Chuba Hubbard
Getty Images

2019 finalist Chuba Hubbard, 2018 finalist Travis Etienne two of the 76 Doak Walker Award watch listers

2 Comments

If you’re a starting running back at the FBS level, there’s a fairly good chance you are part of the Doak Walker Award watch list.

Monday, it was the Bednarik Award kicking off watch list season.  Tuesday, the Davey O’Brien Award joined in.  A day later, the Doak Walker Award joined the burgeoning list of honors releasing their preseason watch lists.

This award, given annually to the nation’s top running back, features a whopping 76 preseason candidates.  Included in that are 2019 finalist Chuba Hubbard of Oklahoma State and 2018 finalist Travis Etienne of Clemson.  Last year’s winner was Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor.

Every FBS conference is represented on the list.  The Big Ten and Pac-12 lead the way with 10 apiece, followed by the ACC and SEC with nine each.  The other Power Five, the Big 12, landed five. Wih seven apiece, the Mountain West and Sun Belt led all Group of Five conferences.

Of the more than six dozen watch listers, 30 of them are seniors.  Another 28 are juniors while the other 18 are sophomores.

Below are all 76 running backs who make up this year’s Doak Walker Award preseason watch list.

Drake Anderson (So.), Northwestern
David Bailey (Jr.), Boston College
Max Borghi (Jr.), Washington State
Rakeem Boyd (Sr.), Arkansas
Gary Brightwell (Sr.), Arizona
Kennedy Brooks (Jr.), Oklahoma
Shamari Brooks (Sr.), Tulsa
Christopher Brown, Jr. (Jr.), Cal
Journey Brown (Jr.), Penn State
Spencer Brown (Sr.), UAB
Noah Cain (So.), Penn State
Jamale Carothers (Jr.), Navy
Stephen Carr (Sr.), USC
Michael Carter (Sr.), North Carolina
Andrew Clair (Jr.), Bowling Green
Elijah Collins (So.), Michigan State
James Cook (Jr.), Georgia
Jashaun Corbin (So.), Florida State
ReMahn Davis (So.), Temple
Travis Etienne (Sr.), Clemson
Demetric Felton (Sr.), UCLA
Alex Fontenot (Jr.), Colorado
Kenneth Gainwell (So.), Memphis
Tyler Goodson (So.), Iowa
Eric Gray (So.), Tennessee
Breece Hall (So.), Iowa State
Najee Harris (Sr.), Alabama
Javian Hawkins (So.), Louisville
Justin Henderson (Sr.), Louisiana Tech
Kylin Hill (Sr.), Mississippi State
George Holani (So.), Boise State
Chuba Hubbard (Jr.), Oklahoma State
Caleb Huntley (Sr.), Ball State
Mohamed Ibrahim (Jr.), Minnesota
Keaontay Ingram (Jr.), Texas
Deon Jackson (Sr.), Duke
Jermar Jefferson (Jr.), Oregon State
Josh Johnson (Sr.), ULM
Amare Jones (Jr.), Tulane
Lopini Katoa (Jr.), BYU
Wesley Kennedy III (Sr.), Georgia Southern
JD King (Sr.), Georgia Southern
Brenden Knox (Jr.), Marshall
Bryant Koback (Jr.), Toledo
Kobe Lewis (Jr.), Central Michigan
Vavae Malepeai (Sr.), USC
Kevin Marks (Jr.), Buffalo
Jordan Mason (Jr.), Georgia Tech
Kevin Mensah (Sr.), Connecticut
Dedrick Mills (Sr.), Nebraska
Elijah Mitchell (Sr.), Louisiana-Lafayette
Marcel Murray (Jr.), Arkansas State
Richard Newton (So.), Washington
Jaret Patterson (Jr.), Buffalo
Trey Ragas (Sr.), Louisiana-Lafayette
Miles Reed (Jr.), Hawaii
Ronnie Rivers (Sr.), Fresno State
Larry Rountree III (Sr.), Missouri
Mekhi Sargent (Sr.), Iowa
Stevie Scott III (Jr.), Indiana
B.J. Smith (Sr.), Troy
Isaiah Spiller (So.), Texas A&M
SaRodorick Thompson (So.), Texas Tech
Toa Taua (Jr.), Nevada
Corey Taylor II (Sr.), Tulsa
Xazavian Valladay (Jr.), Wyoming
CJ Verdell (Jr.), Oregon
Quardraiz Wadley (Sr.), UTEP
Gaej Walker (Sr.), Western Kentucky
Kenneth Walker III (So.), Wake Forest
Jaylen Warren (Sr.), Utah State
Nakia Watson (So.), Wisconsin
Zamir White (So.), Georgia
Charles Williams (Sr.), UNLV
Javonte Williams (Jr.), North Carolina
D.J. Williams (So.), Auburn

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Johnny Manziel leaving Manning Passing Academy and denying his illness was a hangover

college football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The sports world, including college football, had essentially screeched to a halt in the spring as countries around the world battled the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there was a dearth of college football news as the sport went into a COVID-induced hibernation.  Slowly, though, the game is coming back to life.  Hopefully.

That being said, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on July 14, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football down-time, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Conference USA athletic directors have reportedly discussed trading schools with other leagues
THE SYNOPSIS: Most notably, this would’ve involved a realignment that included the Sun Belt Conference.  In the midst of the pandemic, chatter over some sort realignment between the two Group of Fives is still bubbling.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Oregon dismisses star WR Darren Carrington two weeks after DUII arrest
THE SYNOPSIS: This was a significant blow to the Ducks offense.  The year before, Carrington’s 606 yards receiving last year were tops on the team, while his five receiving touchdowns were tied for first.  His 43 catches were second on the team. Carrington subsequently moved on to Utah. After one season with the Utes, Carrington went undrafted.  He signed with Dallas in August of 2018.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Reports of Tom Herman meeting with Baylor labeled ‘completely ridiculous and absolutely false’
THE SYNOPSIS: Then the head coach at Houston, Herman was mentioned as a possible replacement for the disgraced Art Briles.  The Bears job, though, ultimately went to Matt Rhule.  Herman, meanwhile, took the head job at Texas four months later.

2014

THE HEADLINE: CFP unveils new title trophy
THE SYNOPSIS: The College Football Playoff replaced the BCS starting with the 2014 campaign.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Will Muschamp faces hot-seat talk head-on
THE SYNOPSIS: With a 6-5 record at the time, Muschamp was fired by Florida with a game left in the 2014 regular season. A little over a year later, South Carolina hired the Auburn defensive coordinator as its head coach.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Johnny Manziel leaves Manning Academy early; camp denies report of hangover
THE SYNOPSIS: Johnny Football, y’all!

2011

THE HEADLINE: Georgia Tech to vacate ’09 ACC title, placed on four years probation
THE SYNOPSIS: The sanctions revolved around college football players receiving impermissible benefits.

2010

THE HEADLINE: Vandy’s Bobby Johnson retires from coaching; Robbie Caldwell named interim coach
THE SYNOPSIS: That move opened the door for “turkey inseminating crew” to enter the college football lexicon.

2009

THE HEADLINE: Arkansas St. CB Shot, Booted From Team
THE SYNOPSIS: Get shot AND dismissed?  That’s a rough day.  Of course, Paul Stephens was shot while allegedly burglarizing a residence, so there’s that.

NCAA Council formally approves six-week preseason model for football, which will begin July 13 for teams that start season Sept. 5

UAB football
Getty Images
1 Comment

The NCAA is proceeding with a significant step toward prepping for the 2020 college football season.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the NCAA Div. I Oversight Committee was crafting a plan that would shape the path college football programs would take to prepare for the upcoming season.  Last week, the NCAA announced that it has finalized its proposal for a preseason model for the sport.  However, the plan still needed the approval of the NCAA Division I Council.

Thursday, that expected thumbs-up came to fruition as the council has approved what will essentially be a six-week preseason for college football.  The NCAA writes that, “[a]ssuming a first game on Sept. 5, the model begins summer access activities July 13 and adds meetings and walk-throughs July 24.  Preseason practice begins Aug. 7.” Schools that open the seasoning Week 0 (Aug. 29), all of the dates would get seven days subtracted from them.  It’s unclear if teams whose first games are Sept. 3 will follow the Sept. 5 model or not.

The activities mentioned do not include the ongoing voluntary on-campus workouts.

As for the particulars?  The NCAA referred to its previous release as a guideline:

… student-athletes may be required to participate in up to eight hours of weight training, conditioning and film review per week (not more than two hours of film review per week) from July 13-23.

Then, from July 24 through Aug. 6, student-athletes may be required to participate in up to 20 hours of countable athletically related activities per week (not more than four hours per day) as follows:

— Up to eight hours per week for weight training and conditioning.
— Up to six hours per week for walk-throughs, which may include the use of a football.
— Up to six hours per week for meetings, which may include film review, team meetings, position meetings, one-on-one meetings, etc.
— During this 14-day period, student-athletes are required to get at least two days off.

The model does not make any adjustments to the legislated 29-day preseason practice period. In the previous example, the school’s preseason practice period would begin Aug. 7 with a five-day acclimatization period, followed by the opportunity for up to 25 on-field practices.

NCAA Oversight Committee crafting six-week practice period ahead of start of season

NCAA college football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The on-ramp to the 2020 college football season is coming into focus.

A significant milestone was reached last month when the NCAA announced it would allow member institutions to commence voluntary on-campus workouts June 1.  June 17, the NCAA Division I Council is expected to vote on a plan that would shape the path college football programs would take to prepare for the upcoming season.

That plan is currently being crafted by the NCAA’s Division I Football Oversight Committee. A draft of that group’s plan is expected to be finalized this Thursday, June 11.  The committee will then submit their plan to Div. I Council for approval.

As it stands now, ESPN.com is reporting, the committee is working on what would be a six-week run-up to the upcoming college football season.  For schools that begin the next campaign Labor Day weekend, the current proposal calls for mandatory workouts to commence July 13, followed by enhanced training July 24.  A standard summer camp would then kick off Aug. 7.  During the mandatory workouts and enhanced training, players will not be permitted to wear either helmets or pads,  They will, though, be permitted to use footballs.

Coaches, who, other than strength staff, can’t oversee the current voluntary workouts, would be permitted to take part throughout the entire six-week practice period being developed.

Of course, the schools scheduled to start the college football season the week before Labor Day — Notre Dame-Navy in Annapolis included — would see the three phases of the plan initiated earlier.  Whether it’s exactly a week earlier remains to be seen, although that would make the most sense.

As we stated earlier, the plan is still being crafted.  Therefore, it isn’t finalized.  In that vein, the first phase, the mandatory workouts, could be shortened.  From ESPN.com:

West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, who is chair of the Football Oversight Committee, told ESPN’s Andrea Adelson that there is one area that might change between the proposed calendar and what gets approved on Thursday, and that is shortening the window between the start of required workouts on July 13 and the start of enhanced training on July 24.

“Some people are thinking the summer access is too long,” Lyons said, based on feedback the committee has already received. “There’s a concern by making that part a requirement, it extends it to too long a period and whether that should be adjusted to make it shorter. Instead of starting on the 13th, start on the 20th. I haven’t heard of all the concerns and that’s why it was put out to the conferences, to start getting more input.

Again, final approval from the Council is slated to be announced two weeks from Wednesday.  At that time, we’ll have a greater understanding as to exactly what the prep work for the upcoming college football season will entail.  Provided there is a 2020 college football season, of course.

Georgia Southern announces one-year extension for head coach Chad Lunsford

Georgia Southern football
Getty Images
1 Comment

As Chad Lunsford continues to build the Georgia Southern football team, he’s been afforded some additional security.

Friday, Georgia Southern announced a one-year contract extension for its head football coach.  Lunsford is now signed through 2024.

“My family and I would like to thank Dr. Marrero, Jared Benko and the Athletic Foundation for this contract extension,” Lunsford said in a statement. “Georgia Southern is a special place and we are very proud to be a small part of such an awesome program. We will continue to work hard to help our student-athletes to grow as GS Men. Our program is on the rise and we are excited about the commitment shown to us as well as our commitment to give back to the University and the Athletic Department.”

In October of 2017, Tyson Summers was fired as the Georgia Southern football coach.  Lunsford replaced him on an interim basis.  A month later, Lunsford was named the permanent replacement.

GSU went 2-10 that 2017 season.  In the two years since, the Eagles have gone 17-9.  Included in that was a 10-win 2018 season.  During that campaign, the program claimed its first-ever bowl win as an FBS program.

“Chad Lunsford’s management of our football program, from developing young men of character to coaching them on the field, has been exceptional,” said athletic director Jared Benko. “He is a leader that is committed to doing things the right way. Chad represents our institution and state with great pride – both on and off the field. We look forward to his continued leadership of our football program.”