EJ Manuel

Auburn co-offensive coordinator not frustrated with lack of coaching offers

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Contrary to a previous report, Auburn co-offensive coordinator Dameyune Craig says he is not frustrated with a lack of opportunities to be a head coach. Craig claims a quote from him about the desire to be a head coach was taken out of context.

“What more do I have to do?” Craig said in a story by Palm Beach Post earlier this month before rattling off some examples of his work dating back to his time on Florida State’s coaching staff. “I’ve coached two first-round picks (Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel). I coached and recruited a Heisman Trophy winner (Jameis Winston). I went to a team that was 3-9 to playing in the national championship. I don’t know what else I need to do to be considered a coach.”

Now, a little more than two weeks later, Craig is showing a bit of a different tone on the subject.

“Did you hear Dameyune Craig say, ‘I’m frustrated (not) being a head coach? … OK, I did not say that,” Craig clarified to Al.com. “I thought it was so funny. I was just reading the paper. It’s amazing what people say.”

The goal for most assistant coaches in football at any level is likely to one day be a head coach. Perhaps that is the ultimate goal for Craig as well, although for now it seems as though he is satisfied with his position in Auburn’s coaching staff. But he will certainly be keeping his eyes out for the opportunity. If Auburn continues to thrive and Craig shows he can still recruit, he will get some looks.

Photo: Auburn Athletics

NC State will be QB U, for one NFL weekend

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Greg Schiano could very well be on his way back to the college sidelines if things do not turn around with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the end of the year. This week Schiano generated some buzz with his decision to bench starting quarterback Josh Freeman in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, from North Carolina State.

We’ll leave the analysis of this decision as it pertains to that football played on sundays for the folks over at Pro Football Talk, but one Reddit user brought this interesting nugget to my attention. This weekend in the NFL there will be three starting quarterbacks who played at North Carolina State, one more than Michigan and Florida State. In addition to Glennon, former Wolfpack quarterbacks Phillip Rivers (San Diego Chargers) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) will also be in action.

Michigan’s two quarterbacks are Tom Brady at New England and Chad Henne in Jacksonville. Florida State’s two starting quarterbacks are EJ Manuel (Buffalo) and Christian Ponder (Minnesota).

CFT Preseason Top 25: three in a row, Roll Tide Roll

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I have some good news and bad news for you, Tide Nation.

The good? In the 2011 edition of CFT’s preseason Top 25, I predicted the Tide would rise again and claim its second BCS title under Nick Saban; five months later, Alabama did just that. The bad? More times than not, my preseason prognostications are historically and prodigiously horrendous… and that doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

In 2009, 2010 and 2012, Oklahoma, Florida and USC, respectively, ranked as CFT’s preseason No. 1. Five losses later for the Sooners and Gators, and six for the Trojans, none of those three finished the season ranked in either the final Associated Press or coaches’ poll. The eventual BCS champions those seasons — Alabama (2012), Auburn (2010) and Alabama again (2009) — were ranked No. 3, No. 15 and No. 19 by CFT in the preseason.

So, will 2013 be CFT’s Nostradumbass norm for the Tide, or will the 2011 exception take hold? Or, will the Tide fall somewhere in between? More than anyone else, and based on my track record, I don’t have a clue; that’s why they play the games, as the saying goes.

And that’s why, for better or worse and for posterity’s sake, the complete 2013 edition of CFT’s fifth-annual preseason Top 25 appears after the jump.  By conference, you’ll find six teams from the SEC — all in the Top 12 — five from the Big 12, four each from the Big Ten and Pac-12, three from the ACC and one apiece from the AAC, MWC and Independents.

I’d ask y’all to be some semblance of kind and/or gentle in the comments section, but there’s really no point…

(more…)

Shocker: Jameis Winston named FSU’s starting QB

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What wasn’t really a mystery in the first place is officially no longer even remotely close to being one.

Friday evening, Jimbo Fisher revealed that, yes, Jameis Winston has officially won Florida State’s quarterback competition and will be the starter when the Seminoles open the season Labor Day against Pittsburgh.  Winston beat out Jacob Coker for the right to replace EJ Manuel as FSU’s starter.

While Fisher has kept his QB cards close to the vest, the move is far from surprising.

Winston appeared to take control of the job in spring practice and, while Fisher refused to anoint him, did nothing but solidify his hold on the job during camp.  The transfer of Clint Trickett to West Virginia was another sign that the three-horse QB race was really down to Winston not tripping over himself down the homestretch.

As a five-star member of FSU’s 2012 recruiting class, Winston was rated as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback; the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama; and the No. 10 player at any position.  He took a redshirt his true freshman season sitting behind Manuel and absorbing the offense that he will now be charged with triggering.

Trickett is FSU’s starting QB entering spring

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On Florida State’s spring to-do list, finding a replacement for two-year starter EJ Manuel is somewhere at or near the top.

Four players will enter spring practice with an opportunity to win the job — Clint Trickett, Jacob Coker, Sean Maguire and Jameis Winston.  At least for now, and as expected, Trickett will head into the 15 practice sessions as the No. 1 quarterback, head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed Monday.

Trickett spent the 2012 season as Manuel’s primary backup, appearing in eight games and completing 65 percent of his 34 attempts for 272 yards.  He’s also started two games the past two seasons, the only one of the contenders to have started at the collegiate level.  Coker, a redshirt sophomore, saw action in four games last season while Maguire, who Fisher warned people not to sell short in the competition, returns for his redshirt freshman season.

Winston, a redshirt as a true freshman last season, was the most highly-rated of the four coming to FSU, a five-star member of the Seminoles’ 2012 recruiting class and Rivals.com’s top dual-threat quarterback.  The 6-4, 220-pound Winston is pulling double-duty as a member of FSU’s baseball team, although Fisher said earlier this month that the stick-and-ball sport  will have no impact on Winston’s availability for spring practice or his chances of landing the starting job.

For now, though, it appears the job is Trickett’s to lose.  For his part, Fisher would give no timeline for naming a starter at the position.

I have no timetable on anything,” Fisher said according to ESPN.com. “I never put a timetable on anything.”

The Seminoles open spring practice Wednesday.  They open the 2013 season Labor Day against Pittsburgh, which will mark the Panthers’ debut as members of the ACC.