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Joe Burrow has historic night for LSU at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show

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College football’s awards circuit took center stage at the College Football Hall of Fame Thursday night, and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was a big winner. Burrow, who already has been named the AP Player of the Year and many feel will be putting his hands around the Heisman Trophy this weekend, was awarded the Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year and the Maxwell Award for two-thirds of the college football triple crown.

Burrow is the first player from LSU to win the Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year award in the history of the award, which was first presented in 1967. Burrow also took home the Davey O’Brien Award for the nation’s top quarterback, which is also a first for the LSU program.

Burrow also won the first Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award in program history. And he wasn’t the only Tiger making some program history. Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was named the winner of this year’s Biletnikoff Award, marking the second time a player from LSU was named the nation’s most outstanding receiver (Josh Reed, 2001).

Burrow was not the only LSU player to collect some hardware at the award show. Grant Delpit won the Jim Thorpe Award for the top defensive back. Delpit is the third player from LSU to win the award, with Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne won the award in 2010 and 2011, respectively. It is the third consecutive season a player form the sEC has won the award (Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama in 2017 and Deandre Baker of Georgia in 2018).

While Burrow was in the midst of taking home some hardware back to Baton Rouge for the first time, Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor was doing something that is pretty common in Madison. Taylor was named the winner of the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s best running back. It was his second striaght year winning the award, entering Taylor in some rare company as one of three two-time winners of the award. Darren McFadden of Arkansas and Ricky Williams of Texas are the only other back-to-back winners.

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young brought an end to a Bednarik Award drought for the Big Ten by being the first player from a Big Ten school to win the award since 2007. Penn State’s Dan Connor had been the most recent Big Ten player to win the award for the nation’s top defensive player. Young also made some program history by doing so.

Below is a list of all of the awards presented during the show. A handful of the awards were previously announced but formally presented Thursday night.

(Winners in bold, listed along with finalists for the awards)

WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR
(College player of the year)
Joe Burrow, LSU (Sr.)
Justin Fields, Ohio State (So.)
Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State (So.)
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (Jr.)
Chase Young, Ohio State (Jr)

MAXWELL AWARD
(College player of the year)
Joe Burrow, LSU (Sr.)
Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma (Sr.)
Chase Young, Ohio State (Jr.)

CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD
(College defensive player of the year)
Derrick Brown, Auburn (Sr.)
Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (Jr.)
Chase Young, Ohio State (Jr.)

DAVEY O’BRIEN NATIONAL QUARTERBACK AWARD
(Nation’s best quarterback)
Joe Burrow, LSU (Sr.)
Justin Fields, Ohio State (So.)
Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma (Sr.)

BILETNIKOFF AWARD
(Outstanding receiver)
Ja’Marr Chase, LSU (So.)
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (Jr.)
Michael Pittman Jr., USC (Sr.)

DOAK WALKER AWARD
(Nation’s premier running back)
Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State (So.)
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (Jr.)
J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State (Jr.)

OUTLAND TROPHY
(Nation’s most outstanding interior lineman)
Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (Jr.)
Derrick Brown, Auburn (Sr.)
Penei Sewell, Oregon (So.)

PAYCOM JIM THORPE AWARD
(Nation’s best defensive back)
Grant Delpit, LSU (Jr.)
Jeff Okudah, Ohio State (Jr.)
J.R. Reed, Georgia (Sr.)

LOU GROZA COLLEGIATE PLACE-KICKER AWARD
(Nation’s outstanding placekicker)
Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia (Sr.)
Keith Duncan, Iowa (Jr.)
Blake Mazza, Washington State (So.)

RAY GUY AWARD
(College punter of the year)
Dane Roy, Houston (Sr.)
Max Duffy, Kentucky (Jr.)
Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse (Sr.)

THE HOME DEPOT COACH OF THE YEAR
(Announced Dec. 11)
Ed Orgeron, LSU

DISNEY SPIRIT AWARD
Casey O’Brien, Minnesota

North Carolina hits pause button on football workouts after outbreak of positive COVID-19 tests

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We can officially add North Carolina to the growing list of football programs hitting the workout pause button.

Last month, North Carolina began a phased return of student-athletes, including football players, to campus for voluntary workouts.  Wednesday, the university announced that all workouts have been temporarily halted.  The decision came after 37 COVID-19 positives came back after 429 student-athletes, coaches and staffers connected to the sports that returned were tested.  The Orange County Health Department determined the situation at UNC to be a cluster, which triggered the pause.

The breakdown for individual sports — football, men’s and women’s basketball — was not given.

From the school‘s release:

Student-athletes who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate for up to 14 days in a campus residence hall specified by the University or at their permanent residence. Coaches and staff members will isolate at home up to 14 days as well. Those identified as close contacts, using the CDC definition for contact tracing, also will self-quarantine for 14 days. These close contacts will be provided instructions regarding quarantine and self-monitoring for potential symptoms and may be tested if they become symptomatic. All students-athletes are monitored closely by Campus Health Sports Medicine.

North Carolina football is the latest but certainly not the first impacted by the pandemic.  Or the last, more than likely.

Just today, Ohio State announced it was putting a temporary halt to voluntary workouts because of the results of recent COVID-19 testing among its student-athletes. July 3, Kansas was the latest FBS program to pause voluntary workouts after 12 players tested positive for COVID-19.  Earlier in that same week, Arizona announced that it was pausing its phased return of student-athletes to campus.  Prior to that, eight individuals connected to the Boise State football program tested positive, forcing the school to temporarily scuttle workouts.  June 20, K-State announced that it is pausing all voluntary workouts as well.  The reason?  “[A] total of 14 student-athletes have tested positive for active COVID-19 following PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of more than 130 student-athletes.” The weekend before that, Houston decided to put a halt to voluntary on-campus workouts after six symptomatic UH student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19.

Other programs have seen a high number of players test positive but continue workouts.  Among those are Clemson (37 players tested positive), LSU (30 players quarantined), Texas (13 confirmed positives for football players) and Texas Tech (23 positives for players/staffers).

Ohio State announces it has halted voluntary workouts because of the results of recent COVID-19 testing

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Thanks to Ohio State, there’s yet another sign that starting the 2020 college football season on time may be a pipe dream.

As with other schools in the Big Ten, Ohio State welcomed back student-athletes, including football players, to campus for voluntary workouts last month.  Wednesday, those workouts for Buckeyes across several sports have come to a halt.

Below is a release from OSU addressing the development:

The Ohio State Department of Athletics has paused all voluntary workouts on campus following the results of its most recent COVID-19 testing of student-athletes. Seven teams’ workouts are affected by this pause: men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

The university is not sharing cumulative COVID-19 information publicly as it could lead to the identification of specific individuals and compromise their medical privacy.

If a student-athlete tests positive for COVID-19, he/she will self-isolate for at least 14 days and receive daily check-ups from the Department of Athletics medical staff. Student-athletes living alone will isolate in their residence. If they have roommates, they will self-isolate in a designated room on campus.

The health and safety of our student-athletes is always our top priority.

OSU is but the latest FBS program impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

July 3, Kansas was the latest FBS program to pause voluntary workouts after 12 players tested positive for COVID-19.  Earlier in that same week, Arizona announced that it was pausing its phased return of student-athletes to campus.  Prior to that, eight individuals connected to the Boise State football program tested positive, forcing the school to temporarily scuttle workouts.  June 20, K-State announced that it is pausing all voluntary workouts as well.  The reason?  “[A] total of 14 student-athletes have tested positive for active COVID-19 following PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of more than 130 student-athletes.” The weekend before that, Houston decided to put a halt to voluntary on-campus workouts after six symptomatic UH student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19.

Other programs have seen a high number of players test positive but continue workouts.  Among those are Clemson (37 players tested positive), LSU (30 players quarantined), Texas (13 confirmed positives for football players) and Texas Tech (23 positives for players/staffers).

Ivy League officially postpones 2020 football season, other fall sports

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The college football sky is falling! The college football sky is falling!

At least, that’s the case if you follow college football Twitter.

Last week, it was reported that the Ivy League would soon announce its plans for the 2020 college football season.  It has been expected that the conference would push this season to next year.  Wednesday, that officially came to fruition as the Ivy League announced that football and other fall sports have been postponed.  Football could be moved to the spring, although such an issue won’t be taken up until after the end of the fall semester.

The Ivy League does become the first Div. I conference to cancel football for this coming fall.

Below is a statement from the Ivy League Council of Presidents:

As a leadership group, we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students who attend our institutions, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our schools. These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many value and cherish.

With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall.

We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations. There can be no greater responsibility — and that is the basis for this difficult decision.

It should be noted that the Ivy League’s decision has zero impact on the 2020 FBS season, especially when it comes to the Power Five.  Is it possible that the upcoming college football season at the FBS level moves to the spring of next year?  Absolutely, especially as the number of cases in states such as California, Florida and Texas — and football programs — continue to grow.  But such a decision won’t be made because the Ivy League, and its members with combined endowments in the neighborhood of $150 billion who don’t worry about trifling things like the FCS playoffs, made it.

As one Power Five administrator put it to Brandon Marcello of 247Sports.com, “I don’t think people understand how [the Ivy League’s decision] simply doesn’t affect us.” More from Marcello’s report:

FBS conferences followed the lead of the Ivy League in mid-March, when the league was the first to cancel its postseason basketball tournament. The real-time decision in March amid a new growing threat, however, is much different in circumstance and scope than the impending decision Wednesday concerning football in the Ivy League. Power 5 commissioners have discussed the need to wait and not follow the Ivy League in meetings this week.

This tweet, though, puts everything into perspective. Financial perspective, that is.

One-time starting QB Armani Rogers enters transfer portal

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The quarterback room for UNLV football will be less experienced if/when the 2020 season kicks off.

On Twitter this week, Armani Rogers revealed that he is set to transfer out of the UNLV football program.  The quarterback confirmed that he will be entering the NCAA transfer database as a graduate.  That would allow the fifth-year senior to use his final season of eligibility at another FBS program in 2020.

“I want to thank this school and all of the coaches who gave me a chance here at UNLV,” Rogers wrote. “It was a great time I had here being with my teammates who have always [shown] me support and the fans who have also been here along the way.  This school will always have a special place in my heart.

“It was a tough decision for me, but I have decided to enter the transfer portal as a graduate.”

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Rogers was a three-star member of the UNLV football Class of 2016.  The California native was rated as the No. 16 dual-threat quarterback on the 247Sports.com composite.  He was the highest-rated signee for the Rebels that cycle.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Rogers had a breakout 2017 campaign.  In being named as the Mountain West Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year, Rogers ran for 780 yards and eight touchdowns.  he also threw for 1,471 yards and another six scores.

Where Rogers always struggled, though, was accuracy.  In 350 career attempts, he completed just 174 (49.7%).  That 2017 season, Rogers started nine of the 10 games in which he played.  The past two seasons, however, injuries helped limit him to 11 games (five starts).

Rogers is the second Rebels quarterback to hit the portal this offseason.  Earlier this month, Travis Mumphrey took a dip into the database.  With the twin moves, it leaves UNLV football with just 2019 starter Kenyon Oblad and former Cal transfer Max Gilliam at the position.  Oblad threw for 2,081 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions a year ago.  Gilliam attempted 214 passes in 2018, but none this past season.