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Biletnikoff Award whittles hunt for nation’s top receiver down to 12

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The Biletnikoff Award on Monday announced its list of 12 semifinalists for the 2019 award. The award specifies that any player who catches a pass is eligible to win — not just wideouts — but only wideouts have won the award through its 25-year history.

And for what has to be the first time in Biletnikoff history, both LSU and Alabama have two semifinalists, including 2018 winner Jerry Jeudy.

The semifinalists are:

Rashod Bateman, Minnesota: 44 catches for 945 yards (21.5 yards per) and seven touchdowns
Omar Bayless, Arkansas State: 73 catches for 1,262 yards (17.3 yards per) and 14 touchdowns
Ja'Marr Chase, LSU: 57 catches for 1,116 yards (19.6 yards per) and 13 touchdowns
Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty: 64 catches for 1,244 yards (19.4 yards per) and eight touchdowns
Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State: 73 catches for 1,021 yards (14 yards per) and 13 touchdowns
Justin Jefferson, LSU: 71 catches for 1,010 yards (14.2 yards per) and 11 touchdowns
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama: 64 catches for 867 yards (13.6 yards per) and nine touchdowns
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma: 44 catches for 983 yards (22.3 yards per) and 12 touchdowns
Michael Pittman, Jr., USC: 82 catches for 1,118 yards (13.6 yards per) and nine touchdowns
James Proche, SMU: 88 catches for 1,008 yards (11.5 yards per) and 12 touchdowns
Devonta Smith, Alabama: 56 catches for 1,026 yards (18.3 yards per) and 11 touchdowns
Sage Surratt, Wake Forest: 66 catches for 1,001 yards (15.2 yards per) and 11 touchdowns

The notable snub here is Devin Duvernay of Texas, who is one off the lead for catches (87) but could not crack the voters’ top 12. (Full disclosure: I am a Biletnikoff voter and had Duvernay on my semifinalist list.)

The 12 semifinalists will be chopped down to three next Monday, with the winner announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 12.

LSU’s Joe Brady, Ohio State’s Jeff Hafley among nominees for Boyles Award as CFB’s top assistant coach

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The college football awards process is a pretty simple four phase process as you go from watch list season to the actual season to the semifinalist lists to the actual awards being announced in early December. As we approach Week 12 of the 2019 campaign, we’re firmly into the third phase of announcing a narrowing of the field and limiting who can actually take some hardware home after the regular season is finished.

To that end, The Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation announced on Wednesday the 41-person strong list of nominees for the Broyles Award, which goes to college football’s top assistant coach. As you would expect, there are quite a few big names under consideration as the assistants in question have either helped lead remarkable turnarounds with their specific side of the ball or have helped elevate their team into conference and/or the national title conversation.

Here’s the full list of 41 names and their titles:

ALABAMA – Steve Sarkisian, Offensive Coordinator/QB

APPALACHIAN STATE – Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator

ARKANSAS STATE – Keith Heckendorf, Offensive coordinator/QB

AUBURN – Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator

BALL STATE – Joey Lynch, Offensive Coordinator/QB

BAYLOR – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

BYU – Aaron Roderick, Passing Game Coordinator/QB

CALIFORNIA – Tim DeRuyter, Defensive Coordinator

CENTRAL MICHIGAN – Charlie Frye, Offensive Coordinator/QB

CINCINNATI – Marcus Freeman, Defensive Coordinator

CLEMSON – Jeff Scott, Co-Offensive Coordinator/WR

FLORIDA – Billy Gonzalez, Wide Receivers

GEORGIA – Dan Lanning, Defensive Coordinator/Outside LBs

GEORGIA STATE – Brad Glenn, Offensive Coordinator

INDIANA – Kalen DeBoer, Offensive Coordinator/QB

IOWA – Phil Parker, Defensive Coordinator/DB

IOWA STATE – Tom Manning, Offensive Coordinator/Run Game Coordinator

LOUISVILLE – Dwayne Ledfors, Offensive Line

LOUISIANA – Ron Roberts, Defensive Coordinator

LSU – Joe Brady, Passing Game Coordinator/WR

MEMPHIS – Pete Lembo, Special Teams Coordinator

MICHIGAN – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator

MINNESOTA – Kirk Ciarrocca, Offensive Coordinator/QB

MISSOURI – Ryan Walters, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

NAVY – Brian Newberry, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

OHIO STATE – Jeff Hafley, Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary

OKLAHOMA – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator/ Safeties

OLE MISS – Mike MacIntyre, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

OREGON – Andy Avalos, Defensive Coordinator

OREGON STATE – Brian Lindgren, Offensive Coordinator/QB

PENN STATE – Brent Pry, Defensive Coordinator/LB

PITTSBURGH – Randy Bates, Defensive Coordinator

SAN JOSÉ STATE – Ryan Gunderson, Quarterbacks/Passing Game Coordinator

SMU – Rhett Lashlee, Offensive Coordinator/QB

TROY – Ryan Pugh, Offensive Coordinator/OL

TULANE – Will Hall, Offensive Coordinator/

UAB – David Reeves, Defensive Coordinator

UCF – Randy Shannon, Defensive Coordinator

UTAH – Morgan Scalley, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

WESTERN KENTUCKY – Clayton White, Defensive Coordinator/CB

WISCONSIN – Jim Leonhard, Defensive Coordinator

Obviously there’s a ton of well deserving candidates but it might be hard to top LSU’s Brady for the award given how big of a jump the Tigers’ offense has made with his arrival in Baton Rouge. Ohio State’s Hafley and Oklahoma’s Grinch also have made huge strides with their respective teams but even at the Group of Five level there’s a ton of guys who have been terrific this season.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 10th and the award is usually a good sign for whoever takes home the trophy becoming a head coach in the near future. Former Alabama OC Mike Locksley won the Broyles Award last year while past winners have included Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and current Texas coach Tom Herman when he was at Ohio State.

Arkansas State’s Nathan Page charged with domestic battery on woman who is pregnant/expecting

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Monday, Nathan Page was named as the Sun Belt Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting a career-high two passes.  Two days later, his status with the Arkansas State football program moving forward is tenuous at best thanks to a very serious off-field incident.

According to KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Page was arrested Wednesday afternoon following a domestic incident earlier in the day.  The television website wrote that “[t]he booking sheet noted Page faces a felony domestic battery-III multiple offenses charge.”

Another television station in the area, KATV, is reporting that the sophomore defensive back is charged with domestic battery to a woman who is pregnant/expecting.

No details leading up to the arrest and charges have been released.

In a statement, ASU athletic director Jerry Scott confirmed that his department is aware of the incident and that Page has been suspended from the football team. “The A-State Athletics Department will have no further comment on this matter at this time,” Scott added.

In addition to tying for the team lead in picks with two, Page is third on the Red Wolves this season with six pass breakups.  He has started six of the seven games in which he’s played this season after playing in a dozen games as a true freshman in 2018.

Arkansas State dismisses CB Demari Medley

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Demari Medley‘s troubled last few months in Jonesboro has finally come to an end.

Medley was suspended by head coach Blake Anderson for all of Arkansas State’s spring practice because of unspecified violations of team rules. A month or so later, Medley was reportedly checking out the transfer portal before ultimately being reinstated by Anderson.

Earlier this week, however, Anderson confirmed that junior cornerback has, once again, been dismissed from the football program.

“Just [to] be honest, it was just time for him to move on and find a place that he’s happy. This is not it,” Anderson said when asked about the reason or reasons behind this latest dismissal. “Just felt like it was, instead of waiting till the end of the season to do it, it was better off just to remove him from the equation now. I want all people moving in the same direction.”

In seven games this season, Medley had been credited with a dozen tackles. Last year, Medley intercepted a pair of passes, returning one for a touchdown, in a dozen appearances.

Thumb surgery to sideline Arkansas State starting QB Logan Bonner for season

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Logan Bonner waited three years to take over as Arkansas State’s starter under center.  Unfortunately for the player and the program, that time has prematurely come to an end, at least when it comes to 2019.

Earlier this season, Bonner sustained an injury to his right (throwing) thumb.  While the redshirt junior played through the injury for the first third of the regular season, Bonner took to Twitter Wednesday night to announce that he had undergone surgery to repair the damage in his thumb.

As a result, Bonner will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2019 season.

In four games this season, the first four starts of his career, Bonner completed nearly 60 percent of his 153 passes for 10 touchdowns and just one interception.  His 137.5 passer rating is currently fourth among Sun Belt Conference quarterbacks.

With Bonner out, former Alabama quarterback Layne Hatcher is in line to take over for ASU.  Hatcher transferred from the Crimson Tide to the Red Wolves in April of this year.