Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

1 Comment

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

LSU Super Bowl
Getty Images
1 Comment

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.)

Oklahoma new home for UCLA transfer WR Theo Howard

Oklahoma Sooners football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

In between signing days, the Oklahoma Sooners football program has seen its wide receiving corps receive a boost in talent.  And experience.

Wednesday night, Theo Howard indicated on social media that he will be transferring to Oklahoma and continuing his playing career with the Sooners football team.  The announcement comes nearly three months after the receiver decided to transfer from UCLA.

Prior to the OU announcement, Howard had also considered Arizona, Baylor, Oregon State, TCU and Washington.

Howard graduated from UCLA in December, giving him immediate eligibility for the Oklahoma Sooners football program this coming season.

In 2018, Howard earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors after catching 51 passes for 677 yards and four touchdowns. Because of a pair of hand injuries that sidelined him for a sizable chunk of 2019, Moore didn’t record a catch this past season for the Bruins.  Because he played in fewer than four games, he was able to use a redshirt for the 2019 season.

During his time at UCLA, Howard totaled 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on 119 receptions. In a loss to OU in September of 2018, Howard caught two passes for 53 yards.  He didn’t record a catch in the Bruins’ loss to the Sooners this past September.

Ross Blacklock leaving TCU early for the draft

Ross Blacklock TCU draft
Getty Images
Leave a comment

As we head deeper into bowl season, Ross Blacklock of TCU is the latest to catch an early draft.

As all of the cool early entrants are doing, Blacklock announced on Twitter Friday that he will be a part of the 2020 NFL Draft pool.  A redshirt junior, the defensive tackle is leaving a year of eligibility on the table.

“This decision has been weighing on me for some time now,” Blacklock wrote. “A wise man once told me, ‘follow your heart, and you’ll never go wrong.’

“Playing in the NFL has always been a dream of mine since I was 5 years old.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the NFL’s Advisory Committee told Blacklock to put those dreams on hold for another season and return to the Horned Frogs in 2020.  If Blacklock doesn’t sign with an agent, he could change his mind and come back to TCU.

Draft-eligible players have until Jan. 20 to officially file their paperwork with the league.

Blacklock missed the entire 2018 season because of an Achilles injury.  He returned this season to start a dozen games.  Following the regular season, he was named first-team All-Big 12.

As a redshirt freshman in 2017, the 6-4, 305-pound Blacklock started all 14 games for the Horned Frogs.  His 6.5 tackles for loss were good for fourth on the team.

Along with Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray, Blacklock was named co-Defensive Freshman of the Year at the end of the 2017 regular season.

Adam Plant leaving TCU, could land at UNLV

TCU Adam Plant
Getty Images
Leave a comment

With Adam Plant on his way out at TCU, he could be on his way in at UNLV.

According to 247Sports.com, Plant (pictured, No. 98) has placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.  The defensive lineman could still remain at TCU, but this is normally the first step in a departure.

While there has been no confirmation, Plant did retweet the report from his personal Twitter account.  As for a potential factor behind his leaving? “His role was reduced with the emergence of fellow freshman Colt Ellison late in the season,” the website wrote.

Plant played his high school football at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Not surprisingly, 247Sports.com also reports that UNLV is a likely destination.  Earlier this month, UNLV brought in Oregon defensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo as its new head football coach.

Plant actually signed with Arizona coming out of high school, but sat out the 2018 season to get his academic house in order.  He then flipped and signed with TCU in 2019.

Coming out of high school, Plant was a three-star prospect on 247Sport.com‘s composite board.  He was rated as the No. 6 player at any position in the state of Nevada and the No. 41 weakside defensive end in the country.

As a true freshman this season, Plant played in 12 games.  The 6-5, 264-pound lineman was credited with three tackles — two solo, one assisted.