David Johnson

ECU passing duo among 11 players accepting Senior Bowl invite

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With the 2014 college football season heading down the final stretch the Senior Bowl is beginning to put together its roster for 2015 game. The Senior Bowl is the top all-star game for senior college football players heading to the NFL, and it serves as one of the premier offseason events leading up to the NFL Draft. On Monday the Senior Bowl announced 11 players have already accepted invites to play in the 2015 game in Mobile, Alabama.

East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden and wide receiver Justin Hardy were among the first players to accept their invites. Penn State safety Adrian Amos and linebacker Mike Hull, Navy long snapper Joseph Cardona, Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis, Michigan State free safety Kurtis Drummond, Oklahoma linebacker Geneo Grissom, Utah defensive end Nate Orchard also accepted invitations to play in the Senior Bowl.

The Senior Bowl also announced two players from the FCS has accepted his invite. Northern Iowa running back David Johnson and Samford free safety Jaquiski Tartt will look to show what they can do against some of college football’s best.

“We are so pleased that these invited players have responded so quickly in accepting to play in our 2015 game,” Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage said. “The importance of this event in the timeline of the NFL Draft cannot be understated and these prospects really understand the opportunity here.”

The Senior Bowl will be played Saturday, January 24, 2015 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

Is South Carolina facing nation’s top running back this weekend?

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Georgia running back Todd Gurley rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns and added a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a season-opening victory at home over Clemson. It was only one game ,but the message seems to be heard loud and clear: You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him. So how does a South Carolina defense that has been shredded by Texas A&M and East Carolina for a combined 1,133 yards of total offense in the first two weeks of the season start to game plan for Gurley?

Long nights and lots of coffee, probably.

“We have to tackle him, but they have a bunch of other backs too,” South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier Tuesday when addressing the media. “We just have to play football, tackle whoever has the ball. Sometimes they actually bring the wide receiver into the backfield and let him take off running, they have a nice mixture.”

South Carolina gave up big yardage to Gurley, with the Georgia back running for 132 yards and a touchdown. Spurrier has a pretty good running back himself with Mike Davis, but Gurley and the Bulldogs were too much even for the Gamecocks defense last season.

Good luck to South Carolina, and good luck to other teams facing some of the top running backs around the country this weekend.

Who do you think is the top running back in the nation? Is Todd Gurley leading the Heisman race, as Spurrier suggests may be the case? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments.

Wednesday afternoon one-liners

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Meandering our way through the offseason, a single one-liner at a time…

— Apparently, CFT received a mention in USC’s 2013 Football Media Guide based on this post from November of 2011.

— Out of Denard Robinson‘s shadow, Devin Gardner looking to live up to the hype as Michigan’s new quarterback.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Johnny Manziel’s private coach, George Whitfield Jr., is making a name for himself.

— The Tampa Bay Times maintains that USF still serves as the model for college football startups.

— Pittsburgh expecting even bigger things from All-American candidate Aaron Donald.

— Michigan State coaches can’t stop raving about new starting cornerback Trae Waynes.

— Oft-injured Kansas running back Brandon Bourbon feeling as strong and confident as ever.

— The Mumme returns to SMU… as the playcalling offensive coordinator?

— Second-year head coach Garrick McGee will be relying on UAB’s senior leadership this fall.

— Michigan State plans to allocate about $4 million to its football program from outside the athletic department.

— Former Utah and current Miami Dolphin lineman Paul Soliai has donated $250,000 for the Utes’ new football center, which will fund the Paul and LeTasha Soliai Player Lounge.

— “Treating him like a family member” helped South Carolina land linebacker David Johnson.

2013 Georgia football signees

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(Below are the bios released by Georgia on the new members of its 2013 recruiting class.)

JOHNATHAN ATKINS
DL, 6-4, 305
Thomson, Ga., Thomson HS
Hargrave Military Academy (Va.)

JOHNATHAN ATKINS…Born: December 21, 1992…Enrolled at UGA in January, 2013…Fox Sports NEXT three-star prospect, #23 DT in the country…DawgPost #23 overall prospect in Georgia…Enrolled at UGA in January, 2013…Prep School: Hargrave Military Academy…Finished the 2012 season with 42 total tackles, 2 sacks, 5 tackles for loss and one blocked kick…Hargrave Military Academy Head Coach: Troy Davis.

High School: Thomson…SuperPrep All-Dixie Team…Scout.com three-star player, #23 DT nationally, #23 overall prospect in Georgia…Rivals.com three-star player, #40 DT nationally, #52 overall prospect in Georgia…ESPNU four-star player, #11 DT nationally, #119 overall prospect nationally, #55 overall prospect regionally, #12 overall prospect in Georgia…#122 in the ESPNU Top 150…247sports.com four-star player, #17 DT nationally, #16 overall prospect in Georgia…Participated in the 2012 Under Armour All-American game…High School Coach: Milan Turner.

DAVIN BELLAMY
DL, 6-5, 235
Chamblee, Ga., Chamblee HS

DAVIN BELLAMY… Born: Dec. 27, 1994….High School: Chamblee… PrepStar All-Southeast Region….Fox Sports NEXT four-star prospect, #27 defensive end, #233 overall prospect nationally… Dawg Post rates Bellamy the #4 DE and #20 overall prospect in Georgia… Rivals.com three-star prospect, #25 defensive end in the country and #54 overall in Georgia… ESPN.com four-star recruit, #25 defensive end, #30 overall in Georgia and #299 overall nationally… 247Sports.com three-star recruit, #21 defensive end in the country, #31 overall player in Georgia… As a junior Bellamy recorded 10 tackles for loss and five sacks… Played injured through much of his senior season but managed to post five sacks…High School Coach: Allen Johnson.

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South Carolina unveils 21-player signing class

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(Below are the bios released by South Carolina on the new members of its 2013 recruiting class.)

LARENZ BRYANT
Linebacker
6-0 215
Charlotte, N.C. (Vance)
Played both running back and linebacker for the Vance Cougars in Charlotte, N.C… coached by Keith Wilkes… named to the 2012 Associated Press all-state team… helped his squad to a 9-4 record as a senior… logged 1,694 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns on offense and notched 84 tackles with nine sacks on defense… played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas game and in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl following his senior season… rushed for 1,423 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior while recording 154 tackles with 23 tackles for loss… returned three of his four interceptions for touchdowns… notched 56 tackles as a sophomore as his team reached the state finals… a four-star prospect, the fourth-best player in the state, the fourth-best inside linebacker in the country and the 112th-best prospect in the nation according to Rivals… a four-star prospect and the nation’s seventh-best outside linebacker by Scout… a four-star prospect, the top player in North Carolina, the sixth-best outside linebacker in the country and the 50th-best player overall according to 247Sports… rated a four-star prospect and No. 237 on the ESPN300… a four-star prospect, the nation’s 44th-best player overall and the fifth-best “Big Back” by MaxPreps… a five-star prospect, the fourth-best outside linebacker in the country and No. 45 overall by PrepStar… selected South Carolina over a host of schools with Clemson, Florida, Virginia and Wake Forest also making his final list of five… born November 1, 1994.

MOHAMED CAMARA
SafetY
6-1 191
Cumming, Ga. (West Forsyth)
Prep linebacker who figures to play the Spur position at South Carolina… helped West Forsyth (Cumming, Ga.) to a 10-2 record, a region title and to the second round of the state playoffs as a senior… logged 102 tackles, three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), 12 tackles for loss and seven pass breakups on his way to Region 6 6A Defensive Player of the Year honors… named honorable mention all-state by the Atlanta Journal Constitution… added 300 yards rushing on 35 attempts with seven touchdowns on offense… coached by Frank Hepler… notched 110 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions as a junior… regarded as a threestar prospect, the 69th-best player in Georgia, and the 54th-best outside linebacker in the country by Rivals… a three-star prospect and the nation’s 107th-best outside linebacker by Scout… a three-star prospect, the 85th-best player in the state, and the 85th-best outside linebacker in the country by 247Sports… a three-star prospect, the 49th-best outside linebacker and an AllSoutheast Region pick by PrepStar… turned down offers from Southern Miss, East Carolina, UCF and Western Kentucky… born May 30, 1994.

PHAROH COOPER
Cornerback
5-11 194
HaveLock, N.C. (Havelock)
Versatile performer who could player either receiver or defensive back at South Carolina… helped Havelock (N.C.) to back-to-back 3A state titles… Rams went 15-1 during his senior season and a perfect 16-0 during his junior campaign… coached by Jim Bob Bryant… played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas game after his senior season… used at quarterback, running back, receiver and was the primary return man on punts and kickoffs in the Shrine game… finished with 253 total yards including a 45-yard TD run, earning offensive MVP honors for the North Carolina squad… also played in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl… as a junior, rushed for 300 yards and caught 65 passes for 1,285 yards and 14 scores… registered 58 tackles with six interceptions… a four-star prospect and the state’s ninth-best player by Rivals… a three-star prospect and the nation’s 120th-best wide receiver by Scout… a three-star prospect, the 15th-best player in the state, and the 24th-best “athlete” in the country by 247Sports… a three-star prospect, the 62nd-best wide receiver and an All-Atlantic Region pick by PrepStar… also had offers from East Carolina and NC State… same high school that produced current Gamecock Corey Robinson… born March 7, 1995.

DEVAN’TE COVINGTON
Defensive end
6-4 220
Rockingham, N.C. (Richmond County)
Defensive end who helped Richmond County (Rockingham, N.C.) to an 11-2 record and the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs as a senior… coached by Paul Hoggard… named to the 2012 Associated Press all-state team… participated in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas following his senior season… as a junior, recorded 34 tackles and eight sacks… three-star prospect who was ranked as the 28th-best player in the state of North Carolina by Rivals… a three-star prospect and the nation’s 42nd-best defensive end by Scout… a three-star prospect, the 17th-best player in the state, and the 20th-best weakside defensive end in the country by 247Sports… a three-star prospect and an All-Atlantic Region pick according to PrepStar… also had offers from Clemson, East Carolina, NC State and Tennessee… hails from the same high school that produced former Gamecock All-American Melvin Ingram… born March 6, 1994.

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