Weekly News Rundown

Weekly News Rundown
Former Alabama QB Blake Barnett had one last word for his old coach. That and more in the news of the week.
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Miami sophomore S Cedrick Wright will transfer.

Wright, a native of Dade County, appeared in nine games as a true freshman last season, mostly on special teams. Rated as a four-star safety prospect by ESPN in the class of 2016, Wright picked the Hurricanes Miami over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Ohio State and Tennessee, among others. Wright will sit the 2017 season if he transfers to another FBS school. He has three years of eligibility remaining.
Feb 20 - 6:04 PM

Alabama hired Philadelphia Eagles director of personnel operations Joe Pannunzio as tight ends and special teams coach.

The 57-year old Pannunzio was the Tide's director of football operations from 2011 to 2014. Pannunzio previously coached tight ends and special teams as a combination at TCU (1990-91), Minnesota (1992-94), Ole Miss (1995-98), Auburn (1999) and Miami (2006-10). He was the head coach at Murray State from 2000 to 2005. Pannunzio replaces Mario Cristobal as TE coach.
Source: AL.com
Feb 20 - 5:49 PM

An AFC college scouting director says Michigan S Jabrill Peppers "is a better offensive player than defensive prospect."

"I'm concerned about the lack of interceptions and his lack of physicality," he said. "He is more of a run-and-chase defender to me. He might have a chance as a 4-3 (weakside) linebacker but I believe he might be better with the ball in his hands." A different AFC college scouting director also had concerns about Peppers' NFL positional fit. "He is a box safety or nickel linebacker. He doesn't play well in the back end and is just OK in man coverage. He does have a knack for blitzing and finding the ball in the box. I think you need to have a plan for him because he is good in the return game and he loves playing football. ... I just struggle with him as a defensive player." NFL Media's Bucky Brooks compares Peppers to Eric Weddle, writing: "I believe Peppers' positional flexibility has hurt his value on some draft boards, but astute evaluators and creative defensive minds will appreciate his multi-faceted game as an intriguing chess piece."
Source: NFL.com
Feb 20 - 5:29 PM

Virginia Tech and Texas A&M both offered a scholarship to uncommitted four-star 2018 WR Tommy Bush.

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound standout ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds at The Opening regional in Houston earlier this month. LSU has targeted Bush, as has several top Texas schools and a series of Power 5 big-hitters. Scout pegs Bush as the No. 280 overall prospect in the 2018 cycle.
Source: Scout
Feb 20 - 5:16 PM

Though NFL scouts rated West Virginia CB Rasul Douglas as a UDFA coming into the season, according to Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline, the analyst believes Douglas "could end up as a third-round pick."

"The fact that Douglas measured 6-foot-2 and 204 pounds during Senior Bowl weigh-ins only makes him more attractive to NFL teams," Pauline wrote. "I feel he’s one of the better bump-and-run corners in the draft but will struggle in any system that asks him to play backed off the line of scrimmage." Last season, his first as a starter, Douglas was a Walter Camp All-American after leading the nation with eight interceptions.
Feb 20 - 4:58 PM

Utah RB Joe Williams explained that he retired from football briefly last year in part due to years of guilt and grief over the death of his sister in 2007.

His 7-year-old sister, Kylee, died of acute myocarditis -- a heart muscle inflammation -- after getting misdiagnosed with a a viral syndrome and discharged from the hospital. "People make it a big deal that I quit on the team. To me, it was necessary," Williams said. "I was learning to come to grips with the fact that it wasn't my fault. I'm 23 years old now, and I can't blame myself for something that occurred 10 years ago, no matter how painful or traumatic it was. It would be bigger to honor her in a much more meaningful way." Williams rushed for 1,017 yards in only five games after rejoining the team following his four-game retirement in 2016.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 20 - 4:43 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline is "concerned" about Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes' "downfield accuracy as well as the fact that the Texas Tech offense does not translate well to the next level."

"I’m mixed on Patrick Mahomes," Pauline wrote. "I understand why people are intrigued by the Texas Tech signal caller; he’s tough as nails, plays the position with vision as well as awareness and is not afraid to challenge defenses vertically. ... Like the other top quarterbacks in this draft, the potential is there for Mahomes but there’s also a large degree of downside and risk." Mahomes is the most divisive of the top-five quarterback prospects in this class. Analysts and NFL teams both disagree about whether his skills neatly translate to the next level. Heck, the Rotoworld NFL Draft team does not agree about Mahomes' NFL value.
Feb 20 - 4:27 PM

Per ESPN, Vanderbilt's coaching staff "thinks it found a real sleeper" in two-star freshman linebacker Brayden DeVault-Smith.

DeVault-Smith was actually unranked by ESPN's recruiting service. The Commodores staff thinks national outlets missed the boat on the 6-foot-3, 208-pound DeVault-Smith. "He's long and rangy, and was exceptional during his senior year, even if it didn't register on a broader scale with people," wrote Edward Aschoff. "He was a very productive player throughout his high school career, but some around the Vandy program think he was lost in the shuffle because he wasn't an active camper before his senior season, hiding some of his skill from the masses."
Source: ESPN
Feb 20 - 4:11 PM
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