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Mike Gundy declines to name starting QB at Big 12 media days

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Not new to Oklahoma State’s appearance at Big 12 media days: Mike Gundy‘s mullet. What first seemed like a sideshow a few years back is now a mainstay. “As long as it makes me look younger, I’m going to keep it,” he said Monday.

New to Oklahoma State’s appearance at Big 12 media days: quarterback uncertainty. The Pokes enjoyed three stable seasons of Mason Rudolph, and in 2018 Gundy took to the media days podium to declare fifth-year senior Taylor Cornelius as his starter.

For the first time since 2014 (pre-mullet days), Gundy is not sure who will start at quarterback for him this fall.

“We haven’t had anyone take the reins. I’d like to give you a timetable (on naming a starter) but can’t. If neither one gives us indication before first game, we’ll play both guys,” Gundy said.

Both guys, in this case, are Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders, who are similar in depth chart standing but nothing else.

Brown is a fifth-year senior who arrived in Stillwater by way of the College of San Mateo and Hawai’i. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound gunslinger appeared in 25 games as a Warrior and started his final 22, throwing for 5,273 yards and 37 touchdowns before transferring to Oklahoma State, where he redshirted. Sanders, meanwhile, stands 6-foot-2 with a rocket arm and active legs. While he bows in experience to Brown, the redshirt freshman is superior to Brown in natural talent. As a senior at Denton Ryan (Texas) High School in 2017, Sanders threw for 3,845 yards and 54 scores while rushing for 1,380 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Based on those attributes, it seems logical to deduce that unless Brown displays pinpoint accuracy with the football, their deadlock in the race for the QB1 job will cease if and when Sanders’ familiarity with the college game catches his ability.

“Whenever we’re ready to name a starter based on him winning the job, we’ll do that,” said Gundy.

Whoever does win the ability to take the first snap against Oregon State on Aug. 30 figures to profit immediately, as they will throw to a receiving corps that returns all five players who caught at least 22 passes last season, including the 86-catch, 1,491-yard, 12-touchdown Biletnikoff Award candidate in junior wideout Tylan Wallace.

 

Braden White named prestigious 12th Man at Texas A&M

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The 12th Man is a big, big deal at Texas A&M. In fact, it’s pretty much the brand of not just the football program, but the entire athletics department. Case in point, A&M’s athletics department website is 12thman.com.

For the uninitiated, in 1922 the Aggies found themselves short of players in a football game against Center College, the No. 1 team in the country at the time, after multiple players sustained injuries over the course of the game. Down to just 11 players, A&M student E. King Gill volunteered to suit up and stand on the sidelines in case the team needed him. Gill now has a statue outside of Kyle Field, and A&M’s student section is collectively referred to as the 12th Man.

As such, it’s a tremendous honor for an active Aggie player to be awarded the No. 12 and, after fullback Cullen Gillaspia donned the jersey for a record-tying 39 games, it’s time to hand it off to a new player.

On Tuesday, Jimbo Fisher awarded the No. 12 jersey to Braden White, a walk-on linebacker from Florence, Ala.

“I’m honored just to be able to represent this great university and everything about it,” White said. “It’s a true blessing.”

White is a redshirt junior who has checked all the boxes of a player who checks all the 12th Man boxes. He was named Defensive Scout Team MVP during his redshirt year of 2016 and was honored as the Top Conditioned Athlete at the Aggies’ 2018 team banquet. He has appeared in 18 career games, recording 16 career tackles playing primarily as a special teams contributor.

White will wear No. 12 for the first time next when Texas A&M — ranked, ironically, No. 12 in the preseason AP poll — hosts Texas State next Thursday night (8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network).

UConn begins building out independent schedules with BC home-and-home

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Until they tell us otherwise, Connecticut is going to try to make it as an FBS independent. This upcoming season will be the Huskies’ final one as a member of the American Athletic Conference, as the Huskies’ Olympic sports will return to the Big East and the football team will go it alone.

This will require lots (and lots and lots) of scheduling work, and quickly. As of now, the Huskies have four games on the schedule for a season that begins 12 months from now.

While it does nothing to help the 2020 slate, UConn began chipping away at the mountain in front of it on Wednesday by announcing a home-and-home with Boston College. The first game will be Oct. 29, 2022 in Storrs, with the return game going down Oct. 28, 2023 in Chestnut Hill.

The two programs have met 14 times previously; BC leads the series 12-0-2. The Eagles took the most recent meeting 39-16 in 2017.

Additionally, BC announced a 2023-28 home-and-home with Army and a Sept. 9, 2023 home game with Holy Cross.

Safety graduate transfers from Penn State to Pitt

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Penn State safety Johnny Petrishen has left State College for Pittsburgh, where he is now a Panther.

Petrishen announced the transfer on Tuesday evening, and Pitt confirmed his addition on Wednesday morning.

Petrishen has two years of eligibility remaining thanks — if you want to use that term — to two medical redshirts.

A Lower Burrell, Pa., native, Petrishen appeared in 17 career games as a Nittany Lion, including all 13 last season. Primarily a special teams player, he posted eight career tackles and one TFL in State College.

NC State transfer Tim Kidd-Glass tweets move to Liberty

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Hugh Freeze may be dealing with what was a significant health issue, but he’s still working his first-year roster at Liberty.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday evening, Tim Kidd-Glass announced that he “would like to thank God for allowing me to have another opportunity to further my football career… at Liberty University.” The announcement comes a couple of weeks after the safety triggered a move from North Carolina State by entering his name into the NCAA transfer database.

As a graduate transfer, Kidd-Glass will be eligible to play for the Flames in 2019.

The past three seasons, the Virginia native played in 33 games for the Wolfpack.  He started nine of those contests, all of which came during the 2017 season.