March , 2009

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Draft Tribune: Your Draft Authority

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Archive for the ‘College Football’ Category

Canes’ Shields moving to CB

Posted by Administrator On March - 5 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Receiver Sam Shields, who has had an up and down career on the offensive side of the ball for three seasons, will be moving to defense when spring practice begins later this month.

CaneSport has confirmed that Shields will be moving to cornerback at the start of spring practice, a spot where the Hurricanes need depth and help. The hope is that Shields can develop rapidly at that position during spring practice and, with a full off-season of work, can be a big factor in the secondary when the season begins in August. If he is not ready, Shields has never been redshirted and would be a candidate to redshirt if Miami finds that it is solid enough on special teams to live without him this season. But that will be a late August decision.

Shields has a chance to develop into a good corner because he has shown great aggressiveness and tackling skills on special teams.

Miami has an obvious numbers situation at receiver and the move gives Shield a chance to develop at a position where he might have a better shot of playing in the NFL.

Shields finished last season with only 11 catches for 124 yards, making his biggest impact on special teams as the team’s best flier. He had a couple of major mental gaffes, including a 15-yard penalty for coming too close to a punt returner and another penalty for running onto the field when his personnel group had not been called that was a critical moment in the loss to Florida State.

Shields had 27 catches for 346 yards as a sophomore, a season that included a suspension. As a freshman he had 37 receptions for 501 yards and four touchdowns.

He has started 12 games in his career at wide receiver.

Shields was one of the nation’s top receiver recruits coming out of Sarasota Booker High School. His senior year there he had 67 receptions for 1,201 yards and 22 touchdons.

With sub-4.3 second speed, he has thus far not lived up to his potential at Miami. But with his natural athletic ability and Miami’s needs at cornerback, Shields’ fortunes could turn around quickly on defense.


Rutgers dismisses WR

Posted by Administrator On March - 5 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Rutgers dismissed junior receiver Dennis Campbell from its football program for a violation of team policy.

Coach Greg Schiano did not say how Campbell violated team policy in a release Tuesday evening.

Campbell played in 35 games and caught 25 passes for 307 yards and one touchdown, including 13 catches for 183 yards and a TD last season.

His dismissal comes at a bad time for the Scarlet Knights.

Kenny Britt opted to enter the NFL draft after catching 87 passes for 1,371 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Tiquan Underwood also won’t be around next season after making 40 catches for 494 yards and five touchdowns in his senior season.

Tim Brown will have the most experience among the returning receivers. He had 27 receptions for 565 yards and six TDs last season.


DT Jones to have surgery

Posted by Administrator On February - 25 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Syracuse’s best defensive player will undergo chest surgery after a freak injury in the weight room.

Syracuse says defensive tackle Arthur Jones sustained a torn left pectoralis muscle while lifting weights on Feb. 23. An MRI confirmed the tear, and surgery is scheduled for next week.

The college says additional information regarding Jones’ recovery and activity level will be released as progress warrants.

Jones was a 2008 All-Big East first team selection last season as a junior. He ranks sixth on the Orange career record list for tackles for loss.

Last season, Jones recorded 60 tackles, including 13 for a loss of yards.


MWC wants in BCS

Posted by Administrator On February - 21 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

The Mountain West has gone rogue. The league plans to formally ask its Bowl Championship Series peers for more access to the lucrative postseason system, the league’s commissioner said Friday.

Craig Thompson said his league would be sending “a proposal for change” to the BCS commissioners in the next two weeks. The Mountain West is one of five “non-qualifiying” conferences in the BCS. Automatic bowl berths go to the champions of the six power conferences — Pac-10, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, SEC and Big East.

Thompson was not specific but it is assumed that the 10-year-old Mountain West believes its performance on the field merits some kind of automatic berth. In two of the past four years, it has produced an undefeated league champion (Utah) that has won its BCS bowl. But the Mountain West proposal might ask for one automatic berth encompassing all of the 54 schools in the non-qualifying leagues — Conference USA, Sun Belt, WAC, MAC and Mountain West.

Mountain West administrators have discussed that possibility in the past, as well as a one-game playoff among the two best teams in the 54. The winner would go to a BCS bowl. However, that was all in-house. Nothing formal was presented to the BCS. This week, though, the Mountain West changed its perception from one of a quiet, overachieving conference to radical.

“It’s been building to this point,” Thompson said. “Our presidents feel that our performance in the past four, five or six years warrants inclusion at a different level than it currently allows. They’re saying, ‘What do we have to do on the field, we’re beating people, we’re playing people.’”

Thompson was in Washington, D.C., talking to senior staffers tied to legislators critical of the BCS. Before that, three Mountain West presidents met with BCS commissioners at a meeting this week in South Florida. The league also has hired a D.C. lobbying firm.

“I don’t know if we’re ultimately looking for government intervention,” Thompson said, “we’re looking for public awareness.”

In a stunning announcement, Thompson also said his league had not signed the next BCS television deal with ESPN that runs from 2010-13. A formal agreement with the other leagues was reached in November. A source said the other 10 leagues have either signed the agreement or will sign it.

Currently, a non-BCS team must finish in the top 12 to get an automatic BCS bowl berth. Either that or it must be ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS standings and be higher than a champion from an automatic qualifying conference.


Miami to pull on Brown?

Posted by Administrator On February - 18 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Bryce Brown’s recruitment continues to take on almost-mythical proportions, as now comes word that one school may pull out of the sweepstakes.

Brown, a running back from Wichita (Kan.) East who is the nation’s No. 1 player, has maintained that he is a Miami commitment despite looking at other schools. He already has taken visits to Clemson, Oregon, Tennessee, Kansas State and Missouri, is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to LSU on Feb. 27 and was planning to take his final official visit to Miami on March 3. Brown then was to make public his decision March 12.

But news surfaced Tuesday that if Brown doesn’t sign his national letter-of-intent with the Hurricanes today, Miami likely will cease its recruitment of him. The letter-of-intent Brown was offered by Miami expires at midnight Thursday, and a person involved in recruiting the running back says UM will not re-issue the scholarship offer.

“Everything that Coach [Randy] Shannon is doing here is about team,” a high-ranking source in the athletic department told CaneSport.com, a Rivals.com Web site. “There is always going to be concern about a player or a prospective player who isolates himself as an individual.

“There is a strong chance that a new letter-of-intent will not be offered if he doesn’t sign by Wednesday night.”

Brian Butler, who is handling Brown’s recruiting, told Rivals.com Wednesday that neither he nor anyone in Brown’s family has spoken with Miami since the report surfaced. But Butler feels confident Miami remains a viable option.

“We talked to them right before this all broke,” Butler said. “Bryce talked with Randy Shannon, and Coach Shannon talked to Mr. Brown as well. I guess there was some guy from The AP that talked to somebody from the school and the information was that they were considering dropping Bryce.

“Whether that is true or not, I don’t know. Bryce and Mr. Brown talked to the head coach. I trust Coach Shannon and his word more than an AP reporter. Mr. Brown and Bryce talked to Coach Shannon on Monday and he knows what the situation is, and we’ve not heard anything to change our status with them.”

The letter-of-intent drama was just part of the buzz about Brown on Tuesday. The story took another twist when Brown announced on Butler’s Web site that his final two visits would be to LSU on Feb. 27 and to Miami on March 3. Brown, who uses the Web site as his preferred way of making recruiting-related announcements, also talked about his official visit to Tennessee.

“At LSU, I want to see the offensive game plan, meet the people and get a feel for the city of Baton Rouge,” Brown said in the statement. “[Miami will be] in spring ball, so I want to see how the coaches interact with the players at practice and look at how the new offense is coming along.

“The players and the coaches at Tennessee are fired up down there. I could tell that they are working hard to battle for the SEC title. We talked about how they are going to block different run plays. We also talked about the impact that Coach [Lane] Kiffin had with the Oakland Raiders over the past couple of years, as well as his NFL experience with the St. Louis Rams.”

Brown said Kiffin, the Vols’ new coach, did his best to sway him to sign with Tennessee.

“You can feel the passion that he has to make UT champions again,” Brown said. “He already has proven that he is one of the best offensive minds in football. Coach Kiffin made a big impression on me.”

Threet to Transfer

Posted by Administrator On February - 17 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Michigan quarterback Steven Threet says he has been given his release from the school and plans to transfer.

Threet said in a statement Monday he does not yet know where he will continue his college career.

School spokesman David Ablauf declined to comment.

Threet enrolled early at Georgia Tech in 2007 but transferred to Michigan before fall camp. After sitting out the 2007 season under NCAA rules, Threet started eight games for the Wolverines in 2008.

The 6-foot-6, 230-pounder from Adrian completed 102 of 210 passes for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

Michigan had a 3-9 record in coach Rich Rodriguez’s first season, losing the most games in school history.

(Associated Press)

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