Memphis and HC Justin Fuente agreed to a contract extension.
Financial details have not yet been released. "Our football program has enjoyed unprecedented success under Coach Fuente’s leadership and we are excited to finalize this process and move forward," said athletic director Tom Bowen in a statement. "The future of Tiger football is very bright and we look forward to the opportunity to build upon our success in the days and years ahead." The Tigers just won a share of the American Athletic Conference and posted the most regular season wins seen at the school since 1963. Memphis, 9-3, will soon play in a bowl game for the first time since 2008, taking on BYU in the Miami Bowl on Dec. 22.
Scout Inc.'s Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl rank Nebraska sophomore DT Maliek Collins as the No. 5 best non-draft-eligible prospect.
"Collins occasionally takes too long to get off blocks and gives ground when he doesn't win with quickness," the duo wrote. "But he's a disruptive run defender who has the explosive first step and violent hands to shoot gaps and bring down backs in the backfield. He's also a dangerous interior pass-rusher who uses his quick feet to get offensive linemen off balance, and those active hands to prevent them from latching on." The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Collins has been on the field since his true freshman campaign and continues to add bulk without sacrificing quickness. Next year, without Randy Gregory, all scouts' eyes will be on the gifted Kansas City, Mo. product.
Washington junior LB/RB Shaq Thompson will speak with his family over Christmas break before making a decision about the NFL Draft.
"Just sitting down with my family and Coach Pete and some of the coaches and just think about it," Thompson said. "We’ll see. I don’t know. I’m just focused on this last game and going to see my family." Washington plays in the Jan. 2 TicketCity Cactus Bowl against Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Thompson is supremely versatile and can handle the RB, OLB and S positions. Most draft evaluators, however, see him as an NFL OLB.
Scout Inc.'s Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl believe Ole Miss sophomore WR Laquon Treadwell has "an explosive athlete with outstanding size and a wide catching radius."
"While he can continue to add polish to his game, he is a physical route-runner who is a matchup nightmare with his strength, body control and leaping ability to win in one-on-one contested situations," noted Muench and Weidl. "Treadwell had his season cut short by a gruesome broken ankle against Auburn, but assuming he makes a full recovery, he has tremendous upside with rare physical tools that can't be coached." The 6-foot-2, 229-pound Treadwell, the No. 10 overall player in the 2013 class, might be the most talented receiver in college football. We hope he doesn't lose anything in his rehab from the aforementioned ankle injury.
Mississippi State redshirt junior LB Benardrick McKinney should return to school to work on his mobility, believes NFL.com's Charles Davis.
"In today's NFL, you don't want to be a two-down linebacker," Davis wrote. "If McKinney is ready to play every down in the pros, then it's easy to see why he would be thinking about making the jump. At 249 pounds, though, he could reshape himself a bit in the college ranks to become a better fit for the NFL. Another strong year against tough SEC competition, this time at a lower weight where he's able to show off his athleticism a bit more, is worthy of his consideration." While Davis may be right, McKinney isn't likely to return to the Bulldogs. Yahoo! reported recently that the 6-foot-5, 245-pound linebacker is strongly leaning towards leaving for the pros. ESPN's Mel Kiper wrote earlier this week that McKinney "is a good bet to be a first-rounder if the draft were tomorrow."
NFL.com's Charles Davis advises Oklahoma junior DE Charles Tapper to return to school.
"Tapper is still young in terms of his football career given his basketball background," Davis wrote. "He continues to improve, although his numbers dipped a bit this season, and another year in school certainly won't hurt him. Sooners defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery is highly respected and another year under his tutelage would no doubt enhance Tapper in the eyes of evaluators." Tapper has NFL talent, obviously, but his stock could undoubtedly use another year of maturation, as Round 1 isn't in the cards this spring.
Yahoo Sport's Rand Getlin reports that one source believes LSU DE Danielle Hunter is "70/30 on staying vs. going."
TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reported last week that "there’s a good chance" Hunter enters the draft. The LSU prospect has drawn comparisons to Barkevious Mingo in the past. If he declares for the draft early, he'll be a boom-or-bust proposition at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds with a 4.68 forty.
Florida State sophomore CB Jalen Ramsey possesses "twitched-up movement skills and the versatility to line up anywhere in the secondary," writes Scout Inc.'s Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl.
"He has the range to handle middle-of-the-field responsibilities, and the movement skills to hold up in man coverage," the duo noted. "Ramsey has filled the role Lamarcus Joyner held in 2013, working as a nickelback from the slot where his elite playmaking instincts have allowed him to come up with several game-changing plays in coverage, as a blitzer and in run support." Scout Inc. ranks Ramsey as the nation's No. 6 non-draft eligible prospect. The 6-foot-1, 204-pounder has a 25-foot outdoor long jump and his indoor jump of 7.59m ranked No. 2 nationally amongst NCAA Division I football players.