07/20/17 - Dexter Lawrence, So/2020, Clemson, 6-4, 340 (DS#1 DT) DT Dexter Lawrence, a true sophomore who isn't eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft, should be one of the top prospects in 2019. The 340-pounder made 79 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks, as a true freshman for a Tigers team that won the national title. He was the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. "I've had some guys leave our program that looked like him," said coach Dabo Swinney, "but I haven't had many show up that looked like him."
07/20/17 - Christian Wilkins, Jr/2019, Clemson, 6-3, 310 (DS#2 DT) DL Christian Wilkins, rated the No. 15 draft prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, broke up 10 passes last season while playing defensive end. "What I think about is being disruptive on every play, however that can happen," he said at the ACC Kickoff event. "Initially stopping the run, that's my first thought, and stopping the pass, getting to the quarterback. But if I can't do that, I've just got to try to disrupt the play in any way I can. It's all about knowing football. If you know the team's tendencies and things like that, it's easier to get your hands on the ball."
07/20/17 - Christian Wilkins, Jr/2019, Clemson, 6-3, 310 (DS#2 DT) DL Christian Wilkins, who is No. 15 on NFLDraftScout.com's list of prospects for the 2018 draft, is expected to play inside last season after playing end during Clemson's national championship season. He had 48 tackles, 13 for loss, 3.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal in 2016. "He's made All-American at D-tackle and D-end. That's easier said than done," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said at the ACC Kickoff. "That's like making All-American at tight end and wide receiver, literally. That would be the way I'd compare that. That's a lot of versatility. He's a matchup problem and gives us flexibility." With Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence at tackle, and Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant (returning from injury) at end, Clemson's defensive line could be the best in the country.
07/20/17 - Daniel Cage, Sr/2018, Notre Dame, 6-1, 315 (DS#36 DT) DL Daniel Cage, expected to provide needed depth along the Notre Dame defensive line, expects to take a medical redshirt this season, according to multiple reports. He suffered a concussion in November and also underwent offseason knee surgery. Cage, a senior who has suffered multiple concussions, has 32 career tackles, including five for loss. He has started 11 games over the past two seasons and will have one year of eligibility left.
07/20/17 - Martinas Rankin, rSr/2018, Mississippi State, 6-5, 304 (DS#4 OT) OL Martinas Rankin, rated No. 75 for the 2018 NFL Draft by NFLDraftScout.com, likely will move back to left tackle after playing center in the spring, coach Dan Mullen said. His versatility will be a plus at the next level. "Has worked his tail off in the program," Mullen said. "One of the great things he got to do was play center all during spring ball." Rankin can make the move back to left tackle because center/guard Elgton Jenkins can play in the pivot after missing the spring due to injury. Rankin redshirted at Mississippi State in 2015 after transferring from junior college. He started the final 10 games of last season at left tackle.
07/20/17 - Damarea Crockett, So/2020, Missouri, 5-10, 225 (DS#6 RB) RB Damarea Crockett ran for school freshman record 1,062 yards last season but was suspended for the final game. Coach Barry Odom said Crockett handled that punishment well and has to be ready for an even bigger role in 2017. "He's got a chance to be a game-changing player," Odom said.
07/20/17 - Isaiah Washington, Jr/2019, LSU, 6-4, 242 (DS#999 DE) LB/DE Isaiah Washington announced Thursday he was transferring from LSU. Washington, expected to be a reserve edge rusher, was academically ineligible for spring practice. He missed the 2016 season because of an ACL tear. The redshirt sophomore played in six games as a true freshman in 2015.
07/20/17 - Skai Moore, rSr/2018, South Carolina, 6-1, 221 (DS#5 OLB) LB Skai Moore, rated as the No. 83 prospect for the 2018 draft by NFLDraftScout.com, is set to return to the field this fall after missing all of last season with a herniated disc. He led South Carolina in tackles in each of first three seasons on the field. "Really excited to get Skai Moore back," coach Will Muschamp said. "He brings an element of toughness, leadership, speed, athleticism. Very instinctive at the position. He's a playmaker and a guy we're really excited about."
07/20/17 - Deebo Samuel, rJr/2019, South Carolina, 5-11, 208 (DS#7 WR) WR Deebo Samuel, rated No. 78 on NFLDraftScout.com's list of prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft, is expected to one of the top all-purpose players in the nation. He led South Carolina with 59 catches for 783 yards in 10 games, also rushing for six touchdowns on 15 carries. He returned 16 kicks, averaging 26.9 yards with one touchdown. He also threw a 33-yard touchdown pass. "He's an electric guy with the ball in his hands," said South Carolina coach Will Muschamp. "We have to find multiple ways to get him the ball. That's our plan going into the season."
07/20/17 - Bo Scarbrough, rJr/2019, Alabama, 6-1, 232 (DS#4 RB) RB Bo Scarbrough, who suffered a fractured leg in the College Football Playoff national title game in January, is expected to be good to go when camp opens. "Bo has done all of the work all summer long, no restrictions," Alabama coach Nick Saban said at SEC Media Days. "So, you know, he's really fine." Scarbrough is rated the 64th-best pro prospect for the 2018 draft, according to the NFLDraftScout.com. The powerful runner carried 125 times for 812 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
07/20/17 - Marcell Harris, rSr/2018, Florida, 6-1, 211 (DS#7 SS) Florida senior safety Marcell Harris, the Gators' leading tackler last season, will miss the 2017 season because of torn right Achilles tendon, suffered Wednesday during team-run activities.
Harris made 73 tackles last season, including four for loss, for a Florida defense that ranked fifth in the nation in total defense (293.0 yards per game) and sixth in scoring defense (16.8 points per game). "As a coach this is one of the hardest things you are faced with," Gators coach Jim McElwain said in a statement. "Here is a kid who has made great personal growth during his time here and has really matured both on and off the field. It is tough to see a player invest so much in himself and his teammates and have this happen, but I do know that we will support him every step of the way as he works through this injury." Harris intercepted two passes last season, forced a fumble and recovered one, which he returned for a touchdown against Florida State.
07/20/17 - Courtland Sutton, rJr/2019, Southern Methodist, 6-3, 218 (DS#3 WR) WR Courtland Sutton is rated as a potential first-rounder by NFLDraftScout.com. Sutton, a redshirt junior, caught 76 passes for 1,246 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Sutton (6-4, 218) has averaged 16.8 yards per catch in his college career. NFLDraftscout.com rates him No. 22 overall for the 2018 draft, trailing a pair of other wideouts -- Alabama's Calvin Ridley (No. 13) and Texas A&M's Christian Kirk (No. 18). He said he returned to school this season for two reasons. "One of the reasons is I get to graduate in December and walk across the stage and get my diploma from SMU," he said at AAC Media Days. "I'm really excited about that. Another reason is I get to play on one of the best football teams we've had at SMU in years. I say that very confidently because I know the talent we have here. I know the commitment level these young guys have put in to be successful."
07/18/17 - Quinton Flowers, Sr/2018, South Florida, 6-0, 210 (DS#7 QB) South Florida is the overwhelming choice to win the American Athletic Conference in a media vote, with Memphis favored to win the West Division. The Bulls went 11-2 and finished last season ranked 19th in the nation. But Temple won the East and the conference by beating Navy in the title game. New USF coach Charlie Strong, who replaces Willie Taggart, brings back many of last season's key players, including star quarterback Quinton Flowers. USF received all 30 first-place votes to win the East and 26 to win the conference. UCF was picked second, followed by Temple, Cincinnati, East Carolina and Connecticut. Memphis got 22 first-place votes in the West. Houston was picked second, with six first-place votes, followed by Navy, Tulsa, SMU and Tulane. - AP College Football
07/17/17 - Derwin James, rSo/2020, Florida State, 6-2, 211 (DS#1 SS) Florida State is the preseason pick to win the Atlantic Coast Conference and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville is the preseason player of the year. The ACC announced voting results Monday following a poll of 167 media members who attended last week's media days in Charlotte. The Seminoles were picked as overall ACC champions on 118 ballots while reigning national champion Clemson received 35 votes. Florida State also was picked as the Atlantic Division favorite while Miami was the top choice in the Coastal. Clemson was picked behind the Seminoles in the division, followed by Louisville, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Syracuse and Boston College. Behind Miami in the Coastal were Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Duke and Virginia. - AP College Football
07/17/17 - Antonio Callaway, Jr/2019, Florida, 5-11, 197 (DS#5 WR) Florida receiver Antonio Callaway has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Prosecutors dropped a marijuana possession charge as part of Monday's plea deal, which State Attorney Bill Cervone said was standard for cases involving small amounts of drugs. Callaway also was fined $301. Callaway, the team's top playmaker, was cited on May 13 in Gainesville. He was a passenger in a SUV that officers pulled over for a seatbelt violation. Police said officers smelled marijuana in the SUV and found 7 grams of the drug in Callaway's pocket. Callaway is entering his junior season. In two years, he has 89 catches for 1,399 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was suspended last spring amid sexual battery allegations. In court documents, Callaway admitted smoking marijuana, though he was eventually cleared of the battery allegation by a Title IX investigation. Florida coach Jim McElwain hasn't said whether Callaway will be suspended for the season opener against Michigan. - AP College Football
07/17/17 - Chris Jones, Sr/2018, Nebraska, 6-0, 185 (DS#10 CB) Nebraska CB Jones suffers knee injury...Nebraska senior cornerback Chris Jones will be sidelined four to six months while recovering from surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee, coach Mike Riley announced on Saturday. While the timetable puts Jones' season in jeopardy, he took to Twitter to offer a positive message. "All Ima say is watch me come back, I serve an on time God. (It will not be) no 4 to 6 months," Jones wrote. Jones was named to the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top cornerback. Jones recorded 37 tackles, one sack and three interceptions last season, with one pick being returned for a touchdown. - The Sports Xchange
07/17/17 - Darren Carrington II, rSr/2018, Oregon, 6-1, 195 (DS#6 WR) Oregon WR Carrington off team following DUI arrest...The Oregon Ducks dismissed Darren Carrington from the football team after the wide receiver's DUI arrest on July 1. "I have visited with Darren Carrington and informed him that he is no longer a member of our program," Ducks coach Willie Taggart said in release sent by the university on Friday. "We will always consider Darren a Duck and support him in any way we can. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors." Oregon had indefinitely suspended Carrington after police stopped him in downtown Eugene. Carrington, about to enter his fifth season, was projected to be Oregon's top wide receiver. He led the team with 606 receiving yards and was second with 43 receptions in 2016 while averaging 17.1 yards per reception with 15 touchdowns during his career. The precedent was set when Oregon moved to fire co-offensive coordinator David Reaves within hours of his January arrest on a similar DUII charge that also originated in downtown Eugene. Reaves later resigned in February. - The Sports Xchange
07/17/17 - Quin Blanding, Sr/2018, Virginia, 6-1, 215 (DS#1 FS) Tackling machine Blanding looking to elevate Virginia...No current college football player has made more tackles than Virginia safety Quin Blanding. But sensing more to prove, he came back for his senior season. He said Friday at the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C., that he had been "50-50" in the offseason about leaving early for the NFL draft. "I just had unfinished business to do here as a team and as an individual," Blanding said. "I'm just getting ready for that." Blanding, a two-time first-team All-ACC player, has 358 career tackles -- 9.94 per game. Both are the top returning marks in the country. NFLDraftscout.com rates him as a potential second-rounder -- the 55th-best prospect overall and the No. 2 free safety behind Texas A&M senior Armani Watts (No. 44).
Despite his numbers and accolades, if Blanding hasn't yet made much of a national name it is because Virginia has gone 11-25 in the past three seasons, including a 2-10 mark in coach Bronco Mendenhall's debut season with the Cavaliers in 2016. "The end result wasn't what we wanted," Blanding said of last season, "but it went really well because people bought in. That's the bottom line. If you don't buy in, you're gone. ... Now, everyone bought in and everyone sees the big picture." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Blanding has made more than 100 tackles in each of his three seasons, also picking off six passes. He has 5.5 tackles for loss. "I'm the leader of the defense," he said. - The Sports Xchange
07/17/17 - Minkah Fitzpatrick, Jr/2019, Alabama, 6-0, 201 (DS#1 FS) Three-time defending champion Alabama is picked to win the Southeastern Conference title again in a preseason media poll. Alabama was the preseason choice of 217 of the 243 people who cast ballots at this week's SEC Media Days. The only other school to receive as many as 10 votes was Auburn with 11. The predicted order of finish in the Western Division was Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Mississippi. Georgia's the favorite in the Eastern Division. Following Georgia in order were Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Missouri. The media have correctly picked the SEC champion two of the last three years, but only four times in the last 20 years. Alabama also had a record 10 first-team picks on the media's preseason all-SEC team. - AP College Football
07/13/17 - Jaylen Samuels, Sr/2018, North Carolina State, 5-11, 223 (DS#3 FB) North Carolina State's Jaylen Samuels has been so unique and so impressive the ACC has decided to name a new position after him - well, sort of. The ACC announced this week that there will be a new position on the official All-ACC ballot this year that was inspired by Samuels called "the all-purpose back." "It makes me feel very good," Samuels said Thursday at the ACC media days. "Just to add another position, that's crazy to think about. But that is very special to me and I will keep working hard to prove people wrong." The versatile Samuels was used at multiple positions last season for the Wolfpack and proved to be extremely effective as a runner, receiver and returner. - AP College Football
07/13/17 - Jarrett Stidham, rSo/2020, Auburn, 6-2, 214 (DS#5 QB) Great expectations await Auburn QB Stidham...According to one set of published Heisman Trophy odds this week, the leading candidate from the SEC is a guy who has never taken a snap in the conference. It's not Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, or any number of talented SEC running backs such as LSU's Derrius Guice, Georgia's Nick Chubb or the Crimson Tide's Bo Scarbrough. The top Heisman candidate, at 15-to-1 odds, is Auburn sophomore quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Hey, no pressure, kid. The former Baylor quarterback is expected to immediately transform an Auburn offense and make the Tigers a legitimate threat to Alabama in the SEC West. Auburn is showing up as top-10 timber in some preseason publications. "Jarrett Stidham is a very talented young man," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said at SEC Media Days on Thursday in Hoover, Ala. "I think that's a common sense deal."
Since going 12-2 and winning the SEC in 2013 -- losing to Florida State in the BCS title game -- the Tigers have gone a pedestrian 23-16, usually struggling in the passing game. Auburn failed to score 20 points in any of its five losses last season. When healthy, junior quarterback Sean White has done some good things, so Malzahn hasn't yet anointed a No. 1 quarterback. But Stidham-as-savior is Auburn's theme heading into camp. The former five-star recruit dazzled in a mop-up role and as a late-season injury replacement at Baylor in 2015, completing 75 of 109 passes for 1,265 yards, with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. "I've got a lot of history with Stidham," Malzahn said. "We actually recruited him in high school. He's a good athlete. He's a lot better athlete than people think. He's got a 35-, 36-inch vertical. He runs a 4.6. "In our league, you have to escape. Things are going to break down. The defensive lines are too good." - The Sports Xchange
07/13/17 - Jake Hanson, rSo/2020, Oregon, 6-4, 290 (DS#2 C) 2017 Preseason Rimington Trophy Watchlist: Jake Hanson, Oregon,...Hanson earned honorable mention all-Pac-12 accolades after starting all 12 games for the Ducks as a redshirt freshman in 2016. The human physiology major was also second-team academic all-conference. Of the 70 players on the Rimington Trophy fallwatch list, just 10 are sophomores, including Hanson. Hanson and his linemates helped Oregon average 226.42 rushing yards per game in 2016, second-most in the Pac-12 Conference. - Oregon Football
07/13/17 - Matt Hennessy, rFr/2021, Temple, 6-3, 285 (DS#999 C) 2017 Preseason Rimington Trophy Watchlist: Matt Hennessy, Temple,...Hennessy is the only freshman on the watch list. Hennessy (6-4, 285), saw action in three games last season, starting one. In 2016, he was one of only two freshmen listed on the two deep chart to start the season and was the top backup center behind Brendan McGowan who was on both the Rimington Award and the Wuerffel Award Watch Lists. - Temple Football
07/13/17 - Mason Hampton, rSr/2018, Boise State, 6-2, 296 (DS#41 C) 2017 Preseason Rimington Trophy Watchlist: Mason Hampton, Boise State,...Hampton stepped into the starting center's role for the Broncos in 2016, starting all 11 games in which he appeared. The Meridian native anchored a Bronco line that paved the way for the Mountain West's top offense at 472.8 yards per game, and helped produce the eighth-straight 1,000-yard rushing season by a Bronco running back as Doak Walker semifinalist Jeremy McNichols piled up 1,709 yards on the ground, sixth-most in the FBS. Hampton and the rest of the Bronco line also provided protection for quarterback Brett Rypien as he directed a passing offense that ranked 15th in the country at 298.3 yards per game. The Bronco center also leads in the classroom, as this past December Hampton was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Football First Team, becoming just the fifth Bronco football student-athlete to earn the honor. - Boise State Football
07/13/17 - Bryce Holland, Sr/2018, Army, 6-1, 285 (DS#999 C) 2017 Preseason Rimington Trophy Watchlist: Bryce Holland, Army,...Started every game in 2016 … has appeared at center in all 11 games as the team's primary snapper ... Started against North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. - Army Football