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‘College Football’ Articles

UC Football coach Tommy Tuberville and alumnus JK Schaffer to team up in Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge April 27-29

CINCINNATI – University of Cincinnati Football Head Coach Tommy Tuberville and former standout linebacker JK Schaffer are part of an 11-team field of NCAA head coaches and celebrity alumni set to compete in the eighth annual Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament.

Top national coaches, including Tuberville, Frank Beamer, Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier and many others will hit the links, all vying for their share of the $520,000 scholarship purse for their universities.

Tommy Tuberville (photo by Lisa Ventre, courtesy UC Sports Communications)

The nation’s premier head coach and celebrity golf event will be held April 27-29 at the Reynolds Plantation resort on Lake Oconee outside Atlanta. In the past seven years, the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge has provided more than $4 million in scholarship and charitable contributions.

Tuberville is entering his second year at Cincinnati, leading the Bearcats to a 9-4 mark and a Belk Bowl appearance in 2013. The 18-year veteran coach came to UC after successful stints at Texas Tech, Auburn and Ole Miss.

Schaffer, a Cincinnati native (LaSalle HS), is in his third year as a linebacker with the Cincinnati Bengals. The 2012 UC grad was a two-time All-Big East selection, the league’s 2012 scholar-athlete of the year and a member of three conference championship teams. In 50 games, he totaled 337 tackles, nine sacks, 28 tackles-for-loss, seven INTs, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 15 passes defensed and is one of four players in Big East history to record 100 or more tackles in three different seasons.

JK Schaffer (courtesy UC Sports Communications)

“This event is really a celebration of college football, with National Coaches of the Year, Heisman Trophy winners and celebrity alumni, all representing their universities in a competition for scholarship money for their schools,” said Gary Stokan, president and CEO of the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge main event features pairings that include a university head coach and a celebrity or former athlete from the same school competing in a scramble format against other university teams from around the country. The tournament will be broadcast by ESPN in August and December. Specific dates will be announced this summer.

Over the three-day event, several tournament rounds will be played in addition to the televised round of coaches and celebrities. The field of competitors for the featured round is scheduled to include three former winning teams including Paul Johnson and Jon Barry of Georgia Tech (2011, 2012), Steve Spurrier and Sterling Sharpe from South Carolina (2008, 2009), and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer (2007).

The field of competitors for the featured event is scheduled to include:

 

TEAM

COACH

CELEBRITY ALUM

Alabama

Nick Saban

Mark Ingram

Auburn

Gus Malzahn

Bo Jackson

Cincinnati

Tommy Tuberville

JK Schaffer

Clemson

Dabo Swinney

Steve Fuller

Georgia Tech

Paul Johnson

Jon Barry

2011, 2012 Winners

Mississippi State

Dan Mullen

Fred McCrary

North Carolina

Larry Fedora

Roy Williams

NC State

Dave Doeren

Terry Harvey

Ole Miss

Hugh Freeze

Sean Tuohy

South Carolina

Steve Spurrier

Sterling Sharpe

2008, 2009 Winners

Virginia Tech

Frank Beamer

TBA

2007 Winner

 

The 11 university teams will be vying for the $125,000 first-place prize, with all teams receiving a portion of the $520,000 scholarship purse.

For more information, visit Chick-fil-ABowlChallenge.com.

-GoBEARCATS.com-

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Ryan Koslen; COURTESY UC SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS

South Carolina Gamecocks Football: Black controls Garnet in Spring Game, 28-10

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Black team topped the Garnet for the second-straight season in South Carolina’s annual Garnet and Black Spring game Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Dylan Thompson-led Black squad posted 21 points in the first half en route to the 28-10 victory in front of 36,412 fans. Offense was the early draw as each side drove for a touchdown. Led by Thompson at quarterback, the Black team capped a methodical 10-play, four-minute drive with a Brandon Wilds three-yard run with 7:42 to go in the first half. Just 3:22 later, freshman signal caller Connor Mitch led Garnet on a 70-yard drive to the end zone, highlighted by a 37-yard pass to Shon Carson. Mitch ran or threw on five of the eight plays that knotted the game at 7-7 with 4:20 to play in the quarter. Thompson answered with a 70-yard drive the opened with a 34-yard completion to Jerell Adams and closed with a four-yard touchdown run by David Williams for a 14-7 Black lead. Mitch’s Garnet side struggled on then next drive, which ended three plays in when Jody Fuller fumbled after a 28-yard reception with Chris Moody recovering at his own 31-yard line just at the end of the quarter. Black opened the second quarter with sophomore quarterback Perry Orth throwing an interception, but the defense held Garnet to just a 48-yard field goal attempt from Elliott Fry, who missed it wide right. Black could not convert the opportunity, though, and Garnet took over again with 7:15 left in the half. The drive started with three promising plays, all over 13 yards, but Garnet had to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Fry, though, to cut the Black lead to 14-10 with 3:24 left in the half. Once more, the Black team had the answer. With Thompson back under center, the side needed just 2:59 to go 60 yards for a touchdown. After David Williams rushed for 15 yards on two plays, Thompson found South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley in the end zone for a 30-yard reception that gave Black a 21-10 advantage just before halftime. The running clock in the second half kept things moving quickly. With freshmen quarterbacks Mitch and Orth calling the shots for the Garnet and Black teams, respectively, neither team scored in the third quarter. Orth had the Black team driving late in the period, though. Darius Paulk ran for 13 yards on a pair of rushes, and two plays later Orth found Matrick Belton in the end zone with a 41-yard pass to make it 28-10 Black just 1:01 into the fourth quarter. Sophomore Brendan Nosovitch took over at quarterback for Garnet and led his team down the field, including a 40-yard strike to Sean Odom to set up 1st and goal from the 6-yard line. The defense delivered, though, allowing just a four-yard run to Nosovitch before forcing Garnet to turn it over on downs. Thompson finished the afternoon 8-of-11 for 129 yards and a touch down for Black, while Mitch went 7-of-10 passing for 108 yards. Skai Moore led the defense with four tackles, while Jamari Smith posted the lone interception in the game. 2014 Spring Game Awards Most Improved OL Brock Stadnik DL Deon Green WR’s Carlton Heard Spur Jordan Diggs LB Jonathan Walton TE Jerell Adams S T.J. Gurley CB Brison Williams RB Shon Carson QB Perry Orth Spt-LS Drew Williams Spt-Holder Patrick Fish Freshman-Defense Jonathan Walton Freshman-Offense Connor Mitch / Jacob August Legend Award Marcus Lattimore Everyday Effort Award Mason Zandi – Offense / Mason Harris – Defense Everyday Hustle Award Mike Matulis – Offense / J.J. Marcus & Skai Moore – Defense Everyday Attitude Award Shamier Jeffery & Shaq Roland – Offense J.T. Surratt & Marcquis Roberts – Defense Outstanding Weight Room Brandon Shell – Offense / Darius English – Defense Outstanding Walk-Ons Darius Paulk – Offense / Michael Washington – Defense Harold White GPA Devin Potter (3.9) – Offense T.J. Gurley (3.4) – Defense Landon Ard (3.8) – Special Teams Big Plays – Spring Practice Perry Orth – Offense / T.J. Holloman - Defense Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student/Athlete Representative of the Univ. of S. C. Dylan Thompson Joe Morrison Offensive Player of the Spring Pharoh Cooper Rex Enright Defensive Player of the Spring Abu Lamin Jim Carlen Special Teams Player of the Spring Elliott Fry Ernest Brooks – MVP – Clemson Game Connor Shaw Cap One Bowl – (Big Play Players) Bruce Ellington – Offense / Victor Hampton – Defense –– www.GamecocksOnline.com ––

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF SOUTH CAROLINA MEDIA RELATIONS

Arkansas hires Robb Smith as Defensive Coordinator

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Robb Smith, who was instrumental in Rutgers achieving a stunning college football turnaround that included winning a share of the 2012 Big East championship behind a top-10 nationally ranked defense, has been named Arkansas’ defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

“I’ve been able to watch Robb Smith grow in the profession, and I know he’ll bring in an attacking defensive philosophy that is built specifically to stop offenses in the SEC,” Coach Bielema said. “Robb has been promoted time and time again at every place he’s been. With his background, he captivates a room no matter where he is and players gravitate towards him. He’s demonstrated an understanding of what it takes to build a team into a championship program.”

Robb Smith (courtesy Arkansas)

Smith spent the 2013 season as linebackers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 14 years of collegiate coaching experience, which included four seasons at Rutgers University where he was defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 2012. That season, Rutgers ranked fourth in the nation in points allowed per game (14.2), sixth in rush yards allowed per game (95.2), 10th in total defense (311.6 yards per game) and tied for third in rushing touchdowns allowed (6).

Last season in Tampa Bay, Smith coached second-year linebacker Lavonte David. David was named a first-team All-Pro in 2013, one of just 12 defensive players in the NFL recognized on the first-team defense, after he started all 16 games and recorded 144 tackles, including 6.0 sacks, five interceptions, 10 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, David was the first linebacker in NFL history and third player to register at least 100 tackles with at least six sacks and five or more interceptions in a season, joining Rodney Harrison in 2000 and Dave Duerson in 1986.

The 2012 season saw Rutgers claim its first conference title since 1961 and the fifth in school history. Rutgers allowed just 91 points against seven Big East opponents in Smith’s season as defensive coordinator, which ranked as the eight-lowest total in conference history. The defense held opponents to 95.2 rushing yards per game, which marked only the third time in school history the Scarlet Knights kept the opponent average below 100 yards.

While at Rutgers, Smith coached linebacker Khaseem Greene who became an All-American and was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. As a junior in 2011, Greene switched from safety to weak side linebacker. He led the Big East Conference with 141 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. As a senior in 2012, Greene recorded 136 tackles, including 12 for loss with six sacks, six forced fumbles, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries with two returned for touchdowns. He was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and was named a first-team All-American by ESPN. Greene’s 15 career forced fumbles stand as the NCAA record.

Prior to 2012, Smith served in various capacities on the Rutgers staff including special teams coordinator and linebackers coach in 2011, special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach in 2010 and special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach in 2009.

Under Smith’s guidance, Rutgers became one of the best special teams units in college football. The Scarlet Knights ranked in the top 10 in blocked punts each of his three years coordinating the unit. Rutgers led the country in 2010 with nine blocked punts, tied for second in 2011 with nine and ranked eighth in 2009 with five. While Smith was at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights led the nation with 31 blocked punts. They were also one of the best in the nation in punt and kick returns for touchdowns, tying for fifth with five punt return touchdowns and tying for ninth with four kickoff return touchdowns. Their nine combined spe­cial teams touchdowns tied for the fifth-highest total in the NCAA during that time.

Before coming to Rutgers, Smith worked at the University of Maine as assistant head coach and defen­sive coordinator (2006-08), special teams and linebackers coach (2005) and defensive backs coach (2002-04). Under Smith, Maine boasted one of the top defenses in the FCS, highlighted by the 2006 team that ranked first in rush defense, second in total defense, third in sacks and fourth in scoring defense.

A 1997 graduate of Allegheny (Pa.) College with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Smith was a three-year letterwinner at strong safety. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with Iowa from 1999-2001 and earned his master’s degree in communications from Iowa in 2002.

Born on May 10, 1975, Smith graduated from Leechburg (Pa.) High School. He and his wife, Amy, have two children: Charlie and Jack.

Robb Smith Coaching History

Feb. 2014      Arkansas (Defensive Coordinator/Secondary)

2013              Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Linebackers)

2012              Rutgers (Defensive Coordinator/Secondary)

2011              Rutgers (Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers)

2010              Rutgers (Special Teams Coordinator/Cornerbacks)

2009              Rutgers (Special Teams Coordinator/Outside Linebackers)

2006–08         Maine (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator)

2005              Maine (Special Teams/Linebackers)

2002–04         Maine (Defensive Backs)

1999–2001     Iowa (Quality Control/Defensive Graduate Assistant)

Playing Experience
A three-time letterman at Allegheny College at strong safety

 

Born: May 10, 1975

Home Town: Pittsburgh, Pa.

Family: Wife, Amy; Sons, Charlie, Jack

– ArkansasRazorbacks.com || On Twitter @ArkRazorbacks || Facebook.com/ArkansasRazorbacks –

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Zack Higbee, COURTESY ARKANSAS MEDIA RELATIONS

Six Buckeyes ready for upcoming NFL Draft

COLUMBUS, OhioSix Ohio State Buckeyes are ready for the  2014 NFL Draft:

WR Corey Brown

True senior wide receiver Corey Brown, from Upper Darby, Pa., and Cardinal O’Hara High School, led (or tied) for the team lead in receiving in each of his last three seasons and in the process became just the second Ohio State receiver to have consecutive seasons of at least 60 receptions (David Boston; 1997-98). His 63 receptions in 2013 are the fifth-most in school history, as are his 145 career receptions. His 1,750 receiving yards (14th) and 15 career touchdowns (12th) also rank high among the school leaders. Corey played in 48 games and started 35 times.

RB Carlos Hyde

True senior running back Carlos Hyde, from Naples, Fla., and Naples High School, can be considered among the top running backs in Ohio State history. Tough and durable, he owns the best yards per carry average for a career (6.1), single season (7.3 in 2013) and game (10.2 vs. Illinois in 2013). He has the sixth-most rushing yards in school history – 3,198 – and a handful of Top 5 career or single season totals, including career rushing touchdowns (4th with 37), career touchdowns (4th with 41), season per game rushing average (5th at 138.3 ypg in 2013) and season and career 100-yard games (5th with nine in 2013 and 16 overall, respectively). He played four years (2010-13) for the Buckeyes with 41 games played and 20 starts. In his 20 starts, he averaged 112.1 rushing yards per game and scored 26 touchdowns.

C Corey Linsley

Fifth-year senior center Corey Linsley, from Youngstown, Ohio and Boardman High School, has been the center of attention on the Ohio State offensive line for the past two seasons and earned all-Big Ten Conference honors each year. He made the transition from offensive guard/tackle to center in the spring of 2012 and proceeded to start every game in 2012 and 2013, a stretch of 26 games when the team won a school-record 24-consecutive games. He logged more than 1,600 plays from scrimmage those two seasons and graduated in December 2013 with his degree in economics.

OT Jack Mewhort

Fifth-year senior offensive tackle Jack Mewhort, from Toledo, Ohio and St. John’s High School, was named a first-team All-American by ESPN.com and a second-team All-American by Walter Camp, Sports Illustrated and the FWAA as a senior in 2013. He was the foundation of an offensive line that helped the Buckeyes rank fifth nationally in rushing (308.6 yards per game) and shatter school records for points scored (637), touchdowns (87) and touchdown passes (38), plus score the third-most rushing touchdowns in school history (45). He played in 49 games as a Buckeye and started 39 consecutive games to close his career.

CB Bradley Roby

Fourth-year junior CB Bradley Roby, from Suwanee, Ga., and Peachtree Ridge High School, announced prior to his junior campaign that he would be foregoing a senior season in order to enter the NFL Draft. He was a starter in all 37 games he played in over his three-year playing career with the Buckeyes. He had 44 career passes defended (eight INTs and 36 PBUs) and he ranked third in school history with 226 interception return yards. He was tied for the school record (with seven others) with two career interception returns for TDs. He scored five touchdowns on defense and special teams, and in 2012 he led the nation in passes defended with 19.

LB Ryan Shazier

True junior LB Ryan Shazier, from Pompano Beach, Fla, and Plantation High School, opted to enter the NFL Draft at the conclusion of his junior season. A first-team All-American in 2013, he finished his Ohio State career ranking 15th with 306 total tackles. He ranks sixth all-time in school history in career solo tackles (201) and career tackles-for-loss (44.5) and was on pace to set school records in both had he stayed for his senior season. He led the team in tackles in 2012 and 2013 to join an elite list of players, including James Laurinaitis, A.J. Hawk, Chris Spielman and Pepper Johnson, to lead the team in tackles in consecutive years. He had 15 games with 10-or-more tackles.

###OhioStateBuckeyes.com###

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jerry Emig, Adam Widman; COURTESY OSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Clay Jennings added to Arkansas Football Staff

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas football head coach Bret Bielema announced a few weeks ago the hiring of Clay Jennings as defensive backs coach. Jennings, who earned a reputation as TCU’s ace recruiter, brings 16 years of coaching in the secondary and more than a decade at schools in the state of Texas to the position.

“I’m thrilled to add Clay Jennings to our staff as his experience blends well with our defensive coaches’ philosophy and terminology.” Bielema said. “He was an instrumental part of a defensive unit at TCU known for giving an opposing offense a variety of looks while keeping schemes simple for their own players. In addition, his knowledge of the recruiting landscape in Texas will be a great benefit to our program.”

Clay Jennings

Jennings joined the TCU football staff as cornerbacks coach in January 2008. In his first three seasons with the Horned Frogs, TCU led the nation in total defense. From 2008-10, TCU became just the third program in NCAA history to lead the nation in total defense in three consecutive seasons.

In 2012, Jennings coached Jason Verrett to All-America honors in addition to being the San Antonio Express-News Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Verrett was also tabbed by CollegeFootballNews.com as the nation’s top cornerback. He topped the Big 12 in interceptions (six) and passes defended (22) while being the only player nationally to rank in the top 10 in both categories. Verrett and Greg McCoy, a 2012 draft pick of the Chicago Bears, earned All-Mountain West honors in 2011. Jason Teague was a 2010 second-team All-MWC selection.

Both Rafael Priest and Nick Sanders were first-team All-MWC picks in 2009. Priest was ranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s sixth-best cornerback, while Sanders was tabbed by Sporting News as the MWC’s hardest hitter. The duo also received all-conference accolades in 2008.

Jennings, who has coached six NFL defensive backs, came to the Horned Frogs after serving as the cornerbacks coach at Baylor in 2007.

Jennings worked two seasons (2005-06) as safeties coach at Houston. He helped the Cougars to back-to-back bowl appearances and the 2006 Conference USA championship. In 2006, Cougars’ free safety Will Gulley earned Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year honors while Brandon Brinkley was named to the league’s all-freshman squad.

In his first season at Houston, Jennings saw Rocky Schwartz earn Conference USA third-team all-conference honors and Kenneth Fontennette be named an honorable-mention Freshman All-American by Sporting News.

Prior to his two-year stint at Houston, Jennings spent two seasons (2003-04) as the defensive backs coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, where he helped the Ragin’ Cajuns to a No. 11 national ranking in pass defense. At Louisiana- Lafayette, Jennings tutored NFL players Antwain Spann (New England Patriots), C.C. Brown (Houston Texans) and Michael Adams (Arizona Cardinals).

Jennings also worked two years (2001-02) as secondary coach and recruiting coordinator at Sam Houston State. He helped the Bearkats to a share of the 2001 Southland Conference championship and the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. At SHSU, Jennings coached All-American and Buck Buchanan Award finalist Keith Davis, who just completed his fifth season with the Dallas Cowboys.

Jennings also coached the secondary at Southern Arkansas (2000), Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa (1999) and Morehouse College in Atlanta (1998). At SAU, Jennings mentored Jordan Babineaux of the Seattle Seahawks. At Morningside, Jennings coached first-team All-American Matt Walker.

A four-year letterwinner (1992-95) as a defensive lineman and special teams standout at North Texas, Jennings was a member of the Mean Green’s 1994 Southland Conference championship team and the school’s first NCAA Division I-A squad in 1995. He began his coaching career as a student assistant (1996) and then graduate assistant (1997) at North Texas before moving on to Morehouse.

Jennings is a 1992 graduate of Waco’s La Vega High School and a 1996 North Texas alumnus (Bachelors of Science in kinesiology). Jennings and his wife, Belinda, have two children: son Kirby and daughter Kenzie.

 


Clay Jennings Coaching History

Feb. 2014 – Pres.         Arkansas (Defensive Backs)

2008 – Feb. 2014          TCU (Cornerbacks)

2007                             Baylor (Cornerbacks)

2005-06                        Houston (Safeties)

2003-04                        Louisiana-Lafayette (Secondary)

2001-02                        Sam Houston State (Secondary/Recruiting Coordinator)

2000                             Southern Arkansas (Secondary)

1999                             Morningside (Secondary)

1998                             Morehouse (Secondary)

1997                             North Texas (Graduate Assistant)

1996                             North Texas (Student Assistant)

Bowl Games

2005     Fort Worth Bowl (Houston)

2006     Liberty Bowl (Houston)

2008     Poinsettia Bowl (TCU)

2009     Fiesta Bowl (TCU)

2010     Rose Bowl (TCU)

2011     Poinsettia Bowl (TCU)

2012     Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (TCU)

Playing Experience

1992-95            North Texas

Alma Mater: North Texas (1996)

Born: Nov. 3, 1973

Home Town: Waco, Texas

Family: Wife, Belinda; Children, Kirby and Kenzie

 

– ArkansasRazorbacks.com || On Twitter @ArkRazorbacks || Facebook.com/ArkansasRazorbacks –

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Zack Higbee, COURTESY ARKANSAS MEDIA RELATIONS

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