Uncommitted four-star 2017 RB Anthony McFarland is deciding between Miami and Maryland.
Alabama was also in his top-three as of early December, but it looks like we have ourselves a two-program race at this juncture. The 5-foot-8, 186-pounder did not play at Dematha Catholic High School (Maryland) this past season due to a broken leg. This could actually make him a steal for either the Hurricanes or Terrapins, if only because he might not have received quite the interest on the recruiting front that he might have otherwise seen had he been healthy. Scout.com's Brian Dohn calls McFarland a "physical, violent runner," one who possesses "the power to run between the tackles and the speed to get to the edge." Dohn's outlet ranks him as the No. 71 overall prospect in the 2017 class.
Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline has not come away impressed with the work of Pitt TE Scott Orndoff at East-West Shrine Game practices.
Pauline relays that Orndoff looked "marginally athletic" during Monday's practice and added after Wednesday's practice that "speed is a major question." The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder also struggled to consistently catch and block this week. Testing results are going to be crucial for Orndoff if he wants to garner any sort of NFL interest as a late pick or priority street free agent.
Arkansas OC Dan Enos received a raise and a two-year contract extension.
Enos has received a bump up to $800,000 for 2017 and will see his salary rise in each of the next two years on his extension. He is slated to make $850,000 in 2018 and $900,000 in 2019. The Razorbacks averaged 30.31 points last season even as they broke in a new starting quarterback (Austin Allen) and a new starting running back (Rawleigh Williams III).
NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah writes that South Alabma TE Gerald Everett "belongs in the discussion as the top player at his position."
Jeremiah is of the belief that Everett should be spoken of in the same breath as potential first-round/early second-round tight ends O.J. Howard and Jake Butt. Noted the analyst, "He's extremely athletic and he makes some special plays on tape." The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Everett will be on hand for Senior Bowl festivities next week. Should he perform well during the practice week, Jeremiah sees him as "[having] a chance to vault up the board."
Notre Dame graduate RB Justin Brent will transfer.
Brent will have two years of eligibility remaining once he joins his new program. He initially hooked up with the Irish as a four-star wide receiver in the 2014 recruiting class, but was shifted over to running back in 2015. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder did not record any statistical production at Notre Dame. Per CBS Sports, Brent is interested in a potential transfer to one of Indiana, UCLA, Miami, Arizona State, Purdue and Ohio State.
Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline notes that "[a] big weakness in [Florida International T Dieugot Joseph's] style of play is his hand technique."
Joseph has been attempting to make his mark in East-West Shrine Game practices this week. The results have been somewhat mixed. As Pauline notes, the 6-foot-6, 293-pounder does offer "great length and a strong lower body," but issues with his technique were notable. For example, on Wednesday, Pauline noted, Joseph's poor use of hand technique "was pointed out by his offensive line coach, a few times." Pauline adds that "[d]uring one rep, Joseph quickly lost his footing and fell to the ground." The analyst pegs him as a potential undrafted free agent come this spring's draft.
ESPN's Gerry Hamilton called Alabama four-star 2018 verbal WR commit Xavier Williams "a natural plucker with sure hands and the body control and reactive quickness to instantly adjust to passes thrown outside his catch radius."
Hamilton notes that Williams "[w]ill make the tough catch in traffic over the middle" and "[c]an also be a factor in the return game at the next level." While there is over a year remaining before the 2018 cycle wraps, Hamilton views the 6-foot, 180-pounder's commitment as a rock-solid one. He gives Alabama a 90% chance of reeling in Williams when all is said and done.
The NCAA passed a stipulation that will prevent teams from taking off-campus practices during vacation periods.
Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh took his entire team down to IMG Academy (Florida) last spring. Harbaugh raved about the trip's value as a team-building exercise, but it looks like that might have been a one-off. The NCAA passed their newest restriction by a vote of 58-20, though it should be noted that the student-athlete representatives present voted against the measure 11-4. "The rule didn’t get proposed until after we took the football team down to Florida for spring break," said Michigan AD Warde Manuel, "so I think you can read into that as you will."