It may be the offseason, but there is still plenty going on in the college football world. Some teams are getting ready for their spring game, while some teams have already put a bow on their spring season. At the same time, plenty of graduate transfers are on the move and in search of a new place to play, meaning there are impact players about to change teams. There is also plenty going on for coaches, who rarely have a chance to enjoy the offseason. Let’s check out some of the latest college football news from the past week.
Can He Play or Not?
There appears to be some kind of discrepancy on whether former Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson will be eligible to play right away when he transfers to Michigan this season. The Wolverines were planning on Patterson being part of the quarterback competition this fall, but now Ole Miss is saying, “Not so fast.”
Patterson figured to be eligible right away based on an NCAA rule allowing that if a player is “a victim of objective, documented egregious behavior by a staff member.” But now Ole Miss is challenging that claim. Patterson put up crazy numbers the first half of last season on a bad Ole Miss team before suffering a season-ending injury. If Patterson isn’t eligible to play in 2018, it will deprive Michigan of the quarterback who many believe will be their starter next season.
Blame the Weather Man
Unfortunately for Michigan, their spring game won’t help to settle their quarterback competition because there will be no spring game for the Wolverines. Bad weather that’s expected in the Midwest this weekend has forced Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa State to all cancel their spring games. Ultimately, the spring game is one of the least important of the 15 spring practices teams are allowed. However, each head coach has expressed disappointment at not being able to play their spring game.
A New Hoosier
Another quarterback who’s on the move this summer is Brandon Dawkins, who is leaving Arizona and announced this week he’ll be heading to Indiana, where he’ll be eligible to play right away. Dawkins spent more than a year as the starter at Arizona before losing his job to Khalil Tate midway through last season.
Turnovers have been a problem for him, as he has 15 career touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. However, he’s also a great athlete who had eight rushing touchdowns last season despite only seeing significant playing time in five games. At Indiana, he’ll have to beat out Peyton Ramsey for the starting job. Ramsey split action with senior Richard Lagow last year, but he is by no means a lock to start with Dawkins coming to Bloomington.
Former Four-Star on the Market
Programs that are interested in adding a quarterback have another option in Nebraska’s Patrick O’Brien. After serving as the backup to Tanner Lee last season, O’Brien appeared to be in line to be the starter in 2018, but that was before Mike Riley was fired and replaced with Scott Frost. With Frost set to run a spread offense, O’Brien’s felt that he wasn’t a good fit for the new system, in large part because of his lack of foot speed.
Just two years ago, O’Brien was a four-star recruit, so he should have plenty of suitors, even though he has to sit out the 2018 season. Meanwhile, the Cornhuskers are now left with just two scholarship quarterbacks who are eligible to play next season, which could put them in the market for a graduate transfer who can bring some experience to the table and compete with the team’s younger quarterbacks for the starting spot this fall.
On the Hot Seat
As spring practice winds down for Texas Tech, head coach Kliff Kingsbury knows that he’s running out of time to get things moving in the right direction. The Red Raiders are 30-33 in Kingsbury’s five seasons at the helm, but just 16-29 in Big 12 play. If he weren’t a former Texas Tech quarterback, Kingsbury may have been fired already, and fortunately for him, he appears to sense that he’s running out of time.
“I understand that what we’ve been the last couple of years isn’t good enough, record-wise,” says Kingsbury. “We have to show improvement. That comes with the territory. Being an alum of Texas Tech, I want it as much as anybody if not more.”