Nebraska redshirt senior WR Jordan Westerkamp accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game.
Westerkamp missed a pair of contests this season due to a back injury. In 10 relatively healthy contests, the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder caught 38 passes for 526 yards and five touchdowns. Unfortunate on the injuries, as Westerkamp entered the 2016 season as a potential 1,000-yard receiver, having finished up 2015 with a 65-918-7 line over 13 games. The East-West Shrine Game will be played on January 21 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
ESPN's Adam Rittenberg relays that Arizona State OC Chip Lindsey has been in contact with Georgia State regarding their vacant head-coaching position.
Lindsey was a hotly-rumored candidate to take over as head coach at Southern Miss last winter. Jay Hopson ultimately landed that gig. Looks like Lindsey is trying once more to hop onto the coaching carousel. Georgia State fired HC Trent Miles in mid-November. The Panthers finished the campaign holding a dismal 3-9 record.
The Heisman Trophy has named five finalists for the award -- Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, Michigan LB Jabrill Peppers and Oklahoma WR Dede Westbrook.
A nice variety for this year's ceremonies in New York, set for Saturday night. A quick statistical rundown on all parties: Jackson stands as the front-runner after wrapping his season having accounted for 51 total touchdowns (30 passing, 21 rushing) while passing for 3,390 yards and rushing for 1,538 over 12 games. Mayfield has thrown for 3,369 yards with a 38/3 TD/INT ratio, hooking up repeatedly with Heisman friend Westbrook (74-1465-16). The last offensive finalist for the award would be Watson, who has accounted for 43 total touchdowns (37 passing, six rushing). And then there is Peppers, who did almost everything for Michigan this season, finishing out with 72 tackles (16.0 for loss), four sacks, an interception, a forced fumble, 167 rushing yards (plus three rushing scores) and 310 punt-return yards (including a touchdown). All five gentleman have posted immaculate seasons, but the award should be considered Jackson's to lose at this juncture.
Mississippi State redshirt freshman QB Nick Tiano will transfer to Chattanooga.
Tiano was thought to have an opportunity to take over for Dak Prescott this offseason. That did not come to pass, though, as Nick Fitzgerald won the job and subsequently posted a mostly-brilliant 2016 campaign. By Rivals' grades, Tiano ranked as the No. 20 recruit in the state of Tennessee for the 2015 cycle. The 6-foot-4, 231-pound redshirt freshman attempted just one pass in 2016.
NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah compared Clemson senior WR Mike Williams to Andre Johnson.
Jeremiah was particularly taken by the physical similarities between Williams (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and Johnson (6-foot-3, 229 pounds). "[Williams is] huge. He has a thick, muscled-up frame and very long arms," Jeremiah wrote. In 13 games to date, Williams has caught 84 passes for 1,171 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jeremiah colleague Lance Zierlein has previously comped Williams to former Giants wideout Plaxico Burress, while Clemson HC Dabo Swinney has forwarded the belief that his current receiving stalwart is a more well-rounded wideout than either DeAndre Hopkins or Sammy Watkins.
ESPN's Brian Bennett writes that Purdue redshirt sophomore QB David Blough possesses "all the tools" to succeed under new HC Jeff Brohm.
Purdue hired Brohm away from Western Kentucky on Monday. Bennett loves the fit between quarterback and coach, here, writing that Brohm is an "outstanding developer of quarterback talent," one who should be able to help Blough shore up some of his inconsistencies. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound redshirt sophomore led the Big Ten in both passing yardage (3,352) and touchdowns (25) this season, but that strong touchdown mark was somewhat offset by Blough's tendency to turn the ball over. He threw 21 interceptions in 12 games.
NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote that the draft evaluation for Clemson junior QB Deshaun Watson will be "a tricky one in the coming months."
"I don't think he's a really crisp passer," Jeremiah wrote, "but I do admire his grit and competitiveness." The analyst called the 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior's performance against Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game his "best of the season." Watson threw for 288 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in that one while rushing for 85 yards and a pair of additional scores. The dynamic Clemson gunslinger has drawn comparisons to Marcus Mariota and Robert Griffin III. While he has yet to officially declare for the draft, that should be considered a formality at this point.
In their updated rankings, Rivals now lists five-star 2017 Stanford QB commit Davis Mills as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the class.
Hunter Johnson -- a Clemson commit -- had previously stood as the outlet's No. 1 pro-style quarterback for 2017, but no longer. Not there is a huge distinction, here. Rivals slots Johnson in at No. 5 overall, Mills in at No. 4. Scout.com's Chad Simmons forwarded the opinion over the summer that the 6-foot-2, 188-pound Mills is the most likely quarterback in the 2017 class to win a Heisman Trophy. At the time, Simmons wrote that he has "success written all over him."