Archive for February, 2014

Kentucky Derby: Wildcats Post Strong National Signing Day

When people talk to you about the Kentucky Wildcats, the thing they bring up most often is the fact that the program’s a basketball program which happens to play a bit of football. And with former Jared Lorenzen suddenly in the news for, er, eating Jared Lorenzen, the school’s football program’s been a source of laughter for many.

But with former Kentucky defensive star Danny Trevathan helping to take the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl, ‘Big Blue’ winning  a basketball game comfortably and Mark Stoops having a solid National Signing Day, things might be changing in Lexington with this good few weeks.

Kentucky got into the news a few days ago when fDT Matt Elam decided he wasn’t going to play for Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa, but was going to play in Kentucky.

He’ll help to solidify Kentucky’s defense, which was added to with DE Denzel Ware, the No.113 player in the nation and 14 other defensive signings, highlighted by DE Lloyd Tubman, who decided to de-commit from Penn State to play in the SEC.

Offensively, they added QB Drew Barker, who was recruited heavily by SEC East rival South Carolina.

Kentucky has been ranked No.16 in the nation by Rivals and No.22 by 24-7.

 

No Title? No problem! Bama’s No.1 on National Signing Day

No Championship? No problem for Nick Saban.

The Alabama Crimson Tide was AGAIN the No.1 recruiting team on National Signing Day, with a tremendous signing day haul.

It included: Three of the ESPN 300’s top 10 players (OT Cameron Robinson, DE Da’Shawn Hand, CB Tony Brown), and the No.10 and No.12 players in the nation, too (ATH Bo Scarborough, and CB Marlon Humphrey).

They also stunningly picked up OLB Rashaan Evans from Auburn High school – who had also been rated highly, despite many thinking – including Auburn itself– that Evans was a cert to play in Jordan-Hare. The move seemed to have annoyed Evans’ mother, who seemed clearly worried about what people in the area would think. Saban described the process: “All the people you’re going to make unhappy….you’re going to make more people happy here”. Evans has been described as the ‘next Melvin Ingram‘, by Bleacher Report, although that will have to be seen to be believed.

Saban added that he saw the Electric Slide video on YouTube that had everyone laughing, and was sorry that no-one saw his ‘Wobble’. “I do that pretty well, too”, he said, in a rare lighthearted moment.

No Alabama signing was under a three-star recruiting valuation for the Tide, who also added former Florida State QB Jacob Coker (not counted here) as well as former Georgia TE Ty Flournoy-Smith, who is getting a second chance in Tuscaloosa.

 

 

 

LSU caps great National Signing Day with two No.1s

LSU capped a fantastic National Signing Day with the signing of Leonard Fournette – the No.1 player in the nation and the No.1 running back.

Fournette, a running back from New Orleans, was always relaxed about signing for LSU, wearing school clothing even before class to relax the worried Tiger faithful.

Such was his size, Fournette’s press conference got some on Twitter saying: “You can’t tell me [he’s] an 18-year old man”.

But before that, WR Malachi Dupre from John Curtis – the country’s No.1 wide receiver, also declared that he was going to be a Tiger and “bring a National Championship back to the State”. Dupre was joined by four-star WR Trey Quinn.

Les Miles’ defense was also added to with the pick-ups of defensive tackle Travonte Valentine and DE Deondre Clark – despite the latter’s mother begging him to go to Oklahoma and stay in-state. Miles also beat Ole Miss to the signature of Davon Godchaux, who allegedly wanted to play in Oxford but his family wanted to play in Baton Rouge. Les Miles obviously makes Mom feel like the Queen Of The World.

One of the more ‘Les Miles’ moments of the whole day was when five-star cornerback Adoree Jackson‘s profile was put up on LSU’s website. Jackson went to USC. Florida and UCLA also came second in the Jackson stakes.

Overall, Miles signed 21 recruits and was No.2 overall in the National Recruiting Rankings.

 

Georgia has a 5-star day at National Signing Day

Usually when it comes to Georgia fans, they like to swear in the general direction of Mark Richt.

They blame him when the Bulldogs lose. They blame him when the Bulldog players get arrested. They blame him when the Bulldog players get injured.

But now, Georgia fans are actually happy with Mark Richt- especially after National Signing Day.

The Georgia coach landed No.14 player on the ESPN 300 list DE Lorenzo Carter (despite the close attentions of Florida, LSU and Florida State), which definitely got the fans buzzing – especially those who had been critical of Richt for not filling out his staff after defensive co-ordinator Todd Grantham decided to leave for Louisville.

The 6ft 5, 324lb player said: “The defense is going to be nasty, and I want to be part of it”, at his press conference. Some think he might even play OLB. Whatever happens, Jeremy Pruitt’s pretty happy.

Pruitt also recruited five secondary players – including one safety and four cornerbacks. A number of them might see action as close as the Clemson game bearing in mind the team’s current woes in that department.

Earlier in the day Richt added two five-star running backs in tailbacks Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. Both are thought out of as ‘five-star talent’. Chubb was described as having ‘Todd Gurley-type talent’. Georgia fans can only hope.

Not only that, but Richt also shored up his offensive line with Kendall Baker, Dyshon Sims and Jake Edwards, as well as tight ends Jeb Blazevich and Hunter Atkinson. Atkinson committed to Cincinnati before he was recruited by UGA.

And also, the Athens media have now christened a new ‘return specialist’ (if returning WR/punt returner Malcolm Mitchell wasn’t enough) in Isaiah McKenzie.

Offensive co-ordinator Mike Bobo said: “His No. 1 job is gonna try to be that punt returner, kick returner for us….It could be the difference in one ballgame, and obviously help us on offense if we can sometimes just get 10 yards on the punt return. That’s the first down for the offense. And field position is so crucial, it sometimes doesn’t matter how effective you are as an offense, the percentages go down if the field position isn’t in your favor. It’s hard to go 80 yards on anybody, I don’t care who you’re playing.

The Bulldogs ranked 8th in the National Rivals Rankings.

LSU lands No.1 WR recruit

What a morning for LSU head coach Les Miles on National Signing Day.

The bombastic coach probably expected No.1 wide receiver in the nation Malachi Dupre to sign for them….and he did.

He said in a press conference at his high school at John Curtis Christian: “I feel that it was right to stay home and bring a national championship back to the state…It was best to stay here … It’s time to get ready for Wisconsin and the first game.“.

Dupre is part of a recruiting surge by Les Miles and his team, who got five commitments and letters of intentions that they weren’t particularly expecting on National Signing Day. Miles is also expecting No.1 running back in the nation Leonard Fournette to sign later today.

Dupre was considering Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida State and UCLA.

 

Former Georgia TE signs to Alabama

Former Georgia tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith has signed his letter of intent to Alabama, the player confirmed.

It’s confirmed“, he tweeted.

Flournoy-Smith, who was booted out of Georgia for filing a false police report for some stolen books that he’d sold, as well as admitting to smoking marijuana with DB Josh Harvey-Clemsons, who was recently caught for doing it and banned for the first three games of this season.

Flournoy-Smith went to Georgia Military Junior College, where he did a great blocking job.

He will be expected to do the same in an offense which is going to feature two of the best running backs in the country in TJ Yeldon and Derrick Henry.

Tennessee’s head of football operations steps down

Brad Pendergrass, Tennessee’s head of football operations, has stepped down – only two days before National Signing Day.

In a release, Pendergrass said: “It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from my position on the football staff here at Tennessee…I am very appreciative of the experiences this great university has afforded me, and I look forward to watching the successes that lie ahead on many fronts. I would like to thank [Tennessee AD] Dave Hart, Butch Jones, and many others for their support and advice in this decision, and I look forward to new opportunities for professional and personal growth.

Pendergrass was a UT grad before working at Tennessee for 10 seasons, leaving for the director of football operations role at Mississippi State in 2007. He then went to Wisconsin for one season before returning to Tennessee.

In his latest stint at Tennessee, the football team has been awful, going to just one bowl game in the four years he was there. They were 0-1 in that bowl game (Derek Dooley’s first season as coach).

14 Last Minute SEC Head Coach Recruiting Pitches Before National Signing Day

Right, so National Signing Day’s tomorrow, which means that it’s Christmas for anyone who loves seeing if their school’s signing up some good talent.

Why haven’t we gone more crazy on the recruiting front? It’s easy. I could get excited about a recruit, only for him to de-commit 400 times before making a decision, so I’d rather wait until National Signing Day. And then go crazy folks. Which I will do.

Somewhere in the SEC, our head coaches are calling, texting, FBing and sexting recruits (OK, maybe not the last) in an effort to get them to come and play for their schools. As a unit, it’s worked: 80 commitments will be to SEC schools on Wednesday.

But there’s still room for more. So here we go….

ALABAMA (Nick Saban)

“Come be part of a project!!”/ “Our kids go play in the NFL”/ “We’re much better than we were against Oklahoma!”/ “Unless you’re really ****ing stupid, you won’t get arrested in Tuscaloosa. We make sure that there’s a taxi service taking you from bars to dorm so there’s no problem”/ “I promise that you won’t have anything to do with Lane Kiffin if you don’t play offense”/ “If you’ve never seen a short dude scream at you, then I can provide that experience.”/ “My electric slide’s better than anyone other mother****er’s electric slide”/”BECAUSE I’M NICK F**KING SABAN”

ARKANSAS (Bret Bielema)

“If you like to run the ball, this is an offense to play for.”/”Help us actually win a SEC game!”/ “My wife’s really hot!”/ “If we win, it’ll be #karma”/

AUBURN (Gus Malzahn)

“You wanna come help us take it a step further and win the darned National Championship!”/”If you don’t play, you can always go and be part of the US Sprint Team. That’s how fast our offense is!”/”Jordan-Hare rocks! Especially if we’re pulling it out of our a*s!”/ “You’ll get to see a cool Eagle which has been known to crash into a luxury box!”

FLORIDA (Will Muschamp)

“Come and be part of the resurrection of one of college football’s greatest teams” /”The weather’s nice, and girls are hot”/”Everyone looks great in jorts!”/”You’ll get chomped in Gainseville! Promise!”/ “The Swamp’s a great place to play football! Unless we’re losing!”/ “Look, I’ll be out in a couple of years, and I know the new Florida Coach is going to love you!!

GEORGIA (Mark Richt) 

“I’ll love you, and you can be sure Jesus will love you.”/ “I’m not going to be a missionary in the next year. I promise”/”UGA fans won’t blame anything on you. They’ll blame it all on me. And Mike Bobo.”/ “If you get arrested, I’ll boot you off the team, then you wait a year then go play for Auburn or Alabama. SEC baby!”

KENTUCKY (Mark Stoops) 

“Come be part of the recovery. We’ll make sure people HEAR of Kentucky football. And not just because of our former quarterback becoming Mr Stay Puft“/ “Help me show I’m a better coach than my brother at Oklahoma!”/ “You’ll see a disappointing basketball team full of freshmen!”/”You’ll get good horse racing tips!”

LSU (Les Miles)

“You have a choice in life: You can be the hammer or the nail. At LSU, you can be the hammer.”/ “Come play for a bats*** crazy coach…and still go to the NFL in three years!”/ “Death Valley at night is the most awesome place you’ll ever play in. When you go to the NFL, you’ll be thinking: “This atmosphere’s good, but it’s nothing compared to LSU”. And if you go somewhere else, you’ll be regretting not playing here/ “I don’t smoke grass, I eat it”/ “You can blindside somebody in TigerLand, and if you’re good, I’ll get the players to vote on whether to keep you! I won’t even boot you out!

MISSISSIPPI STATE (Dan Mullen)

“Trust me, you won’t get a headache from the cowbells if you’re playing for Mississippi State!”/ “Help me prove a point to everybody! I need you!”/ CLANGA CLANGA CLANGA CLANGA CLANGA

MISSOURI (Gary Pinkel)

“We’re new. We punch people in the mouth. We’ve got a great offensive game. And we can fly.”/ “We promise that our kicker won’t screw it up for you like the 2013 boys”/ “It’s warmer than you THINK in Missouri. Plus you get to get away for most of the fall, anyway!”

OLE MISS (Hugh Freeze) 

“Come be part of the biggest revival since a Bill Graham Crusade”/”Jesus loves you. And he loves Ole Miss Football”/”Dude, I’m the guy who coached Michael Oher. Oher’s now in the NFL, making tons of money. Come play for me.”/ “Come play in the most beautiful little college town in the world, with the most beautiful little college gals you could ever wish to see”/ “The crowd at The Grove will worship you when you win. And drink with you if you lose. Not that you will”.

SOUTH CAROLINA (Steve Spurrier)

“If you come play for me, I’ll let you talk crap about Clemson and Georgia. “/”If you haven’t got injury worries, I won’t tell the press you suck. You know, like I did to Jadeveon Clowney”/ “Sandstorm’s awesome. And there’s no sand. Speaking of sand, if you like golf, we can go play Augusta together. Have I told you how much I love golf? Anyway, me and Jack….[trails off into a golf story]/ “Come be part of a team that more often than not seems to beat the SEC East’s representative in the SEC Championship Game…but never goes”/ “Come drink with me before I go on TV!!”/”If you’re a QB, I’ll give you as many chances as I did to Stephen Garcia!”

TENNESSEE (Butch Jones)

“Our stadium is awesome. Especially when you’ll be leading the team in our revival”/ “Our checkerboard end zone is amazing. Try dancing in it!”/ “Come play for a team on an upswing”/ “I PROMISE I AM NOT GOING TO BE LIKE LANE KIFFIN AND LEAVE YOU”/

TEXAS A&M (Kevin Sumlin)

“Come play in the loudest stadium in college football. Our fans are badass. And faithful”/ “Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans, Luke Joeckel and Von Miller all played here. We have NFLers on both sides of the ball”/ “Midnight Yell is the best experience you’ll ever have”/ “Summers in Texas? Ever seen ‘Junction Boys’? We promise we’re not going to do that to you.”/ “We worship a dog. Dogs are cool.” / “We’ll let Johnny Manziel sleep with your girlfriend”

VANDERBILT (Derek Mason)

“You’ll be playing for one of the best defensive minds in college football. Derek Mason was a god at Stanford”/”Nashville’s got more to do than any other SEC town.”/ “Even if you don’t go pro, you’ll be able to start up your own hedge fund and laugh at the NFL guys making a lot less than you/”Dumbasses need not apply”

 

 

 

 

Auburn- Kansas State game moved

The date of Auburn’s trip to Kansas State has been moved from September 20th to September 18th.

The Tigers’ trip to the Little Apple will be the Tigers’ first since 1978. Auburn currently holds a 3-0 record against the Wildcats.

 

 

 

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