Tag:Jerry Hinnen
Posted on: August 17, 2011 1:02 pm

TCU QB Casey Pachall to undergo MRI on shoulder

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

TCU was already facing what many expect to be something of a rebuilding year. And it's now possible that rebuilding is losing a major part of its foundation.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting that starting quarterback Casey Pachall will undergo an MRI Wednesday to examine an injured shoulder that has kept Pachall out of the last two practices. Pachall suited up for Tuesday's session, but did not take the field.

Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson declined to speculate on the severity of Pachall's injury or what the MRI results might show, but he did make it clear he wasn't happy with the Frogs' performance Tuesday in Pachall's absence. "The offense wasn't good at all," he said. ""We need leadership [with Pachall] not out there."

That the Frogs are already struggling to replace Pachall shows what a heavy, heavy blow it would be if the shoulder keeps him off the field for any substantial length of time. Though still just a sophomore preparing for his first year in the starting job, the Brownwood, Texas native was also one of the most highly sought-after recruits of Patteron's tenure and has been carefully groomed to succeed Andy Dalton from virtually the moment he stepped on campus. With just three offensive starters returning -- including just one offensive lineman and one of the Frogs' top four receivers from a year ago -- Pachall is expected to be the cornerstone of the Frogs' attack in 2011 and beyond.

Should Pachall miss any or all of the Frogs' upcoming campaign, redshirt freshman Matt Brown would likely get the first crack at replacing him, with true freshman Trevone Boykin also in the mix.

But the truth is that even given Pachall's lack of experience, neither Brown nor Boykin seems likely to replicate Pachall's Dalton-but-with-a-stronger-arm skill set. Whether TCU's 2011 truly is that rebuilding year or another potential championship season might be hanging in the balance of those MRI results.

Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:39 am
Edited on: August 17, 2011 11:57 am

Miles now says Shepard could face suspension

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The last time we checked in on the Russell Shepard situation at LSU, Les Miles was assuring Tiger fans his star athlete wouldn't miss any time for his off-campus housing-related "compliance issue." "He's fine," Miles said. "He won't have to sit out."

Unfortunately for the Tigers, Miles was singing something of a different tune when speaking to the media Tuesday. Per CBSSports.com RapidReporter Glenn Guilbeau, Miles admitted that the issue could result in Shepard's suspension for the opener against Oregon, saying it was too early to know one way or the other.

"It's premature at this point," he said, adding this typically Miles-ian gem: "When I know more, I'll be forthcoming. Or I won't be forthcoming, and I'll be honestly deceptive."

For his part, Shepard maintained -- as he always has -- that he wasn't sure what would come of the inquiry into his off-campus living arrangement, saying he could miss "the first game or more games, I don’t know."

If the Bayou Bengals were facing Tulane or some other paycheck patsy in their opener, they'd be able to get by without their third-leading receiver and fourth-leading rusher from a year ago. And they may be able to get by the Ducks all the same.

But facing the prospect of keeping up with one of the most loaded offenses in the country, the stop-start LSU attack will likely need all hands on deck--meaning the next couple of weeks will keep everyone in Baton Rouge on the sharpest of pins and needles.

Posted on: August 17, 2011 9:38 am

16-year-old running with Noles' first-team OL

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

What were you doing in the final days leading up to your 17th birthday? Maybe something honorable and/or productive. But more likely it was something roughly similar to what this blogger was doing: playing six hours of video games a day and slowly snapping my way through a whole case of Slim Jims.

Florida State true freshman Bobby Hart, however, is not like you or me. Per CBSSports.com RapidReporter Jim Henry, Hart is currently practicting with the Seminoles' first-team offensive line at right tackle ... even though he's still just 16 years old. Hart turns 17 later this week.

If you're thinking that as talented as Hart might be, it's not the best sign for the Seminoles that a player quite that young is already receiving first-team reps, you're not wrong. The Noles have been hit with a wave of injuries on their offensive front, one severe enough that Jimbo Fisher pushed a scrimmage scheduled for Tuesday back to Wednesday.

Thanks to the injuries -- which have senior starting tackles Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders both out of commission -- Hart is just one of three first-year players to line up on the current FSU first-team, alongside fellow true frosh Austin Barron and JUCO transfer Jacob Fahrenkrug. Pleased as he might be by his youngsters' efforts, Fisher will no doubt be hoping Hart won't still be in his team's first string come the opening of practice.

But even if Hart's youth suggests he might not be ready, his recruiting profile suggests he maybe will be. One of the top tackle prospects in the nation coming out of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.)'s St. Thomas Aquinas, Hart already checks in at a robust 6'5", 303 pounds and had offers from schools across the nation before choosing FSU.

So it won't be optimal if the Noles wind up with a 17-year-old just days removed from his last birthday starting at right tackle. But as quickly as Hart seems to have adjusted to the college game and as much as upside as he possesses at his tender age, it may not be the end of the world, either.

Posted on: August 16, 2011 7:20 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 12:21 am

VIDEO: Cliff Harris's 118 mph traffic stop

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

What we already knew was that Oregon All-American cornerback Cliff Harris had topped a long string of traffic incidents with a 4:30 a.m. June citation for driving 118 miles-per-hour on the Interstate to Eugene--in a UO employee's rented Nissan Altima, no less. The resulting fine brought Harris's total owed to various government agencies to somewhere between $6,000 and $8,500.

What we didn't know was that the incident could have been even worse for Harris, as this dashboard video obtained by Oregon TV station KATU shows. The state trooper that pulled the Altima over asks "Who’s got the marijuana in the car?" before Harris responds "we smoked it all." The trooper eventually asks Harris to perform a sobriety test (which he passes), and admonishes both Harris and quarterback Darron Thomas -- also present in the vehicle -- for their responsibilities to the football team. "How do you think [Coach Chip] Kelly would like it if I called him?" the trooper asks.

Harris later says in the video that a cousin in the car had been smoking the marijuana, but he had not. He is eventually cited for speeding and driving with a suspended license, but not for reckless driving.

To get the full details of the video, either read KATU's transcript or watch the video below for yourself:

While the video changes nothing for Harris from a legal standpoint, the previously-unreported presence of both Thomas and (likely) marijuana might change things for Kelly. A suspension or other punishment for Thomas might be on the table. A lengthier suspension for Harris -- already out for the season opener vs. LSU -- might be as well.

In the end, the video does nothing to make the longest offseason of Chip Kelly's career any shorter.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 2:08 pm

Could Lache Seastrunk be squeezed out at Oregon?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Arguably no Oregon football player was as visible this offseason as Lache Seastrunk, even as the redshirt freshman didn't say a word to the press and stayed out of any kind of academic or arrest trouble. (Which is more than can be said for some of his teammates.) Unfortunately for Seastrunk and the Ducks, though, that's the price paid for the former five-star recruit's ties to notorious "scout" Will Lyles, whose $25,000 payment from the Ducks has put Seastrunk at the center of a scandal that threatens to rock the program.

There's no doubt Seastrunk would love to be known for more than his relationship with Lyles and the $25,000 albatross around the Ducks' neck. But according to this breakdown of the Oregon tailback situation by the Oregonian, the arrival of the 2011 season might actually make Seastrunk less visible.

That breakdown can be summarized like so: LaMichael James is the unquestioned starter; Kenjon Barner is the backup; 5'9" true freshman dynamo De'Anthony Thomas is the home-run hitter off the bench; and 227-pound fellow true frosh Tra Carson is the big-bodied change-of-pace sub.

And where does Seastunk fit in? For the first 31 paragraphs of the Oregonian story, he simply doesn't; his name doesn't appear at all until the following note, seemingly tacked on to the article as an afterthought:
It's unclear where Lache Seastrunk, the redshirt freshman from Temple, Texas, fits into the running back hierarchy.
That's about as damning a lack-of-endorsement as it's possible for a newspaper to make. Remember that carries aren't the exclusive province of the running backs in Chip Kelly's offense, either; quarterback Darron Thomas will collect his fair share on the Ducks' numerous option plays, and slot receivers like Josh Huff will take the occasional handoff, too. If the Oregonian's description is correct and Seastrunk has indeed slipped all the way to fifth on the Duck depth chart, he's not going to see the ball in any situation other than the most lopsided of blowouts.

Which is why a second Oregonian writer on the Duck beat (Lindsay Schnell) predicted today that Seastrunk would be seeking a transfer. It would be a stunning development for a player recognized by nearly every recruiting guru in the nation as one of his class's top prospects at any position--and easily the best player in Oregon's 2010 class.

Because of that mouth-watering potential, it's far too early to assume Seastrunk's on his way out of Eugene, or even on his way out of the rotation. Once the rubber meets the road of the new season, all bets are off. One carry at the right time could put an explosive performer like Seastrunk right back in the thick of things.

But after last year's surprising redshirt, the distractions of this offseason, and what now seems like an uphill struggle just to earn the occasional crumb of playing time, the red flags are out and waving for Seastrunk. It would have been unthinkable two seasons ago for a prospect of his caliber to be end-of-the-bench transfer-rumor fodder, but that nonetheless appears to be the way his Oregon career is trending.

Posted on: August 16, 2011 11:30 am

Georgia taking the 'Energy Bus' to Atlanta?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Gene Chizik drew a little bit of attention earlier this year -- most of it of the "wait, what did he say?" variety -- by referring to Auburn's need to ward off "energy vampires."

As it turns out, the concept of enthusiasm-sapping children-of-the-night was borrowed from the book "The Energy Bus," by Jon Gordon, which has recently become a favorite of football coaches far and wide. But even Chizik can't match the devotion to Gordon's philosophy being shown by Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs this preseason.

As reported by the Athens Banner-Herald, that devotion includes an "Energy Vampires" board in the locker room, on which wayward Bulldogs have their picture posted "with horns and fangs added"; "No Complaining" bracelets worn by both team members and staff, Richt included (freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell was even spotted with one in his hair); and a one-on-one conversation between Richt and Gordon in which the author advised Richt -- probably wisely -- to have the Bulldogs read "just one" book in his series, rather than all four.

But for all Richt's commitment, does it necessarily mean the players have bought in? From this description, it sounds like they have:
Receiver Marlon Brown wore a “Get On The Bus” T-shirt last week that on the back had an illustration of a bus with Richt driving it to the Georgia Dome, a place the Bulldogs hope to reach for the Southeastern Conference championship game for the first time since 2005.
So at least the Dawgs appear to be taking Richt's call-to-positivity seriously. Of course, how much that buying-in will be worth on the field is open to debate -- we'd guess Richt would trade it in a heartbeat for a healthy offensive line -- but after two seasons of listless play that at times made it seem like someone was sucking the energy out of the Georgia sideline, it sure can't hurt.

Posted on: August 15, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 4:27 pm

SEC RapidReport roundup, 8/15: Wilson on fire

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Running down everything you need to know from the weekend's news in the SEC, courtesy of our CBSSports.com RapidReporters.

ARKANSAS: Maybe that Knile Davis injury won't hurt the Hogs as badly as expected? That might be the lesson from Tyler Wilson's scorching fall camp, which continued through the weekend after a 16-of-20 performance in the scrimmage in which Davis was injured. Saturday, Wilson hit all 10 of his passes in a skeleton drill and had newly-anointed starting tailback Ronnie Wingo singing his praises. "“He’s taken control of the offense," Wingo said.

Wilson's progress has been helped by a new film system in which the Hogs' practice is shot from a camera at the top of a pole positioned behind the offense. More good news for the Hogs: starting lineman Grant Cook is back at practice and JUCO linebacker Alonzo Highsmith appears to have a starting position locked up.

GEORGIA: True freshman outside linebacker Ray Drew was expected to contribute early and often after picking the Dawgs over offers from nearly every school in the country, but that job became harder Sunday after Drew sprained his shoulder in a scooter accident. He's considered day-to-day.

But the much bigger injury crisis for the Bulldogs is taking place in the backfield--three of the first four tailbacks on the depth chart were forced to miss practice Saturday, including potential starters Richard Samuel and Isaiah Crowell.

LSU: Michael Ford arrived at Baton Rouge as a much-hyped running back prospect, but he was not among the four tailbacks mentioned by Les Miles as being in the starting mix for the Tigers. Those would be Spencer Ware (the favorite), Jakhari Gore, Alfred Blue, and true freshman Terrence McGee, who Miles singled out for some praise. "It's who's got the hot hand a little bit, and right now it would be those four," Miles said.

ALABAMA: Nick Saban sounded less than thrilled with his running game's iffy performance in the Tide's Saturday scrimmage. "At some point in this camp, we need to develop some cohesion,” he said. “I feel like we have power up front, and we should be a better running team." The passing game still has to yet to begin working with one of its key pieces, too, as receiver Duron Carter has not yet begin practicing as the school waits to solve a transcript issue.

But the Tide defense rolls on as expected; Mark Barron is 100 percent after last year's pectoral injury and redshirt freshman OLB Adrian Hubbard drew praise from Saban -- no easy task -- for his pass-rushing potential.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: Via the Clarion-Ledger's Brandon Marcello, Dan Mullen was not happy with his team's Saturday practice and was even more disgusted with the Bulldogs' Monday morning effort, calling the offensive showing "pathetic." Also: though Clemson transfer linebacker Brandon Maye has been expected by many to occupy one of MSU's three vacant starting linebacker positions, Mullen said Maye "has a long way to go to get a spot."

ELSEWHERE: Jadeveon Clowney collected a pair of sacks in South Carolina's weekend scrimmage, but defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson says he's not in line for a starting position just yet ... Florida do-everything tight end Jordan Reed got a look at punt returner over the weekend--and from the sound of things, came away with a shot at the job ... Speaking of punt returns, Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor said he'd take some heat this year if the Tigers' lackluster returns on his watch didn't improve. "It needs to get better or somebody else will be here talking to you," he said. "I'll be spraying fruit at Walmart" ... Tennessee is poised to start a pair of true freshmen linebackers in Curt Maggitt and A.J. Johnson. And while Derek Dooley was pleased with the improved "efficiency" of the Vol offense under Tyler Bray, Bray still completed just 12 of 26 passes (46 percent) in Saturday's scrimmage ... And speaking of errant passing, the three quarterbacks dueling for the Ole Miss job went a combined 7-of-24 in the Rebels' weekend scrimmage.

Posted on: August 15, 2011 1:45 pm

Syracuse's plague of injuries continues

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We're not sure how Syracuse so deeply offended the football gods. But after yet another round of injuries at Saturday's practice, there seems little doubt they have.

The latest victim is redshirt freshman tackle Sean Hickey, who the Syracuse Post-Standard reports went down Saturday with what an MRI showed to be a torn ACL and an additional tear of his lateral meniscus. Hickey will miss the 2011 season.

The good news for the Orange is that Hickey was likely going to be a backup even if he'd stayed healthy, with returning starter senior Michael Ray projected to maintain his position at right tackle. The bad news is that the Orange are nonetheless desperate for backups at this stage, with so many bodies missing from the offensive line that head coach Doug Marrone appeared to get some work in at center at one point. 

As the Post-Standard summarizes:
SU already is missing experience on the offensive line in Nick Lepak (concussion), Ian Allport (concussion) and Jarel Lowery (knee). It isn't certain how long those players will be out. Junior college transfer Lou Alexander has been held out of contact recently with an undisclosed injury, and freshman Nick Robinson also has a concussion.
All in all, 20 players missed the Cuse's second practice on Saturday through injury. But at least lineman Kristofer Curtis wasn't among them; the Post-Standard mentioned that Curtis has been the team's "most impressive newcomer" on the offensive line.

So it's too bad that Kurtis is now also "out indefinitely" with an ankle injury, Marrone reported today. We hope there's a set of pads lying around that might fit the Orange head coach and former Syracuse offensive lineman; he might have to get strapped up just to help his team get through practice.

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