss releases statement

Getty Images
5 Comments

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.

Minnesota DB Antoine Winfield, Jr. to miss remainder of season with foot injury

Getty Images
Leave a comment

For the second year in a row, Antoine Winfield, Jr.‘s season ends just four games after it started.

After appearing in 12 games and starting nine as a true freshman in 2016, Winfield was lost for the year four games into his sophomore campaign of 2017. He obtained a hardship waiver to play this season as a redshirt sophomore, but now will miss the rest of the season to a foot injury suffered in a 42-13 loss to Maryland on Saturday.

He will undergo surgery on Monday.

In a statement announcing the injury, Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck announced the Gophers will pursue another hardship waiver for Winfield, meaning he would be a fourth-year sophomore in 2019 if approved.

Winfield is the second Gopher to be lost for the season, following running back Rodney Smith.

“We are heartbroken for Antoine,” Fleck said. “Like Rodney Smith, I know he will keep his oar in the water, keep moving forward and will work tirelessly to return to the field next season. We believe Antoine meets the waiver requirement for a sixth year of eligibility and we will file that waiver with the NCAA at the conclusion of the season.”

Winfield led all Gophers defensive backs with 17 tackles on the year while tying for the team lead with one interception. He was also the team’s punt returner, notching a 76-yard score in a 48-10 win over New Mexico State on Sept. 1 and a 31-yard return in a 26-3 defeat of Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 15.

Minnesota (3-1) is off Saturday before visiting Iowa on Oct. 6

Wake Forest fires defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel

Getty Images
1 Comment

Wake Forest has relieved defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel of duties, head coach Dave Clawson announced Sunday.

After starting the season 2-0 with wins over Tulane and Towson, the Demon Deacons have allowed 97 points in consecutive losses to Boston College and No. 8 Notre Dame.

“This was a difficult decision and not a spur of the moment decision,” said Clawson.  “I want to thank Coach Sawvel for all his hard work with our football program over the last two years.  Coach Sawvel is a very good person and a good football coach.”

Wake Forest ranks 110th nationally in yards per play allowed (6.35) and 106th in scoring (33.5).

With Sawvel out, defensive analyst Tom Gilmore has been elevated to the full-time staff as outside linebackers coach. Coordinator duties will be split up amongst the remaining staff, and specific duties have yet to be assigned. Gilmore joined the Wake staff over the summer; he was formerly the head coach at Holy Cross.

Wake Forest (2-2) hosts Rice on Saturday.