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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Alabama-Birmingham
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  OCT 19 CONFERENCE USA SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: With UAB leading 24-14 early in the third quarter, Nikia Eason Jr. blocked a WKU punt which WR Ryan Davis returned 37 yards a touchdown to give the Blazers a 31-14 advantage. The blocked punt busted the game wide open and it marked UAB's first blocked punt for a TD since 2018. Eason Jr., a native of Bessemer, Alabama, also had a sack and two tackles on defense. - Conference USA Football

(DS#999 OLB) rSo/2023 OLB Nikia Eason Jr.Alabama-Birmingham
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  DeWayne McBride had a 71-yard touchdown run and finished with 133 yards to lead UAB to a 37-14 victory over Western Kentucky on Saturday. Bryson Lucero threw for 141 yards and a touchdown pass to Austin Watkins Jr. for UAB (4-1, 2-0 Conference USA). Spencer Brown had a 2-yard touchdown run. Matthew Quinn made field goals from 38, 44, and 30 yards. Nikia Eason Jr. blocked a punt and Ryan Davis scooped up the ball and ran 37 yards into the end zone that stretched the Blazers' lead to 31-14 early in the fourth quarter. UAB forced four turnovers. Kevaris Thomas was 16-of-35 passing for 162 yards Western Kentucky (1-4, 1-2). Thomas threw a 6-yard touchdown pass each to Joshua Simon and Mitchell Tinsley, but he also threw two interceptions. Attendance was 11,098 for 35,204-seat Legion Field. - AP College Football

(DS#19 QB) rFr/2024 QB Bryson LuceroAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: AP College Football
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  IMG Academy has fielded a football team since 2013 and Bryson Lucero is the only quarterback to spend his entire career as an Ascender. However, Lucero started only four games during his entire high school career -- all within his senior season -- as he sat behind former Ole Miss and Michigan signal-caller Shea Patterson and current Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond. Despite a concise prep career and forgoing Ivy League offers to Harvard and Yale, Lucero signed with UAB's 2019 signing class and now has two starts under his belt after assuming command of the offense following an injury to Tyler Johnston III that left the incumbent indefinitely sidelined. "I see it as an incredible opportunity," Lucero said. "A lot of people will see that I only started four games in high school, and two now. I got a lot of things to work on, and with experience and everything, I totally understand the challenge."

A microdose of a career that included 823 passing yards and 13 touchdowns did not invite a slew of recruiters to the IMG Academy campus in Bradenton, Florida and a trip to Birmingham was all Lucero needed in making the decision to sign with Bill Clark and the Blazers. "When I came down to UAB, it just felt like a really good fit for me," Lucero said. "Coach Clark, Coach (Bryant) Vincent, and really the whole staff, and knowing what direction Coach Clark was taking the program was something that I really enjoyed and something I was looking forward to being a part of." - Birmingham Post Herald


(DS#19 QB) rFr/2024 QB Bryson LuceroAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: Birmingham Post Herald
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  Bryson Lucero threw three touchdown passes to lead UAB to a 21-13 victory over UTSA in its Conference USA opener on Saturday. It was the 20th straight home win for the Blazers (3-1, 1-0). Lucero was 18-of-29 passing for 195 yards yet threw three interceptions in his second career start. Spencer Brown had 144 yards rushing on 26 carries for UAB. Gerrit Prince caught two touchdown passes and Myron Mitchell had one. Sincere McCormick ran for 150 yards and a touchdown to lead UTSA (3-1, 1-1). Lucero's 21-yard TD pass to Prince stretched the Blazers' lead to 21-6 late in the third quarter. McCormick's 2-yard touchdown run capped the scoring with 10:31 remaining. The Roadrunners' final drive stalled at the UAB 40 when Lowell Narcisse threw an incomplete on fourth-and-17 with 4:40 to play. - AP College Football

(DS#19 QB) rFr/2024 QB Bryson LuceroAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: AP College Football
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  Spencer Brown rushed for three touchdowns in setting a UAB career record, fellow senior Austin Watkins Jr. had a career-high 183 yards receiving with a score, and the Blazers defeated South Alabama 42-10 on Thursday night. Brown, the second-leading active career FBS rusher behind Clemson's Travis Etienne, finished with 105 yards on 20 carries with his third score giving him 36 rushing touchdowns, passing Pat Green (1991-94). Watkins made seven catches including a 56-yard reception and a 15-yard fourth-quarter score.

The game featured teams that both returned to play after a two-week break with new starting quarterbacks. Redshirt freshman Bryson Lucero started for the Blazers (2-1) with Tyler Johnston III sidelined with an injured non-throwing shoulder. The Jaguars (1-2) went with JC transfer Chance Lovertich in place of Desmond Trotter, also dealing with a shoulder injury. All of Brown's scores came in the first half on runs of 15, 1 and 20 yards. Lucero's 6-yard TD pass to Trea Shropshire gave the Blazers a 28-10 halftime lead. Lucero finished 18-of-28 passing for 319 yards and two touchdowns. - AP College Football


(DS#18 RB) Sr/2021 RB Spencer BrownAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: AP College Football
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  The Blazers (1-1) have used two quarterbacks extensively through the first two games of the season and are now down to one after starting quarterback Tyler Johnston suffered an injury to his non-throwing shoulder while being ruled out for the foreseeable future. "Tyler Johnston III has suffered an injury to his non-throwing shoulder and is out indefinitely," Clark said in a prepared statement. "Tyler is one of the best competitors I have ever coached and I know he will take his rehab very seriously to give himself a chance to play again this season. Our entire UAB family stands behind Tyler and we wish him the best during his recovery."

Johnston, a Spanish Fort native that led the Toros to a 35-0 record and two AHSAA state titles, has been the starter for UAB since an injury to A.J. Erdely forced the former to assume the signal-caller duties late in the 2018 season. The redshirt junior missed four games last year with an MCL sprain on his left knee but has started 16 games in a career that includes 3,879 passing yards with 31 touchdowns and 25 interceptions and 618 rushing yards and five touchdowns. - Birmingham Post Herald


(DS#999 QB) rJr/2022 QB Tyler Johnston IIIAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: Birmingham Post Herald
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  PLAYERS TO WATCH: UAB's career leading rusher Spencer Brown looked the part in the UAB's season opener, rushing for 127 yards and a touchdown against Central Arkansas. He tallied his 14th career 100-yard game in the process and now has 3,249 career rushing yards. He is the nation's second active career leading rusher only behind Clemson's Travis Etienne, as he and Etienne are the only two players in the country who currently have more than 3,000 career rushing yards. - UAB Football

(DS#18 RB) Sr/2021 RB Spencer BrownAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: UAB Football
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  PLAYERS TO WATCH: Miami native Kristopher Moll had eight tackles, two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries in the season opener against Central Arkansas. A Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Moll is coming off a junior campaign in which he had 104 total tackles, 16.0 TFL and 9.0 sacks in leading the Blazers to a national ranking of No. 8 in total defense. The Blazers have finished top 10 nationally in total defense in each of the last two years and currently lead the nation after Week 1. Despite giving up 35 points, 21 of them came off turnovers from the UAB offense. - UAB Football

(DS#69 OLB) Sr/2021 OLB Kristopher MollAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: UAB Football
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  PLAYERS TO WATCH: Coming off a season-opening 45-35 victory over Central Arkansas, the UAB football team hits the road for the first time in 2020 for a non-conference game at Miami. This will be the first meeting between the two programs and it is Miami's first game of 2020. UAB will be looking for its first win over an ACC opponent in school history and its first win against a Power 5 opponent since 2004. - UAB Football

(DS#13 WR) rSr/2021 WR Austin Watkins Jr.Alabama-Birmingham
News Source: UAB Football
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  SEPT 7 CONFERENCE USA SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: In UAB K Matt Quinn's collegiate debut, the redshirt freshman kicker was perfect, going 6-for-6 on PAT attempts and making his only field goal attempt from 23 yards in the Blazers season-opening win over Central Arkansas. The Spanish Fort, Alabama, native scored nine points in his first career game. - Conference USA Football

(DS#999 K) rFr/2024 K Matthew QuinnAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  Gerritt Prince knew it was time for his number to be called. Facing a 4th-and-2 at the opponent's 6-yard line, the redshirt senior tight end lined up to the left side of the formation and casually motioned to the right with the wave of the quarterback's hand. Prince found the right flat deprived of defenders following the snap, corralled the ball into his hands and strolled into the end zone with an outstretched arm for the first of his two receiving touchdowns in the game. The Blazers rolled up more than 450 yards of offense and featured the tight ends frequently in a 45-35 win over the Central Arkansas Bears tonight at Legion Field in Birmingham. "It felt good," Prince said. "It was something I've been waiting for a long time, to get my opportunity. First, I have to thank my teammates and the offensive line. Without them, none of that happens." Prince hauled in four catches for 31 yards and the two scores from quarterback Tyler Johnston and the position itself was targeted nine total times with Prince and fellow senior Hayden Pittman combining for 68 yards on seven receptions. - Birmingham Post Herald

(DS#999 TE) rSr/2021 TE Gerrit PrinceAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: Birmingham Post Herald
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  History was made once again at Legion Field on Thursday night as UAB set the Conference USA record with its 19th consecutive home victory, defeating Central Arkansas 45-35. The 19 wins in a row broke a tie with former C-USA member Houston who won 18 games from 2007-10, and the nation's fourth longest active home winning streak is still intact. UAB (1-0) put up 459 yards of total offense and used a well-balanced attack, with 226 yards coming through the air and 233 on the ground. UAB's career leading rusher Spencer Brown had his 14th career 100-yard rushing game, going for 127 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Jermaine Brown added 75 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Lucious Stanley pitched in with 25 yards and a touchdown.

The Blazers used a two-quarterback system with redshirt junior Tyler Johnston III and redshirt freshman Bryson Lucero. Johnston III finished 17-of-25 for 143 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Lucero was 7-of-9 for 83 yards and threw his first career passing touchdown. Austin Watkins Jr. led the receivers with seven catches for 72 yards, while Myron Mitchell had four catches for 47 yards and a touchdowns. The Blazers also featured their tight ends as Gerrit Prince set career highs with four catches for 31 yards and two touchdowns, and Hayden Pittman had three catches for 37 yards. Kristopher Moll led the defense with eight tackles, two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries. - UAB Football


(DS#18 RB) Sr/2021 RB Spencer BrownAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: UAB Football
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  Austin Watkins Jr. is coming off a year in which he became the third player in program history to have over 1,000 receiving yards in a season. He finished 2019 with 57 catches for 1,092 yards and six touchdowns. He is C-USA's top returning receiver from last year. Watkins Jr. became just the third player in program history to have over 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in 2019. Watkins Jr. finished the season with 57 catches for 1,092 yards and six touchdowns. He had three 100-yard receiving games, including a career-high 167 yards at UTSA. He joined Derrick Ingram (twice) and Roddy White as the only players at UAB with 1,000 receiving yards in a season. - Alabama-Birmingham Football

(DS#13 WR) rSr/2021 WR Austin Watkins Jr.Alabama-Birmingham
News Source: Alabama-Birmingham Football
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  In his first season as a Blazer, Jordan Smith established himself as one of the most dominant edge rushers in the league. Smith finished with 53 total tackles, 10.0 sacks and 17.5 TFL. His 10.0 sacks were the fifth most in a single season at UAB. He finished ranked third in total sacks and sacks per game (0.71) and was fifth in TFL and TFL per game (1.25) in the Conference USA rankings. - Alabama-Birmingham Football

(DS#14 DE) rJr/2022 DE Jordan SmithAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: Alabama-Birmingham Football
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  A pair of seniors will lead UAB on the off ensive side of the ball in running back Spencer Brown and wide receiver Austin Watkins Jr. Brown is UAB's career leading rusher (3,122 yards) and enters the season as one of two active players in the nation with 3,000+ career rushing yards (Travis Etienne - Clemson, 4,038). - Alabama-Birmingham Football

(DS#18 RB) Sr/2021 RB Spencer BrownAlabama-Birmingham
News Source: Alabama-Birmingham Football
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