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 College Football Player News & Notes

  06/26/22 - CB Eli RicksJr/2024, Alabama, 6-2, 190 (DS#11 CB) + More +

  A court in Mississippi has dismissed a marijuana charge against Alabama cornerback Eli Ricks. Ricks, a junior who transferred from LSU, was arrested May 1 by the Mississippi Highway Patrol and charged with possession of marijuana, not having insurance and speeding. A hearing in his case was scheduled for Thursday morning in Jones County Justice Court. A clerk for the court said Thursday afternoon that Ricks' possession of marijuana charge was dismissed and, through his attorney, Ricks pled guilty to the speeding ticket and received a fine.

A police report obtained by after Ricks' arrest showed he was stopped at 4:20 p.m. CT while traveling southbound on Interstate 59 near Laurel. Police noted Ricks was traveling 91 m.p.h. and was in possession of one gram of marijuana. Ricks was a five-star recruit from California in 2020 who was a third-team Associated Press All-America selection as a freshman. He underwent shoulder surgery midway through his sophomore season at LSU and announced in December he would transfer to Alabama. - Birmingham News

(DS#11 CB) Jr/2024 CB Eli RicksAlabama
News Source: Birmingham News
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  06/26/22 - OG Tremond ShortsrSr/2023, LSU, 6-3, 335 (DS#36 OG) + More +

  Well before spring practice started, offensive line coach Brad Davis said LSU was "starting from ground zero" on the line of scrimmage. The team had lost four starters from an offensive line that struggled at times last season, and he needed to find a new group. Some answers emerged this spring while other questions lingered until fall practice. As we preview the season ahead, here are five things to know about where the offensive line stands now. Davis noticed signs of complacency when he arrived last summer. He doesn't want to see them again. So even though LSU consistently used the same offensive line near the end of spring practice, competition will stretch into preseason camp, especially as newcomers enter the mix and injured players return to the field.

For the sake of a baseline - this could change - LSU started Will Campbell at left tackle, Tre'Mond Shorts at left guard, Charles Turner at center, Miles Frazier at right guard and Cameron Wire at right tackle in the spring game. LSU added Shorts and Frazier to supplement the offensive line, which lacked experience after the departure of four starters. Shorts stood out on film for his effort, and he started 40 straight games at ETSU. With one year of eligibility, he'll have a good chance to take one of the guard spots. - Baton Rouge Advocate

(DS#36 OG) rSr/2023 OG Tremond ShortsLSU
News Source: Baton Rouge Advocate
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  With massive roster turnover that Arizona State football has endured this offseason, the need to lean on the remaining past leaders and find emerging ones is of great importance. Enter Arizona State senior captain linebacker Kyle Soelle and junior cornerback Jordan Clark. They are expected to take over the leadership reins of the Sun Devil defense that will see plenty of new faces entering next season. "The leadership role has been an easy transition, but my teammates hold me accountable just like I do them," Clark said on a Zoom call Wednesday.

Soelle has a little more of a reputation built up. He registered a team-leading 88 tackles, including eight tackles for loss, for the Sun Devils a year ago. Clark didn't see the field as frequently but still contributed with 21 tackles, one interception and two passes defensed. "(As a leader), the most important thing I can do is be there for them and be a helping hand," Soelle said. "It's a lot easier when you have a group of leaders like we have here." -

(DS#24 OLB) rSr/2023 OLB Kyle SoelleArizona State
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  Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier has met quite of few of his sports idols during his college career. Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, who has spoken to the team twice during Bachmeier's career, and Bo Jackson top his list, but he said meeting Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson on Monday ranks right up there. "It was a big honor for all of us quarterbacks to speak to him and be around a true professional," Bachmeier told the Idaho Statesman. "I was pretty star-struck. I took a lot of his words to heart, and the biggest thing I took away was how intentional and deliberate he was in everything he did." Wilson - a nine-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks, who traded him to Denver in March - was in Boise for an event with Alaska Airlines.

Between appearances, he took time to meet with Boise State's quarterbacks and speak to a group of players and coaches. "He was big on what he let himself consume in terms of social media and the external influences that can kind of affect you," Bachmeier said, "and he talked about speaking a championship language to yourself." Bachmeier said one of the most impressive things about Wilson's career is how much he's accomplished despite those who doubted him. The 5-foot-11 All-Pro was the shortest one in a group picture he took with the quarterbacks, especially when compared to 6-foot-6 redshirt freshman Taylen Green. - Idaho Statesman

(DS#40 QB) rJr/2024 QB Hank BachmeierBoise State
News Source: Idaho Statesman
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  06/26/22 - QB KJ JeffersonrJr/2024, Arkansas, 6-3, 245 (DS#6 QB) + More +

  KJ Jefferson attending the Manning Passing Academy is a natural now. In three seasons at the University of Arkansas, he has gone from barely an afterthought to being considered one of the best two quarterbacks in the SEC and top 10 in the country. This is a young man who had zero college scholarship offers to play quarterback. He had offers, but he was seen more as a tight end. Under the teaching of Kendal Briles, Jefferson, who is 6-3, 245 pounds, has developed into a true dual threat. He could always run, and his throwing was OK, but now his passing is vastly improved.

The Manning Passing Academy is the premiere quarterback camp in the country and invitations are rarely turned down. There is a waiting list. The camp has been operating for more than a quarter of a century, and this year will be held today through Sunday at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. The only thing hotter than the weather will be the competition. This is a family-run camp with two-time Super Bowl champion quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning participating. The camp founder and leader is Archie Manning, who was a tremendous college quarterback that was drafted by the New Orleans Saints, known most of his playing time as the "Aints," because they were bad at almost every position but quarterback. - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#6 QB) rJr/2024 QB KJ JeffersonArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  06/26/22 - P Tory TaylorJr/2024, Iowa, 6-4, 231 (DS#5 P) + More +

  These days, Tory Taylor isn't doing anything "too exciting." "Just lifting and running and punting," Taylor said Thursday. "Making the most of the nice weather while it is nice. It felt like winter went for ages." As the Iowa punter enjoys weather more comparable to what he's used to in Melbourne, Australia, he's also well aware of what the next steps are in his development. Hitting more spiral punts was a focus for Taylor last year "because obviously the ball goes farther and the ball is in the air longer," Taylor said.

"I didn't have any of those punts my freshman year," Taylor said. "So to really just rip the Band-Aid off … was a big thing for me - probably something that other people didn't actually really notice." Taylor had 18 punts inside the 20-yard-line and only one touchback in 2020. That's a staggering 95 percent of punts that pinned opponents rather than rolling into the end zone. Then in 2021, he had 39 punts inside the 20 and 13 touchbacks - 75 percent success instead of 95 percent. "That's one area of my game that I really want to clean up," Taylor said. - The Gazette

(DS#5 P) Jr/2024 P Tory TaylorIowa
News Source: The Gazette
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  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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 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
 Christian Turner    Wake Forest  RB  From DS#73 rJr Transfer RB-2024/Resetting at #52...12/12/2021-From DS#58 rJr RB/2023 to rSoph 2024...9/23/2021-From DS#999/Unranked rJr Transfer RB to #54
 Rusty Staats    Western Kentucky  OG  From DS#89 rJr OG-2024/Resetting at #45...10/18/2021-From DS#999/Unranked rSoph OG to #85
 PJ Mustipher    Penn State  DT  From DS#20 rSr DT-2023/Resetting at #4...1/4/2022-From DS#30 Sr DT/2022 to rSr 2023/Extra Year...8/9/2021-From DS#58 Sr DT/Resetting at #30...11/19/2020-From DS#37 Jr DT Up to #28
 Bo Bauer    Notre Dame  ILB  From DS#44 rSr ILB-2023/Resetting at #16...2/1/2022-From DS#53 rSr ILB/2022 to rSr-2023/Extra Year...9/5/2021-From DS#93 Sr ILB/Resetting at #45...11/6/2020-From Unranked to DS#23 Jr ILB
 Jaray Jenkins    LSU  WR  From DS#13 rSr WR-2023/Resetting at #8...11/10/2020-From Unranked to DS#32 Soph WR
 Bryce Baringer    Michigan State  P  From DS#6 rSr Punter-2023/Resetting at #1...2/7/2022-From DS#11 rSr Punter/2022 Up to #6 rSr/2023/Extra Year...9/20/2021-From DS#30 rSr Punter/Resetting at #11...11/19/2020-From Unranked Transfer to DS#8 Jr Punter
 Samson Evans    Eastern Michigan  RB  From DS#999/Unranked Jr Transfer RB/2024 to #38
 Rayjoun Pringle    Villanova  WR  From DS#999/Unranked rJr WR/2024 to #105
 Brock Mogensen    South Dakota  ILB  From DS#999/Unranked rJr ILB/2024 to #38
 Avante Cox    Southern Illinois  WR  From DS#100 rSr WR-2023/Resetting at #72...12/3/2021-From DS#118 rSr WR/2022 to #104 rJr 2023...8/4/2021-From DS#999/Unranked Sr WR/Resetting at #119...1/21/2021-From DS#999 Sr WR/2021 to 2022/Extra Year
 Braeden Daniels    Utah  OG  From DS#13 rJr OG-2024/Resetting at #7...1/13/2022-From DS#16 rSoph OG Up to #11...10/29/2021-From DS#16 rJr OG/2023 to rSoph 2024
 Jayshon Jackson    Ball State  WR  From DS#90 rSr WR-2023/Resetting at #63...11/1/2021-From DS#999/Unranked rJr Transfer WR to #98...1/14/2021-From DS#105 Jr WR to 999/Unranked/Transfer...11/12/2020-From Unranked to DS#88 Jr WR
 Arquon Bush    Cincinnati  CB  From DS#7 rSr CB-2023/Resetting at #3...11/12/2021-From DS#20 rJr CB Up to #12...10/22/2020-From Unranked to DS#24 Soph CB
 Myles Slusher    Arkansas  FS  From DS#999/Unranked Jr FS/2024 to #17...11/11/2020-From DS#17 Fr FS to 999/Unranked/Recheck
 Keondre Coburn    Texas  DT  From DS#3 rSr DT-2023/Resetting at #1
 Jalen Green    Mississippi State  SS  From DS#999/Unranked rSr Transfer SS/2023 to #26...2/1/2022-From DS#48 Sr SS/2022 to 999/Unranked/Recheck/rSr-2023/Extra Year...10/1/2021-From DS#999/Unranked Sr Transfer SS to #43...1/17/2021-From DS#87 Jr CB to 999/Unranked/Transfer...11/13/2020-From DS#34 Jr CB Down to #57
 Dalton Wagner    Arkansas  OT  From DS#36 rSr OT-2023/Resetting at #24...12/19/2021-From DS#73 rSr OT/2022 to #45 rJr 2023...11/11/2020-From DS#23 Jr OT Down to #36
. ---> Draft Scout Evolve: Full Player Rating Changes


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