Jadeveon Clowney

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College football Twitter’s favorite GIFs of the past decade

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Happy new year, college football fans. Although the 2019 season still has some business to attend to before putting the final stamps on the college football season, a new year is now officially here. With 2020, we also brought a close to the past decade, which has been cause for celebration of the highs and lows of the past 10 years in all walks of life. You would have to be tiptoeing pretty carefully around the social media world to avoid running into a list of the top 10 moments, top 10 games, or top 10 players of the past decade in some form or another. We here at College Football Talk got in on the fun with a look at the all-decade team, for example.

One part of what makes College Football Twitter so fun is the GIFs that pop up every week of the season. College football has been full of brilliant memes and GIFs over the past decade, especially as Twitter became more and more mainstream. And with the abundance of moments over the past decade’s worth of games, with a transition from the BCS to the College Football Playoff and so much more, there was no shortage of GIFs that helped capture some of the top college football moments, both high and low and just funny.

I took to Twitter to randomly gather some of your favorite GIFs of the past decade, and there were a good number of responses worth relaying as we sit back and usher in 2020 with high hopes for more fun GIFs to come.

Pain to the Victors

There was this moment of panic from Michigan punter Will Hagerup against Ohio State in 2011…

Sticking with Michigan, who could forget this fan?

I promise this won’t all be about the misfortune of the Wolverines, but this post could not possibly have been constructed without South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney decapitating a Michigan player in the Outback Bowl to start 2013.

SMILE!

Sometimes you just know where to find the camera, as Ole Miss defensive end Breeland Speaks did after recovering a fumble in the Egg Bowl in 2017…

Virginia may be coming off a successful season in 2019, but the iconic image of the Cavaliers football program in the past decade is unquestionably this dejected fan as his Cavaliers failed to pull off an upset of Notre Dame in 2015.

Sad fans are always good for a few GIFS throughout the season, and sometimes they just have a smirk that says it all when the going gets tough.

And who could forget about this LSU fan?

Capturing the best and weirdest plays

Some of the best GIFs are the crazy plays that happen. Like when Rutgers threw a pick-six in the end zone against USF.

Or Ezekiel Elliot running Ohio State to victory over Alabama in the first College Football Playoff.

Personally, I feel this GIF is more iconic from the same inaugural season of the College Football Playoff in the other semifinal game. Sorry, Jameis Winston.

An assortment of memories

Some more GIFs with no additional context worth remembering…

This barely scratches the surface of all the internet gold to be found out there, so feel free to share your other favorite GIFs on Twitter.

Happy new year, college football fans. Keep those GIFs going in the new year.

LSU’s Leonard Fournette the latest to spark debate over NFL Draft rules

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Get ready for another round of silly debates over what LSU running back Leonard Fournette should do with his football future. Fournette was already a well-known player to those who follow college football recruiting and have been actively watching LSU football, but this past weekend has seen him enter the national spotlight as more of a household name. Fournette’s smashing performance against Auburn, in which he showed superior physical strength and veteran-like awareness and patience to maximize the result of each play has catapulting him to the top of the Heisman charts and NFL folks are paying close attention. Unfortunately, the NFL will not be able to welcome Fournette to the professional ranks due to NFL rules preventing him from joining the league until 2017 at the earliest.

The New York Times published a story on the NFL rules and Fournette on Sunday, citing a guide from the NFL for college football coaches.

‚ÄúThe majority of underclassmen are not physically or mentally prepared to enter the [NFL],‚ÄĚ the league states in a guide for college head coaches. ‚ÄúMost would benefit significantly from another year of college football.‚ÄĚ

Fournette has suggested players may be physically ready to make the jump, but the mental fortitude is not always ready for that kind of change. It does not matter how physically gifted and crafted you may be if you do not have the mental maturity to handle the responsibilities that come with playing in the NFL.

Most would, of course, but sometimes there could possibly be an exception to that rule. Ohio State’s Maurice Clarett once tried to challenge the NFL rules feeling he was ready for the next level after just one year in Columbus. Fournette may be much more physically prepared than Clarett was at the time, but even he is not likely¬†ready to jump right into the rigors of the NFL just yet. And recent history might suggest coming back for another year is probably best to get more of a sample of what any one player is capable of doing. Just last January NFL types were calling for Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones to leave the Buckeyes and enter the NFL Draft after three career starts (although an incredibly impressive three career starts). Jones returned to the Buckeyes this season and has now been pulled from the starting job just three games into the season.

It was just within the last couple of years national media types were seriously debating whether or not South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney should sit out the regular season and focus on training for the NFL Draft. Clowney, of course, played what would be his final season at South Carolina and went on to be a top draft pick of the Houston Texans in the 2014 NFL Draft. Do not be surprised if some fall into the trap of suggesting Fournette should consider sitting out the 2016 season so he can focus on the draft. The arguments that will be made may actually carry a little more weight than the arguments for Clowney. Running backs have a short life span in the NFL, and coming back from various types of injuries can be far more inhibiting than at other positions, like defensive end.

Jameis Winston expected to end ACC’s No. 1 overall draft pick drought

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If Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the first draft entrant to hear his name called tonight by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, he will be the second ACC player since 2000 to be named the number one overall draft pick. That would bring an end to the longest stretch among power conferences between top overall draft picks. Winston is widely considered to be the top choice for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who own the first pick in this evening’s NFL Draft.

Calling it a drought may be a tad harsh, but every power conference has had at least one number one overall pick since the last time the ACC had N.C. State’s Mario Williams¬†be drafted with the first pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Since then the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and even the MAC have had a top pick. Assuming Winston goes first overall, the new longest stretch between top picks will be handed to the Big Ten. Michigan’s Jake Long was the most recent top pick from the conference in 2008.

No conference has had more top overall draft picks than — surprise, surprise — the SEC. The SEC has had five players drafted with the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft. Last year it was South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney.

Whether it is Winston or Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, the history suggests the odds are good one of the quarterbacks will be the first pick. Since 2000, a quarterback has been the top pick in 10 NFL Drafts. Stanford’s Andrew Luck was the most recent in 2012.

Top Overall NFL Draft Picks Since 2000

2000 – DE Courtney Brown, Penn State (Big Ten)

2001 – QB Michael Vick, Virginia Tech (Big East)

2002 – QB David Carr, Fresno State (WAC)

2003 – QB Carson Palmer, USC (Pac-10)

2004 – QB Eli Manning, Ole Miss (SEC)

2005 – QB Alex Smith, Utah (Mountain West Conference)

2006 – DE Mario Williams, North Carolina State (ACC)

2007 – QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU (SEC)

2008 – OT Jake Long, Michigan (Big Ten)

2009 – QB Matthew Stafford, Georgia (SEC)

2010 – QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (Big 12)

2011 – QB Cam Newton, Auburn (SEC)

2012 – QB Andrew Luck, Stanford (Pac-12)

2013 – OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan (MAC)

2014 – DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (SEC)

2015 – ?

Report: Jameis Winston’s insurance policy valued at $8-$10 million

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Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is quite the prized commodity heading into the 2014 college football season. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner led the Seminoles to the ACC and BCS national championship in 2013 and now his stock continues to rise as a potential first round NFL Draft pick, whenever he decides the time is right to turn pro. Knowing what is at stake with his potential professional career, Winston has taken out a significant insurance policy valued between $8 and $10 million, according to a report by Yahoo Sports.

According to the report by Yahoo Sports, the value of the insurance policy was estimated base don a projection of Winston being a top 10 NFL Draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Winston’s father has stated before Winston intends to play football at Florida State for two more years, which would send the quarterback to the NFL in 2016, but it is always best to be prepared for every scenario on the table. If Winston were to enter the 2015 draft, he would cash in on the insurance policy if he fell out of the first round as a result of an injury or illness.

The report also cites information from industry sources that suggest the premium for an insurance policy of this magnitude can cost anywhere between $55,000 and $60,000. These types of policies are allowed by the NCAA

It is not at all out of the ordinary for a returning superstar at the collegiate level to take out an insurance policy of this magnitude. Last year it was reported South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney took out a $5 million insurance policy prior to the 2013 season. Clowney ended up going number one overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Blackledge: SEC players are more NFL ready than others

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The SEC sent 49 players through the 2014 NFL Draft, more than any other conference. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was the first overall pick in the NFL Draft and some of the other biggest stories followed during the three-day draft event centered around SEC players. Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel was the big story of the first round as the Cleveland Browns made a move to draft the former Heisman Trophy winner. Focus shifted to the falling of Alabama quarterback¬†AJ McCarron, as well as LSU’s Zach Mettenberger and Georgia’s Aaron Murray. Then Missouri’s Michael¬†Sam was the headliner with the St. Louis Rams drafting Sam in a historic moment for the NFL.

Yes, the SEC was everywhere you looked during the most recent NFL Draft. This was nothing new of course. Not that you really need another voice telling you just how good the talent coming out of the SEC is when it comes to the NFL Draft, but ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge reiterated the point recently at a fundraiser at Samford.

“SEC players, for the most part, are more NFL ready than a lot of players coming from other parts of the country,”¬†Blackledge said, according to a report by AL.com.

“The Draft has been the great indicator here the last several years of where the most talent is in college football,” Blackledge said.¬†“That’s why, up until last year when Florida State won, that the SEC has dominated the national championship picture as well.”

Three SEC schools (Alabama, LSU and Georgia) have sent at least 20 players through the NFL Draft over the last four years. Florida has sent 18 players and South Carolina has sent 17 players to the draft. The numbers speak volumes of the ability to recruit and develop talent ready to enter the NFL.