Nigel King

Nearly 30 percent of early entries weren’t selected in NFL draft

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Not surprisingly, some of the players who left eligibility on the table for an early shot at the pros were left without a chair when the draft music stopped Saturday.

By the deadline in mid-January, a total of 84 players with eligibility remaining filled out their paperwork to make themselves available for the 2015 NFL draft.  As noted by Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com, 24 of those 84 players went undrafted as the seven-round event concluded yesterday evening.

While that’s 28.6 percent, it’s actually a better rate than a year ago.  In 2014, 36.7 percent (36 of 98) of the early entrants went undrafted.  That total of 98 last year was a record number of draft-eligible players who left with eligibility remaining, which prompted the NFL to change its protocol in an attempt to roll back the number of players leaving early.

Getting back to this year, 16 of the 24 who weren’t selected came from Power Five football programs.  TCU was the only school with two early entrants who weren’t picked (running back B.J. Catalon, safety Chris Hackett), while two of the players came from non-FCS levels.

It should be noted that most if not all of the players in this group will sign as an undrafted free agent.

Below is the complete list of those who went undrafted.

SS Durell Eskridge, Syracuse
CB Jacoby Glenn, UCF
FS Chris Hackett, TCU
WR DaVaris Daniels, Notre Dame
RB Trey Williams, Texas A&M
DE Deion Barnes, Penn State
TE Jean Sifrin, Massachusetts
DT David Irving, Iowa State
WR Deontay Greenberry, Houston
DT Ellis McCarthy, UCLA
RB B.J. Catalon, TCU
WR Chris Harper, California
LB Max Flores, Northern Colorado
RB Dee Hart, Colorado State
RB Braylon Heard, Kentucky
WR George Farmer, USC
WR Nigel King, Kansas
OT Patrick Miller, Auburn
WR Zach D’Orazio, Akron
WR Tacoi Sumler, Appalachian State
OG Tyler Moore, Florida
WR Jaquel Pitts, Trinity International
LS Easton Wahlstrom, Arizona State
OLB Darien Rankin, North Carolina

WR Nigel King opts for NFL over another year at Kansas

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In August of 2014 Nigel King transferred into the Kansas football program.  Five months later?  He gone.

Friday, the wide receiver confirmed to both the Lawrence Journal-World and the Topeka Capital-Journal that he’s decided to forego his remaining two years of eligibility.  King, who’s already graduated, is hopeful of getting an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine in February based off how he closed out his lone season with the Jayhawks.

“I didn’t start the season off as strong as I wanted,” King told the Journal-World. “But I felt good about the way I finished and it just came down to me feeling like I was ready for it and knowing in my heart that this is what I want to do.”

King transferred to KU from Maryland less than a month before the start of the 2014 season.  He was second on the team with 537 receiving yards and No. 3 in receptions with 30, although he was No. 1 on the highlight real.

The Fifth Quarter: Week 12 Rewind

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As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

PROJECTING CFP TOP FOUR
Thanks to fifth-ranked Alabama’s win over top-ranked Mississippi State and sixth-ranked Arizona State’s upset loss at Oregon State, there will certainly be a shakeup when the College Football Playoff committee releases its updated Top 25 rankings this Tuesday night.

Just how big of a shakeup?  That’s hard to say, if for nothing more than we have very little data on the the 13-person group’s thought process.

The Tide was leapfrogged by No. 4 TCU last week, seemingly because of the strength of the latter’s résumé.  Nothing, though, quite strengthens the ol’ résumé like a win over the No. 1 team in the country.  Mix in the Horned Frogs struggling on the road against lowly Kansas, and that Big 12 school will likely find itself on the outside of the Fine Four.  So will another from that conference, Baylor, thanks to its strength of schedule, or lack thereof.

Speaking of résumés, No. 3 Florida State’s took a significant shot this weekend.  FSU has what some would’ve consider three quality wins this season, Clemson, Notre Dame and Louisville; those first two teams suffered bad losses in Week 12, meaning the Seminoles, despite being undefeated, could find themselves at No. 4 when the rankings are released.  Some “experts” have even suggested they could be outside the Top Four entirely.  While the latter scenario seems far-fetched, the former certainly isn’t.  Remember, the committee moved one-loss Oregon ahead of FSU in the last set of rankings.

It would not be surprising at all to see the Tide, No. 2 Oregon and, yes, the Bulldogs ahead of the ‘Noles come Tuesday night.  MSU’s résumé is certainly much stronger than FSU’s, with wins over LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M surpassing anything the team from Tallahassee has done this season.  The Bulldogs, though, lost some luster aside from its first loss as each of those teams mentioned as quality wins lost in Week 12.

The other one-loss team in the Top Ten, No. 8 Ohio State, simply doesn’t have the strength of schedule to move up more than the one spot ASU’s loss hands them.  Plus, they have the albatross that is the still-inexplicable loss to Virginia Tech earlier in the year hanging around its neck, although some — some — of the stink of that loss came off as Tech upset No. 21 Duke earlier today.

Again, it’ll all come down to what the committee values more: overall résumé or overall record.  As we saw last week, it was decidedly the former, so I’m predicting the Top Four come Tuesday will look like this:

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Mississippi State
4. Florida State

I’m not saying it’s right, and I’m not saying it’s what I would do — scroll down a little to see who would be in my Top Four — I’m just saying it’s how I think the committee will look at the current state of the top of its rankings.  Or not.  One of the two.

CONFERENCE CHASE CLARITY
Well, for the most part.

With 12 weeks in the books, and just two more remaining in the regular season (three if you’re the Big 12), more than half of the nine Power Five division/league races have either been claimed (ACC Atlantic,  Pac-12 North) or have a very clear front-runner (Big Ten East, SEC East, SEC West).

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Terps moving QB to prop up depleted WR corps

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A couple of years ago it was a linebacker moving to starting quarterback due to a rash of season-ending injuries.  Now, it’s the quarterback position that’s come to the rescue for another Maryland positional group slammed with attrition.

Tuesday, head coach Randy Edsall revealed that quarterback Will Ulmer has been moved to wide receiver.  The decision to flip positions came after the two sat down for a meeting to discuss such a move.

“It’s ironic that he was about to come see me to talk about exactly what I wanted to talk to him about,” Edsall said according to the Baltimore Sun. “He’s all for it and believes that wide receiver will be his best position going forward.”

While Ulmer worked with the quarterbacks throughout summer camp, he began practicing with the receivers as the Terps’ attention turned to game prep for the opener against James Madison. Edsall had previously moved running back Jacquille Veii to receiver as well.

Ulmer was a three-star member of Maryland’s 2014 recruiting class, rated as the No. 35 “athlete in the country by Rivals.com. He was also the No. 3 player at any position in the District of Columbia.

The move to receiver comes in the midst of the Terps losing three players at the position who would’ve contributed offensively on some level in less than a month.

On the second drive of the Terps’ season-opening win, Taivon Jacobs went down to a season-ending knee injury. Two days prior to that, Jacobs’ brother, Levern Jacobs, was suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating the school’s code of student conduct, which came as a result of an August arrest for assault.  The latter Jacobs brother led the team in catches last season.

Prior to that, and shortly before the start of summer camp this year, Nigel King, the Terps’ third-leading receiver last year, left the football team and ultimately landed at Kansas earlier this month.

Terps lose WR Taivon Jacobs to season-ending knee injury

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It’s not been a good past few days for Maryland’s pass-catching Jacobs brothers.

Friday, Levern Jacobs was suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating the school’s code of student conduct.  Two days later, head coach Randy Edsall announced that Taivon Jacobs (pictured, No. 12) has been lost to a season-ending knee injury.  The specific nature of the injury wasn’t detailed.

Jacobs suffered the injury on the second drive of the Terps’ season-opening win against James Madison Saturday.

As a true freshman in 2013, Jacobs took a redshirt as a torn ACL suffered during his senior year in high school limited his availability.  Jacobs, who was one of three starting Terp receivers, didn’t record a catch prior to going down with the injury.

The loss of the Jacobs brothers continues an attrition trend at the position over the past year.  In 2013, both of Maryland’s top receivers, Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, went down with season-ending injuries in the same mid-October game.  Shortly before the start of summer camp this year, Nigel King, the team’s third-leading receiver last year, left the football team and ultimately landed at Kansas earlier this month.