- Florida transfer Ian Silberman gives "O-Line U" a boost at BC, Rich Thompson writes in the Boston Herald.
- Clemson's O-line is seeking answers, Aaron Brenner writes in the (Charleston) Post and Courier.
- Could Brandon Connette be transferring from Duke? CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler has more.
- Jameis Winston had some fun during a rain delay.
- Broderick Snoddy's transition to A-back at Georgia Tech may be complete, Ken Sugiura writes in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Former Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons could be on his way to Louisville.
- Athlon's Steven Lassan looks at which ACC unit is a bigger concern in 2014: Miami's defense or Virginia Tech's offense.
- UNC came in like a wrecking ball. (I'll see myself out, thanks.)
- Pitt's backfield injuries have provided Rachid Ibrahim an opportunity, Jerry DiPaola writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Syracuse added a commitment Wednesday from 2014 kicker/punter Evan Jakubowski, Nate Mink writes in the (Syracuse) Post-Standard.
Year in and year out, the “big three” Florida schools always battle for the top in-state high school prospects. Last year was one of the wildest in recent memory for Florida, Florida State and Miami.
The Gators were able to land commitments from three prospects -- Ryan Sousa, C.J. Worton and J.C. Jackson -- who were previously committed to Florida State. The Noles responded by flipping Florida commitments Ermon Lane and Dalvin Cook. Miami was able to flip former FSU running back commit Joseph Yearby and Florida defensive tackle commit Anthony Moten. The Gators then flipped athlete Brandon Powell the day he was supposed to enroll at Miami.
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- Our KC Joyner makes the case for drafting Teddy Bridgewater .
- AthlonSports' Steve Lassan ranks every FBS coach, including by conference. (No surprise at the top.)
- BC defensive back Dominique Williams shares a Brockton bond with Jay McGillis, Glen Farley writes in the (Brockton) Enterprise.
- Vic Beasley welcomes double-team treatment, plus Clemson's coaches defend their decision to make the QBs live Monday, Aaron Brenner writes in the (Charleston) Post and Courier.
- SportsOnEarth's Matt Brown looks at FSU's repeat chances.
- Kevin Olsen and Gray Crow took snaps at QB Tuesday as Miami returned to practice, Christy Cabrera Chirinos writes in the (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel.
- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Chris Adamski looks at the importance of spring games, in light of Pitt's decision to not hold one.
- Former Syracuse lineman Justin Outten, now a high school coach in Houston, got his team to help him propose to his girlfriend, as Nate Mink writes in the (Syracuse) Post-Standard. (Video included)
Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston, less than two years removed from finishing his senior year, will have his No. 8 jersey retired by Hueytown (Ala.) High School this summer, according to a report.
Winston graduated in 2012, red-shirted at FSU that fall and has since led the Seminoles to the national championship while winning the Heisman Trophy.
Hueytown coach Mark Stephens told AL.com that the school would retire Winston's jersey this summer so there would be no conflicts with his football or baseball schedules at FSU. Winston also is a pitcher and an outfielder for the Seminoles.
"Him playing football and baseball makes it tough," Stephens said. "I spoke with that gentleman a little over a month ago and he said that Jameis has had one weekend off since football started last fall. But we're going to get it done."
"Center is like quarterback,” Fisher said. “You can move guards, tackles, receivers. Centers and quarterbacks, that's a learned profession and you have to have as many as you can. We’re just doing things to develop backups and get other guys snaps.”
Through the spring, Fisher has mixed and matched his offensive line so his five starters have at least an elementary knowledge of playing more than one position on the line. It’s not limited to just the maulers up front either, as Fisher routinely cross-trains his linebackers and defensive backs.
Jalen Ramsey could play three positions in the secondary this fall. The same goes for defensive back Nate Andrews. Several Seminoles linebackers are receiving work at multiple positions.
Cross-training his players is not simply Fisher guarding against a series of injuries that would cause him to revamp his offensive line or back seven on defense. Fisher contends it makes a player better at his starting position. The constant formation and personnel changes opponents present necessitates a comprehensive awareness of the entire unit.
Redshirt sophomore Ukeme Eligwe is campaigning for a starting position this spring. He played in 13 games last season, mostly out of position at outside linebacker. A natural inside linebacker, he was uncomfortable and out of his element flanked to either side of the defense. But this spring he is once again playing inside linebacker and is doing so with a better appreciation and understanding of playing in the middle.
“Whatever the call is I know exactly what the outside man is doing and that makes it easier for me to know ‘I don’t have to go over here because he has the flats, and I can drop,’ so I’m glad I moved to the outside last year,” Eligwe said. “Now it’s a little easier. I know the defense a lot more.”
The 15 practices permitted during the spring are the optimal time for Fisher to explore. Coaches have a limited amount of hours of on-field practice time during the fall. Fisher said the hope is he can build a strong enough base in the spring that if and when a player is called upon in a meaningful situation, he can reach back into his library to bring forth the information he filed away five months earlier.
“It’s demanding on them because they have to learn quickly in a short amount of time, but in the long run it’s going to help. Right now you got to cram as much information as you can,” Fisher said. “If you’re familiar with something, it makes it easy to learn it once the package comes out.”
It would be na´ve to believe Fisher is not cramming that same information for his own use. He is interested to see how Ramsey works at nickelback or how Erving responds at center and whether it might give Florida State the best chance to win. The spring is meant for tinkering, but it also gives Fisher an opportunity to appraise his roster and formulate a way to get the best 11 players on the field.
“You don’t know a guy can do this [at a different position] and you can mix and match to get the best personnel on the field in different packages,” Fisher said. “ You’re always looking for that.”
- Jimbo Fisher approves of the new FSU logo, our Jared Shanker writes.
- Despite Deshaun Watson's injury, Clemson's staff probably doesn't second-guess itself for making its QBs live on Monday, Aaron Brenner writes in the (Charleston) Post and Courier. Tough break for former Clemson tackle Brandon Thomas, who tore the ACL in his right knee last week, a month before the draft.
- Bobby Petrino talks to the (Louisville) Courier-Journal's Jeffrey Greer about his return to the Cardinals.
- Al Golden says Ryan Williams will hopefully have surgery on Wednesday, Christy Cabrera Chirinos writes in the (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel.
- Mitch Trubisky is looking to win the UNC QB job over Marquise Williams, Andrew Carter writes in the (Raleigh) News & Observer.
- Pitt football features a mutual admiration society, Sam Werner writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Syracuse will play host to Colgate in 2016, Nate Mink writes in the (Syracuse) Post-Standard.
One week removed from a scrimmage in which he dubbed his team “lazy,” Fisher beamed following Monday’s scrimmage when discussing the Noles’ toughness.
"Much more intensity, more physical, more plays being made. For instance, a guy was covered tight, made a great throw and catch. A guy gets out in the open field, some guy comes flashing out and makes a play,” he said. “Still have to get better, but it was a very physical, good scrimmage."
The message was sent last week that Florida State would not rest on its laurels from 2013. Fisher was laconic after the Noles’ first spring scrimmage, and the few words he had for his team gravitated around the term “average.” He needed to see a renewed toughness in a team that has all the tools to land a place in the inaugural college football playoff. And if the Noles were not going to show that grit, then Fisher felt he might as well be the one to bring it out of them.
The end of practices would be goal-line drills, often the ultimate test of a team’s bravado. It’s the 11 best on offense and 11 best on defense, scrapping for each and every yard. Linebacker Ukeme Eligwe said Fisher told his team he’s going to find out how many of his players are equipped to play for the Noles.
“There was some pops today,” Fisher said.
Sophomore defensive back Jalen Ramsey prides himself on his physicality, and he said the secondary on Monday laid some big hits on the young, inexperienced receivers. Ramsey was impressed to see the receivers -- all but two weighing less than 200 pounds -- get up and jog back to the huddle each time, though.
“Was a lot better intensity out there, a lot better toughness showed by everybody,” Ramsey said. “… Coach told us to step it up, toughen it up, have more competition out there so we really worked on that in practice last week and wanted to show it [Monday] in the scrimmage.”
Florida State is far from a complete team -- injuries and departures have created concerns -- but the attitude the coaching staff is looking for is taking shape.
Asked if this Monday scrimmage looked like a Florida State practice, Fisher once again was short. Except this time, however, he was considerably more affable.
“Yes,” Fisher responded. “Much more that way.”
Fisher was asked his thoughts on the new logo, which will be officially released April 11, following Monday's practice.
"It’s still our Seminole Head. It’s a beautiful head," he said. "It doesn’t change Florida State, what our values are, what our systems are. I don’t see the issue with it."
It was reported last week Florida State planned to change its logo. There were rumors the Seminole Tribe of Florida asked the university to alter the Seminole logo, but both the Tribe and Florida State told ESPN.com that it was a university decision. In a statement released last week, Florida State said the alterations began almost two years ago and the Tribe, student-athletes, coaches, boosters and administration were all consulted. The university had issues reproducing some of the details in the original Seminole logo and asked Nike to help produce a logo that can be achieved on a consistent basis.
That set off a faction of the Florida State fan base, which took to social media to voice its displeasure. The athletic department's official Twitter responded to the negative feedback by telling its followers they can offer their opinions to the school in an email.
"Did I like the old one? Yes. Do I like the new one? Yes. It’s our logo and not drastically that much different," Fisher said. "To me, I haven’t been there that long, but I’ve been a Florida State fan, too, and I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. If the Seminole Tribe is fine with things and they like that, to me, that’s great. But it still doesn’t change our traditions, our values and what we are."
Noles quarterback Jameis Winston is also a fan of the new logo. He offered his thoughts in a tweet.
- BC Interruption's A.J. Black offers his thoughts on BC's spring game.
- Former Clemson stars are assisting in a new fundraising effort, Mandrallius Robinson writes in the Greenville News.
- Count Jameis Winston as a fan of the new FSU logo.
- Bobby Petrino's changes are off the field this time, Jeff Greer writes in the (Louisville) Courier-Journal.
- The (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel's Christy Cabrera Chirinos looks at what's next for Miami after Ryan Williams' injury.
- NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett talks with the Orlando Sentinel's Matt Murschel.
- Pitt running back James Conner calls the pain in his sprained left knee a minor setback, Jerry DiPaola writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The (Syracuse) Post-Standard's Nate Mink looks at what to expect from the tight end position in Year 2 of George McDonald's offense.
Of course, that’s nothing new for Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher. He has signed a junior college player every recruiting cycle since he was named coach in 2010, and that will be extended again in 2015.
“Those guys are making an impact,” Fisher said, “… and we’ve had some pretty good success with our guys here lately.”
That’s a slight understatement from Fisher. Former Noles Menelik Watson and Cornellius Carradine were both second-round selections in the 2013 NFL draft, and Fisher could have another player from the juco ranks taken high in the draft in the coming years. Last week, Fisher said Kareem Are, who enrolled in January out of Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College, is the surprise of spring practice.
Are has only participated in half of Florida State’s practices, but he has seen significant time with the first-team offense at left guard as the Noles battle some injuries and experiment with varying lineups along the offensive line. Senior Cameron Erving has been alongside Are for much of those drills working at left tackle and even some center. Erving said there is a different level of maturity with Are and junior college players in general.
“For the most part the guys we’ve had here that transferred from juco, they’ve come with a different focus,” Erving said. “They were hungry and always felt like they had something to prove. Those guys have always played hard from what I’ve seen, seeing Menelik, seeing Kareem come from juco, seeing guys like [senior Desmond Hollin].
Troy Morrell has coached Butler (Kan.) Community College to three national championships in his 15 seasons as coach. He said junior college recruits are better prepared physically and academically than they were even just a few years ago. Watson declared for the NFL after just one season at Florida State. Coaches are constantly looking for ways to improve their team, and the junior college ranks have a number of able bodies that can contribute immediately.
“They’re going to maybe be more prepared in the classroom. That gives the schools a little more freedom to be able to recruit a junior college kid that maybe they haven’t been able to before,” Morrell said.
“And there’s a tremendous amount of pressure for those big schools to win.”
Boston College (March 12)
Big name: RB Andre Williams. Representatives from 29 NFL teams were on hand to see the nation's top running back from last season. Williams says he improved on his combine 40-yard-dash time of 4.56. Also of note: Nate Freese, who went 20 of 20 last season on field goal tries, did not disappoint in front of his future employers, hitting a 60-yard try.
Big name: WR Sammy Watkins. Watkins stood on his 40 time of 4.43 from the combine but was there to help out quarterback Tajh Boyd, doing little to change the general consensus that he is the top receiver in this year's draft. Boyd said scouts told him his performance was much better than his showings at the combine and Senior Bowl, as he connected on short, intermediate and deep routes with familiar receivers in familiar environs.
Duke (March 26)
Big name: CB Ross Cockrell. Cockrell improved on his combine results, with Duke saying that his 40 time was sub-4.4, which is better than what he ran in Indianapolis (4.56).
Florida State (March 17)
Big name: Where to begin? DL Timmy Jernigan slightly improved his combine 40-time from 5.06 to 5.03. S Terrence Brooks, LB Telvin Smith, DB Lamarcus Joyner and LB Christian Jones all drew a crowd, but they declined to run the 40 in front of reps from all 32 NFL teams, content to sit on their combine performances.
Georgia Tech (March 28)
Big name: LB Jeremiah Attaochu. Attaochu ran drills at both linebacker and defensive lineman, recovering nicely from a hamstring injury in the Senior Bowl that forced him out of the combine. He said his 40 time was in the 4.5s. DB Jemea Thomas also impressed, reportedly running a 4.38 40.
Louisville (March 17)
Big name: QB Teddy Bridgewater. With scouts from 29 teams watching, Bridgewater was off target with several of his throws. He ran an unofficial 4.78 40 time, but the potential No. 1 pick misfired on at least 10 passes, leaving some questions lingering heading into the draft.
Miami (April 3)
Big name: OT Seantrel Henderson. This is the name that is going to stick out, as Henderson did not finish his workouts. His agent later told reporters that it was due to dehydration. With 30 NFL teams represented, quarterback Stephen Morris took a strong step forward, reportedly completed almost all of his 67 throws.
North Carolina (March 25)
Big name: TE Eric Ebron. Ebron stood on his 40 time from the combine of 4.60, but his pro day was marred by several dropped passes, though the always upbeat tight end was not stressed about the drops when speaking to reporters afterward.
NC State (March 25)
Big name: CB Dontae Johnson. Johnson showed his versatility, as he can play corner or safety, and he said he felt better than he did at the combine, where he ran a 40 time of 4.45 and jumped 38.5 inches in the vertical.
Pittsburgh (March 3)
Big name: DT Aaron Donald. College football's best defensive player rested on his combine numbers in the 40 (4.68) and bench press (35 times), but teammates Tom Savage and Devin Street helped themselves. Savage impressed during a scripted 100-throw workout while Street said he ran a sub-4.5 40.
Big name: LB Marquis Spruill. Spruill recovered nicely from a combine snub, weighing in at 231 pounds, nine pounds heavier than his playing weight. He did not disclose numbers. Running back Jerome Smith, meanwhile, said he ran in the 4.5-4.6 range, which would be an improvement over his combine time of 4.84.
Virginia (March 17)
Big name: OT Morgan Moses. A considerably different-looking Moses showed up at 311 pounds, roughly 20 pounds lighter from his playing days with the Cavaliers. After clocking in at 5.35 in the 40 at the combine, he unofficially ran between 4.9 and 5.06 at his pro day, though he pulled a hamstring during one of the runs, forcing him to miss the remainder of his drills.
Virginia Tech (March 19)
Big name: QB Logan Thomas. Thomas remains a fascinating prospect to keep an eye on in the NFL, and he threw well in front of NFL scouts at pro day. Corner Antone Exum impressed as well, running 40 times of 4.53 and 4.55.
Wake Forest (March 17)
Big name: WR Michael Campanaro. After seeing his final year end prematurely because of a shoulder injury, Campanaro, the only Demon Deacon to have garnered a combine invite, again impressed in receiver drills, making his case to become a potential mid-round pick. Nose guard Nikita Whitlock, meanwhile, saw himself lining up as a fullback for the first time in his career. Weather conditions were less than ideal for the NFL hopefuls.
The new logo, which will be released April 11, has been under discussion for almost two years after issues reproducing the Seminole Head.
“The issue was that our Seminole Head, while as recognizable and iconic as any in all of sports, does not reproduce well in a number of mediums,” the university statement said. “It is particularly difficult to embroider and impossible to accurately represent on some materials including at midfield at Doak Campbell Stadium. We believe this image is the best in all of sports and that the result of our efforts will maximize the symbol on a national level.
“The refined logo will allow us to use it more prominently across all platforms including our uniforms, sideline apparel and graphics.”
It was originally rumored the Seminole Tribe of Florida requested alterations to the Seminole logo, but both the Tribe and Florida State said the changes did not come at the Tribe’s behest. Florida State said in the statement Nike helped recreate the logo.
“We tasked Nike for help in refining the logo so that consistency can be achieved without diminishing the identity of the iconic image,” the statement said. “We arrived at a design that can take FSU Athletics into the future.”
- On Thursday, FSU released a statement to USA Today saying that the claims the woman's lawyer has made to USA Today about "our treatment of her client" are "flat-out false."
- Former FSU player Ira Denson was charged as an accessory to a first-degree felony on Wednesday.
- FSU defensive lineman Chris Casher and cornerback Ronald Darby could also be facing school conduct charges in relation to the investigation of Jameis Winston.
- Is a meeting between Virginia Tech and West Virginia in the Hokies' future?
- It could work, 'in theory.'
- Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas still has a lot of work to do.
- With the improvements this spring in Clemson's secondary, the Tigers' defense is almost complete.
- Virginia Tech true freshman tailback Marshawn Williams has already made an impression in Blacksburg.
- Syracuse's Brisly Estime is poised for a breakout season.
- Virginia Tech's defensive line is making progress, but there's still work to be done.
- James Conner and Tyler Boyd are adjusting to their new fame.
- Will Seantrel Henderson ever get it together?
Scene and Heard: Top 10 Predictions
TBD Wofford Georgia Tech TBD Clemson Georgia TBD Boston College Massachusetts TBD James Madison Maryland TBD Elon Duke TBD Georgia Southern North Carolina State TBD Liberty North Carolina TBD Delaware Pittsburgh TBD UCLA Virginia TBD William & Mary Virginia Tech 8:00 PM ET Florida State Oklahoma State