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Jerry Jeudy, AJ Dillon, Eno Benjamin and more set for State Farm All-Star Football Challenge

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It may fly under the radar for most, but the 22nd annual State Farm All-Star Football Challenge is set to take place on Jan. 31 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The skills competition will pit 24 college football stars in a team event. Among those participating in this year’s challenge will be Boston College running back AJ Dillon, Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos, Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray, and Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.

Five teams representing each of the power five conferences will consist of players from those respective conferences: ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC. A sixth team of “wild card” players will be comprised of players from the Group of Five or below. This year’s wild card players will come from the Mountain West Conference (Utah State QB Jordan Love, Boise State DE Curtis Weaver), Conference USA (FAU TE Harrison Bryant) and the South Atlantic Conference of Division 2 (Lenoir-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger).

The individual events included in the competition are a quarterback accuracy contest, obstacle course, strength challenge, and a hands competition. A team event will complete the overall event.

TEAM ACC
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College
Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia
Jason Strowbridge, DL, North Carolina

TEAM BIG TEN
Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin
Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa

TEAM BIG 12
Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Carter Stanley, QB, Kansas

TEAM PAC-12
Salvon Ahmed, RB, Washington
Bradlee Anae, DE, Utah
Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State
Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State

TEAM SEC
Nick Coe, DE, Auburn
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Terrell Lewis, LB, Alabama
Riley Neal, QB, Vanderbilt

TEAM WILD CARD
Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic
Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State

LSU, two B1G schools will have most players on Super Bowl rosters

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The LSU Tigers football program represented the sport well in winning the 2019 national championship, and now they’re set to be well-represented when the next level crowns its Super Bowl champion as well.

Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs again overcame an early deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game. In the NFC championship game, the San Francisco 49ers pummeled the Green Bay Packers to earn a berth opposite the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. That game will be played at the home of the Miami Hurricanes, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Feb. 2.

The 49ers, seeking their first Super Bowl win since 1994, have four former LSU football players currently listed on their official online roster*. The Chiefs, in search of their first title since 1969, have one former LSU football player on their Super Bowl roster. That total of five is tied for the most for a single school in this year’s game.

The number for LSU is matched by a pair of schools from the Big Ten — Iowa and Penn State — for the most players on Super Bowl rosters this year. Three former Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes play for the 49ers, two for the Chiefs.

Two SEC schools, Florida and Vanderbilt, each have four former players as part of the game, as does Stanford. Middle Tennessee State and San Diego State are two of a gaggle of schools with three players on teams playing in the game, which is the most of any Group of Five conference member.

Conference-wise, it was the SEC leading the way (again) with 32 players, followed by the Big Ten’s 22. The ACC (17), Pac-12 (16), Big 12 (12) and Conference USA (11) were the only other FBS leagues in double digits.

As for the other conferences?

  • Mountain West, nine
  • AAC, six
  • MAC, five
  • Sun Belt, four

Football independents accounted for six players. There were a total of 21 players who played at levels of football other than the FBS.

Below are all of the individual schools that will be represented on Super Sunday:

FIVE
Iowa
LSU
Penn State

FOUR
Florida
Stanford
Vanderbilt

THREE
Arizona
Auburn
Clemson
Kansas State
Middle Tennessee State
Mississippi State
Notre Dame
Ohio State
Oklahoma
Pittsburgh
San Diego State
South Carolina

TWO
Alabama
BYU
Central Michigan
Duke
FAU
Florida State
Georgia Southern
Michigan
Michigan State
NC State
Ole Miss
Oregon
Purdue
Southern Miss
Tennessee
Texas
Texas A&M
USF
Utah
Virginia

ONE
Air Force
Alabama A&M
Appalachian State
Arizona State
Arkansas
Baylor
Boston College
Bowling Green State
Buffalo
Cal
Cincinnati
Colorado
Colorado State
Colorado State-Pueblo
Eastern Illinois
Eastern Michigan
Eastern Washington
Georgia
Georgia Tech
Grand Valley State
Harvard
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
James Madison
Louisiana Tech
Louisiana
McGill (Canada)
Minnesota
Montana State
New Hampshire
New Mexico State
North Texas
Northern Illinois
Northern Iowa
Oklahoma State
Old Dominion
Oregon State
Princeton
Samford
San Diego
San Jose State
SMU
South Carolina State
TCU
Temple
Texas Tech
UConn
Utah State
Valdosta State
Villanova
Virginia Tech
Wagner
Washington
West Alabama
Western Illinois
Western Kentucky
Wyoming

(*Includes players on injured reserve, practice squad, etc.)

Florida State transfers reunite with Willie Taggart at FAU

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It’s officially landing day for former Florida State football players.

Earlier Monday, tight end Tre’ McKitty tweeted that he will be transferring to Georgia.  A short time later, FAU announced the additions of a pair of McKitty’s former Florida State football teammates — wide receiver D'Marcus Adams and defensive end Malcolm Lamar.

Adams had previously confirmed that Florida Atlantic would be his landing spot.

Both Adams and Lamar played for Willie Taggart when he was the head coach of Florida State football.  A little over a month after being fired by the Seminoles, Taggart landed the head job with the Owls.

Barring the unexpected, the two new additions will have to sit out the 2020 season.  They will then have two seasons of eligibility to use beginning in 2021.

Adams was a three-star member of the Seminoles’ 2018 recruiting class.  After taking a redshirt for his true freshman season, the Daytona Beach native hadn’t yet taken the field for a game during the 2019 campaign prior to his decision to enter the portal in late September.

A four-star 2018 signee, Lamar was rated as the No. 9 strongside defensive end in the country and the No. 42 player at any position in the state of Florida.  The lineman took a redshirt as a true freshman, then played in four games this past season.  In that limited action, he was credited with a pair of tackles.

Willie Taggart brings Florida State transfer WR to FAU

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It’s not just coaches who have followed Willie Taggart to his next job.

In late September, D'Marcus Adams placed his name into the NCAA transfer portal.  A little over three months later, the Florida State wide receiver has confirmed to 247Sports.com that he plans to transfer to FAU.

Willie Taggart was the head coach at FSU for less than two seasons, fired in early November of last year.  A month later, he was hired by Florida Atlantic as its head coach.

“It was hard for me to leave FSU,” Adams told the website. “Coach Taggart was the first person to call me when he got the job at FAU. I felt like that was a sign. FAU the facilities are (great) and I like it down there. I feel like I can make a name for myself at FAU.”

Barring the unexpected, Adams will have to sit out the 2020 season.  He will then have two seasons of eligibility to use beginning in 2021.

Adams was a three-star member of the Seminoles’ 2018 recruiting class.  After taking a redshirt for his true freshman season, the Daytona Beach native hadn’t yet taken the field for a game during the 2019 campaign prior to his decision to enter the portal.

FAU adds two assistants with Florida State ties

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A very familiar face is one of the latest additions to the first FAU football staff for Willie Taggart.

Thursday, the FAU football program announced the two latest hires for the new head coachRaymond Woodie will serve as the Bulls’ outside linebackers coach, Stanford Samuels Jr. as defensive backs coach.

Woodie will also serve as the program’s recruiting coordinator.

Taggart and Woodie have a longstanding relationship, with the latter serving on the former’s coaching staffs at Florida State, Oregon, USF and Western Kentucky.  The past two seasons, Woodie was the linebackers coach for Taggart at Florida State.

Samuels also has ties to Taggart, serving as a defensive analyst at FSU this past season.  The position at FAU will be Samuels’ first on-field role at the collegiate level.