Player News

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Rutgers OC John McNulty said that sophomore TE Travis Vokolek "made more plays than maybe anyone on our offense all spring."

"He's an excellent ball catcher. What he's improved on is his blocking," said TE coach Vince Okruch, who passes along that Vokolek had little experience at the position coming out of high school a year ago. The 6-foot-6, 235-pounder caught just one pass for 14 yards as a true freshman, but those numbers figure to balloon this coming season. On top of Vokolek's personal development on the field, the expectation in New Brunswick is that the team will be utilizing the two-tight end more frequently than they did in 2017, which should afford a fair number of opportunities to the sophomore if he can continue to make strides in August camp.
Source: NJ.com
May 26 - 3:57 PM

Athlon Sports named Oklahoma senior G Ben Powers to their preseason first-team All-Big 12 squad.

Powers (6'4/314) is one of 15 Sooners to make Athlon's All-Big 12 cut, one of five to land as a first-teamer. This past season, he started 12 games -- 10 at left guard and a pair of contests at right guard. His work for the campaign netted him second-team All-Big 12 honors from the coaches in the conference. Powers will be a player to watch for NFL Draft purposes this autumn.
May 26 - 3:43 PM

The Mercury News' Jon Wilner writes that Stanford junior G Nate Herbig "has the footwork to be a force in pulling situations."

Herbig (6'4/350) had no issues acclimating to the collegiate game coming out of high school, appearing in 13 contests as a true freshman. The big man then took a big step forward last season, when he was named an All-Pac-12 first-team performer for the campaign. While we still have a ways to go before time comes for draft declarations, Herbig figures to be off the board by the end of Day 2 should he come out upon completion of his junior season in Palo Alto.
May 26 - 3:21 PM

Uncommitted four-star 2019 CB Adonis Otney is seriously considering at least six programs.

Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State and Oklahoma are all in the mix for the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Otney. The Volunteers remain in his mental hierarchy even after he earlier decommitted from the program. Rivals analyst Woody Wommack sees the Sooners netting his pledge later this summer, but admits that Oklahoma is something of a "wild card." A rangy, instinctual corner prospect, Otney slots into the Rivals250 as the No. 167 overall prospect in the 2019 class.
Source: Rivals
May 26 - 3:02 PM

Illinois redshirt junior LB Jimmy Marchese and redshirt sophomore LB Drew Murtaugh have been charged with theft after relocating a deer statue to the roof of their apartment complex.

Marchese and Murtaugh allegedly removed a deer statue from Champaign's Scott Park, telling authorities that while walking home on the evening of April 29, they saw "Startled" -- that's the name of the deer-- lying on the ground. At which point they apparently decided that they needed to decorate their apartment complex's roof with the would-be Rudolph. The two young men each face one count of theft between $500-10,000. While the charge could potentially carry jail time, it's exceedingly doubtful that such a relatively minor incident would result in major punishment. Illinois has not moved to suspend either player and we'll roll under the assumption that discipline is being handled internally unless word surfaces to the contrary. To put a bow on this misadventure, Stranger is now residing once more in Scott Park, with Park District Director Joe DeLuce saying that "[w]e think we got it worked out to where it would be a lot harder for anyone to take it out again."
May 26 - 2:06 PM

NJ.com's James Kratch pegged Rutgers sophomore WR Bo Melton as a breakout candidate for the upcoming season.

Kratch writes that Melton "looked the part" of a No. 1 receiver during spring practice while noting that the 5-foot-11, 185-pound sophomore "may be the most explosive skill player on the roster." The coaching staff has been talking the wideout up throughout the offseason, with Scarlet Knights WR coach Lester Erb noting that Melton had "really stepped up his game" during spring play. Rutgers OC John McNulty said that he possesses "different-level speed and ability." Playing as a true freshman last season, he caught just four passes for 83 yards over the course of 12 games played. That output very much looks like it could see a substantial boost this year, especially with speedster Janarion Grant having now graduated from the program.
Source: NJ.com
May 26 - 1:47 PM

Uncommitted four-star 2019 DT Siaki Ika took an unofficial visit to Washington on Friday.

"The coaches made it very clear that I’m high on their board and that’s something that sticks with me," said Ika, who came away from the visit quite impressed with the program in Seattle. The 6-foot-3, 360-pound defensive tackle has locked in an official visit to Washington, though that won't be taking place until Dec. 14. He plans on making use of the early signing window, a good sign for the Huskies given that the scheduled official will fall just about one week before Ika can put pen to paper with his NLI. Last impressions are often best impressions in the recruiting game. As for programs to watch beyond Washington, both Alabama and USC should be considered prime contenders for the pledge. On the 247Sports composite board, Ika ranks as the No. 175 overall prospect in the 2019 class.
Source: 247Sports
May 26 - 1:36 PM

Uncommitted four-star 2019 WR Trey Knox plans on taking official visits to Arkansas, Florida, Notre Dame and Tennessee this summer.

Knox (6'5/218) already has his eye on those four programs for his officials, leaving him one last such allotted visit. That could potentially go to one of Auburn or Alabama, though it should be noted that the Crimson Tide have yet to actually extend an offer to the four-star wideout. Rivals analyst Woody Wommack predicted earlier this month that the Volunteers would ultimately snag his pledge. His size is palatable for early red zone work and he's strong in his routes on top of that, though there are some questions about just how much separation he'll be able to make at the collegiate level, especially early in his career.
Source: Rivals
May 26 - 1:13 PM

Indiana redshirt junior WR Nick Westbrook (knee) was medically-cleared for spring practice.

Westbrook (6'3/215) saw his 2017 derailed before it had barely begun, tearing his ACL on the opening kickoff of last year's opener versus Ohio State. He subsequently received a medical redshirt for the campaign. While he's still rehabbing from that severe knee injury this offseason, all is on track for a healthy return. He was cleared on the medical front prior to spring practice. That the team opted to put him in a non-contact jersey for those practices was in large part a play-it-safe move. During a healthy 2016 season, Westbrook caught 54 passes for 995 yards and six touchdowns.
May 26 - 12:57 PM

On Clemson's freshly released summer depth chart, sophomore RB Travis Etienne was listed as the starting running back.

Etienne (6'0/195) split carries with Tavien Feaster last season, exploding for 776 rushing yards (7.2 YPC) and 13 touchdowns while receiving relatively diluted touches. He finished with 107 totes of the rock for the year. Expect that number to see a significant jump this time around. Feaster and Adam Choice are fighting it out for depth-chart positioning behind the sophomore. Unless one of them makes a monster push in August camp, it looks like this could be Etienne's show during the upcoming campaign.
Source: The State
May 26 - 12:39 PM

Oregon State redshirt senior LB Bright Ugwoegbu was suspended indefinitely at the start of spring practice.

Ugwoegbu (6'2/235) was forced to sit out spring ball in Corvallis due to an unspecified violation of team rules. The redshirt senior linebacker has made 20 starts for his career -- tops among returning players -- and posted 55 tackles (4.5 for loss) and a forced fumble last season. Andrzej Hughes-Murray, Hamilcar Rashed, Kee Whetzel and Kameron Carroll were all receiving extended looks in Ugwoegbu's absence this spring. Just when he might be eligible to return from his indefinite suspension is not yet known.
May 26 - 12:30 PM

Texas received a verbal commitment from 2020 QB Hudson Card.

Card (6'2/170) is the first prospect from the 2020 class to opt in with the Longhorns. His offers list also included Ole Miss, Oregon, Michigan and Arizona (among others). This upcoming season will be his first starting at quarterback for Lake Travis (Tex.), as he had previously been blocked by Matthew Baldwin. Baldwin signed on with Ohio State over the winter. A sign of his athleticism, the dual-threat quarterback began his high school career as a receiver. On the 247Sports composite board, Card ranks as the No. 170 overall player in the 2020 class.
May 26 - 12:14 PM

Ohio HC Frank Solich will be awarded the Tom Osborne Legacy Award at the Outland Trophy banquet in Omaha, Nebraska, on Jan. 9.

The award in question is handed out annually by the FWAA for excellence in areas including integrity, fair play and sportsmanship. This particular award figures to be quite meaningful to Solich, who not only played ball at the university, but also took over for Osborne at Nebraska in 1998. He proceeded to post a 58-19 record up until his firing following the 2003 season. Ohio brought him in to serve as head coach in 2005. When Solich accepts the award in Omaha this winter, it will represent a rare public appearance in the state of Nebraska since he was let go in Lincoln 15 years ago.
Source: ESPN.com
May 26 - 12:03 PM

Uncommitted five-star 2019 T Devontae Dobbs has narrowed his field down to eight finalists.

Dobbs (6'4/270) is aiming to commit to one of Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC, but don't expect him to make his choice in the near future. He fully plans on making use of his allotted official visits. At this juncture, Michigan State may well be the program to beat. 247Sports' Allen Trieu notes that while Dobbs plays tackle currently, his cleanest collegiate fit might come at guard. On the 247Sports composite board, he ranks as the No. 10 overall prospect in the 2019 class.
Source: 247Sports
May 26 - 11:36 AM

Ticket Express, an Omaha ticket broker, will offer refunds of Nebraska tickets bought before June 1 should the program win the Big Ten.

These refunds would not only cover single-game tickets sold, but also season tickets. Nebraska last won their conference in 1999. They were plying their trade in the Big 12 at the time. We're not realistically expecting the Huskers to be ready to rise up quite yet, though they should be competitive.
Source: USA Today
May 26 - 11:27 AM



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