Posted on: September 1, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: September 1, 2011 10:47 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Tulsa's Damaris Johnson was poised to become one of 2011's best stories. But it now appears he'll become one of its most cautionary tales.
Tulsa law enforcement issued a warrant for Johnson's arrest Wednesday, according to the Tulsa World. He will be charged with felony embezzlement following an incident in which Johnson's girlfriend Chamon Jones, a department store cashier, allegedly sold Johnson more than $2,600 worth of clothing for a fraction of its true cost.
Jones was arrested August 26 and Johnson suspended indefinitely by the Golden Hurricane shortly thereafter. As of early Wednesday evening, Johnson had not yet been arrested.
Already in the NCAA record books as the NCAA's all-time leader in both all-purpose yardage and kick return yardage, Johnson was set to put both marks virtually out of reach during his senior season. By padding both numbers and leading Tulsa into a Conference USA title chase, Johnson likely would have become the nationwide star his eye-popping numbers suggest he ought to have been already.
But now the Golden Hurricane have an unfillable hole in their lineup and Johnson has much bigger problems than anything having to do with football. Though he remains innocent until proven guilty, Wednesday's events make it entirely possible that Johnson's stunning career will end just as stunningly after only three years.
Posted on: August 26, 2011 2:49 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 3:53 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
UPDATE: Tulsa has suspended Johnson indefinitely.
Tulsa wide receiver Damaris Johnson does just about everything for his football team, as he's currently the NCAA's all-time leader in all-purpose yards (7,796) and kick return yards (3,417). He also seems pretty good at picking up discounts on clothes at department stores.
According to a report in the Tulsa World, Johnson spent part of his Friday morning talking to the Tulsa police after his girlfriend, Chamon Jones, was arrested early Friday morning on a complaint of felony embezzlement. Jones worked at the Macy's department store in Promenade Mall, and apparently was running a scam with Johnson.
According to the police report, Johnson used Jones' debit card to $2,834.84 cents worth of merchandise from the store on two separate occasions in the last week. Johnson was charged a total of $13.25 for the purchases.
Johnson has not been charged.
“He was brought in for questioning, but released pending further investigation,” said Tulsa police department spokesman Leland Ashley.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 6:29 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Coming out of spring practice, Oklahoma defensive end Ronnell Lewis was penciled in to start for the consensus preseason No. 1 Sooners. And five-star wide receiver signee Trey Metoyer, the top-ranked player in the Sooners' 2011 class, was due to make an immediate impact even in the Sooners' loaded recieiving corps.
With barely more than two weeks before the Sooners' season opener against Tulsa, though, those projections aren't looking so accurate, as neither participated in Thursday's practice. Per CBSSports.com RapidReporter Tim Willert, Bob Stoops told reporters Thursday that Lewis "has some personal matters he's tending to" and that "we'll see" if he proves available for the opener. He added that Metoyer's eligiblity was "still not totally resolved" and again declined to name a timetable for when it might be.
Those statements will only add fuel to the burning speculation that neither Lewis nor Metoyer will be academically eligible to play this season. The Oklahoman reported that Lewis "needed to improve his academics this summer," suggesting that his absence might be due to those academics not having improved enough.
Metoyer, meanwhile, attended a junior college over the summer in order to meet the NCAA's qualifications standards. But according to one report Metoyer won't even be eligible to play for his JUCO. That report is disputed by Stoops' statement and other reports that suggest a ruling is still forthcoming from the NCAA clearinghouse, but in any case Metoyer's eligibilty is still very, very much up in the air.
Even given Metoyer's great promise, any set of wideouts featuring Ryan Broyles will be OK. But if Lewis is ineligible, it's another blow for an Oklahoma defense already reeling from the injury to star linebacker Travis Lewis and the tragic passing of Austin Box--and that wasn't projected to be especially dominant to begin with.
Auburn and Oregon proved last season it's possible to be No. 1 without a top-drawer defense, of course. But it looks like the Sooners may wind up putting that theory to the test A.S.A.P.
Posted on: August 18, 2011 5:18 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 3:45 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Auburn has announced which quarterback has won the battle to try and fill Cam Newton's oversized shoes this season. And that winner is ... Barrett Trotter.
While far from a household name outside the SEC, Trotter is in his fourth year as a redshirt junior and in his third year of offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn's system. Even with only nine career passes to his name, that was enough experience to fend off challenges from redshirt sophomore Clint Moseley and true freshman Kiehl Frazier.
"Barrett has worked extremely hard to earn the starting quarterback job at Auburn University," Gene Chizik said in a statement. "Barrett understands the huge responsibility that comes with being the starting quarterback at Auburn and we are confident in his ability to lead this team."
But if Trotter has to deal with the pressure that comes with that "huge responsibility" (not to mention the shadow still cast by Newton), he's also been handed one of the most gilt-edged opportunities an FBS quarterback could ask for. Going back to his days at Tulsa, Malzahn's quarterbacks have never failed to deliver the statistical goods; even Chris Todd (whose arm strength might be described as "pedestrian" only if you're feeling charitable) somehow wound up setting a school record for touchdown passes and finishing third in the SEC in passing efficiency in 2009 ... and he'd only practiced under Malzahn for the length of one fall camp.
So as long as Trotter remains upright and avoids making enough killer mistakes to get benched -- and given enough time to learn the offense, the more athletic Frazier will look awfully appealing -- he's likely been handed the keys to a statistical fortune. If Auburn can avoid the kind of sub-.500 collapse that afflicted Texas last season, it's a safe bet that many, many more college football fans will know his name by the end of the season.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:42 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
The Watch List season has mostly wound down, but on Tuesday one more individual award announced their watch list for the 2011 season. The Ted Hendricks Award is given annually to the defensive end of the year. Ted Hendricks was a defensive end at Miami, where he was college football's first three-time first-team All-American.
Last season's winner was Clemson defensive end Da'quan Bowers, who led the nation with 15.0 sacks. Other notable recent winners include Brian Orakpo (Texas, 2008), LaMarr Woodley (Michigan, 2006), and Elvis Dumervil, (Louisville, 2005).
Clemson's Andre Branch will try to follow in Bowers' footsteps, while West Virginia's Bruce Irvin and Troy's Jonathan Massaquoi will be trying to repeat impressive 2010 campaigns.
Here is the full watch list for the 2011 season. Players may be added or deleted from the list based on performance until the final watch list is issued in November. The winner will be announced on Dec. 7.
Who is your pick to win? Feel like anyone got left out? Let us know in the comment section below.
Tags: ACC, Arkansas, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boise State, Chip Patterson, Clemson, Defensive End of the Year, Defensive End of the Year Award, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Kansas State, Marshall, Miami, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Non-BCS, North Carolina, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pac-12, Penn State, Pittsburgh, San Diego, SEC, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, TCU, Ted Hendricks, Ted Hendricks Award, Ted Hendricks Award Watch List, Texas, Troy, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, USC, Virginia, West Virginia
Posted on: August 9, 2011 12:18 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 12:20 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Picked in the top two of the Big East by most preseason polls, it is fair to say there are some high expectations of Todd Graham's first year as the Pittsburgh head coach. The school has made the former Tulsa coach the new face of the football program, even using his "high-octane" theme to market the football team at http://www.highoctanefootball.com.
So what exactly does Graham expect from his "high-octane" football?
"Our goal is to run 81 or 82 plays per game, and I believe that as long as we protect the ball, we're going to be able to do that," Graham said as the Panthers opened camp on Monday.
In 2010, West Virginia led the Big East averaging 69.8 plays per game and the Panthers were fifth averaging just under 64. If the new no-huddle attack does produce 81 or 82 plays per game, it would rank them among the top offenses in the nation - where Graham's Tulsa team was a year ago.
There is no reason to think that the Panthers can't achieve their goal with the personnel on the field. Junior quarterback Tino Sunseri, son of Alabama linebackers coach Sal Sunseri, is a fast learner and has reportedly improved with the move to a shotgun formation. All-conference receiver Jon Baldwin may be gone, but Mike Shanahan (43 catches, 589 yards in 2010) and 6-foot-4 sophomore Devin Street will serve as the perfect compliment to the speedy return man Cameron Saddler - who will likely takeover the "Z receiver" position in the spread.
Ray Graham returns after a breakout 2010 that earned him 3rd Team All-Big East honors while sharing the load with Dion Lewis. The high play count will mean that some of the other running backs will need to step up, but there is no doubting Graham's playmaking ability on the field.
The Big East is filled with multiple looks on offense and defense, with no clear cut trend across the league. Seeing how the Panthers "high-octane" system matches up against different defenses will be just one of the story lines to keep an eye on in the upcoming Big East season.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 11:39 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
When last we left former Nebraska quarterback Cody Green and his efforts to find a transfer destination, he was promising to visit USC and take a long look at Lane Kiffin's Trojans.
Either Green didn't end up liking what he saw, or Kiffin decided Green wasn't worth the invite, or some combination of the two -- because Green will not be headed to USC, per this report from Fox 26 Sports. His final two candidates?
"There's two schools, between Baylor and the University of Tulsa," Green said. "They're great schools academically, and that's a big part of it; and offensively, where they're going and in the future, both of those schools are at the peak of their game."That decision's not entirely surprising. With the Trojans boasting four blue-chip quarterbacks already on the roster and a scholarship shortage, USC always seemed like something of a longshot for Green.
But that hardly means Green is settling. Both Baylor and Tulsa -- as he correctly points out -- boast high-flying, quarterback-friendly offenses that Green's four-star arm and above-average mobility should fit into snugly. And both should be more than happy to welcome Green with open arms; while neither is hurting for QB play with the Bears' Robert Griffin III and the Golden Hurricanes' G.J. Kinne around, signal-callers with Green's combination of raw ability and BCS-level experience don't just fall into these programs' laps everyday.
So Green's decision may not wind up making the kind of headlines it would have if he'd headed west. But it should prove a win-win situation for him and his new team all the same.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 3:33 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
As we brace ourselves for the media day onslaught that will begin with the SEC on Wednesday, the watch list season finally wraps up with the prestigious Walter Camp Award watch list. The award is given annually by the Walter Camp Football Foundation to the "Player of the Year. Although it also awards individual greatness in college football, only two of the last five Heisman Trophy winners have also collected the Walter Camp Award.
Two of last year's finalists return to the watch list (Stanford's Andrew Luck and Oregon's LaMichael James) along with many of the usual suspects from the other position-based awards. The list will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists in mid-November, then the winner will be chosen from the finalists and announced on Dec. 8.
QB Matt Barkley, USC
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boise State, Boston College, Chip Patterson, Florida State, Georgia, Hawaii, Houston, MIchigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Non-BCS, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon, Pac-12, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, SEC, South Carolina, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, Toledo, Troy, Tulsa, USC, Virginia Tech, Walter Camp Award, Walter Camp Watch List, Washington, Watch Lists, West Virginia, Wisconsin