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Father of USC freshman WR dubbed the ‘Lavar Ball of college football’

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The basketball world got to know LaVar Ball quite well the last few years. If there is a college football of that on the horizon, the LA Times seems to think they found him.

John Brown, the father of USC Class of 2018 wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, has drawn comparisons to LaVar Ball for a variety of reasons that include the demand and vision for excellence in professional sports for his son. St. Brown was a five-star recruit for the Trojans in the most recent recruiting cycle, according to his Rivals profile. He was also ranked as the top recruit in the state of California and the top wide receiver in the nation. That alone brings reason to expect big results for St. Brown at USC.

The genes are certainly running in the family. John Brown is a former championship body builder. St. Brown’s oldest brother is former Notre Dame wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown. Osiris St. Brown, the middle son in the family, will be a redshirt freshman this fall at Stanford. With so much talent in the family, John Brown may be tapping into his inner Lavar Ball by suggesting Amon-ra could play in the NFL right now.

This is, of course, a ridiculous thought considering that even the most talented college freshman still have a long way to go to be ready to compete at the high level the NFL demands. But where Brown differs from Ball is he expects his sons to have to earn any accolades that may come their way.

“I’m going to request [USC head coach Clay Helton] put his butt at the bottom of the charts and see what he’s made of,” John said in a featured story published by the LA Times this week. “Make him fight. Sharpen the knife.”

John even goes so far to suggest Amon-ra has his eyes on making some unprecedented (and likely impossible) college football history.

“He’s serious about everything,” John says.

Ask Amon-ra what his goals are for his first year with the Trojans. With an unblinking, straight stare he will tell you, “I want to win the Heisman. All three years.”

All three years, eh? Putting aside the prediction that Brown is already predicting his son is jumping to the NFL after his junior season (an idea that is not at all far-fetched if St. Brown plays out the way recruiting experts and USC expect he will), we have to smile at the historic bar Brown is setting for his son.

Only one player has ever won the Heisman Trophy twice (Ohio State’s Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975). It is also worth noting the last wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy was Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991. Tim Brown of Notre Dame (1987) and Johnny Rodgers of Nebraska (1972) are the only other receivers to win the award since the Heisman Trophy was first presented in 1935. This may not go down in the history books alongside Beano Cook predicting two Heisman Trophy awards for former Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus (which never came close to happening, of course), but that does set the bar high for Amon-ra’s personal goals.

Brown may lay the foundation for athletic success for his sons, but fortunately for the college football world, he seems to be far more tolerable than LaVar Ball.

Rutgers loses play-making Janarion Grant to season-ending ankle injury

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If there was one player Rutgers may not have been able to afford to lose this season, it was Janarion Grant. Unfortunately for Rutgers, Grant has indeed ben lost for the season due to an ankle injury suffered Saturday in a home loss against Iowa.

Grant injured his right ankle on Saturday and returned to the Rutgers sideline on crutches later in the game. That was an ominous sign itself, but Rutgers head coach Chris Ash confirmed the unfortunate news on Monday when addressing the media. Ash did not reveal the specific details of Grant’s injury, but confirming he will miss the rest of the season is a pretty tough pill to swallow for the entire Rutgers program.

Rutgers will look to petition for an extra year of eligibility for Grant.

But wait, there’s more injury news for Rutgers. Ash also announced defensive end Quanzell Lambert will be out for the remainder of the 2016 season due to a knee injury.

Rutgers loses star WR Janarion Grant to serious-looking injury

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At first blush, it doesn’t look good at all for one of the most explosive and productive players in the Big Ten.

Late in the first half of the Iowa game, Rutgers’ Janarion Grant took a short screen pass and turned it into a spectacular 76-yard play.  At the end of the catch-and-run, however, Grant sustained what looked to be a serious injury to his right leg.

He could put no wait on the injured limb, and will not return to the game.  The extent and nature of the injury likely won’t be known until after the game, although, again, it doesn’t look good.

Grant currently leads the Scarlet Knights with 15 receptions, and is second on the team with 143 yards rushing. His 562 all-purpose yards were tops in the Big Ten entering Week 4 play.

As for the game itself, the Hawkeyes and Scarlet Knights are tied at 7-all with just under 12 minutes remaining

Ahmir Mitchell confirms transfer to Rutgers from Michigan

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In the middle of the week, it was reported that another Big Ten school would be the likely destination for transferring Michigan wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell. On social media, Mitchell made that move officially come to fruition.

In a tweet posted to his personal Twitter account, Mitchell confirmed that he has decided to transfer to Rutgers and continue his collegiate playing career with the Scarlet Knights. The New Jersey native stated in the missive that he found “it best for me along with my family to go back home.”

In an interview with nj.com following his announcement, Mitchell delved a little deeper into the decision.

“Throughout my entire recruitment, Rutgers was always within the top three,” he said. “For a while they were leading. It basically came down to the staff. And now that they have a better staff at Rutgers, that’s what made me basically want to come back home along with everything going on back at home with my family and stuff like that. So it just seemed like a good fit and every aspect just pointed back home.”

Mitchell announced a little over a week ago that he was leaving UM and reopening his recruitment. That departure from Ann Arbor was certainly an odd one, cloaked in uncertainty and secrecy.

Jim Harbaugh had confirmed earlier this month that two of the three Michigan football players not present for a team photo — Mitchell, running back Kareem Walker and defensive lineman Shelton Johnson — had been suspended, although he declined to specify which two. A couple of weeks later came Mitchell’s decision to move on.

A four-star 2016 recruit, Mitchell was rated as the No. 5 player at any position in the state of New Jersey and the No. 167 player overall on 247sports.com‘s composite board. He was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice.

Mitchell will be forced to sit out the 2016 season, and will apply for a waiver through the Big Ten that would prevent him from being stripped of another year of eligibility as an intra-conference transfer.  If granted the waiver because of extenuating circumstances at home, Mitchell would have four years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017; if denied, he’d have three.

Big Ten Network announces 10 primetime kickoffs

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A week after ESPN announced its Big Ten primetime slate, the Big Ten Network rolled out 10 games slated for evening kickoffs this upcoming season (which is less than four months away now!).

The BTN games are below, all of which are played on Saturdays. Kickoffs are in Eastern Time.

Sept. 3: Fresno State at Nebraska (8 p.m.)

Sept. 10: Iowa State at Iowa (7:30 p.m.)

Sept. 10: North Carolina at Illinois (7:30 p.m.)

Sept. 17: Duke at Northwestern (8 p.m.)

Sept. 24: Nebraska at Northwestern (7:30 p.m.)

Oct. 1: Michigan State at Indiana (8 p.m.)

Oct. 22: Michigan State at Maryland (7:30 p.m.)

Nov. 5: Iowa at Penn State (7:30 p.m.)

Nov. 12: Minnesota at Nebraska (7:30 p.m.)

Nov. 19: Penn State at Rutgers (8 p.m.)

BTN will also televise games Thursday, Sept. 1 (Oregon State at Minnesota) and Friday, Sept. 2 (Furman at Michigan State).