NCAA Football

Oregon Football: How Bralon Addison's Reported Injury Impacts Ducks Offense

If Oregon wide receiver Bralon Addison has indeed suffered a torn ACL , as reported by Andrew Greif of The Oregonian , the Ducks have lost one of their best returning playmakers ...

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Oregon Football: Week 2 Spring Practice Stock Report

Oregon suffered its first major setback of the 2014 season in its second week of spring practice.

Aaron Fentress of reported on Thursday that wide receiver Bralon Addison had suffered a torn ACL. KEZI first reported that Addison had sustained an unspecified "non-contact" left knee injury on Wednesday. 

Possibly losing Addison for the entire campaign further clouds the Ducks' receiving situation. The Ducks have also lost leading wide receiver Josh Huff and multipurpose back De'Anthony Thomas, quarterback Marcus Mariota's favorite targets in 2013 and 2012, respectively. 

Addison was primed to be a breakout star in the Oregon passing attack, coming off a sophomore campaign of 61 receptions for 890 yards. 

Oregon had another scare at receiver when redshirt freshman Darren Carrington left last Friday's workouts "visibly upset," according to Andrew Greif of The Oregonian:

Head coach Mark Helfrich offered no timetable on Carrington's return, but Helfrich's vague assessment, via Steve Mims of The Register-Guardwas promising:

Carrington is just one high-potential candidate with little or no in-game experience vying for a spot in the receiving rotation.

Jalen Brown, a 4-star prospect in the Ducks' 2014 signing class, is an early enrollee. He capitalized on his opportunity Wednesday and made a grab in traffic, per Rob Moseley of Dwayne Stanford has also earned praise for his performance in spring practices. 

The receiving unit also welcomed reinforcement in the form of Johnathan Loyd, a 5'8" point guard on the Ducks basketball team. Loyd joined the team Monday. 

Helfrich said, via KEZI, that Loyd's friendship with wide receiver Keanon Lowe may have sparked the point guard's interest in returning to the gridiron. He last played football at prep powerhouse Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. 

Helfrich added that Loyd can work his way into a contributing role:

He’s giving great effort…He’s got that great smile on his face we’ve come to know so much on the basketball court. Start with that, and you’ve got a chance [to contribute]...His athleticism and skill set fits a lot of slots on the football field. He was a great high school football player. He’s not doing anything else, might as well come out.

Loyd is reunited with former basketball teammate Arik Armstead, who opted not to return to the hardwood this season so he could focus on football. A 5-star recruit in 2012, Armstead has yet to break out at the college level. 

There are rumblings of Armstead moving to the offensive line. Even Helfrich said offensive line coach Steve Greatwood is trying to recruiting Armstead, via The Oregonian

But in an interview with The Oregonian, Armstead made it clear that he intends to take his performance to the next level on the defensive side:

I'm a defensive lineman now, that's what I focus on. They try to joke around and play with me and try to get me to switch over but I'm a defensive lineman...[T]hat's what I'm passionate about. I feel like whatever I'm passionate about I'm going to be the best at that and, you know, this is what I chose to do with my life so I'm going to give it all I can.

Oregon certainly needs more help on the defensive line than it does on the offensive line. While the offensive front returns four starters from 2013, the defensive line must replace Taylor Hart, Wade Keliikipi and Ricky Havili-Heimuli. 

The defensive line may be getting support in the form of 6'3", 315-pound and 3-star recruit Ratu Mafileo, however. Mafileo told Justin Hopkins of 247Sports that he received academic clearance from the NCAA over the weekend, making way for his signing with the program. 

Mafileo is the nephew of Haloti Ngata, one of the top defensive talents to come out of Eugene, Ore., in program history. 


More Dual-Sport Ducks

Loyd is in good company as a two-sport athlete in the Oregon football ranks. Cornerback Dior Mathis and wide receiver Devon Allen are splitting their time between spring practices and Oregon's track team, on which both are sprinters. 

The duo helped Oregon to a 114-47 defeat of Arizona in a dual meet Saturday. Mathis finished third in the 100 meters, per editor Rob Moseley

Allen finished the 110-meter high hurdles in 13.96 seconds, which Ken Goe of The Oregonian reports is 17th-best time in NCAA Division I this season. 

Allen explained the process of tackling two sports simultaneously to The Daily Emerald: "I have hard track days and hard football days back to back. But it wasn’t too bad. I got into the treatment room on Friday night and then Saturday morning try to get my legs back, so that felt pretty good."


Mariota's Pro Prep 

Mariota may have been a first-round selection in next month's NFL draft had the quarterback foregone his remaining eligibility. With another year captaining the Ducks offense, he can ensure his spot on draft day in 2015.

He is already making strides in that direction, adding a little NFL twist this week by taking snaps from under center.  

"It's stuff that will help me get prepared for the future as well, little things that can help me," Mariota told The Oregonian. "It wouldn’t hurt to get ready." 


No. 11?  

Eleven is the number of games Helfrich won in his first season as Oregon's head coach. It's also his spot on Athlon Sports' ranking of Pac-12 coaches. Helfrich is ahead of only Cal's Sonny Dykes. 

Greif says Helfrich offered only a smile when Grief asked him about the ranking:


Spring Scouting Opportunity

The only two teams to defeat Oregon in 2013—Arizona and Stanford—host their spring games Saturday. Both will appear on Pac-12 Network at 4 p.m. ET in a split broadcast. Regional channels are airing the games in their entirety. 

Of interest to Oregon is Stanford's running back situation. The Ducks struggled slowing Cardinal running back Tyler Gaffney in their November 2013 meeting, and his ability to pound out yards contributed to Oregon's 26-20 loss. 

Barry Sanders, Ricky Seale and Kelsey Young will see repetitions with Stanford's first string, per Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News

"Every day, somebody does something special,'' Stanford head coach David Shaw told Wilner. "It's not a competition so much as a showcase."


Statistics compiled via Recruiting rankings and information culled from

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Oregon Football: Week 2 Spring Practice Stock Report

Oregon suffered its first major setback of the 2014 season in its second week of spring practice. Aaron Fentress of CSNNW .com reported on Thursday that wide receiver Bralon Addison had suffered a torn ACL ...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury Battles His Players in Dance-Off at Practice

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has no problem messing around with his players.

Not only did the players battle in a dance-off during a recent spring practice, but the 34-year-old coach joined in as well. Kingsbury and receiver Derreck Edwards both showed off their moves, much to the delight of the rest of the team.

If he uses these moves when recruits' single moms flirt with him during visits, Kingsbury will certainly leave a good impression.

[techathleticsRed Raider Sports]

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Notre Dame Football: Complete Spring Game Preview

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Finally.

It took forever, but it finally feels like spring is here. Saturday’s forecast predicts temperatures in the 70s with a zero percent chance of rain.

I can’t think of better conditions to close out spring practice with Saturday’s Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. It’s technically the 15th and final practice for the Irish, and it’s our last public look at them until August.

So what should we be on the lookout for on Saturday?

Let’s get to it.

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Virginia Tech Football: Week 3 Spring Practice Stock Report

It still might not feel like spring in Blacksburg, Va., but the Virginia Tech football team’s spring practice is well underway. 

As the team’s spring game rapidly approaches, excitement about the upcoming season is in the air on campus. Even incoming university president Tim Sands couldn’t resist the allure of stopping by the practice field to get a glimpse of the Hokies. 

The coaching staff has started to become particularly enthralled with some players, while others have fallen out of favor slightly. 

Read on to get a sense of which players’ stock is ascendant and which ones have seen some slight dips.


Augie Conte and Wyatt Teller 

After last week’s round of practices, it seemed as if redshirt freshman Wyatt Teller was the backup on the offensive line that had the best shot to compete for playing time.

Now the staff looks to be leaning toward redshirt sophomore Augie Conte instead, as TheRoanoke Times’ Andy Bitter reports.

Conte is currently listed as Laurence Gibson’s backup at right tackle on the depth chart, and his development is likely a major reason why the staff is giving Teller a shot at guard. 

Considering that Conte has an extra year of experience at the position, and that Teller is still adjusting to playing on the offensive side of the ball in general, it’s not a huge surprise that Conte’s a little further along so far.

Conte put up some huge numbers in the team’s winter workouts, breaking the school record for power clean by a tackle and topping the team in the bench press, so it’s a good sign that he’s been able to turn his physical tools into results on the field.

He might not have a particularly clear path to the field while working behind Gibson, but his improvement will certainly help the team’s depth on the line.


Backup Running Backs

J.C. Coleman is pretty firmly entrenched as the spring starter with Trey Edmunds on the sidelines, but it does seem like there’s been some movement on the depth chart below the top spot. 

Jerome Wright appeared to be in the mix for carries this season at running back along with Joel Caleb, but he since seems to have fallen out of favor with the staff, as Bitter notes.

It looked like Wright was catching on after he made a few big plays in the Sun Bowl, but this move seems like a demotion for Wright and a vote of confidence in Caleb.

Wright may still be on the depth chart as Sam Rogers’ backup at fullback, but he was in on all of 27 plays on offense when working in a similar role last season—an especially small number when compared to Rogers’ 257 offensive snaps.

Meanwhile, early-enrolled freshman Marshawn Williams may still be on the third string, but he continues to turn heads in practice.

He only got three carries in for nine yards during the team’s first spring scrimmage, but he blew coaches away with his physicality on a 14-yard run up the sideline.

Williams has long seemed like the type of back that could help the Hokies in short-yardage situations, and the coaches appear to agree, according to Bitter.


Bucky Hodges

If coaches were pleasantly surprised about Bucky Hodges’ athleticism at tight end last week, they were positively giddy this week.

The redshirt freshman is still adjusting to the position after playing quarterback in high school, but every media availability this spring seems to be another chance for the staff to rave about his athletic abilities.

"I think he’s a guy that's a prototypical weapon," offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler told Bitter. "Potentially a prototypical weapon in that you can play him in a lot of different places, which is really good with matchups." 

The coaches initially seemed to be excited about Hodges because of the way he could blend his speed with incredible size, in the same style as tight ends like UNC’s Eric Ebron.

However, they now appear particularly excited about what his versatility can do for the offense, as Bitter explains.

Hodges could be especially critical for the offense that Loeffler wants to run. What makes Hodges so valuable is that he won't be relied upon to just play tight end. For that spot, the Hokies have Ryan Malleck, who's back from a shoulder injury, and Kavlin Cline, who's now played more than just a handful of football games in his life. 

That frees up Hodges to do more things if he's up to the task. He did split out wide some in Saturday's scrimmage. He played on the line. He went in motion. At the very beginning of drills, he tossed a deep ball to Willie Byrn out of the Wildcat.

That flexibility is a crucial component for Loeffler's offense, which will motion players to different spots on the field to take advantage of matchups without having to substitute.

Even blocking, something that would seem difficult for a guy who has played almost exclusively quarterback in his career up to this point, has come naturally.

The staff might’ve originally envisioned Hodges revolutionizing the offense from under center when they recruited him two years ago.

But, now it sure seems like the staff has fallen head over heels for Hodges due to his abilities to shape the offense in other ways.

Suffice it to say that Hodges’ stock is positively through the roof right now at this point in the spring.

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Penn State in Position to Land Monster 2015 Top 5 Recruiting Class

Penn State has been on fire lately when it comes to recruiting, and it has new head coach James Franklin to thank for that. The Nittany Lions most recently landed 4-star LB Josh Barajas out of Merrillville, Ind., who was a huge pickup for Franklin and his staff.

Bleacher Report spoke with JC Shurburtt of, who discussed Barajas, top targets and what should be expected from the Nittany Lions recruiting class.

Watch the video, and get the latest news on Penn State recruiting.


Highlights courtesy of XOS Digital.

Ratings courtesy of

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What Will Muschamp Needs to See from Gator QBs in 2014 Spring Game

The most important spring practice session in Will Muschamp's short tenure as the Florida head coach will come to a close on Saturday in the Orange and Blue Debut at "The Swamp" in Gainesville.

New offensive coordinator Kurt Roper was brought in to revitalize an offense that has been stagnant since former Gator Tim Tebow was taking snaps. Quarterback Jeff Driskel returns from a leg injury that cost him the final two-plus months of the 2013 season, and is finally in an offense that suits his dual-threat capabilities.

What does Roper and Muschamp need to see from Driskel and the rest of the Gator quarterbacks in the spring game on Saturday?


Can Driskel Stretch The Field?

Driskel has been rather efficient through his first three seasons in Gainesville, posting a career completion percentage of 62.9 percent (214-for-340).

Great, right?

Well, not really, because he's only passed for 2,271 yards—for a mediocre 6.7 yards per attempt average. For reference, that would have placed him 12th in the SEC last year among qualifying passers, according to

Florida has a stable of running backs and will likely evolve into more of a ground-and-pound spread team like Auburn was last year under Gus Malzahn rather than one that slings it all over the field. But for that to happen, Driskel has to keep defenses honest by stretching the field.

That means a guy like Demarcus Robinson, who was a hotshot recruit from 2013, will have to show that he's matured as a player and between the ears. He was suspended twice for a total of three games last year, but has been impressing the coaching staff this spring. 

Whether it's Robinson, Ahmad Fulwood, Quinton Dunbar or somebody else, Driskel has to find a way to take the top off of the defense every once in a while to make sure the offense clicks the way Roper intends. 

It's been clicking so far this spring.

“When you turn on the film you see a bunch of guys making big plays,’’ Driskel said according to's Scott Carter. “It just gets guys really excited for this offense. I feel like it’s coming together pretty quickly."

We'll see on Saturday.


Will Driskel Make the Right Reads in the Running Game?

The majority of Florida's offense will come out of the shotgun, which is a whole new world for Driskel, who has been under center for the majority of his Florida career. 

Just how much rust needs to be knocked off in the read option? Will that leg injury impact Driskel's decision-making?

Quarterbacks won't take hits during the spring game, but Roper will still run his offense. When the Gators run zone reads, keep an eye on Driskel. Is he properly reading the defensive end? Is Florida advanced enough in its offensive installation to run some zone reads off of the outside linebacker?

Don't worry about that leg injury, though, because Driskel is confident that he's back.

“I want to show them that I’m confident, that I didn’t let the Miami game or the injury take away from my confidence,’’ Driskel said according to Carter. “And I want to show everyone that I’m having fun out there playing the game.”


Is There a Viable Backup?

Driskel is the unquestioned starter at Florida, but let's be honest, he doesn't instill a ton of confidence based on his track record. He is set for a bounce-back season in this offense, but what if that doesn't happen?

Tyler Murphy and Skyler Mornhinweg weren't ready for the big stage when they both got shots last year after Driskel went down. Mornhinweg is back, along with hot-shot early enrollee Will Grier. Grier, a former 4-star prospect, has the athletic ability to be a dual-threat but is a passer first. 

Is he the future of the quarterback position in Gainesville? 

He'll get a shot to impress the coaches and fans on spring's biggest stage. 

The ideal scenario for Florida would be for both Mornhinweg and Grier to prove that they are viable backups and can win games. If that happens, Mornhinweg can be the backup that steps on the field in a pinch or in mop-up duty, and Grier could possibly redshirt unless the staff needs a long-term replacement for whatever reason. 


* Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. All statistics are courtesy of, and all recruiting information is courtesy of


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Tennessee Football: Complete Spring Game Preview

It would be difficult to script a better spring finale for the Tennessee Volunteers and head coach Butch Jones.

Saturday's weather is supposed to be perfect, competition promises to be intense, and the hype surrounding all the new faces and intriguing position battles has all the trappings of a large crowd in Neyland Stadium.

The Vols made it through spring practice without any catastrophic injuries (so far), and while there are numerous questions that can't be answered until deep into the fall, UT made a lot of headway in finding some help on a team with needs all over the field.

Jones told's Chris Low that he expects this year's Vols will be faster and more athletic than his first team at Tennessee, and this will be the first opportunity for fans to see that firsthand.

Let's take a look at all you need to know about the Orange and White Game.

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Florida State Football: Complete Spring Game Preview

Florida State will finish up spring camp with its annual Garnet and Gold Game on Saturday afternoon. The intrasquad exhibition will broadcast live at 3:00 p.m. ET on ESPN's flagship channel because...well, this is college football in the year 2014.

Fresh off a BCS National Championship—the last BCS National Championship—in 2013-14, Seminoles stars such as Jameis Winston, Rashad Greene, Cameron Erving, Mario Edwards, Nate Andrews and Jalen Ramsey will take the field before public eyes for the first time since beating Auburn on a last-minute touchdown, 34-31.

However, the long list of players absent from last year's team is just as troubling as the list of returnees is encouraging. FSU dealt with a similar NFL exodus after 2012, which is reassuring, but there are still questions to answer up and down the depth chart.

Will Saturday provide an answer to all those questions? Of course not. Injuries to key young players and the impending arrival of 247Sports' No. 4 recruiting class make fall camp a pivotal exercise; the spring game is more about digging for clues than actually solving problems.

But it should still be a whole mess of fun.

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Georgia Football: Complete Spring Game Preview

For Georgia football fans in desperate need of gridiron action, this Saturday's spring game is as good as it gets—at least until August.

While the annual G-Day game always offers a respite for those who are tired of the long, monotonous offseason, this year's battle between the red and the black teams is particularly compelling thanks in no small part to a few vital changes.

New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and his new staff of assistants have renovated the defense, while the offense prepares to enter its first season since 2009 without Aaron Murray under center.

With changes brewing in Athens, here is everything you need to know about the Georgia Bulldogs' spring game.

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College Football Teams Embracing the Weird This Spring, and That's a Good Thing

The crowd was anxious, the pressure mounting as a human wall enclosed the scene. It all came down to one short field goal, a chip shot by most kickers’ standards. The snap was low—but good enough—and the holder quickly inverted the football and placed it on the ground, just like he has done a thousand times before.

All eyes then turned to the kicker, undersized and inexperienced.

As the approach toward the ball began, there was silence. Only the thumping base and the faint sound of music could be heard in the background. And that’s when Nicki Meyer—the daughter of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer—sent her kick sailing past Ohio State’s mascot, Brutus the Buckeye, whose cartoonish large hands came just short of YouTube greatness.

While the kick was off course, Brutus’ redemption from last season’s spring embarrassment would have to wait for another year.

This was the scene at Ohio State on April 5 for the third annual Student Appreciation Practice, where approximately 2,500 Ohio State fans attended, according to the school. There was actual football sprinkled in, of course, but this day—in large part—was constructed for the fans.

Some attendees got to race players, while others showed up for signatures. Others—including Nicki Meyer—even attempted a field goal with the Buckeye team. The scene was strange, unnecessary and absolutely magnificent.

The fact that a major football program took time out of an integral part of its limited interaction with players is telling. It's also good for the average fan. And thankfully, such hands-on spring opportunities are now becoming protocol and will only continue to evolve.

Ohio State has bridged the gap between team and fans by opening up its doors for a day. Others, like Georgia, are allowing one lucky fan to draw up his or her very own offensive play for its spring football game.

If you’ve wanted to embrace your inner Art Briles from your couch with your son or daughter’s colored pencils, the Bulldogs are giving you that chance. And if it’s good enough, it might just go from concept to creation in one of the SEC’s biggest offseason scrimmages.

Bulldog Nation, you can call a play for UGA. Email a diagram of your idea to & we'll pick the best to run at G-Day!

— John Lilly (@JohnLillyUGA) April 9, 2014

One play not enough? Well, how about something more. How about getting paid to kick a 50-yard field goal or out-throw a college quarterback? (Reconstructive shoulder surgery and meniscus operations are NOT included, at least as far as we know.)

That’s what Arizona is offering at its spring game, which means it’s time to bust out the Sambas and give it a go.

Arizona offering $500 if a student can kick a 50-yarder at the spring game (via @danielfheck)

— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) April 11, 2014

Still not good enough? Well, then this is probably right up your alley. How would you like to take over the head coaching reins at a major program for an entire day?

You can, if you’re the highest bidder on eBay.

Arkansas State and the Red Wolves Foundation are currently offering this possibility to the individual who comes out on top of this lovely eBay listing. As outlined in the description on the page, your experience will include the following:

·       Head Coach for the game on Friday, April 18.

·       Give the pregame and halftime talk.

·       You choose whether your team 'goes for it' or punts on 4th down.

·       You get to call for the deep ball, trick play, run or pass, blitz, etc.

·       On headset with the staff throughout the entire game.

·       Winning Coach will receive a Powerade bath (and bragging rights)!

·       Photos of your Coaching Experience.

·       Coaching Gear.

Admit it. You’ve always wanted to enjoy the shocking chill of a sports drink being dumped on your head in large amounts by players who are contractually obligated to call you “Coach” for a few hours.

Haven’t we all.

While most teams have yet to take it as far as Arkansas State has, some—including Ohio State, Georgia and others—are pushing this involvement further. They’re doing so because many teams do care about appealing to their fanbases, but it’s also good for business.

If you’re a major program, this is a no-brainer. While the limited practice hours are vital for player development and system familiarity, improving the relationship with your fans can have benefits beyond those benefiting directly from what you’re offering.

It garners attention—like this article you’re reading right now—and the countless other blog posts that were made to highlight a fact that a team put coaching duties on eBay. It’s marketing and in the age of social media, it has a chance of hitting more eyeballs than ever before.

If you do something cool and different, chances are it will spread through the various news mediums with tremendous pace.

Marketing—in the college football realm—can mean much more than headlines and shares on Facebook. It can also help out brand awareness and, in turn, recruiting. While it’s a leap to assume that paying fans for 50-yard field goals will suddenly flood the cupboard with 5-star talents, the extra attention certainly can’t hurt these efforts.

At the very least, there will be discussions taking place about a school (or team) that wouldn't have transpired in the first place.

For the fans, regardless of the intentions, they should embrace the opportunities. The sport can be robotic in ways, especially come fall, and coaches and players rarely break character given its cutthroat nature. Involving the fans for a day is a chance for everybody to let down their guard. In its simplest form, it's a way to feel like you're a part of the team you care far too deeply about.

Even if it's only a few hours, you might be a big part for that day. 

So let’s get weird. Bring on the mascots blocking field goals, Joe Bulldog’s version of Four Verts, the eBay coaches, the $500 pipe-dream field goals and whatever else you have in store. 

Market yourselves accordingly. Just bring us along for the ride.

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Florida Gators Football: Complete Spring Game Preview

The Florida Gators spring game is only one day away. We’ll finally get to see firsthand what the coaches have been talking about and what the players have been working on.

Questions on both sides of the ball will be answered, while concerns in certain areas are bound to remain just that until fall camp rolls around. All in all, the spring game is still one of the more exciting events of the offseason. The score may not mean much and it’s a little weird watching players tackle their teammates, but it’s still football.

Are you excited yet?

Here’s a complete breakdown of the Florida Gators 2014 spring game. 

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USC Football: Week 4 Spring Practice Stock Report

The spring game quickly approaches at USC, as the Trojans completed another week of spring practices on Thursday. Things are really starting to come together for Steve Sarkisian, and despite the new offense, the atmosphere around practices feels like the old USC style.

In a week, we will get our first true glimpse of what we can expect from the Trojans come the fall, but for now, let's revisit the standout moments from this installment of spring ball.


The Future of Adoree' Jackson

Easily USC's biggest catch of the 2014 season, Adoree' Jackson has many anxiously anticipating his arrival to the Trojan ranks. On Thursday, Sarkisian volunteered some insight about how Jackson could be used next season, and it's a pretty exciting development:

There hasn't been a notable two-way player at USC in recent memory, with the exception of Marqise Lee, who briefly lined up at cornerback against Oregon in 2012. Jackson's place at USC has been debated since the 5-star athlete signed with the cardinal and gold, and playing him at both wide receiver and cornerback solves that dilemma.

Furthermore, Jackson isn't the only one that could pull double-duty:

Sark did say they would revisit these options over the fall, but it's a promising possibility to think about nonetheless.

If Jackson, Juju Smith and Rahshead Johnson (or any of these three, for that matter) truly do end up playing on both sides of the field for USC, the Trojans become that much more dynamic of a team in 2014. 


QB Battle in the Homestretch 

At the beginning of spring camp, Sarkisian said he didn't have a timeline for naming a starter and that he would do so when it felt right. As practices went on, the head coach alluded to separation between returning starter Cody Kessler and his challenger, Max Browne, with Kessler having the advantage. On Tuesday, Sark all but declared the competition over:

Sark reiterated that after Thursday's practice as well:

Kessler and Browne will have their final showdown next Saturday, and at some point after that, we can expect Sark to announce that Kessler has retained his job. 

To Garry Paskwietz of, Sark elaborated about having (mostly) reached a decision:

I would suspect we’ll name one before the end of spring. As I’ve said before, when I have a pretty good feeling for it I’m going to let it sit for a little bit, maybe watch for a bit and view it that way, see what that feels like. I feel like that’s a good way to go about it.

Choosing a starting quarterback has been Sark's most important, most pressing issue since he got hired, and with that in the bag, he can move on to further shaping the offense around that athlete's skill set. 


Defense Rising to the Occasion 

During the third week of spring practices, defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox told the media that while the defense would start strong against the uptempo offense, productivity would taper off throughout the scrimmage sessions. This week, it appears the defense has responded.

Sark lauded the unit after practice on Tuesday:

 On Thursday, more positive feedback came from the coaches about their effort:

Rahshaun Haylock of outlined just how important Woods is to USC's defense and what his progression means to the team going forward. 

The fact that the defense is starting to gel is particularly good news, as the Trojans have kept contact in practices to a minimum due to injury and depth concerns. 

With the veteran Trojans that Sark mentioned stepping up to lead the defense, we can expect an even more spirited and competitive fall camp in four months. 


Other Notes

 A handful of former Trojans attended Thursday's practice:

Sark plans to baptize the incoming freshman by fire:

Sark praises the efforts of strength coach Ivan Lewis, who previously worked with Sark at Washington:

The Trojans will hold another light scrimmage Saturday, before the annual spring game takes place in the Coliseum next Saturday, April 19, at 3 p.m. PT. 

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USC Football: Week 4 Spring Practice Stock Report

The spring game quickly approaches at USC, as the Trojans completed another week of spring practices on Thursday...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

12 Starting Quarterbacks Most Likely to Lose Their Jobs Before the End of 2014

Forget the old adage about quarterbacks getting too much credit and blame in today’s college football.

If programs want to win, they are best advised to field dynamic playmakers and fantastic decision-makers at the sport’s most important position.

Case in point: 2014 Florida State.

The Seminoles graduated first-round draft pick E.J. Manuel but upgraded with redshirt freshman Jameis Winston.

Fourteen games later, Winston and his teammates lifted the BCS National Championship trophy.

The team across the field—Auburn—had suffered through a 0-8 SEC campaign in 2012. Junior college transfer quarterback Nick Marshall can’t take all the credit, but he played no small role in turning the Tigers around to within mere seconds of a national title.

Backup quarterbacks have long been the biggest fan favorites on rosters because they, like the start of a new season, represent the unknown and—more importantly—hope.

Today we examine 12 starting quarterbacks who could lose their jobs during the 2014 season.

To be considered for the list, the quarterback in question must have started at least half the 2013 season, or there has to be reason to believe he will be the starter in 2014.

Reasons to believe someone has a chance to start include participation as a starter in past seasons or games started during injury situations.

Fill-in moments—such as when Texas A&M quarterback hopeful Matt Joeckel stepped in for Johnny Manziel—are not considered.

Many quarterbacks on the list will have either endured struggles or injuries at times during their careers. Having former highly rated prospects as backups can also impact a player’s spot on the list.

Here is our list of quarterbacks on the hot seat.

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Reviewing Vinnie Sunseri's ACL Tear, Impressive Recovery and NFL Draft Stock

In January, former University of Alabama safety Vinnie Sunseri declared for the 2014 NFL draft—a move's Andrew Gribble called a "stunner"—about three months after tearing the ACL in his left knee.

Tuesday, at Alabama's second pro day, Sunseri proved just how far he'd come. Gribble notes that the former Crimson Tide standout posted 40-yard dash times between 4.48 and 4.52 seconds—while also completing multiple agility drills—less than six months after rupturing his ACL.

In short, that's impressive.

Despite recent, nearly incomprehensible recoveries—such as that of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson—ACL tears remain a threatening knee injury for any football player.

Then again, for Sunseri, it seems the stars aligned.

For instance, Gribble mentions that his injury involved only the ACL:

Sunseri's therapist, Kevin Wilk, worked with Peterson and has told Sunseri that he's following a similar path back to 100 percent health.

Working in Sunseri's favor is that his ACL tear was "clean" and did not affect any of the other ligaments.

The fact that Sunseri's medical team consisted of experts such as Wilk and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Cain—among others—certainly didn't hurt, either.

Ordinarily, an average elite athlete will work back from an ACL tear between seven or eight months to well over a year after suffering the dreaded injury. The slow, wide-ranged timeline is necessary to allow the reconstructed ACL—usually a piece of the athlete's own hamstring muscle tendon—to safely meet the progressively increasing demands of rehab and, eventually, top-level competition.

Yet just how well is Sunseri doing?

While sprinting in a straight line and performing basic drills does not necessarily constitute game-readiness, doing so marks the penultimate steps. As such, there is no reason to think the defensive back will not be ready for action in advance of the 2014 NFL season.

Given his current draft stock, his excellent recovery may carry even more weight than other surefire NFL prospects who are rehabbing comparable injuries.

According to multiple analyses—such as Rotoworld, and Rob Rang of—Sunseri projects to be, at best, a late-round draft pick in May.

Originally, Sunseri's ACL injury likely significantly influenced such projections—perhaps even knocking him off most big boards altogether—but his rehab success may be assuaging some of those fears.

Will Carroll, Bleacher Report's lead writer for Sports Medicine, notes that for some athletes, everything simply falls into place.

"Healing response is individual," Carroll said. "For some, it's hard work. For others, it's a bit of luck with genetics. Every injury is different, and every surgery is different, so we shouldn't expect every result to be the same."

In other words, some injuries just, well, heal.

In the end, when NFL teams look at Sunseri, one may see a football-smart safety coming off an injury that will end up proving merely a minor speed bump, and another might focus on his injury risk and relative football shortcomings.

A third might question his decision to opt out of his senior year with so many unknowns still swirling, and a fourth may fall somewhere in between them all.

All told, when draft weekend rolls around, Sunseri's ACL tear will undoubtedly come up in all 32 draft circles. However, if Tuesday's pro day proves anything, it's that he's making every attempt to minimize its impact.

And doing a darn good job, at that.


Dr. Dave Siebert is a resident physician at the University of Washington who plans to pursue fellowship training in Primary Care (non-operative) Sports Medicine. Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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Penn State Football: Complete Spring Game Preview

On Saturday, James Franklin will take the Beaver Stadium turf for the first time and officially debut as Penn State's head coach. 

Since his hiring in early January, Franklin has excited fans with his active presence on social media. While his engagement has been welcoming, he's yet to showcase the football side of things. 

Weeks of spring practice sessions will culminate with the annual Blue-White game, an event that brings thousands of fans and alumni back to Happy Valley. It will be the public's first time watching the Nittany Lions under the tutelage of Franklin and his staff.  

Here's a comprehensive preview of Penn State's 2014 spring game. 

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South Carolina Football: Complete Spring Game Preview

Gamecocks fans, football season is finally here.

Well, sort of. 

South Carolina ends its spring season with the annual Garnet and Black spring football game, and it's the first dose of big-stage South Carolina football since the 2013 season's bowl game. 

The Gamecocks have been hard at work this spring trying to find answers to fill the defense and turn the offense into a finely tuned machine. 

This Saturday, the public catches a first glimpse of the team's progress, while head ball coach Steve Spurrier can experiment by testing his players on a bigger stage despite the fact it's just a spring game. 

Spring football is a great way to learn about your team for the next season.

Here is your complete preview for South Carolina's Garnet and Black Spring Game. 

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Miami Football: Complete Spring Game Preview

The Miami Hurricanes annual spring game is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET Saturday, April 12, bringing college football back to Sun Life Stadium for the first time in 2014.

From a new quarterback and new offensive linemen to a handful of new defensive starters, the 'Canes are showcasing talent Al Golden and his coaching staff have been developing.

A few positions battles are in full force, and a couple storylines are worth following throughout the day.

As a bonus, the new Nike uniforms for the upcoming season will be unveiled Saturday, making for an exciting night in South Florida.

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