Tag:NOrth Carolina
Posted on: September 3, 2010 12:36 am
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Dareus suspension mars spectacular Opening Day

Today should be remembered for what was a brilliant opening day of the D-IA college football season.

National title contenders Ohio State and Miami looked every bit the part in dismantling weak opponents (Marshall, Florida Atlantic) on their way to next weekend's showdown in Columbus.

Mountain West Conference power Utah successfully protected their home turf for an eye-popping 18th consecutive game in upsetting No. 15 Pittsburgh.

And by putting up 41 points in their home opener, one can't help but wonder if this finally is the year that the Ol Ball Coach's South Carolina Gamecocks take the next step offensively.

There were so many reasons to be optimistic about the college football season.

And instead, Tuesday evening news broke that Alabama defensive Marcell Dareus, a potential All-American and first round prospect, was suspended for the first two games of the year. Dareus follows UNC defensive tackle Marvin Austin as the latest casualty of the NCAA's investigation into players receiving innapropriate benefits from agents. He's arguably the best player on the best team in the country.

Forgive me for being pessimistic this evening of what should be the most optimistic day of the year.

But, after what has been a tumultuous offseason for college football, it would have been nice to enjoy it with the big news being the action on the field.

 
Posted on: August 26, 2010 9:58 pm
 

Details sketchy, but clear UNC in real trouble

University of North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp, Athletic Director Dick Baddour and head coach Butch Davis met with the press Thursday evening to announce that they were broading the NCAA investogation into their program due to their discovery of “possible academic misconduct involving a former undergraduate tutor and student-athletes on the football team.

The tutor, according to this report by Joedy McCreary of The Associated Press , was employed by the university and worked with Davis' son.

Prior to the press conference, there were initial reports that the Tar Heels' starting cornerbacks Kendric Burney and Charles Brown were among those suspended.

Baddour, however, declined to identify any of the players involved in their investigation or even how many players the school was investigating.

Baddour did not provide a true time table for the investigation either, but did say, ""it is likely that the review would extend beyond the start of the season."

According to those I've spoken to who were at the press conference, the mood in the room was grave. There was a sense that this could grow into significantly more than just a player suspension or two.

McCreary, in fact, notes the concern from Chancellor Thorp to end his article:

 

Chancellor Holden Thorp — who began the news conference by saying "to everyone who loves this university, I'm sorry about what I have to tell you" — vowed that administrators are taking the probe seriously but expressed hope that its scope ultimately would be limited.

"We will find out what happened. We will do everything we can to keep it from happening again," he said. "And we will not let these mistakes define our university and what we stand for."

 


 
Posted on: August 26, 2010 10:59 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 11:11 am
 

Locker shows class with Touchdowns For Kids

Sometimes in my effort to get our readers the very best information on what makes a collegiate player a potentially exciting NFL prospect I have a tendency to focus on their physical abilities or potential to improve if placed in a different scheme.

In doing so, I sometimes miss out on opportunities to show the personality of the players in my interviews. CBS will soon be featuring an interview I did with North Carolina outside linebacker Bruce Carter, for example.

I focus much of the article on Carter's elite physical skills, the talent surrounding him at North Carolina and the NCAA investigation currently swirling around the Tar Heels.

I also asked Carter to break down his talented teammates as NFL prospects , but with that likely to make the article so unbearably long that many readers wouldn't finish it, I elected to save the part that shows some of his personality for the blog.

Similarly, I focused on Washington QB Jake Locker's surprising (at least to some) decision to return for his senior year rather than take the guaranteed money the NFL was offering him, as well as the improvements he's made in this recent feature article .

One element that unfortunately didn't make the cut in the article was Locker's passion for children and his work through UW's Touchdowns For Kids charity.

I asked Jake about his role in the charity work and what the program was all about following practice earlier this week. Here are his comments, as well as a link so that you can contribute , if you'd like.

"Our football team partnered with [Seattle's] Children's Hospital as a way to raise money for sick kids and their families." Locker said. "People can donate a flat amount or they can donate X amount per touchdown. So, every time we [UW football] score a touchdown, money is raised for medical treatment, travel expenses, whatever the kids and their families need. I'm honored just to be part of the program."

Again, the link to the University of Washington's Touchdowns for Kids is right here.



Posted on: July 23, 2010 8:09 pm
 

Some notes after reviewing the ACC

Fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter and I have been busy the past month reviewing film of the 2010 senior prospects. Chad, as always, is ahead of me and has been steadily producing finished player profiles already in preparation for our 2010 NFL Draft Preview.

I've completed scouting reports for approximately 50 prospects; most of them coming from the SEC, ACC and Pac-10 Conferences.

I've been working on these reports while tracking the NCAA's sudden focus on agent-related benefits potentially being given to NCAA players. I recognize that the story is a huge one, but quite frankly, I wanted to finally present a blog post about actual football, and not just more off-field concerns.

Thus, here are some of my general thoughts based after film review of some of the ACC's biggest names amongst senior prospects.

  • North Carolina, as I've mentioned in previous articles and blog posts, is ridiculously athletic. It is easy to get caught up with DT Marvin Austin or OLB Bruce Carter's athleticism, but the steady play of CB Kendric Burney and OLB Quan Sturdivant jumps off film, as well. I was a little disappointed, honestly, in free safety Deunta Williams... He may be a ballhawk, but the impressive UNC defense hides the fact that he plays a pretty finesse-brand of football...
  • How does Clemson lose C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford and look just as athletic on film? This year though the eye-popping talent is on the defensive side of the ball. DT Jarvis Jenkins really flashes on tape, as does cornerback Marcus Gilchrist. All-American DeAndre McDaniel may have enjoyed as good a first half of football as I've seen a safety have in some time against Kentucky in the Music Bowl...
  • Forget the theory that because Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling is 6-2 he can't play cornerback in the NFL. Dowling is impressive on film; reminiscient of former Utah Ute and current Miami Dolphin Sean Smith...
  • Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey is one of the more fascinating stories in all of college football. The Canes' next first round defender was born and raised in a tiny village (approx. 80 people) called Hogs Hammock on Sapelo Island, approximately 15 miles off the coast of Georgia. He'll be wined and dined by agents and, later, NFL teams as they decide where he fits best in their scheme, but that may not be the best way to get to know this player. The residents of Hogs Hammock fish, hunt and gather shellfish for their meals and are appropriately proud to do so. So much so that once he and his family served a college recruitor a tasty dish... of raccoon .
  • Much has been made of BC linebacker Mark Herzlich's amazing recovery from Ewing's Sarcoma -- as it should. The fact that he's recovery is glorious in itself... but, boy, can this kid play the game too. Here's hoping that Herzlich, North Carolina State linebacker Nate Irving (who missed the 2009 season after a nearly-fatal car accident) and Miami running back Graig Cooper (who tore up his knee in the Champs Sports Bowl) are able to come back and thrill us again this season.

I'll post my thoughts on the SEC and Pac-10 in the coming days.

Posted on: July 12, 2010 12:40 pm
 

Luck, Kaepernick, others wow at Manning QB Camp

Each year the Mannings (Archie and sons Petyon, Eli and Cooper) hold their Manning Passing Academy for high school and collegiate "skill position" football players. Though running backs, wide receivers and tight ends are also invited to the camp, the quarterbacks always receive the most attention.

For the fifth consecutive year this year's camp was held on the Nicholls State University campus; the former home of the New Orleans Saints' training camp. This is the 14th year the Mannings have been holding their camp.

This year the collegiate quarterbacks invited read like a Who's Who of the game. Washington's Jake Locker was invited, but couldn't attend. Miami's Jacory Harris, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett and Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor were other high profile passers also unable to participate.

Among the more high profile players who did participate, however, included:

Jordan Jefferson - LSU
Jerrod Johnson - Texas A&M
Colin Kaepernick - Nevada
Case Keenum - Houston
Andrew Luck - Stanford
Greg McElroy - Alabama
Kellen Moore - Boise State
Christian Ponder - Florida State
Taylor Potts - Texas Tech
Matt Simms - Tennessee
Nathan Stanley - Mississippi
Brandon Weeden - Oklahoma State
Tyler Wolfe - Northwestern State (La.)
T.J. Yates - North Carolina

Much of the clinic is open to the public. According to sources in attendance, Stanford redshirt sophomore Andrew Luck is clearly the most gifted of the group. He showed a strong NFL-caliber arm and the accuracy to attack all levels of the field. Luck recently went on the record stating that he planned to graduate from Stanford before pursuing professional football.

Another young talent, Tennessee's Matt Simms (son of Phil, brother of Chris) also impressed, I'm told.

Kaepernick surprised some with his velocity. The 6-6, 220 pound Wolfpack quarterback is well known for his production (20 TDs/6 INTs, as well as 1,183 rushing yards, 16 TDs last year), but is viewed by many scouts as a product of coach Chris Ault's "pistol" offense.

FSU's Christian Ponder, who tied with Locker for the highest QB grade given by National scouts, was characterized as being good, but not spectacular. In Ponder's defense, he underwent shoulder surgery in the off-season and may have been still working out some of the kinks.


Posted on: March 16, 2010 4:35 pm
 

Rutgers OT Anthony Davis will try again 3/30

Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis, considered by some scouts to be this year's best all-around OL propsect, will be working out for scouts on campus March 30, according to an email sent by his agent to NFL teams.

The 6-5, 323 pound Davis elected to leave Rutgers after his junior season after being given a first round grade by the NFL Advisory Committee. While team's love his combination of size and agility, Davis has a history of letting his weight get the better of him. Concerns about his commitment were further flamed when Davis struggled in interviews and the workout session at the Combine.

Davis was expected to be the star of Rutgers Pro Day March 10, but was suffering from a hamstring injury and the stomach flu. He arrived at the Pro Day, spoke to some teams, but was told to go home after vomiting, according to a report from NFL.com's Jason La Canfora.

Davis is a better athlete than he appeared during drills at the Combine. While an offensive tackle's time in the 40-yard dash is not necessarily an indicator of his ability to block, scouts weren't pleased that Davis was timed at 5.44 seconds in the event. Only two players who weighed less than Davis were slower. Those two, Texas' Adam Ulatoski and North Carolina's Kyle Jolly are each currently rated as potential undrafted free agents by NFLDraftScout.com.


 
 
 
 
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