The College Football season is rolling along with a bunch of news and notes.
The NFL Draft will get most of the attention this weekend, but there is still plenty going on with football players who are still in college. Believe it or not, there’s still a lot going on in the second half of April, especially as it pertains to quarterbacks. Let’s check out the top stories from the past week.
With the spring game behind them, the Texas Longhorns are still undecided on their starting quarterback. Both junior Shane Buechele and sophomore Sam Ehlinger saw significant snaps last year, and head coach Tom Herman was pleased with both during the spring. However, Herman isn’t ready to name a starter, so the competition will rage on into fall camp. Playing both could make sense, as they have distinct skill sets, but obviously, the Longhorns will probably be better off picking one quarterback for the 2018 season.
The mystery of who posted threatening tweets at Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has been solved. It turns out it was former linebacker Elysee Mbem-Bosse, who says he was never told why he had been kicked off the team last November. He also claims he was “harassed by the university police” and has been dealing with a mental illness. Mbem-Bosse issued an apology explaining his point of view, concluding that he still wants to play football. Of course, it doesn’t look like that will be happening at Michigan.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts did not have a great performance during the Tide’s spring game. With Tua Tagovailoa sitting out due to injury, Hurts had a golden opportunity to cement the starting job just days after his father suggested he would transfer if he wasn’t the starter. However, Hurts was just 19 for 37 for 195 yards throwing the ball with no touchdowns and one interception. Nick Saban brushed off the performance, saying he was “not disappointed” in hurts and putting part of the blame on a poor performance by the Alabama offensive line. Nevertheless, it doesn’t put Hurts in a good position to claim the starting spot when Tagovailoa returns from injury.
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Another quarterback is on the free agent market. Arizona State’s Blake Barnett announced Wednesday that he’ll be leaving the program. Barnett has had a crazy ride in his career. He was a five-star recruit in high school, initially committing to Notre Dame, only to spurn the Irish and sign with Alabama. However, Barnett left the Tide after Jalen Hurts became the starter. In the end, he ended up backing up Manny Wilkins for the Sun Devils and is now looking for a new home with Herm Edwards the new ASU head coach. In an interesting twist, Barnett will be a grad transfer but will have two years of eligibility, so there’s bound to be plenty of interest in him.
Oklahoma thought they’d be getting defensive line help in the form of Notre Dame graduate transfer Jay Hayes, but as they say: “Not so fast my friend.” Hayes said two weeks ago that he’d be heading to Norman, but he’s now had a change of heart and will suit up for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2018. Hayes started 13 games for the Irish last year, including a stellar effort against his new teammates at Georgia early in the year. The Bulldogs weren’t exactly hurting for defensive line help, but they’ll gladly add the 6’ 3’’ 290 lbs. Brooklyn native to their rotation.
New Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt did not give his team a glowing endorsement after their spring game. Pruitt was not impressed with the effort of some of his players and then gave his team a grade of a “D” in terms of how they are adjusting to the schemes of the new coaching staff. To be fair, the first-time head coach took part of the blame, but it’s not exactly what Volunteer fans wanted to hear after their team went 0-8 in SEC play last season. On top of the poor grade, Pruitt also mentioned that the team’s starting quarterback spot is still up in the air. Returning starter Jarrett Guarantano was one of the bright spots in the spring game, but Stanford graduate transfer Keller Chryst will get a chance when he arrives in Knoxville later this summer.