Louisville redshirt junior edge rusher Devonte Fields said he played with a torn labrum from Week 4 of the 2015 season on.
Fields underwent shoulder surgery last month and is expected to miss spring football practices. That he played so long with a torn labrum is truly impressive given what the Cardinals star accomplished down the stretch. Of his No. 2-nationally 22 TFL, 18.5 came in the last seven games. He also led the team with 11 sacks and was Louisville's fourth-leading tackler with 64. Despite losing Sheldon Rankins, Louisville's defense may be even stronger next year. A fully-healthy Fields will be joined by standout returnees linebacker Keith Kelsey, defensive tackle DeAngelo Brown and safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, among others.
Pittsburgh junior RB James Conner (knee/Hodgkin lymphoma) has resumed working out with the team.
Both Conner and Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi have guaranteed that Conner will play in 2016 and the star runner appears to be on track to do just that. Conner is coming off one of the most devastating seasons we can remember. The Heisman darkhorse suffered a season-ending MCL tear in Week 1 and then found out during rehab that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. "He is such an inspiration," Narduzzi told FOX Sports on Saturday. "Our kids see him, and whenever they feel like they're tired and or life's getting tough, they look at him and see what he's doing. The guy doesn't want to pull back on anything. He's such an unbelievable kid." Conner ran for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2014.
CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler believes Minnesota State DE Josh Gordon was snubbed from the combine.
"A highly productive small schooler, Gordon is under-the-radar on a national level, but his play jumps off the film and speaks for itself," Brugler wrote. "Even if he isn't drafted, Gordon is the type of talent who can win a job in camp." For the past four seasons, Gordon has been of one Division-II's best defenders. As for other notable defensive end combine snubs, Brugler lists Ugonna Awuruonye (Campbell), Theiren Cockran (Minnesota), Silverberry Mouton (Cincinnati), Terrell Lathan (TCU) and Vontarrius Dora (Louisiana Tech) as aggrieved parties.
Penn State signed four-star LB Cameron Brown.
Brown committed to the Nittany Lions over the summer and stood by his commitment come National Signing Day. The 6-foot-5, 199-pounder floats into the ESPN 300 at No. 240. Per the outlet, he showcased "equal power in both his upper and lower body allowing him to dominate" during his time at Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland. He "runs very well and can close quickly to finish," according to the Worldwide Leader's scouting breakdown. They believe he'll need to continue to improve in his hand technique to fully maximize his pass-rushing potential. He's already flashed the ability to perform in coverage, though, which is a nice sign for his development.
CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler wrote that Georgia DT Chris Mayes' traits are "intriguing."
Brugler can't point to many of Mayes stats, because as he notes, the JUCO transfer's served as something of a rotational player since joining the Bulldogs in 2013 (rather than a three-down stalwart). The 6-foot-4, 323-pounder finished the 2015 campaign having recorded 41 tackles (1.0 for loss) and a fumble recovery. Regardless of the lack of numerical output, he'll try to boost his stock once he hits the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis later this month.
According to CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler, Florida Atlantic DT Trevon Coley "should have been a Combine invite based on tape alone."
Coley doesn't just have the tape going for him. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder also performed well during the Shrine Game practice week back in January, with Rotoworld's Josh Norris anointing him the No. 3 player who attended those proceedings. And on top of that, his 2015 campaign with the Owls marked his best statistical campaign. For the year, Coley recorded 66 tackles (nine for loss), six sacks and two forced fumbles across 12 contests. Brugler deems him "an active interior player who carries his weight well and has the hand moves to stab, sidestep and penetrate gaps."
CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler believes that Texas Tech DE Branden Jackson "should test well and help himself in Indianapolis [at the NFL Scouting Combine]."
Jackson earned his combine invite despite some rather unimpressive stats this past season. The 6-foot-4, 272-pounder recorded 31 tackles (4.5 for loss), two sacks and a forced fumble in 2015, this after registering nine tackles for loss each of the last two years. While for some players, combine results probably won't make a legitimate difference one way or another come the draft, for prospects like Jackson--who failed to perform well on the field at times--measurements could end up playing a huge role in how they're viewed.
Kentucky signed four-star C Drake Johnson.
This Drake Johnson is not to be confused with Michigan redshirt junior RB Drake Johnson. The baby Wildcat species of Johnson checks into the ESPN 300 at No. 238. He measures 6-foot-2, 302 pounds and according to the Worldwide Leader's scouting breakdown, he "plays with toughness and some edge." The outlet cautions that he "has a tendency to stop his feet [when run-blocking], which doesn't allow him to finish defenders."