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 College Football Player News & Notes

  06/25/22 - ILB Jack CampbellrJr/2024, Iowa, 6-4, 243 (DS#1 ILB) + More +

  Wearing a T-shirt and shorts instead of a uniform and pads, Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell paced the field during the Hawkeyes' open practice in April. It's the way he was dressed the whole spring, when he was held out of practices as he rested and rehabilitated nagging injuries from a season in which he led the nation with 143 tackles. "It was tough, obviously - every competitor is going to want to be out there," Campbell said this week. "I wish I could have worked every single day in the spring. But just due to the fact that I was trying to get things healed up and fixed up, that wasn't an option. For me, personally, you can't take a day for granted."

Campbell, a senior, is back on the field for summer workouts, and he's trying to convey that attitude to teammates. "When I was a freshman, I didn't know what to expect," Campbell said. "I learned really quickly that the summer goes by pretty fast, and then you're in fall camp." An Associated Press All-Big Ten second-team selection last season, Campbell is healthy and expected to once again play a major role for an Iowa defense that ranked as one of the best. The Hawkeyes led the nation with 25 interceptions and ranked third in turnovers forced with 30. They allowed 19.2 points per game. Campbell was the anchor at middle linebacker. "If you're the linebacker at Iowa, you've got to know all of the calls," defensive end John Waggoner said. "He's on top of that, barking out calls, and seeing things before other people do. He's a great leader and an example for how the younger guys should act." - AP College Football

(DS#1 ILB) rJr/2024 ILB Jack CampbellIowa
News Source: AP College Football
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  Jim Tressel is stepping down as the president at Youngstown State at the age of 69. The former Ohio State football coach has been at YSU since 2014, making the transition to academia following his resignation at OSU. It was his second stint at the university after serving as head coach of the Penguins from 1986-2000. During that span, he went 135-57-2 (23-14 in conference play) while winning four Division I-AA national titles in four appearances.

"It is with an abundance of gratitude and thankfulness that Ellen and I plan to step aside as President and First Lady of our beloved YSU, effective February 1, 2023," Tressel said in an email to the Youngstown State community. "It has been truly a blessing and labor of love to serve Youngstown State University in a number of capacities, and we will continue to do so, in whatever fashion that the YSU Board of Trustees sees fit." Tressel was hired as the Buckeyes' head coach in 2001, compiling a 106-22 record (66-14). He reached the BCS National Championship Game three times, winning it in 2002 with a 14-0 record. - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#28 RB) rSr/2023 RB Jaleel McLaughlinYoungstown State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  06/25/22 - LS Alex WardrSr/2023, Central Florida, 6-3, 240 (DS#1 LS) + More +

  UCF long snapper Alex Ward was named a preseason third-team All-American by the Phil Steele College Football Preview Magazine, which hits stores next week. While Ward is the only Knight to earn preseason All-American honors, he's one of 16 Knights named to Phil Steele's preseason all-AAC team. Ward, who was a finalist for the Patrick Mannelly Award for national long snapper of the year last season, is joined by wide receiver Ryan O'Keefe and offensive lineman Lokahi Pauole as first-team all-conference selections. UCF and Cincinnati led the way with 16 players on the list, followed by Houston (11), ECU (11), Memphis (11), SMU (10), South Florida (10), Tulane (9), Tulsa (9), Navy (3) and Temple (2). - Orlando Sentinel

(DS#1 LS) rSr/2023 LS Alex WardCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  Virginia Tech's new coaching staff wants Dorian Strong to garner the same type of attention he did two years ago. Strong was thrown into the starting lineup as a true freshman in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly reshaped Tech's secondary. He thrived in the role and capped off a productive year with his first career interception to help lock up Tech's win over the University of Virginia. The Maryland native remained one of Tech's primary corners last fall and had a productive year - he was second on the team behind Armani Chatman with six pass breakups and had 23 tackles (20 solo) in 13 games - he didn't put together the All-ACC caliber season he was hoping for.

"Oftentimes when you have early success, it's easy to get complacent, it's easy to not get into exactly what it takes to get better," Virginia Tech cornerbacks coach Derek Jones said in a recent interview. "And I think just having been a part of it a couple times in my career, when there's a coaching change, that's tough. Because guys oftentimes, especially when you're younger, become disconnected, lose that fire, lose that hunger that it takes, knowing that the guy that's coaching you is probably not going to be there." Jones reviewed film of last season when he got the job. With Strong, he saw a player making mental mistakes far too often. "If you talk to him, I think he'd tell you it was just not putting the preparation in that he did as a freshman and expecting his ability to go on," Jones said. According to Jones, none of that was a problem this spring for the third-year defender. Strong has embraced Jones' "cheetah" mentality and has shown the attention to detail needed to get back on track. "I think the sky's the limit for him," Jones said. - Roanoke Times

(DS#16 CB) rSo/2025 CB Dorian StrongVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
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  Brenton Strange is entering his fourth year with the program and has become more of an all-around tight end in his time in Happy Valley. The 6-foot-3, 248-pound redshirt junior doesn't have elite size but he puts what he has to good use. He was an improved blocker in the 2021 season, showing the willingness to mix it up in the running game and to chip pass rushers in the passing game. It helps that he was flexed out more often, going in motion on occasion to set him up for success when initiating contact with defenders. That type of H-Back role - where he's in the backfield, the slot and attached as a true tight end - should continue to be beneficial for Strange as a blocker.

It should also help him as a pass catcher, where he can use his speed to create advantages. Strange is a great athlete who has more suddenness than you'd expect for someone with his build. He can create separation in the middle of the field, and has the strength to overpower safeties and slot corners when he's flexed out in the slot. He has an opportunity to become more of a security blanket for redshirt senior starting quarterback Sean Clifford, who lost his primary one when Jahan Dotson left for the NFL. Strange has the build and catching ability to make Clifford feel comfortable throwing to him in a pinch and that should get him more targets closer to the line of scrimmage. But while Strange is the likely starter, it's no guarantee he gets the most reps thanks to the high level of competition behind him. - Centre Times

(DS#8 TE) rJr/2024 TE Brenton StrangePenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  06/25/22 - QB Jaren HallrJr/2024, Brigham Young, 6-1, 205 (DS#10 QB) + More +

  BYU exceeded expectations during what was thought to be a rebuilding year last fall, going 10-3 and rising as high as No. 10 in the Associated Press poll. The Cougars likely won't be underestimated in 2022, with 18 of 22 starters returning. Among the most notable returners is quarterback Jaren Hall, who passed for 2,583 yards and 20 touchdowns, with five interceptions and a 63.9% completion rate in his first year as a starter. He also rushed for 307 yards and three scores, and with another solid season, will likely receive significant interest from NFL scouts. - Wyoming Tribune Eagle

(DS#10 QB) rJr/2024 QB Jaren HallBrigham Young
News Source: Wyoming Tribune Eagle
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  06/25/22 - WR Kamryn BabbrSr/2023, Ohio State, 6-0, 205 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  When Kamryn Babb felt the pain in his right knee, he had more reason than anyone on the planet to think, "Oh, no. Not again." The Ohio State wide receiver was blocking during a spring practice when it happened. But he was instantly reassured when the pain didn't feel the same as it did the four times - yes, four - he has torn his ACL since 2017. Babb has become an unwanted expert on such pain, and his hunch was correct. The injury was to his meniscus, and after arthroscopic surgery he has declared himself fully healthy. "It was maybe three or four weeks that I was out, but it wasn't crazy compared to what I've experienced in the past, so I'm thankful for that," Babb said Tuesday before speaking to kids at a Greater Columbus Sports Commission youth camp at KIPP Columbus.

His message to the kids, ages 6-12, was a natural one for Babb: Never give up. Babb first tore his ACL before his senior season of high school in St. Louis. Then came three more at Ohio State, including last season. His only action as a Buckeye has been on special teams in 2020. Still, his perseverance and leadership impressed his teammates so much that he was voted a captain last year. Babb credits his religious faith for helping him cope with the injuries and provide the motivation to return to the field. "I'm not strong enough within myself to be standing here and saying I'll persevere through four," he said, "because there have definitely been days where I've wanted to give up." - Columbus Dispatch

(DS#999 WR) rSr/2023 WR Kamryn BabbOhio State
News Source: Columbus Dispatch
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  06/24/22 - OG Zak ZinterJr/2024, Michigan, 6-5, 320 (DS#16 OG) + More +

  The Michigan offensive line won the Joe Moore Award as the top line in the country last season, but they lost starting center Andrew Vastardis and right tackle Andrew Stueber. On paper, with the addition of grad transfer Olu Oluwatimi, one of three finalists last year for the Rimington Award, given to the nation's top center, and with Trente Jones and Karsen Barnhart competing at right tackle, this group has big plans. "I do believe this line could easily be better than last year," Zinter said. "Our goal in the room is we're gonna be the first O line to repeat as Joe Moore Award winners. We have potential and can be better than last year. Olu is a great addition. I love V (Vastardis). V was a dog, a warrior, super smart, (but) Olu is a little younger and has the athletic ability. He's a freak. Trente or Karsen are going to have big shoes to fill, and they'll both do really well."

To have candidates to fill those shoes in the future, Zinter said he jumped at the chance when DreamUp Sports approached him with an NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) deal to host a one-day camp for kids from kindergarten through ninth grades. "I love working with kids," Zinter said. "It's fun being around them and seeing the next generation have fun out there and make football fun for them. I wish I would have had it as a kid. I'm glad to do it for them." - Detroit News

(DS#16 OG) Jr/2024 OG Zak ZinterMichigan
News Source: Detroit News
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  San Jose State will battle Stanford in the return of the Bill Walsh Legacy Game as Director of Athletics Jeff Konya announced a four-game home-and-home series with the Cardinal on Wednesday. The first game of the series is set for Sept. 13, 2025 at CEFCU Stadium to open the return of the rivalry. Only four of the 67 games in this series have previously been played in San Jose including the first one on Oct. 11, 1900.

The Spartans currently have 14 games against Power-5 opponents in upcoming schedules and SJSU will play two games against Pac-12 teams in 2023, including Oregon State at home for the opening of the brand new Spartan Athletics Complex. "We are excited to announce this series with Stanford," said Konya. "It fits well with our scheduling philosophy of playing quality regional opponents and bolstering our home non-conference contests for One Spartan Nation to experience." - San Jose State Football

(DS#9 DE) rSr/2023 DE Viliami FehokoSan Jose State
News Source: San Jose State Football
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  06/24/22 - OT Will CampbellFr/2026, LSU, 6-5, 300 (DS#3 OT) + More +

  Brian Kelly hit the transfer portal for LSU as hard as any other coach in the nation, but that won't keep several freshmen from contributing during the 2022 season. LSU is looking to rebound from a 6-7 season, and Kelly knows fans will expect a better mark in his first season. If a freshman wants to get on the field in 2022, he'll have a high standard to meet. Here's a look at five freshmen who are the most likely to make a contribution this season.

Will Campbell, offensive tackle: It's never easy to start in the Southeastern Conference as a freshman, but Campbell left the spring as the top man at left tackle for the Tigers. At 6-foot-6, 317 pounds, he has the size necessary to compete immediately as a true freshman. A strong spring from Campbell convinced the staff to move last year's starting left tackle, Cameron Wire, to right tackle. Considering Campbell was inserted as a freshman starter at Neville High School in Monroe, it shouldn't come as much surprise that he's going to be on the field immediately at LSU. - Baton Rouge Advocate

(DS#3 OT) Fr/2026 OT Will CampbellLSU
News Source: Baton Rouge Advocate
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  SirVocea Dennis looked across the green turf of Gateway High School's field Tuesday afternoon, pleased to see young boys playing seven-on-seven with unbridled joy at the Nike Football Camp. Yet, Pitt's senior linebacker, a counselor at the camp, understands the game he plays on a much higher level has turned into a "wild" ride for players and coaches. Name, image and likeness opportunities and the NCAA transfer portal have changed the rules, altered rosters (including the one where he resides), affected recruiting and created temptations.

How wild did it get for Dennis this offseason? He said he deflected offers from two schools that tried to entice him to transfer. "I had a couple (contacts)," he said. "I wasn't worried about it. I'm here now, so..." Dennis declined to identify the schools, and for a good reason, he said. "That's an NCAA violation," he said of schools contacting him, even though his name never appeared in the portal. "I respectfully told them that what they were trying to do is illegal and it could, actually, ruin my eligibility. If they wanted to talk to me, I would have to have been in the portal already." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

(DS#18 ILB) rJr/2024 ILB SirVocea DennisPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  06/24/22 - QB Hendon HookerrSr/2023, Tennessee, 6-3, 218 (DS#4 QB) + More +

  The Vols averaged 39.3 points last season to rank seventh nationally. They accomplished that with a new coaching staff, new offensive system, new quarterback and a new lead running back. Not only does UT return most of the contributors to that offense, it has added Southern Cal transfer wide receiver Bru McCoy, a former five-star recruit. McCoy and Jalin Hyatt, who impressed coaches in the spring, could give the Vols one of the top frontline receiving corps in the conference.

Combine those receivers with Hendon Hooker and it's not farfetched to think the Vols could lead the nation in scoring. UT's schedule could help. Regardless of their talent level, SEC opponents might have a better read on Tennessee's up-tempo offense. But that's not saying much. Secondaries, in particular, struggled terribly to keep up with UT receivers last season. And whatever advantage opponents gain from having studied more video could be offset by the Vols' familiarity with Heupel's system. That familiarity could enable Tennessee to average better than 40 points. - Knoxville News Sentinel

(DS#4 QB) rSr/2023 QB Hendon HookerTennessee
News Source: Knoxville News Sentinel
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  Receiver Jaylon Robinson, who was limited by injuries last season, went through spring football practices with the Knights before opting to transfer. There was thought when Robinson entered the transfer portal that he would follow Dillon Gabriel. Instead, Robinson joined coach Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss. Robinson originally transferred to UCF after beginning his college career at Oklahoma. After sitting out the 2019 season due to transfer rules, he shined in his first year as a Knight by recording 100 or more receiving yards six times, the most at UCF since Brandon Marshall in 2005. Following a knee injury that limited him this past season, Robinson spent the spring at UCF before deciding to transfer a second time. - Orlando Sentinel

(DS#38 WR) rSr/2023 WR Jaylon RobinsonMississippi
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  06/24/22 - QB Bryce YoungJr/2024, Alabama, 6-0, 194 (DS#1 QB) + More +

  Bryce Young has had the look. His dad, Craig Young, knows it well. He's witnessed it before. Several times, in fact, throughout the Alabama football quarterback's life. And it's back this offseason. "I can see that look in his eyes where he's been so motivated," Craig said. It appeared whenever Young spent the duration of an offseason day throwing, working out and lifting. Not traveling or taking a bunch of time off. Just working. "I've seen that in him before," Craig said. "And I know what that means." Craig saw that in 2016, when his son aimed to beat out the incumbent upperclassman starter even though Young would be only a high school freshman.

The two quarterbacks ended up splitting time that year. Then there was 2019. After he threw 39 touchdowns as a junior en route to all-state recognition, Young pushed to get even better. He ended up throwing 58 touchdowns and rushing for 10 his senior year. The look appeared again in 2021 when Young strived to take advantage of the open Alabama quarterback spot. He ended up winning the Heisman Trophy. "This," Craig said, "looks very familiar to those times." - Montgomery Advertiser

(DS#1 QB) Jr/2024 QB Bryce YoungAlabama
News Source: Montgomery Advertiser
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  A familiar face has put his name back in the spotlight during the inaugural USFL season. On Wednesday, the league announced former TCU wide receiver KaVontae Turpin won its Most Valuable Player award for the 2022 season. While playing for one of only two teams that went 9-1 in the regular season, the New Jersey Generals' top playmaker made big contributions in both the passing and kick return game. Turpin, 25, led the league in receiving yards (540) and yards after catch (316), feats he accomplished despite being targeted only 53 times, well behind league-leader and former Dallas Cowboys receiver Lance Lenoir (88 targets).

Turpin also led the USFL in punt return average (15.3) and was the only player to score a touchdown on a kick return this season. While at TCU, Turpin appeared in 42 games from 2015-18, and he collected more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage in his career. However, he went undrafted out of college before eventually landing in the USFL. - Dallas Morning News

(DS#159 WR) Sr/2019 WR Kavontae TurpinTexas Christian
News Source: Dallas Morning News
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. ---> Read More Player News

 Draft Scout Evolve: Most Recent CFB Player Rating Changes
Change Date
 Player Name  College  Position  Rating Changes Made
 Mackenzie Morgan    Temple  P  From DS#999/Unranked Sr Punter/2022 to 2023/Extra Year/Transfer
 Christian Mahogany    Boston College  OG  From DS#17 rJr OG/2024 to #999/Unranked/Recheck-INJ-OFS...9/27/2021-From DS#46 rSoph Up to #12...10/5/2020-From Unranked to DS#28 Fr OG
 Mordecai McDaniel    Florida  SS  From DS#21 Jr SS/2024 to #999/Unranked/Recheck-Transfer
 Spencer Sanders    Oklahoma State  QB  From DS#22 rSr QB-2023/Resetting at #8
 Braydon Johnson    Oklahoma State  WR  From DS#15 rSr WR-2023/Resetting at #9...2/25/2022-From DS#38 rSr WR/2022 to #15 rSr-2023/Extra Year-INJ...7/21/2021-From DS#51 Sr WR/Resetting at #18...11/13/2020-From DS#32 Jr WR Down to #51
 Justin Marshall    Buffalo  WR  From DS#139 rSr WR-2023/Resetting at #80...12/8/2021-From DS#90 rJr WR/2023 to 999/Unranked/Recheck/Transfer...9/6/2021-From DS#999/Unranked rJr WR to #89
 Anthony Johnson    Virginia  CB  From DS#16 rSr CB-2023/Resetting at #9...12/12/2021-From DS#67 rJr Transfer CB Up to #43...9/24/2021-From DS#999/Unranked rJr Transfer CB to #67
 Ryan Swoboda    Central Florida  OT  From DS#9 rSr Transfer OT/Resetting at #22...12/16/2021-From DS#20 rSr OT/2022 to 2023/Transfer...12/12/2021-From DS#35 rSr OT Up to #21...9/24/2021-From DS#56 rSr OT Up to #35...11/8/2020-From Unranked to DS#31 Jr OT
 Mark Milton    Baylor  CB  From DS#35 rSr CB-2023/Resetting at #17...1/9/2022-From DS#27 rJr CB/2023 Down to #48...11/13/2020-From Unranked to DS#34 Soph CB
 Pat Garwo III    Boston College  RB  From DS#51 rJr RB-2024/Resetting at #18...9/27/2021-From DS#48 rSoph RB Up to #36...9/13/2021-From Unranked to DS#42 rSoph RB
 Dontayvion Wicks    Virginia  WR  From DS#16 rJr WR-2024/Resetting at #9...12/12/2021-From DS#20 rSoph WR Up to #8...9/23/2021-From DS#999/Unranked rSoph WR to #22
 Al Walcott    Baylor  CB  From DS#999/Unranked rJr CB/2024 to #37
 Gervarrius Owens    Houston  FS  From DS#6 rSr FS-2023/Resetting at #2...12/27/2021-From DS#23 rJr FS Up to #15...12/4/2021-From DS#39 rJr FS Up to #20...11/7/2021-From DS#75 Sr FS/2022 to #37 rJr/2023...11/12/2020-From Unranked to DS#28 Jr FS
 Robert Beal Jr.    Georgia  OLB  From DS#6 rSr OLB-2023/Resetting at #3...6/8/2022-From DS#16 rSr OLB-2023/Resetting at #6...1/19/2022-From DS#31 rSr OLB/2022 Up to #22 rSr OLB/Extra Year/2023...10/2/2021-From Unranked to DS#37 rSr OLB
 Al Blades Jr.    Miami  CB  From DS#11 rSr CB-2023/Resetting at #5...12/7/2021-From DS#10 Sr CB/2022 Down to #18 rJr/2023...11/6/2020-From DS#12 Jr CB Up to #8
 Gurvan Hall Jr.    Utah State  FS  From DS#17 rSr FS-2023/Resetting at #35...2/10/2022-From DS#999/Unranked rSr Transfer FS/2023 to #12...12/7/2021-From DS#8 Sr FS/2022 to 999/Unranked/Transfer/2023
 Paiton Fears    Arizona  OT  From DS#49 rSr OT-2023/Resetting at #32...1/13/2022-From DS#33 rJr OT/2023 Down to #39 OT...11/5/2021-From DS#83 rSr OT/2022 to rJr 2023...11/25/2020-From Unranked to DS#45 Jr OT
 Landon Jackson    Arkansas  DE  From DS#999/Unranked rFr Transfer DE/2026 to #8 Soph/2025...12/13/2021-From DS#5 Fr DE/2025 to 999/Unranked/Recheck
 Raheim Sanders    Arkansas  RB  From DS#39 Soph RB-2026/Resetting at #17...9/11/2021-From DS#999/Unranked Fr RB to #52
 Ikenna Enechukwu    Rice  DE  From DS#999/Unranked rJr DE/2024 to #24
. ---> Draft Scout Evolve: Full Player Rating Changes


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