02/18/19 - Josh Jackson, rSo/2021, Maryland, 6-1, 215 (DS#5 QB) Josh Jackson, the former starting quarterback for the Virginia Tech Hokies, is transferring to Maryland. Jackson announced his commitment to Maryland on Twitter Monday night. Jackson has two years of NCAA eligibility left. Although he is coming off a broken leg that derailed his sophomore season, he racked up 2,991 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns and six rushing scores as a redshirt freshman in 2017. The 6-foot-1 quarterback from Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently entered the NCAA's transfer portal and reportedly visited the College Park campus over the weekend. The Terrapins' quarterback situation has been ugly in recent years, but not for a lack of talent. They had to hand the keys to a fourth-stringer in 2016 due to starter Perry Hills and two backups getting injured. In 2017, both Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill tore ACLs, and last year, Hill tore his other ACL after nine games. - Washington Post
02/18/19 - *Kyler Murray, rJr/2019, Oklahoma, 5-10, 195 (DS#2 QB) Now that Kyler Murray has decided to play in the NFL instead of reporting to spring training as a first-round draft pick by baseball's Oakland Athletics, the questions can shift to the Heisman Trophy winner's height. The former Oklahoma star says everyone will get their answer at the NFL combine next week. And that was after Murray listed himself at 5-foot-10 Monday before accepting the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top college quarterback. Murray said being projected as a first-rounder as a quarterback shorter than 6-foot is "crazy to me," while adding he hasn't "seen that since I've been alive." The 21-year-old who was a state championship-winning high school quarterback in the Dallas area said he "wasn't looking very good for the NFL side of things" before his standout season with the Sooners. Murray's only previous college experience was a rough freshman season at Texas A&M. - AP College Football
02/18/19 - *Devin White, Jr/2019, LSU, 6-0, 240 (DS#1 ILB) Previewing the 2019 NFL Combine: A First Round Prototype: Devin White, LSU,...The 2019 NFL draft might be best known for the talent playing along the defensive line but a strong argument could be made that the best defender in the country last season was White, LSU's consensus All-American and Butkus Award-winning linebacker. Despite missing half of the much-anticipated rivalry game against Alabama due to a highly questionable targeting call the week before, White led the SEC with 123 total tackles in 2018, nearly doubling his number of solo stops (62) from his 2017 campaign when he averaged a conference-best 10.2 tackles per game. White earned First Team All-SEC honors after both his junior and sophomore seasons after making the power conference's All-Freshman list in 2016, leaving as one of the accomplished athletes in LSU's storied history. With all due respect to Roquan Smith - the 2017 Butkus Award winner and eighth overall pick last spring to the Chicago Bears - White was arguably the top linebacker in college football each of the past two seasons. As I recently shared with the Los Angeles Chargers, on and off the field, White looks like a future franchise pillar and a rare inside linebacker worthy of top 20 consideration. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
02/18/19 - *Tre Lamar, Jr/2019, Clemson, 6-2, 255 (DS#4 ILB) Previewing the 2019 NFL Combine: Second Day (Future) Starter: Tre Lamar, Clemson,...Sensational freshman signal-caller Trevor Lawrence and a dominant defensive line earned much of the attention for Clemson's second national title over the past three seasons but don't discount the impact their quarterback on defense - Lamar- had on the Tigers' title run. Starting every game for the first time in his three seasons at Clemson, Lamar emerged as one of the top linebackers in the entire country, being named a finalist for the Dick Butkus Award and earning Second Team All-ACC honors with 79 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and three sacks, along with an interception he returned 43 yards. Listed at 6-4, 255 pounds by Clemson, Lamar is bigger than some of this year's top defensive linemen and a classic inside run-stuffing thumper well-suited to a traditional 3-4 scheme. Like the New England Patriots' similarly-built Donta Hightower (6-3, 260), Lamar offers a rare combination of size and speed, offering all sorts of options for a creative defensive play-caller. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
02/18/19 - Sione Takitaki, rSr/2019, Brigham Young, 6-1, 237 (DS#15 OLB) Previewing the 2019 NFL Combine: Third Day Sleeper: Sione Takitaki, BYU,...Teams looking for a diamond in the rough will want to do their due diligence on Takitaki, a reformed "knucklehead" kicked off the team at BYU early in his career who matured into a team captain and all-star game standout as a senior. The 6-2, 230 pound Takitaki is a flashy athlete who earned rave reviews from scouts I spoke to at the East-West Shrine Game and a late call-up to the Senior Bowl, as a result. If teams are convinced that his immaturity is behind him, Takitaki is likely to earn a middle round selection, projecting as an immediate special teamer with the potential to ultimately compete for a starting role, most likely outside in a traditional 4-3 alignment. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
02/18/19 - *Marquise Brown, Jr/2019, Oklahoma, 5-10, 168 (DS#4 WR) Former Oklahoma receiver Marquise Brown will not be able to show off his speed later this month at the NFL scouting combine. According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, Brown recently had surgery to repair a lisfranc injury and will not be able to participate in the combine or Oklahoma's pro day. Brown essentially confirmed the news with a quote tweet response to Schefter. It's possible Brown suffered the injury in Oklahoma's win over Texas in the Big 12 Championship. Brown attempted to play on his injured foot in the Sooners' Orange Bowl loss to Alabama, but was ineffective and eventually was replaced by Charleston Rambo. Despite dealing with a few different injuries over the course of the season, Brown totaled 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in his final season with Oklahoma. He's currently projected to be a first-round pick, although it's unclear how his lack of participation in the combine will impact his draft stock. - Dallas News
02/18/19 - E.J. Price, rSo/2021, Kentucky, 6-5, 305 (DS#999 OT) Kentucky has lost one of its 2018 starting offensive linemen. Rising junior offensive tackle E.J. Price, who started 11 games at left tackle for Kentucky last season, has withdrawn from the university "to pursue other opportunities," a UK spokeswoman confirmed to the Courier Journal Monday. The decision marks the end of a tumultuous two years in Lexington for Price, who transferred to UK from Southern California prior to the 2017 season.
Price briefly quit the team during spring practice in 2018 after sitting out the 2017 season per NCAA transfer rules with a series of eyebrow-raising tweets criticizing the UK coaching staff. He was back on the team two days later and in an August interview with the Courier Journal, he thanked Mark Stoops and his coaching staff for helping him "through a rough patch." On Jan. 26, Lexington police were called to Price's residence for a "reported altercation between Price and his girlfriend" but that no charges had been filed, according to a police spokeswoman. - Louisville Courier Journal
02/18/19 - Merlin Robertson, Fr/2022, Arizona State, 6-2, 235 (DS#3 OLB) Merlin Robertson, last year's Pac 12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, again was limited to conditioning work on the side rather than on-field participation in spring drills. Edwards said his standout was just a little "nicked up" so he was playing it cautious. Edwards said linebacker Darien Butler was also a little dinged up but he participated. "He's a little hard-headed," the coach laughed. - Arizona Republic
02/17/19 - Ashton Dulin, Sr/2019, Malone, 6-1, 210 (DS#59 WR) Since Malone announced plans to shut down its football program on Feb. 1, former Pioneers coach Fred Thomas estimates he has talked to coaches from more than 160 colleges. Coaches from more than 60 different colleges have been on Malone's campus to talk to his players. Malone's student senate has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $1,500 for the Pioneer coaching staff to see wide receiver Ashton Dulin at the NFL Combine on March 1 in Indianapolis. Dulin, who holds just about every school record for receiving and all-purpose yards, will be the first Pioneer to compete at the Combine. Although the event is free to enter, the students want to raise enough money to pay for food, hotels and gas. - The Canton Repository
02/17/19 - Easton Stick, rSr/2019, North Dakota State, 6-1, 217 (DS#13 QB) The success of the FCS powerhouse known as the North Dakota State Bison national champions has Fargo ranking as one of the top cities in the country for college football. WalletHub has recently named Fargo, ND as the third best city in the country for college football. It definitely helps that the Bison have won the FCS national championship in seven of the last eight seasons. You may also notice that the city ranked just ahead of Fargo on the list is Tuscaloosa, AL, which is home to the Alabama Crimson Tide, the FBS powerhouse that has accumulated 17 national championships at that level of their own. That's some pretty good company to be included in. - Hot 975
02/17/19 - Robert Valencia, rSr/2020, Washington State, 6-5, 300 (DS#999 OT) Robert Valencia made the first start of his career in what was supposed to be his last game at Washington State, but now the offensive lineman will have another year of eligibility to play with the Cougars. Valencia, a redshirt senior in 2018, announced Friday on Twitter that he'd been granted another year of eligibility. According to a Washington State official, Valencia was granted an extension of clock waiver because the school proved he had two years of denied opportunity.
A former San Francisco City College offensive lineman who was once ranked the 11th-best junior college tackle in the country by ESPN.com and a four-star prospect by Scout.com, Valencia played in all 13 games for the Cougars last season, primarily on field-goal and PAT teams. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive lineman was the primary backup to Josh Watson at right guard last season. He had his number called when Watson suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury before the Cougars played Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl. - Spokesman-Review
02/17/19 - Rico Bussey Jr., Sr/2020, North Texas, 6-1, 190 (DS#32 WR) One of the big concerns when Seth Littrell took over North Texas' program heading into the 2016 season was if the Mean Green could find enough talented wide receivers to run his spread system. Littrell and his coaching staff quickly alleviated those concerns and have been on a roll ever since. Rico Bussey Jr. was among the top wide receivers in Conference USA last season and was a first-team all-league selection after catching 68 passes for 1,017 yards and 12 touchdowns. Bussey returns to lead a group of talented players that should be among the best in C-USA in 2019. - Denton Record
02/17/19 - Tyler Mabry, Jr/2020, Buffalo, 6-3, 265 (DS#999 TE) Two University at Buffalo football players, including first-team All-MAC tight end Tyler Mabry, reportedly have entered the NCAA Transfer Portal. 247Sports on Wednesday updated its list of players in the portal to include Mabry and running back Emmanuel Reed. A source told the News that wide receiver Charlie Jones is no longer in the NCAA Transfer Portal, while Mabry and Reed are currently in the portal. If an athlete enters the NCAA Transfer Portal, it allows them to communicate with other programs about the possibility of transferring. Mabry had 27 catches for 230 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games in 2018. He had 60 catches for 567 yards and three touchdowns in three seasons at UB; he redshirted as a freshman in 2015. Mabry would be immediately eligible to play for another program as a graduate transfer. - Buffalo News
02/16/19 - *Dexter Lawrence, Jr/2019, Clemson, 6-3, 350 (DS#5 DT) As Clemson continues its investigation into how three football players tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug before the Dec. 29 Cotton Bowl, Dexter Lawrence is looking on with particular interest. Perhaps no one has more invested in the answer to that question than Lawrence, the Tigers' former star defensive tackle and one of the three players who tested positive for ostarine, a banned PED. Lawrence, who was suspended for both the Cotton Bowl and the national championship win over Alabama, is projected as a first-round draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. The 6-4, 350-pounder knows he'll face questions about the failed drug test at the NFL Combine, which starts Feb. 26.
"I do want to know how it got in my system and where it came from," Lawrence said Saturday before an appearance at the Fan Zone in North Charleston. "But right now, they are still doing their research to see where exactly it came from, and they don't know where right now." Clemson coach Dabo Swinney acknowledged last week that the banned drug could have been given to the players by the school itself, by mistake. Lawrence said his plan for questions about PEDs from NFL teams at the combine is simple. "Just tell the truth," he said. "That's all I can do. It was heartbreaking when I heard about it, but it's just life. You've got to be tested sometimes just to bring out your character, and that's how I'm going about it." - Charleston Post Courier
02/16/19 - *Dwayne Haskins Jr., rSo/2019, Ohio State, 6-2, 220 (DS#1 QB) Raised in Highland Park, N.J., Haskins' football sensibilities were honed in Potomac, Md., where he attended the prestigious Bullis School - evolving from a pudgy kid into a dart-throwing quarterback, carrying himself as a quiet leader determined to hit the books and his receivers with equal aplomb. It was at Bullis that Haskins rose to prominence without stepping over anyone else, forging a reputation for academic and athletic excellence as he blazed a trail of inclusion that took him to Ohio State and into rarefied air: He is the top quarterback prospect in the 2019 NFL draft. "Great person,'' Patrick Cilento, Haskins' head coach at Bullis, told The Post. "Great young man, he really is. "He's everything you want a quarterback to be. Never in trouble, loves the game of football, always looking out to make people better. That kind of stuff. He spreads the ball around and wants everybody to be better.'' - The New York Post
02/16/19 - *Jeffery Simmons, Jr/2019, Mississippi State, 6-3, 300 (DS#4 DT) Three draft-eligible prospects who had previously lost the chance to impress teams at the NFL's annual scouting combine in Indianapolis will apparently not be shut out of the process completely. On Friday, the NFL informed teams that Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, Louisiana Tech edge rusher Jaylon Ferguson and Colorado State wide receiver Preston Williams will be allowed to attend the combine in order to undergo the same comprehensive medical exams that other prospects have, which will give NFL teams a better idea of the health of each player entering the league.
The news is particularly relevant for Simmons, a potential top-15 pick who suffered a torn ACL while training for the combine. Both he and Williams were not invited to the combine due to the NFL's policy barring players from the event if a background check turns up a felony or misdemeanor conviction due to domestic violence, sexual assault or weapons charges. Simmons was arrested as a high school senior after a video surfaced of him hitting a woman. Williams pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in 2017. - CBS News
02/16/19 - *Kyler Murray, rJr/2019, Oklahoma, 5-10, 195 (DS#2 QB) Before picking football over baseball, Kyler Murray got some advice from another famous two-sport star. One Heisman Trophy winner to another. Tim Tebow says he told Murray to follow his heart when deciding between the Athletics and pursuing an NFL career. Murray, who won the Heisman last year in his lone season as Oklahoma's starting quarterback, announced Monday he was fully committing to the gridiron despite being selected ninth overall in the 2018 amateur baseball draft.
After arriving Saturday at the Mets' spring training camp, Tebow said he interviewed Murray a few months ago in his job as a college football television analyst and the two have gotten to know each other. Tebow, a former NFL quarterback, won the 2007 Heisman Trophy at Florida. "Kyler, I think he's a really good young man, and I think this was a really tough decision for him," Tebow said. "He loves two sports and I can really relate to that. And he went with something that he's been really good at lately and dominating in. When we talked about it, and we did talk about that, I just gave him the advice to follow your heart. Whatever you're passionate about." - AP College Football
02/16/19 - Chris Nelson, rSr/2019, Texas, 6-1, 303 (DS#33 DT) For newly graduated Texas players Chris Nelson and Andrew Beck, their journey to the NFL may not come with the perks of some higher-profile teammates, but they are putting in the necessary work to make that dream happen. Both went through two years in a bowl-less wilderness under former coach Charlie Strong before finishing their careers with a 17-10 turnaround that included a couple of bowl wins under Tom Herman. As their college careers fade to the background with hopes of making a living at this game, they're preparing for UT's pro timing day on March 27 while five former teammates will travel to Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine on March 1. Nelson had a productive year at defensive tackle with 39 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, but he didn't get a combine invitation.
"From all the word I was getting coming off a great game at the Sugar Bowl and then the Senior Bowl, I was going," Nelson said. "The coaches were telling me they wanted to see me as a pass-rusher. They told me I had some great practices." Beck, a tight end who caught 28 passes for 281 yards and a pair of touchdowns, got a similar message from his conversations at the East-West Shrine game. But no invite to Indy. "I wasn't necessarily heartbroken about not going because I will be at Pro Day where a lot of the coaches will be attending," Beck said. "It's bittersweet because I wanted to go, but the good thing is I will have another month to prepare." - Austin American Statesman
02/16/19 - Zach VanValkenburg, rSo/2021, Iowa, 6-3, 263 (DS#999 DE) owa has added an experienced recruit at a position of need. Zach VanValkenburg, a graduate transfer out of Division II Hillsdale College in Michigan, announced he was committing to the Hawkeyes via Twitter on Saturday. He has two years of eligibility remaining. The 6-foot-4, 265-pounder is versatile enough to play defensive end or defensive tackle, although he played a lot on the edge at Hillsdale. During his redshirt sophomore year last season, VanValkenburg amassed 70 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. He was named the Great Midwest Athletic Conference defensive lineman of the year. A product of Zeeland West in Hudsonville, Michigan, VanValkenburg had 32 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble two years ago as a redshirt freshman. - Hawk Central
02/16/19 - Darrian Beavers, So/2021, Cincinnati, 6-2, 235 (DS#999 OLB) UConn defensive end Darrian Beavers, who led the Huskies in sacks during the 2018 season, will transfer to Cincinnati, an athletic department spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. Beavers is originally from the Cincinnati area and played high-school football just outside the city. After arriving at UConn in 2017, Beavers tallied three sacks as a freshman linebacker, then four more during a sophomore season that saw him slide from linebacker to defensive end. He figured to be part of the Huskies' defensive-line rotation in 2019. - The Hartford Courant
02/16/19 - C.J. Avery, So/2021, Louisville, 5-11, 221 (DS#999 ILB) Watching injured from the sidelines last season gave Louisville junior linebacker C.J. Avery a different glimpse of the defense. "We had a rough year last year," said Avery, who missed three games because of an undisclosed injury. "Seeing how they played from the sideline made a big difference in me and made me see how I can help with being a vocal leader and playing out there with them." That motivation is going to be needed after a 2018 season that broke records - in all the wrong ways. Louisville was the first Power Five team ever to allow more than 50 points in five games in a row. They gave up 100 more points than any other team in school history. The Cardinals finished winless in the ACC for the first time and 2-10 overall.
"Nobody wants to go 2-10, man. You wake up every day and you tell yourself, you can't go 2-10 again. Everything that you do is motivated toward having a better year next here," Avery said. It won't be easy for Louisville. But redshirt senior cornerback P.J. Mbanasor said the players have come out under new coach Scott Satterfield and defensive coordinator Bryan Brown with a lot more positivity and a "refreshed and energized point of view." "I think last year woke a lot of people up as far as players. We've seen how bad it can get, so everyone is motivated to do better," Mbnasor said. - Courier Journal
02/16/19 - Kengera Daniel, rSr/2020, Kentucky, 6-4, 235 (DS#999 OLB) Mark Stoops is preparing to sign a smaller-than-normal recruiting class in 2020. At his 2019 signing day news conference Wednesday, Stoops said he will need additional attrition from his current roster to sign more than approximately 17 players in the 2020 class and stay under the NCAA's 85-man scholarship limit. That number already includes three departures previously unknown from the 2018 roster. Senior running back Sihiem King and senior outside linebacker Kengera Daniel have both left the program after redshirting in 2018, a UK spokeswoman confirmed. Both players could play at another FBS program immediately next season as graduate transfers after finishing their degrees at UK. Junior cornerback Domonique Williams, who appeared in just one game in 2018 in his first season as a junior-college transfer, has also left the team. Those departures leave Kentucky with 10 seniors on the roster for 2019. - The Courier Journal
02/16/19 - Marquill Osborne, Jr/2020, Charlotte, 5-11, 190 (DS#999 CB) Cornerback Marquill Osborne, a former Hough High star who started his college football career at Tennessee, is transferring to Charlotte. Osborne tweeted the news on Twitter on Friday. Osborne, who announced Dec. 7 he was leaving Tennessee, played in 10 games as a junior last season and intercepted two passes against Kentucky. He has one season of eligibility remaining. - The Charlotte Observer
02/15/19 - *Quinnen Williams, rSo/2019, Alabama, 6-3, 295 (DS#1 DT) Previewing the 2019 NFL Combine: A First Round Prototype: Quinnen Williams, Alabama,...With all due respect to quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray (among others), Williams was the best player in college football in 2018. Teams will have to weigh the fact that he enjoyed just one dominant season before making the jump to the NFL but Williams' combination of size, quickness and power suggest he is on his way towards future Pro Bowls rather than proving a fluke. There are few interior defensive linemen who dominated the competition as consistently and completely as Williams in 2018. Former No. 2 overall pick (2010) and five-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh is perhaps the best "recent" example of a player who simply toyed with opponents in the same fashion as Williams in 2018, perhaps why he's held fast to the No. 1 overall pick in my updated mock draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
02/15/19 - *Trysten Hill, Jr/2019, Central Florida, 6-1, 315 (DS#11 DT) Previewing the 2019 NFL Combine: Second Day (Future) Starter: Trysten Hill, Central Florida,...Boasting a combination of leverage and explosiveness that reminds me of a young Jurrell Casey at Southern California, Hill has been grossly underrated in some scouting circles but don't expect that to last much longer. Hill's untraditional build and fall from grace at UCF contributed to his largely being overshadowed in this year's spectacular defensive line class but his talent is obvious once you watch the tape. Explosiveness like Hill's won't go unnoticed by scouts, however, with a Day Two pick possible (and perhaps likely) if he can convince teams that he possesses the maturity to take full advantage of his talent. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com