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Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde was voted the draft's best RB in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's poll of 18 NFL scouts.

"Complete player," one scout said. "Stud. He's powerful. Great athlete. Great run feel. Catches the ball very well. He'll block. Picks up all the protections, even calls some protections. He's a good-hearted kid but he needs mentoring." Hyde is considered the only RB with a chance to slip into the first round, though most expect he's ticketed for Round 2. "He doesn't have the burst or acceleration to be a difference-maker," said another scout. "He doesn't have much juice." Hyde reportedly scored an awful 9 on the Wonderlic before improving to 13 at the combine. A third scout bashed Hyde's dedication: "When you meet him you don't totally buy in. They don't sell him at the school as your eat-sleep-drink football type. He enjoys the night life. Not as big on the work ethic during the week. Loves Saturdays. Doesn't really put in the time. Kind of plays on talent."
Sun, May 4, 2014 09:04:00 PM

Illinois graduate LB T.J. Neal will visit Auburn and West Virginia as he mulls his transfer options.

It's a given that Neal will transfer--news of it broke in late January--but his landing spot hasn't been determined yet. West Virginia will earn a visit from the 6-foot-1, 235-pounder on Monday, while he'll check out Auburn on February 15. At least from his public comments, it would seem he's leaning strongly toward joining the Tigers. Said Neal, "From my high school, I never thought I'd play at a big-time school like Auburn. To have a chance now, it's exciting to play against some of the top players in the country." Last season, he recorded 109 tackles (15 for loss) with a pair of sacks.
Source: al.com
Feb 6 - 7:18 PM

Auburn HC Gus Malzahn indicated that he called in the neighborhood 50 prospects in the 2017 class on Wednesday.

In case you had any doubt that coaches are completely insane, take it away, Coach. Said Malzahn, "[Wednesday] was a really good day. They got me on the phone with close to 50 guys coming up and I think that's a great thing. I'm excited to recruit those guys and I know our coaches are too." To paraphrase Matthew McConaughey, recruiting is a flat circle. As for the 2016 class, Auburn finished with Rivals' No. 9 class, highlighted by five-star DT Derrick Brown.
Feb 6 - 4:28 PM

Former Michigan interim AD Jim Hackett said that five-star DT Rashan Gary was offered "incentives" from unspecified teams during the recruiting process.

Hackett dropped this nugget--initially reported by SB Nation's Alejandro Zúñiga--during Michigan's NSD event on Wednesday. The former interim athletic director--UConn's Warde Manuel took over permanent duties in January--wouldn't elaborate as to which competing squads tossed incentives Gary's way, nor the exact nature of said incentives, merely saying that he was happy the consensus No. 1 recruit in this cycle chose a Michigan education. Clemson was the other team battling for the 6-foot-5, 290-pounder's heart come National Signing Day, but USC, Auburn and Ole Miss had also previously been in the picture. Whether there's anything substantive here remains to be seen.
Feb 6 - 2:17 PM

An NFL personnel executive told NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein that North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz is "way overrated," while another texted him to say that he wouldn't draft Wentz in the first round.

Zierlein relayed these exchanges on the The Pick Is In podcast. Recalled the analyst, "One said 'Boy, that North Dakota State kid is way overrated.' And the other one texted me and said 'After watching him for a full week [leading up to the Senior Bowl], there is no way I would draft Carson Wentz in the first round." The 6-foot-6, 231-pounder had been rising like a Phoenix on draft boards in the early part of the process, with large-scale gushing from the draft community around the Senior Bowl. "[Some teams] have a hard time with this freight train of enthusiasm surrounding an FCS prospect who still has a lot of work to do," Zierlein wrote.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 5 - 6:48 PM

Auburn HC Gus Malzahn indicated that four-star QB Woody Barrett and three-star JUCO transfer QB John Franklin III will be part of a "wide open" quarterback competition.

Said Malzahn, "There are a lot of good options, and competition brings out the best in everybody, so I think all those guys are ready to roll their sleeves up and get ready to work." Included in "all those guys" would be junior Jeremy Johnson and redshirt freshman Sean White. As for the new names, Barrett's a natural athlete who lacks throwing polish, while Franklin's been clocked at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash. Barrett's the more highly thought of prospect on the whole, but unlike Franklin (who will participate in spring practice), he won't be on campus until August. Still, Malzahn indicated that he'll have a shot at the starting job, too.
Source: al.com
Feb 5 - 3:58 PM

Memphis QB Paxton Lynch told 95.7 The Game's John Middlekauff that he will throw during the NFL combine.

We've already seen NDSU QB Carson Wentz in action at the Senior Bowl (he drew rave reviews for his practice week), but neither Cal QB Jared Goff nor Lynch have made any pre-draft appearances of that sort. Both will be unveiled when the combine rolls around at the end of February, as Goff's previously indicated that he'll participate in throwing drills as well. Goff and Wentz could fall in the Top-10 at the draft, but Lynch is a trickier matter. In his most recent mock draft, ESPN analyst Todd McShay wrote that the 6-foot-6, 225-pound Memphis product has "a lot of the tools you look for in future NFL starters," including prototypical size and athletic ability. McShay pegged him to the LA Rams at No. 15, but said that at this juncture, he's concerned about Lynch's "inconsistent decision-making and accuracy." A nice combine performance should help matters, but how much it might help is difficult to tell. Nobody's questioning his athletic ability.
Feb 5 - 2:08 PM

USC AD Pat Haden will resign effective June 30, 2016.

Haden won't be done with the Trojans completely, as he'll be helping to oversee the renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum through June 2017, but that role's a separate matter. He's been USC's athletic director since 2010. In late October, he announced that he would be stepping down from the CFP selection committee, perhaps the first step in his eventual exit plan. As for who will replace Haden, the university will hire a search firm to find the right person.
Feb 5 - 1:55 PM

FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman reports that Cal will hire former Texas A&M OC Jake Spavital.

Cal's looking to replace Tony Franklin, who (in something of a surprise move) took the OC gig at Middle Tennessee earlier this month. As for Spavital, the three-year Aggies coordinator exited stage left in early January, after A&M and the 30-year-old "mutually decided to part ways." The Aggies struggled/fell apart at times last season, but we'll withhold judgment on the hire for the time being. He's entering an uncertain offensive situation, with Jared Goff heading to the NFL. As Feldman notes, the Golden Bears also have to replace their six leading receivers.
Source: FOX Sports
Feb 5 - 1:01 PM

Pittsburgh HC Pat Narduzzi indicated that he believes that junior RB James Conner (Hodgkin lymphoma) will be able to play in 2016.

Said Narduzzi, "I saw [Conner] yesterday in the hallway and he's been working out with our kids to keep his sanity and he's having fun doing it." He added that the 6-foot-2, 250-pound junior is "doing well and looks well." Conner's 2015 was about as rough as they come, as he suffered a torn MCL in September and it subsequently became public knowledge in December that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Expect more updates on his health and potential to play during the coming season as we hit spring practice.
Feb 5 - 12:36 PM

Gridiron Now's Mike Huguenin reports that Florida sophomore QB Treon Harris will transition to wide receiver this spring.

Harris' passing issues have been persistent and apparent, as the Gator offense fell into a deep, dark hole after Will Grier was suspended mid-season. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Harris finished the season with 1,676 passing yards (50.6% completions) and a 9/6 TD/INT ratio across 11 contests (nine starts). With his transition to wideout and Grier's decision to transfer, the battle to start at quarterback for the Gators figures to boil down to a competition between sophomore QB Luke Del Rio, Purdue graduate transfer QB Austin Appleby and recent recruiting addition of four-star QB Feleipe Franks, who ranks as Rivals' 57th overall recruit for the 2016 cycle.
Feb 5 - 12:23 PM

Rivals recruiting director Mike Farrell said that Tennessee five-star DE Jonathan Kongbo is "just scratching the surface of his potential."

It was unknown as of the early hours of National Signing Day whether Kongbo would side with Tennessee or Ole Miss, as his father reportedly wanted him to attend Ole Miss. The 6-foot-6, 265-pounder got his wish, though, and will suit for the Vols next season. And boy, what a prospect they might have on their hands. Farrell noted that "JUCO freak defensive end" Kongbo's been playing football for just two seasons. He's "much more raw than [No. 1 overall Rashan Gary]," Farrell cautions, "but Kongbo’s ceiling could be higher." Don't forget the name.
Source: rivals.com
Feb 4 - 10:53 PM




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