ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. indicated that he believes Boise State WR Thomas Sperbeck could carve out a role in the NFL.
While Kiper likes Sperbeck's skill-set, Day 3 is the best he can realistically hope for come the draft. Undrafted free agency is also well within the field of play for the 6-foot, 175-pounder. Said Kiper on his Thursday conference call, "I think he can make it as a slot receiver in this league with his smarts and his hands and his concentration." Sperbeck's career at Boise State was of the brilliant variety, as he surpassed 1,200 yards receiving in each of his final two seasons with the Broncos.
Cal hired USC associate head strength and conditioning coach Torre Becton to serve as strength and conditioning coach.
Prior to linking up with USC during the 2016 offseason, Becton had worked as Washington's strength and conditioning coach from 2011-2015. Per ESPN's David Lombardi, "many of this season's Husky seniors credited Becton for the mentality he helped instill in them back when they were freshmen." We like the direction Cal has been taking since they fired HC Sonny Dykes earlier this month.
Washington State HC Mike Leach ripped into the vitality of SEC offenses.
"This is a great time to be in the SEC; everybody’s got the same offense: run right, run left, play action. And they tease themselves and say we threw it four more times a game this year than we did last year," Leach said. He wasn't done with his disdain for the conference. "How is [the SEC] better? Somebody coaches better athletes, somehow they morph into something smarter? That’s crazy," Leach forwarded. "I mean, you still have problems, you still have 11 parts you can wiggle around to counter the other 11 parts." Some of this consternation stems from the fact that Leach's high-flying ways were looked upon with a few raised eyebrows when he served as offensive coordinator at Kentucky in the late 90's.
Uncommitted four-star 2018 ATH Jaiden Woodbey named Oklahoma, USC, Ohio State and Nebraska as the four finalists for his pledge.
Woodbey had been holding out hope for an offer from Florida State, but that has yet to materialize. "It’s still pretty quiet. It’s just come to a point where I’ve been waiting too long for it," Woodbey said. The 6-foot-2, 197-pounder ranks as Rivals' No. 45 overall prospect for the 2018 cycle. Over the summer, outlet recruiting analyst Adam Gorney called Ohio State "an absolutely serious contender" for Woodbey's commitment.
Uncommitted four-star 2017 WR James Robinson will take an official visit to Ohio State this weekend.
Ohio State doesn't have too many holes in their current crop of 2017 pledges, but another stud wideout would be a nice add for the Buckeyes following Tyjon Lindsey's decision to decommit from the program earlier this month. Rivals actually ranked Robinson as a five-star prospect over the summer, propping him up as high as No. 22. He slid a fair bit by the time they released their final rankings earlier this week, where he ultimately landed at No. 105. At 6-foot-3, 198 pounds, Robinson already has the requisite size to handle the jump up to the collegiate level. Scout.com calls him "explosive" once he gets the ball in his hands. In addition to Ohio State, Ole Miss, Florida and Oklahoma are also in the running for his commitment.
On Scout.com's final prospect rankings list before National Signing Day, Stanford holds commitments from three of the outlet's top 10 prospects.
Given the academic requirements for admission into Stanford, HC David Shaw has far less margin for error than some of his other coaching compatriots. To wit, the Cardinal rank just 28th as a team in Scout.com's rankings at this juncture, with a mere four pledges in the Scout100. Three of those four are monster pledges, though, making Stanford's class one of the more top-heavy ones on the FBS landscape. They hold commitments from five-star T Foster Sarell (No. 2 overall), five-star T Walker Little (No. 4) and five-star QB Davis Mills (No. 6). While the Cardinal currently has a modest 11 commits under the belt, their 3.91 star-average on Scout ranks fourth in the country (trailing only Ohio State, Georgia and Alabama).
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. believes that Tennessee DE Derek Barnett will need to perform well at the NFL Scouting Combine to justify a selection in the top half of the first round.
Speaking on a teleconference, Kiper said that Barnett's draft standing is "fluid" at this juncture. The analyst views him as being drafted anywhere from No. 13 to No. 31 in the first round. "Barnett, I want to see how he tests out. He was a really good college player," Kiper explained, "[but] is he explosive enough, does he test out well enough?" While Kiper questions whether the 6-foot-3, 265-pound Tennessee standout has the requisite athletic juice, on his own Big Board, he slots Barnett in at No. 21. Rotoworld's Josh Norris tossed him all the way to No. 2 with the 49ers in his initial mock draft of 2017.
Mississippi State junior K Westin Graves (back) has retired.
Graves wrote in a Twitter letter to Bulldogs nation that following Mississippi State's narrow win over Miami (OH) in the St. Petersburg Bowl, he underwent surgery to repair several discs in his back. The 6-foot, 163-pounder will step aside from football in order to preserve his future health. "This was a difficult decision and one I have spent weeks thinking about and praying for an answer," Graves wrote. "Though one door has closed, I look forward to opportunities that life will bring." This past season Graves made 11-of-19 boots, including the game-winner during the aforementioned St. Petersburg Bowl.