Nick Harwell

55 receivers named to Biletnikoff watch list

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At this point, 55 names seems like a somewhat reasonable number for a watch list. It’s actually fewer than the number of players on the Rimington watch list, which goes to the nation’s top center — and, of course, teams only have one center per roster as opposed to three or four starting wide receivers.

The preseason Biletnikoff watch list:

Nelson Agholor University of Southern California Jr.
Dres Anderson University of Utah Sr.
Kenny Bell University of Nebraska Sr.
Tyler Boyd University of Pittsburgh So.
Da’Ron Brown Northern Illinois University Sr.
Rashon Ceaser University of Louisiana at Monroe Jr.
Sammie Coates Auburn University Jr.
Amari Cooper University of Alabama Sr.
Jamison Crowder Duke University Sr.
Titus Davis Central Michigan University Sr.
Geremy Davis University of Connecticut Sr.
Devante Davis University of Nevada, Las Vegas Sr.
Quinshad Davis University of North Carolina Jr.
Corey Davis Western Michigan University So.
Stefon Diggs University of Maryland Jr.
Devin Funchess University of Michigan Jr.
Antwan Goodley Baylor University Sr.
Jakeem Grant Texas Tech University Jr.
Deontay Greenberry University of Houston Jr.
Rashad Greene Florida State University Sr.
Rannell Hall University of Central Florida Sr.
Justin Hardy East Carolina University Sr.
Josh Harper California State University, Fresno Sr.
Chris Harper University of California Jr.
Nick Harwell University of Kansas Sr.
Rashard Higgins Colorado State University So.
Austin Hill University of Arizona Sr.
Christian Jones Northwestern University Sr.
Darius Joseph Southern Methodist University Jr.
Jameon Lewis Mississippi State University Sr.
Tyler Lockett Kansas State University Sr.
Matt Miller Boise State University Sr.
Ty Montgomery Stanford University Sr.
Richard Mullaney Oregon State University Jr.
Jamarcus Nelson University of Alabama at Birmingham Sr.
Levi Norwood Baylor University Sr.
DeVante Parker University of Louisville Sr.
Breshad Perriman University of Central Florida Jr.
Jamal Robinson University of Louisiana at Lafayette Sr.
Ezell Ruffin San Diego State University Sr.
Dominic Rufran University of Wyoming Sr.
Wes Saxton University of South Alabama Jr.
Jaxon Shipley University of Texas Sr.
Tommy Shuler Marshall University Sr.
Devin Smith Ohio State University Jr.
Shavarez Smith University of South Alabama Jr.
Daniel Spencer University of Houston Sr.
Jaelen Strong Arizona State University Jr.
Jordan Taylor Rice University Sr.
Laquon Treadwell University of Mississippi So.
Richy Turner University of Nevada  Sr.
Shaq Washington University of Cincinnati Sr.
Jordan Williams Ball State University Jr.
Tyler Winston San Jose State University So.
Shane Wynn Indiana University Sr.

 

Obviously, these are all talented players to make this watch list, but a wild guess at the three guys who ultimately are finalists for the award: Amari Cooper, Deontay Greenberry and Antwan Goodley.

CFT Predicts: the Big 12

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As the 2013 season draws near, we peek into our crystal ball and guess project how each of the five major conferences will play out. Today, we examine the Big 12. 

While we’re at it, be sure to check out our other conference predictions: SECBig TenPac-12

1. TCU (Last year: 7-6; lost to Michigan State in Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl) 
What happened last season?
Thanks to injuries, dismissals and attrition of various varieties, the Horned Frogs tossed a lot of young players into their first Big 12 fire and still managed to win seven games. Included in the list of new faces was quarterback Trevone Boykin, who played out the final two months of the season while Casey Pachall dealt with substance abuse issues. Of all the success Gary Patterson‘s had in Fort Worth, 2012 may have been was his best coaching job, and a young defense buckled down in the final month of the season.

So why are they picked here?
Most of them youngins mentioned above are back. The offense should be fine no matter which quarterback, Pachall or Boykin, takes the field. And they’ll have options at their disposal too. Running back Waymon James averaged nearly 10 yards per carry in two games before going down with a season-ending knee injury. In that vein, TCU’s backfield had its fair share of injuries, but when healthy, it should flourish alongside a solid receiving unit.

And that defense? It should be the best in the conference with just about everybody coming back (minus linebacker and second-leading tackler Joel Hasley).

Anything else?
Some departures just before, and around the start of, preseason camp have put a dent in the offensive line and linebacker units. Defensive end Devonte Fields will miss some early-season action as well. But Patterson is well-respected around these parts and he’s shown as recently as a year ago that he can coach around injuries. Also, the Horned Frogs have some intriguing road games at Oklahoma (Oct. 5), Oklahoma State (Oct. 19) and Kansas State (Nov. 16) that should provide tough tests. Going to Lubbock in the early portion of the season (Sept. 12) and Ames in November (Nov. 9) aren’t always picnics, either.

2. Texas (last year: 9-4; beat Oregon State in Alamo Bowl)
What happened last season?
Texas experienced about as many ups and downs as a nine-win team could possibly go through in one season. The Longhorns got taken to the woodshed (again) by Oklahoma and still couldn’t find a way to beat Kansas State, but a come-from-behind win against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl cleansed the football palate just enough to make the offseason bearable. The offense, led by quarterback David Ash, was inconsistent and the defense exhibited too many breakdowns in fundamentals and tackling. 

So why are they picked here?
That’s a handsome question considering there wasn’t a lot praise being doled out in the 2012 recap. But the simple answer is Texas brings back among the most experienced group of starters not just in the Big 12, but in the country. There’s no denying the skill position talent on offense, where receivers Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley should be complemented by the deepest backfield in the conference. If the defense can improve even a little — getting Jordan Hicks back should help — this team has the potential to be dangerous.

Anything else?
Yeah, about that Mack Brown. Two BCS championship appearances (and winning one) would normally eliminate Brown from being mentioned as a concern, but media members in Big 12 country didn’t seem to have a lot of confidence in him when they picked Texas to finish fourth in the conference this year. I’m a little more convinced Texas will ascend to the top, or near the top, of the Big 12, which should be wide open this year. But if Brown can’t make it happen this year, it’s hard to see him hanging around much longer.

(more…)

Transfer receiver ineligible to play for Jayhawks in 2013

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As it turns out, Kansas came just a handful of hours shy of having an impact transfer at its immediate disposal.  Or, more specifically, a mere six.

KU head coach Charlie Weis confirmed Wednesday that Nick Harwell will take a redshirt for the 2013 season and won’t play for the Jayhawks until next year.  Harwell, who announced he was transferring from Miami to Kansas earlier this offseason, was just six hours shy of graduating from the Ohio school; because of an arrest on theft charges in the spring, however, he was not permitted to return to the Oxford campus for summer school to complete his degree and become eligible immediately at Kansas as a graduate transfer.

“The bottom line was he was never allowed to complete his last six hours,” Weis said according to the Lawrence Journal-World. “And unless someone does something I’m not anticipating here, my intent with him is to treat (Marcus) Jenkins-Moore (injured linebacker) and Nick Harwell like I did Jake Heaps and Justin McCay last year. They’ll work on everything football related, get their academics in order, work on community service. There’s a bunch of things they can do to make themselves better prepared and better people and proud Jayhawks.”

As is always the case, Harwell will be permitted to practice with his new Jayhawk teammates as he sits out his transfer season.

KU, though, will be missing out on an immediate impact player on the offensive side of the ball.

Harwell led Miami in receiving yards (870) and touchdowns (eight) as junior in 2012, and finished second in receptions (68) — all while missing three games with injuries. Harwell was also the NCAA’s second-leading receiver in 2011 with 129.6 receiving yards per game, finishing his sophomore campaign with 97 receptions for 1,425 yards and nine touchdowns.

Tuesday offseason one-liners

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Some links from around college football on a Tuesday… 

Nick Harwell reportedly coming to Kansas ‘no matter what’

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In May, Kansas head coach Charlie Weis announced that former Miami (OH) wide receiver Nick Harwell would be joining the program, though the question of whether Harwell would immediately be eligible remained unanswered at the time.

Six weeks later, there’s still not a lot of clarity. Citing sources with knowledge of the situation, Matt Tait of the Lawrence Journal-World writes that Harwell will be coming to Kansas this summer “no matter what” even though Miami has reportedly “blocked his path to do so.”

As far as Miami’s side of the story goes, the university did not return requests for response. Harwell is reportedly close — as in two or three courses — to graduating, but a previous report from the Kansas City Star says Harwell was suspended from school following an arrest this spring on theft charges (which were later reduced to a single count of attempted theft, a second-degree misdemeanor). Therefore, he has been unable to enroll in summer classes to complete his degree.

The situation is apparently messy enough that Harwell needs an attorney with prior experience of working eligibility cases.

“He’s not going back to Miami under any circumstances,” Harwell’s attorney, Don Jackson, said. “He’ll be at the University of Kansas whether that means he’s playing this year or sitting this year and playing next year. But we’re optimistic and hopeful that he’ll be playing this year.”

Harwell led Miami in receiving yards (870) and touchdowns (eight) as junior in 2012, and finished second in receptions (68) — all while missing three games with injuries. Harwell was also the NCAA’s second-leading receiver in 2011 with 129.6 receiving yards per game, finishing his sophomore campaign with 97 receptions for 1,425 yards and nine touchdowns.

He’ll have one year of eligibility remaining when he does suit up for the Jayhawks, whether that’s in 2013 or ’14.