Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

West Virginia’s Will Grier and Michigan’s Shea Patterson among Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalists

2 Comments

College football’s award season is drawing near. The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is in the spirit of the season with the announcement of 10 finalists for their award this season, honoring the top fourth-year quarterback in college football using a number of conditions including character, scholastic achievement and leadership qualities in addition to on-field success. And because the award is designed for seniors and fourth-year juniors scheduled to graduate with their class, you won’t find Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa on this list.

West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and Michigan’s Shea Patterson are among the list of candidates up for the award as finalists this season, it was announced on Thursday. Both players have certainly played a key role in guiding their respective teams into position to play for and win their respective conference titles with the final weeks of the season underway. UCF’s McKenzie Milton is in a similar position and was named a finalist for the award as well.

Joining those three are a pair of ACC quarterbacks with Syracuse’s Eric Dungey and NC State’s Ryan Finley. Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Washington State’s Gardner Minshew are representing the Pac-12 and Penn State’s Trace McSorley joins Patterson as the Big Ten representatives on the list of finalists for the award. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is the lone SEC player named as a finalist and Boise State’s Brett Rypien is standing tall for the Mountain West Conference.

Past Golden Arm Award winners include Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Boston College’s Matt Ryan and Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn. Rudolph was last year’s recipient of the award.

ACC announces player representatives for ACC Football Kickoff

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Believe it or not, the summer is just about over for college football fans. Hardcore fans will begin basking in the glory of the sport of college football in two weeks when the conference media day circuit officially opens for the 2018 season. On Wednesday, July 18, the ACC will get in on the fun with the annual ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte, North Carolina. On Friday, the conference confirmed the list of players expected to attend from each of the conference’s 14 members.

Among the players listed as player representatives include Duke quarterback Daniel Jones and Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey, the only players making a second-straight media event appearance according to the ACC. Players scheduled to appear that received All-American honors last season include Clemson offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt and defensive end Clelin Ferrell, Duke linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, and Miami linebacker Jaquan Johnson.

Some other notable names that will be in attendance include NC State quarterback Ryan Finley, Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson, Louisville wide receiver Jaylen Smith, and Florida State running back Cam Akers.

Here is the full list of players announced by the ACC.

Boston College
Tommy Sweeney, TE, Gr., Ramsey, N.J.
Zach Allen, DE, Sr., New Canaan, Conn.

Clemson
Mitch Hyatt, OT, Sr., Suwanee, Ga.
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Jr., Richmond, Va.

Duke
Daniel Jones, QB, Jr., Charlotte, N.C.
Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Jr., Nyack, N.Y.

Florida State
Cam Akers, RB, So., Clinton, Miss.
Brian Burns, DE, Jr., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Georgia Tech
TaQuon Marshall, QB, Sr., Hamilton, Ga.
Brant Mitchell, LB, Sr., Knoxville, Tenn.

Louisville
Jaylen Smith, WR, Sr., Pascagoula, Miss.
Jonathan Greenard, LB, Jr., Hiram, Ga.

Miami
Ahmmon Richards, WR, Jr., Wellington, Fla.
Jaquan Johnson, S, Sr., Miami, Fla.

North Carolina
Anthony Ratliff-Williams, WR, Jr., Matthews, N.C.
Aaron Crawford, DT, Jr., Ashburn, Va.

NC State
Ryan Finley, QB, Gr., Phoenix, Ariz.
Germaine Pratt, LB, Gr., High Point, N.C.

Pitt
Alex Bookser, OT, Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Oluwaseun Idowu, LB, Sr., Wexford, Pa.

Syracuse
Eric Dungey, QB, Sr., Lake Oswego, Ore.
Chris Slayton, DT, Sr., University Park, Ill.

Virginia
Olamide Zaccheaus, HB, Sr., Plainfield, N.J.
Chris Peace, OLB, Sr., Newport News, Va.

Virginia Tech
Josh Jackson, QB, So., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ricky Walker, DT, Sr., Hampton, Va.

Wake Forest
Phil Haynes, OG, Sr., Raleigh, N.C.
Willie Yarbary, DT, Sr., Augusta, Ga.

J.K. Dobbins races past Bryce Love as Bovada’s updated Heisman favorite

AP Photo/Michael Conroy
2 Comments

Remember yesterday when we shared the initial 2018 Heisman Trophy odds from Bovada? Well, scrap that already because the people have come in with enough bets to warrant some quick changes to the Heisman odds. Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins soared up four spots to climb into the top spot on Bovada’s board after just 24 hours.

Dobbins was initially given 12/1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy, and the bettors went scrambling for those odds. Bovada’s updated odds see Dobbins as the way-too-early favorite with 6/1 odds. Tied for the best odds with Dobbins is another Big Ten running back, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor. Taylor didn’t move up quite as dramatically to 6/1 after having 8/1 odds a day ago. The short-lived preseason favorite from Bovada and 2017 Heisman Trophy runner-up, Stanford running back Bryce Love, has slipped into third on the board with 7/1 odds. Alabama’s national championship hero, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, tied Love with 7/1 odds.

Some other notable dramatic changes include the addition of Missouri quarterback Drew Lock (25/1). Lock, the SEC’s top passer returning in 2018, was initially left completely off the board. He is the only newcomer to the updated odds from Bovada at this moment. The most notable drop in the odds was from Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver, who fell from 55/1 odds to 66/1. Most other drops were just by a few spots, including Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate falling from 9/1 to 14/1, West Virginia quarterback Will Grier falling from 12/1 to 16/1 and Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley dropping from 18/1 to 20/1.

Here are the updated Heisman odds as relayed by Bovada:

J.K. Dobbins (RB Ohio State) 6/1
Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) 6/1
Bryce Love (RB Stanford) 7/1
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama) 7/1
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) 12/1
Khalil Tate (QB Arizona) 14/1
Will Grier (QB West Virginia) 16/1
Jarrett Stidham (QB Auburn) 16/1
Kelly Bryant (QB Clemson) 18/1
Justin Herbert (QB Oregon) 18/1
Trace McSorley (QB Penn State) 20/1
Cam Akers (RB Florida State) 25/1
Rodney Anderson (RB Oklahoma) 25/1
Jake Browning (QB Washington) 25/1
Ryan Finley (QB NC State) 25/1
Drew Lock (QB Missouri) 25/1
McKenzie Milton (QB UCF) 25/1
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson) 35/1
Nick Fitzgerald (QB Mississippi State) 35/1
D'Andre Swift (RB Georgia) 35/1
Brandon Winbush (QB Notre Dame) 35/1
David Sills (WR West Virginia) 45/1
Ed Oliver (DL Houston) 66/1
Nick Bosa (DL Ohio State) 75/1

Baker Mayfield headlines Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalists

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield may be solidly on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy, but he may also have a decent chance of taking home some other hardware this award season as well. Mayfield was named one of the five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award today.

The Golden Arm Award is given to the nation’s top quarterback in his senior or fourth year of college football (freshmen and sophomores are not eligible), and this year’s crop of finalists is an impressive one. In addition to Mayfield, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, Penn State’s Trace McSorley, and NC State’s Ryan Finley were named finalists for the award.

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson won the award a year ago. It could be a coincidence, but the award has gone to a quarterback playing in the College Football Playoff each of the past three seasons. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota won the award in 2014 and Michigan State’s Connor Cook won the award in 2015. Mayfield appears to be in a position to keep that trend going if he is the favorite to win this year’s Golden Arm Award.

The last Oklahoma player to win the award, and the only one thus far, was Jason White in 2004. No player from Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Penn State or NC State has won the award, which was first presented in 1987 to Don McPherson of Syracuse.

NC State looking for statement vs. Clemson, clinging to 21-17 lead at halftime

Photo by Todd Bennett/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With first place in the ACC Atlantic Divison on the line, NC State is leading the defending national champions by four points at halftime. Up 21-17 at halftime in Raleigh, the Wolfpack will have to be ready to find a way to finish this game on a strong note against Clemson.

NC State got the party started early with Tim Kidd-Glass coming up with an interception of Kelly Bryant on the third play of the game. Setting up the Wolfpack offense at the Clemson 40-yard line, NC State wasted no time taking advantage of the early turnover. Ryan Finley completed a 40-yard pass for a touchdown to Kelvin Harmon for the early 7-0 lead. Clemson’s offense could not get much going on their next possession and ended a five-play drive with a punt, but the Tigers defense came through with a quick three-and-out. It was at this point Clemson’s Ray-Ray McCloud ripped off an impressive 77-yard punt return for a touchdown to even things at 7-7.

NC State and Clemson then exchanged 12-play touchdown drives to keep things even at 14-14. NC State responded once more with another strong touchdown drive with Finley finding plenty of success through the air. The drive ended with a touchdown pass to Jaylen Samuels to go up 21-14. Clemson cut into the lead with a field goal. The Tigers added another field goal in the final seconds as the teams went to the locker room at halftime to create the one-point game. NC State had missed a field goal on their final possession of the half.

The winner of this game will take first place in the ACC Atlantic Division, which likely means the winner of this game will end up playing for the ACC championship. For Clemson, the fourth team in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, the stakes are a bit higher at the moment as well. There has never been a two-loss conference champion in the four-team playoff. Of course, NC State is hoping to become the first as well.