Tag:Andrew Luck
Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 1:12 pm

Luck expects 2011 to be his last year at Stanford

The 2012 NFL Draft could officially become the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes after the redshirt junior quarterback announced this week that he's unlikely to return to Palo Alto for his senior season.

Luck said at Pac-12 Media Days that the 2011 season is very likely to be his last and that he's "approaching like such." Widely panned as the top prospect since the start of the 2010 season, would have a year of eligibility remaining (2012) but said he expects to graduate before the 2012 NFL Draft in April.

He's the top-ranked player by NFLDraftScout.com and is projected by senior analysts Rob Rang and Chad Reuter to go No. 1 overall in each of their early 2012 mock drafts.

Sporting a ragged beard indicative of a laid-back collegian, Luck partially closed the door on his return for two more seasons on Tuesday. "It may have been the first time I said it, but I've always thought it," he said.

The Heisman Trophy finalist declined to enter the 2011 NFL Draft to the surprise of many. He announced on January 6 that he'd return to Stanford to complete his degree in Architectural Design even after head coach Jim Harbaugh left to coach the San Francisco 49ers. "I've been very happy," Luck said. "I haven't had any regrets."

Luck finished second to Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton in balloting for the award last December. He said the lockout that curbed Newton's preseason learning curve with the Carolina Panthers was "a bummer."

Contributed by The Sports XChange

Posted on: June 20, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 6:17 pm
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Posted on: June 17, 2011 10:29 am

Oregon Jr CB Cliff Harris suspended indefinitely

Oregon junior cornerback Cliff Harris, an underrated component of the Ducks' drive to a berth in the BCS Title Game last year, has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Chip Kelly after being arrested for speeding and driving a rental car with a suspended license early this week.

Harris, along with two other unidentified Oregon football players, was pulled over by an off-duty Oregon State police officer after the car Harris was driving was clocked at approximately 118 miles per hour. They were pulled over south of Albany, Oregon, which is north of the University of Oregon campus in Eugene.

This is at least the second time that Harris, 20, has been cited for driving with a suspended license.

Kelly announced that Harris would be suspended for Oregon's opener against LSU in Cowboys Stadium in Texas "at the very least" and cautioned that the suspension could go on for much longer should Harris' behavior not improve.
“Cliff’s future clearly is in Cliff’s hands,” Kelly said. “Earning an opportunity to represent the University of Oregon and this football program certainly rests far beyond a player’s ability on the field of play. Our behavior out of the spotlight often is more important and will be held to a higher standard. Until Cliff is able to conform to the same standards all of us must comply with, his status will remain unchanged.”
Though he's only entering his junior season, you can be sure NFL teams are already paying attention. Harris, 5-11 and 180 pounds, led the country with 23 passes defensed last season and led the Pac-10 with six interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown (against Tennessee). Harris is perhaps just as well known for his special teams' prowess, as he's one of the more dynamic return-men in college football.

Last year, he broke the Oregon school record with four punt returns for scores.

Harris currently ranks as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2 junior cornerback prospect behind only Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick. Each would rate as first round values at this early stage in the process.

As this video will show, Harris' return skills are undeniable. So too are his ball skills. And while some of his punt returns come against weaker competition, three of his interceptions last year came against elite NFL prospects Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley.


Posted on: May 26, 2011 12:51 pm
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Posted on: January 9, 2011 11:47 pm

Florida's Janoris Jenkins returning for Sr year?

If the twitter account registered to a "janoris jenkins" from Gainesville, Fl is, in fact owned by the Gator junior cornerback, then his tweet Sunday afternoon will have Florida fans happy and NFL teams needing help in the secondary disappointed.

The account - @jenkz1 - registered a message at approximately 5:30 pm EST Sunday that simply said "Gator Nation I'm back....."

Since the message, speculation has been rampant that Jenkins was indeed successfully "recruited" back to Florida by new head coach Will Muschamp.
According to an anonymous source quoted by Justin Wells of a Florida Gators website, Swamp247.com , Jenkins made the decision based on several factors, including the torn labrum that kept him out of the Gators' Outback Bowl victory over Penn State and a lower than expected grade from the NFL Advisory Committee.

Wells' source claims that Jenkins received a "2nd/3rd round grade."

I have Jenkins as a first round prospect and have spoken to NFL scouts who graded Jenkins as such, as well.

While Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck's decision was certainly the more impactful move, Jenkins' is the bigger surprise. Having spoken to members close to the Florida program over the past few weeks, Jenkins was widely considered "long gone."

Jenkins played in 13 games for the Gators in 2010, registering 44 tackles, six tackles for loss, eight passes broken up and three interceptions (including 68 return yards and one touchdown) in earning Second Team All-SEC honors by league coaches.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 9:19 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 9:20 pm

With Luck returning, Carolina's option turn to D

While fans and media may have been stunned with Andrew Luck's announcement that he'll be returning to Stanford for at least the 2011 season, league insiders and scouts had quietly been acknowledging this possibility for weeks.

It is, some scouts have told me, the primary reason many in the NFL believe that Carolina Panthers' owner Jerry Richardson announced that if Luck would be his team's first pick had he entered the draft. Richardson was hoping, scouts suggest, that by publicly touting Luck he might convince the Cardinal redshirt sophomore quarterback into declaring early.

Now that the consensus No. 1 pick has announced his decision, however, the Panthers won't waste time worrying about their bad Luck (sorry, couldn't resist). They'll focus on the next best available players - of which there are plenty of qualified options.

The option that I (and scouts) do not expect the Panthers to strongly consider are the other quarterbacks. Missouri's Blaine Gabbert is the only junior who has announced his plans to enter the draft early, but there is a league-wide belief that Arkansas' Ryan Mallett and Auburn's Cam Newton will be joining him. These three, along with Washington's Jake Locker, comprise the four QBs scouts believe will be taken in the first round. None, however, rate nearly as highly as Luck and therefore wouldn't be a big enough improvement to consider adding to a Carolina team that spent last year's 2nd round pick on former Notre Dame standout Jimmy Clausen.

Carolina's recent draft picks serves as at least one strong reason why the team may look past Georgia wideout A.J. Green, widely considered to be the elite offensive prospect potentially available, now that Luck is returning.

The Panthers have invested heavily at wide receiver in recent years, including drafting three last year -- Brandon LaFell and Armanti Edwards with Top 100 picks (78 and 89, respectively) and David Gettis -- who led the team with three touchdowns receptions -- in the sixth round.

Carolina does have significant concerns at defensive line -- expected to be the strongest positions in this year's draft once all of the underclassmen make their intentions known.

Three defensive linemen - Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers, Alabama's Marcell Dareus and Auburn's Nick Fairley -- each possess the size, experience and upside to warrant consideration.

LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, another junior who has yet to declare his intentions, also should be in the mix. Carolina is as strong at cornerback as any position on their entire roster, but could lose veteran Richard Marshall, who is scheduled to be a free agent after this season.

With questions about the consistency and schematic fit for the defensive linemen, Peterson may be the safest - and perhaps, therefore, best - fit for Carolina with the first pick. It would be the first time in league history in which a cornerback was drafted higher than 3rd overall (as Shawn Springs was for the Seahawks in 1997), but if ever there was a corner worthy of this high of a pick it is Peterson -- who won the Thorpe and Bednarik Awards, as well as the SEC Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Year.

Posted on: January 6, 2011 6:49 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 7:07 pm
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Posted on: January 5, 2011 3:10 pm

My thoughts on Andrew Luck, Jake Locker

Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders, Yahoo, Sports Press Northwest and probably another couple dozen entities since I began this blog posting recently asked me to provide a "paragraph or two" breakdown of Stanford's Andrew Luck and Washington's Jake Locker.

The finished article, which includes play by play details of both Pac-10 quarterbacks' performances in their recent bowl games, is part of Doug's weekly Cover Three piece for Football Outsiders and can be seen here.

Here are my thoughts on Luck. Below are my thoughts on Locker.

Andrew Luck has remarkably advanced technique for a redshirt sophomore. When dropping back, he shows good balance and fluidity, keeping his eyes downfield and quickly identifying the defense. He quickly scans the field and rarely forces the ball into coverage. Luck has an efficient over-the-top release, yet shows the ability to change his throwing slot, as needed. He possesses a strong arm, though it is not a rocket. Besides his ability to quickly decipher coverages, Luck's best attribute is his rare accuracy.

Where most quarterback prospects are content to hit their receivers in stride, Luck shows the remarkable ability to lead his receivers to the opening -- pushing wideouts upfield, turning them around when the safety is closing, placing the ball low or high so that his target has the best chance to make the reception. Like most passers, Luck's accuracy suffers when he's on the move, but he's shown the ability to square his shoulders and fire accurately while on the run. There is only one quarterback I've scouted with Luck's combination of intelligence, accuracy and size -- the previously incomparable Peyton Manning.

Jake Locker is the most frustrating quarterback prospect I've scouted in more than 10 years in the profession. Physically, he has the skills to warrant a Top 10 selection. Locker is experienced in the pro-style offense, demonstrating the quick feet and balance necessary in dropping back from center. He has a over-the-top release and a very strong arm. Locker's accuracy is maddeningly inconsistent, however. He's developed some bad habits running for cover behind a porous Washington offensive line, panicking when his first reads are covered and throwing off his back foot. Surprisingly for a four-year starter, Locker doesn't read defenses as well as scouts would like, , too often putting the ball up for grabs.

For all of his faults, however, Locker has made some of his most impressive throws in critical situations, coming through with clutch passes in upsets over USC, Cal, and most recently against Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. Throws like those have forced scouts to wonder how successful he might be if surrounded by more talent. Of course, Locker's most impressive physical attributes are his speed and power as a runner. Besides his rare running ability, Locker's toughness and leadership are the kind NFL decision-makers fall in love with during interviews. He reminds me of Donovan McNabb.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com