05/20/13 - Brandon Mitchell, rSr/2014, North Carolina State, 6-3, 239 (DS#999 QB)[Newsfeed] Former Arkansas quarterback Brandon Mitchell has decided to enroll at North Carolina State, ESPN's Joe Schad reported on Monday. The senior was granted a release from his Arkansas scholarship earlier this month after competing with Brandon Allen for the starting quarterback job this past spring. Because Mitchell has already graduated from Arkansas, he'll be eligible to play immediately for the Wolfpack. "Bottom line is I want to win, and I want to win now," Mitchell told Schad. "They have the best opportunity for success and just had one missing piece."
Mitchell appeared in 21 games at both quarterback and receiver over the past three seasons for the Razorbacks, so he brings some experience to the table. He appears to be a good fit for head coach Dave Doeren's up-tempo offense, but to win the starting job he'll need to beat out Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas (21 career starts) and sophomore Manny Stocker (two career pass attempts). - Chris Huston, CBSSports.com
05/20/13 - Ivan McCartney, Sr/2014, West Virginia, 6-2, 184 (DS#999 WR)[Newsfeed] Wide receiver Ivan McCartney is returning to West Virginia's roster six months after leaving the team. West Virginia football spokesman Mike Montoro on Monday confirmed McCartney's return. McCartney left for personal reasons last November after making nine catches for 112 yards in his junior season. McCartney was third on the team in 2011 with 49 catches for 585 yards. He quit a week after freshman wide receiver Travares Copeland left the team. Both had struggled to get playing time behind Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and J.D. Woods.
Austin and Bailey were selected in April's NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams, while Woods signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, leaving Jordan Thompson as the Mountaineers' leading returning receiver with 13 receptions for 85 yards in 2012. Other receivers who will try to make a mark with West Virginia this fall are sophomore K.J. Myers, junior college transfer Kevin White, redshirt freshman Devonte Mathis and freshman Daikiel Shorts. The 6-foot-2 McCartney was a teammate of former WVU quarterback Geno Smith at Miramar (Fla.) High School. Three quarterbacks will be battling for Smith's starting job in August. - AP Sports
05/20/13 - Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Sr/2014, UCLA, 6-3, 270 (DS#999 DE)[Newsfeed] Less than a week after it was reported that he would miss the 2013 season following surgery on his right hip, UCLA coach Jim Mora told the Orange County Register that Bruins defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa's injury isn't as serious as once thought and he could return as soon as Week 1 against Nevada.
It was originally believed that the 6-foot-3, 270-pound Odighizuwa had a torn rotator cuff in his hip, but it now appears the hip was just "frayed," which means a recovery time of just two to three months.
This is great news for the Bruins, since Odighizuwa is the heir apparent to departing NFL first-round pick Datone Jones. The rising senior and former five-star recruit showed flashes of brilliance for UCLA last season as an oft-used reserve, collecting 44 tackles, including six for losses and 3.5 sacks. - Chris Huston, CBSSports.com
05/20/13 - A.J. Johnson, Jr/2015, Tennessee, 6-2, 240 (DS#1 ILB)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: A.J. Johnson, LB, Tennessee...Johnson, a 2012 All-SEC linebacker, finished the season fourth in the NCAA in tackles and tackles per game with 138 for 11.5 per game leading the SEC in tackles in his 12 starts. A leader in the middle linebacker role, Johnson also had team-high 8.5 TFLs for 25 yards along with his first-career sack and eight quarterback hurries. He posted the most tackles by a Vol since Jerod Mayo made 140 in 2007 while his 75 assisted tackles are the third-most in a season at UT.
Johnson averaged 12.9 tackles over the last 10 games of the season with at least 11 tackles in each game. On the offensive side of things, Johnson rushed 12 times for 21 yards with team-high six touchdowns out of `The Beast' a Wildcat QB formation. - Tennessee football
05/20/13 - Jackson Jeffcoat, Sr/2014, Texas, 6-5, 245 (DS#2 DE)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas...Jeffcoat is a fourth-year defensive lineman who has appeared in 27 games with 20 starts, posting 117 tackles (59 solo), 38 TFL, 14.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries (one for a TD) and 22 QB pressures. He posted at least one sack in 10 of his last 13 games with a total of 12 over that span. Jeffcoat was sidelined for the final seven games of 2012 after suffering a right pectoral muscle rupture versus Oklahoma. He was named to the 2012 Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and CFPA Defensive Lineman of the Year Trophy watch lists.
Jeffcoat was a 2011 second team All-Big 12 selection (Coaches, AP, Kansas City Star, San Antonio Express-News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and was named honorable mention Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2010. He was a prep All-American, two-time first-team all-state and all-area and three-time first-team all-district selection at defensive end and was named to PARADE's All-America High School Football Team. He also earned first-team All-USA honors by USA Today.
Jeffcoat is active both in UT's community service program and has also made efforts of his own in both the Austin and greater Dallas communities. Most recently he made a trip to Perez Elementary School in Austin to read to first graders and kindergarteners to promote reading on "Read Across America Day." He took it a step further by reading in Spanish to bilingual first graders whose first language is Spanish. - Mack Brown Texas football
05/20/13 - Bryce Hager, rJr/2015, Baylor, 6-1, 235 (DS#6 ILB)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Bryce Hager, LB, Baylor...Hager led the Big 12 in tackles (9.5 per game) in 2012, while helping BU to its third straight bowl game. He has 26 career games played and 10 starts. From his middle linebacker position, he serves as the quarterback of the defense. For his play last season, the Austin, Texas, native was named All-Big 12 first team by Scout/FoxSports and second team by the league's coaches, AP, Phil Steele and Waco Tribune-Herald. On the year, Hager finished second on the team in sacks (four), tackles for loss (9.5) and hurries (eight). - Baylor football
05/20/13 - Chase Garnham, Sr/2014, Vanderbilt, 6-3, 234 (DS#23 ILB)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Chase Garnham, LB, Vanderbilt...Garnham, a product of Fairhope, Ala., was one of the Southeastern Conference's most productive linebackers as a junior in 2012, contributing career highs with 43 solo tackles and 84 total tackles. Garnham's totals of seven quarterback sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss also ranked among the league's top five linebackers last year. His 2012 campaign include a three-sack performance in Vanderbilt's victory over Auburn and a 10-tackle effort in the Commodores' win over Tennessee.
A 21-game starter, who moved from outside linebacker to middle linebacker as a junior, Garnham has career totals of 143 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, nine quarterback sacks and a pair of forced fumbles entering his senior campaign. - Vanderbilt football
05/20/13 - Ahmad Dixon, Sr/2014, Baylor, 6-0, 205 (DS#4 SS)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor...Dixon is a two-time All-Big 12 honoree, who moved back to the safety position this spring. He has played in 37 career games in three years at BU, while starting 26 of those. His 207 career tackles are a team-high entering his final season. Last season, he started every game for the Holiday Bowl champion Bears at the nickelback/"Bear" position. He earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors from the league's coaches and the Associated Press, while ranking seventh in the league with 7.8 tackles-per-game. The product of Midway High School in Hewitt, Texas, also received All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore by starting all 13 games and recording 89 total tackles. - Baylor football
05/20/13 - Daniel Jenkins, rJr/2015, Arizona, 5-09, 196 (DS#999 RB)[Newsfeed] When he announced in December that he would transfer to Washington State, Arizona running back Daniel Jenkins said he would always be a Wildcat at heart. This week, Jenkins had a change of heart. Five months after saying he would play his final year for the Cougars, Jenkins has decided to transfer again --back to Arizona. Because he graduated, Jenkins would have been eligible to pay immediately for the Cougars. He participated in Washington State's spring drills and was expected to be a vital cog in the Cougars' offense.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez made the announcement about Jenkins on Friday night. Jenkins, when reached by TucsonCitizen.com on Friday night, chuckled and said, "It's a long story." Jenkins said he did not "want to step on anyone's toes."
In 2012, Jenkins rushed for 293 yards and two touchdowns as a backup to the nation's leading rusher Ka'Deem Carey. "I have only one year to show the world what I've got," Jenkins said in December. "This was just a personal decision for my career. It was something I had to do. It was not something I wanted to do." - The Sports Xchange
05/20/13 - Delvon Simmons, Jr/2015, Texas Tech, 6-5, 290 (DS#23 DT)[Newsfeed] In 2011 Delvon Simmons was one of the biggest prizes of Texas Tech's recruiting class. After originally committing to North Carolina, the four-star defensive tackle out of Pennsylvania chose the Red Raiders over other schools like Florida, Michigan, Penn State, Oregon and USC to name a few. Now Simmons has decided to move on.
Simmons will transfer from Texas Tech, and while there is no reported destination for him, CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman reports he will visit USC on Sunday night. It's also reported that Penn State, Pitt and Miami are also in the running to land Simmons.
In his two seasons with Texas Tech, the 6-foot-5, 290-pound tackle appeared in 23 games, making 40 tackles with 7 1/2 tackles for loss and three sacks. Wherever Simmons transfers, he'll have to sit out the 2013 season per NCAA rules and will have two years of eligibility remaining come the 2014 season. - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com
05/20/13 - DeMarcus Walker, Fr/2017, Florida State, 6-3, 265 (DS#999 DE)[Newsfeed] Florida State got some good news on Friday when it learned that the NCAA has officially cleared freshman defensive end DeMarcus Walker for college football competition. The 6-foot-3, 265-pounder from Jacksonville, Fla., enrolled at FSU this past January but was not allowed to take part in spring practice while the NCAA investigated a discrepancy in his high school transcript.
Walker was considered one of the top defensive ends in the recruiting class of 2013, with a four-star rating from 247Sports.com.
He should compete for immediate playing time this fall since the Seminoles lost all-star ends Bjoern Werner, Brandon Jenkins and Tank Williams to the NFL draft. - Chris Huston, CBSSports.com
05/17/13 - Marquise Williams, rSo/2016, North Carolina, 6-2, 220 (DS#999 QB)[Newsfeed] North Carolina reserve quarterback Marquise Williams is back in school for summer classes. Tar Heels team spokesman Kevin Best said Friday that Williams remains part of the team. He didn't enroll for classes for the spring semester, though the school didn't specify why the rising sophomore wasn't enrolled.
Williams is a Charlotte native who played in nine games behind starter Bryn Renner last fall. Williams completed 10 of 17 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown to go with 186 yards rushing and three scores. - AP Sports
05/17/13 - Cameron Erving, rJr/2015, Florida State, 6-5, 310 (DS#3 OT)[Newsfeed] Erving could be Noles' next first-rounder...When I visited Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher in late March, he was confident the Seminoles would have a big NFL Draft. He was right. Four Florida State players were invited to New York and three of them (QB EJ Manuel, DE Bjoern Werner, DB Xavier Rhodes) were taken in the first round. All told, Florida State set a school record with 11 picks in the draft, more than any other school. Alabama and LSU had nine each. It was more draft picks than Florida State had had in the last four drafts combined. "It took us some time to build up to this draft," Fisher said. "Now you have to sustain it and that's the tough part."
Florida State may not have three first-round picks next season, but it's a pretty good bet that left tackle Erving will go early. "I think he has a good chance to be a top 15 pick," Fisher said.
Erving played his first two seasons on defense and then switched to offensive tackle last season. At 6-5, 315 pounds with long arms he still has room to grow. Erving said he expects Florida State to have another good draft in 2014. "We have always recruited top-notch guys but now we are starting to build a culture around here," said Erving, from Moultrie, Ga. "The older guys teach the younger guys that there is a certain way we do things. We show them how to work." - Tony Barnhart, CBSSports.com
05/17/13 - Logan Thomas, rSr/2014, Virginia Tech, 6-6, 258 (DS#7 QB)[Newsfeed] Despite the return of quarterback Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech's offense simply wasn't very good last season. The Hokies were ninth in the ACC in total offense (376.8 ypg) and eighth in scoring offense (25.1 ppg). A lot of the blame fell on Thomas (18 touchdowns, 16 interceptions), but the reality is the 6-6, 262-pound Thomas tried to do too much. With the early departure of David Wilson, Virginia Tech did not have the big-time running back that has always been a staple of its offense. The offensive line also struggled.
Enter Scot Loeffler, who was hired at Auburn last season to install the pro-style power running offense. It didn't work and Loeffler was out when Gene Chizik's staff was shown the door after a 3-9 season. So there were a few eyebrows raised when coach Frank Beamer hired Loeffler and veteran offensive line coach Jeff Grimes to fix the offense. Grimes made a bunch of changes on the line as he installed more of a zone blocking scheme. Needless to say it will still be a work in progress when the Hokies return to Blacksburg this summer.
There won't be a lot of time for experimentation come August as Virginia Tech opens with Alabama, the two-time defending national champions, in Atlanta on Aug. 31. "Yep, that one has everybody's attention," said Beamer, whose team was 7-6 in 2012 after eight straight seasons of 10 wins or more. - Tony Barnhart, CBSSports.com
05/17/13 - Alden Darby, Sr/2014, Arizona State, 5-11, 195 (DS#5 SS)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Alden Darby, DB, Arizona State...Darby flourished after moving from cornerback to safety prior to the 2012 season as he played an instrumental role in a defensive backfield that ranked third nationally in pass defense and 10th in passing efficiency defense, and led the Pac-12 in both categories. ASU also finished the season with 21 interceptions, a mark that was tied for fourth in the nation.
An All-Pac-12 Second Team selection, Darby recorded three interceptions on the year, including one against USC that he returned for a 70-yard touchdown, which was the longest interception return for a touchdown for ASU since Troy Nolan's 100-yard return in 2008. Darby also added 80 tackles, including eight in the team's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl win over Navy.
Darby is heavily involved in the Scholar Baller leadership and outreach program, where he helps develop curriculum, deliver, teach and mentor students at South Mountain High School, Academy of Excellence and Cesar Chavez High School teaching them about developing championship character, creating a strong sense of self and becoming a great leader. - Arizona State football
05/17/13 - Scott Crichton, rJr/2015, Oregon State, 6-3, 263 (DS#5 DE)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Scott Crichton, DL, Oregon State...Crichton, who missed the recently completed spring practice session while rehabilitating from offseason shoulder surgery, was selected to the Pac-12 Conference’s First Team last season by the league’s coaches and Honorable Mention All-America by Sports Illustrated. He is already tied for seventh in school history for career quarterback sacks with 15, tied for sixth for career tackles-for-loss with 32 and tied for second for fumbles forced with seven. - Oregon State football
05/17/13 - Max Bullough, Sr/2014, Michigan State, 6-2, 252 (DS#3 ILB)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Max Bullough, LB, Michigan State...Three-year letterwinner enters his third season as Michigan State’s starting middle linebacker in 2013...has 223 career tackles in 40 games, including 27 consecutive starts...has 21 tackles for loss (77 yards) in his career, including 6.5 sacks (41 yards)...is a third-generation Spartan, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Hank (guard, 1952-54) and father Shane (linebacker, 1983-86) who played football at Michigan State. - Michigan State football
05/17/13 - Anthony Barr, Sr/2014, UCLA, 6-4, 238 (DS#2 OLB)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA...Barr, playing on defense for the first time in his collegiate career in 2012, ranked second in the nation in sacks (13.5) and tied for fifth in the country in tackles for loss (21.5). A second-team Associated Press All-America selection, he had at least 0.5 tackles for loss in each game and his 2012 season total ranked fourth on the all-time school list.
Barr's total of 13.5 sacks was the second-highest single-season total in UCLA annals. He was named first-team all-conference by the league's coaches and was an honorable mention Academic All-Pac-12 selection. UCLA is one of just six schools nationally to have two players represented on the list, joining Baylor, Northwestern, Ohio State, Stanford and Virginia Tech. - UCLA football
05/17/13 - Ross Cockrell, rSr/2014, Duke, 6-0, 182 (DS#8 CB)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke...Cockrell, a native of Waxhaw, N.C., earned honorable mention All-America honors from Sports Illustrated in 2012 after posting 71 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 quarterback sack, five interceptions, 13 pass breakups and one caused fumble. A first team All-ACC pick by both the media and coaches, he ranked tied for first in the league in interceptions per game (0.38), third in passes defended per game (1.38) and 41st in tackles per game (5.46) while becoming the first Blue Devil to lead the league in interceptions per game since John Talley in 2006.
In 36 career games, Cockrell has amassed 187 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 quarterback sack, nine interceptions, 29 pass breakups, 38 total passes defended and one caused fumble. On Duke’s career charts, he ranks fourth in total passes defended, sixth in pass breakups and tied for 10th in interceptions and, among active players in the ACC, ranks first in interceptions, second in pass breakups, second in total passes defended and fourth in tackles. - Duke football
05/17/13 - Eric Kendricks, rJr/2015, UCLA, 6-0, 230 (DS#4 ILB)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA...Kendricks led the Pac-12 Conference in tackles with an average of 10.7 per game in 2012, a mark which rated ninth in the nation. His total of 150 tackles was the most by a Bruin player since Jerry Robinson registered a school-record 161 stops in the 1978 campaign. Kendricks also returned two fumbles for touchdowns (v. Houston, at Washington State), blocked a punt (v. USC) and made his first career interception (v. USC) last season.
He recorded nine games with double-digit tackles, including the final seven contests of the year, topped by a high of 17 in the win at Arizona State. Kendricks was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on two occasions last season following wins over USC and Arizona. He was an honorable mention all-conference pick. - UCLA football
05/17/13 - Jake Fischer, rSr/2014, Arizona, 5-11, 222 (DS#18 ILB)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Jake Fischer, LB, Arizona...Fischer, team captain as a junior in 2012, is often described as the heart and soul of the Arizona defense. Playing for defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, Fischer was instrumental in the implementation of the 3-3-5 defensive system in Casteel and head coach Rich Rodriguez's first season at the helm of the Wildcat program.
Fischer has played in 39 career games, making 21 starts at linebacker, and was named Pac-12 Honorable Mention in 2012. He was also the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for his 13 tackles in UA's 2012 home opener against Toledo. He totaled 119 tackles in 2012 with 6.5 for a loss of 16 yards. He also forced three and recovered four fumbles.
Also a team leader in community service, he was a member of the 2012 AFCA Good Works Team. Fischer was a 2012 CoSIDA Academic All-District award winner and is a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honoree as a marketing major. - Arizona football
05/17/13 - D.T. Shackelford, rSr/2014, Mississippi, 6-1, 250 (DS#999 ILB)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: D.T. Shackleford, LB, Ole Miss...A vocal team leader, Shackelford will make his return to the playing field this fall after missing the last two years with knee injuries. On the field, he recorded 68 tackles, 11.0 TFLs, 5.0 sacks, three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and an interception in 23 games played as a freshman and sophomore. He was a 2009 SEC All-Freshman pick and the 2011 Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner.
A native of Decatur, Ala., Shackelford graduated in three years with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in English and is expected to complete his master’s degree in education in 2014. He is a four-time selection to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Shackelford has also participated in community activities such as Relay for Life, the Oxford Food Pantry and a dunking booth that raised funds for cancer patients. He spent his 2013 spring break on a mission trip to Panama and his 2011 summer as a pre-college program counselor at Ole Miss. - Ole Miss football
05/17/13 - Calvin Barnett, Sr/2014, Oklahoma State, 6-2, 300 (DS#4 DT)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Calvin Barnett, DL, Oklahoma State...Barnett is a graduate of Tulsa Washington High School. He was a first-team All-Big 12 defensive tackle for the Cowboys last season. He was also named as the Big 12 defensive newcomer of the year. - Oklahoma State football
05/17/13 - Jason Verrett, Sr/2014, TCU, 5-10, 182 (DS#1 CB)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU...Verrett, the San Antonio Express-News 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, was tabbed by CollegeFootballNews.com as the nation's top cornerback. In voting by his teammates, Verrett was selected as TCU's Dan Rogers Most Valuable Player. He was the first defensive back to receive the award since cornerback Tony Rand in 1992. Verrett was also the first defensive player to be the Dan Rogers MVP since Hughes in 2009.
Verrett topped the Big 12 in interceptions (six) and passes defended (22). He was the only player nationally to rank in the top 10 in both categories, tying for second in passes defended and sixth in interceptions. Verrett's six picks were the most by a Horned Frog since Jason Goss had eight in 2002. Verrett's 16 pass breakups represent the highest total at TCU since Goss had 24 in 2002.
A native of Fairfield, Calif., Verrett tied for fourth on TCU with 63 tackles, including five for loss. The 63 stops mark the most by a cornerback in Gary Patterson's 12 seasons as TCU's head coach. Verrett also blocked a West Virginia field-goal attempt in the first overtime that paved the way for TCU to win 39-38 in double overtime. - TCU football
05/17/13 - Ty Zimmerman, rSr/2014, Kansas State, 6-1, 203 (DS#2 SS)[Newsfeed] 2013 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Ty Zimmerman, S, Kansas State...Zimmerman was named an All-American for the first time in his career in 2012 with third team honors from the Associated Press and second team honors from CBSSports.com. A starting safety since his freshman season in 2010, Zimmerman made 50 tackles, including three for losses, while he picked off a career-best five passes in just 10 games. His five interceptions tied for third in the Big 12 and ranked 10th nationally.
The Junction City, Kan., product garnered All-Big 12 First Team honors from the league’s coaches and the Associated Press for the first time in his career in 2012. Zimmerman, a team captain for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, notched an interception in four-straight games in 2012 (Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa State, West Virginia), the longest streak by a Wildcat since at least 1989. He improved his career interception total to 10, which ranks tied for seventh in school history. - Kansas State football