Archive for the ‘NCAA Football’ Category

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After declaring for the NFL draft on Monday, Kyler Murray must choose between football and baseball. One man who’s been in Murray’s position before, two-sport legend Deion Sanders, knows which decision he’d make if he was in the Heisman Trophy winner’s shoes.

Sanders suggested that Murray, an Oakland Athletics draft pick who’s already agreed to a signing bonus with the team, forego life in the NFL and stick to baseball.

“If I was in his shoes, I’m picking up the baseball bat and I’m not looking back,” Sanders said on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

After saying Murray won’t be able to play both sports because of the demands of the quarterback position, the man known as Prime Time, who was a star in the NFL and MLB, went on to explain why the young phenom should play baseball exclusively.

“That’s tough, at his position,” Sanders added. “I don’t think he realizes the ridicule that you go through once you declare and say, ‘I’m gonna be a football player.’ Now people start talking about your height, your size, what you can’t do. He ain’t dealt with that yet.”

Murray is listed at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, according to the Oklahoma Sooners website.

Despite being considered undersized as a quarterback, Murray is projected by some evaluators to be drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

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Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence announced Wednesday he’ll forgo his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL Draft, in which he’s widely projected to be a first-round pick.

Lawrence was suspended during Clemson’s title-winning playoff run after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, although he denied taking any banned substance.

“We get tested regularly and we know not to do anything stupid or selfish like that,” Lawrence said after being suspended, according to ESPN. “That’s why this is such a shock.”

The 6-foot-4, 350-pounder recorded 37 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss, and 1.5 sacks in 13 games this season.

It’s unclear what effect – if any – the suspension will have on his draft position.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Ohio State vs Washington

Ohio State quarterback and 2018 Heisman Trophy finalist Dwayne Haskins declared for the 2019 NFL Draft on Monday.

The redshirt sophomore finished third in Heisman voting behind winner Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Alabama‘s Tua Tagovailoa, with 46 first-place votes.

Haskins completed 70 percent of his 533 pass attempts this season for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions while leading the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record. Ohio State topped Washington in the Rose Bowl 28-23 after beating Northwestern 45-24 in the Big Ten championship.

In December, the NFL’s college personnel advisory board reportedly projected Haskins would be selected in the first round of the draft.

Pekka Rinne‘s latest victory was one for the record books.

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner backstopped the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 triumph over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, capturing his 320th career win to move past Miikka Kiprusoff for the most all time by a Finnish-born goaltender.

Rinne accomplished the feat in 43 fewer games than Kiprusoff, who retired following the 2012-13 season.

Here’s the leaderboard as far as netminders from Finland are concerned:

GOALTENDER W GP
Rinne 320 580
Kiprusoff 319 623
Kari Lehtonen 301 649
Tuukka Rask 242 458
Antti Niemi 238 453
Niklas Backstrom 196 413
Vesa Toskala 129 266
Antero Niittymaki 95 234
Antti Raanta 73 150
Karri Ramo 60 159

Rinne reminisced about Kiprusoff when asked about the achievement postgame.

“He was kind of the first Finnish superstar goalie,” Rinne told reporters including The Athletic’s John Glennon. “It was nice to play against him, especially when I was younger. I especially tried to watch him play and things like that. So for sure, it’s cool.”

Baker Mayfield spent the last three years proving every doubter wrong while at Oklahoma, cementing himself as a first-round pick in this year’s draft.

However, despite winning the Heisman trophy in his final year in college, the brash quarterback still has those who don’t believe in his abilities.

For those media members who he deems to have “crossed a line” with their criticisms, Mayfield is keeping a list of names as motivation, he told Russell Wilson during filming for ESPN’s QB2QB, according to Robert Klemko of the MMQB.

“It really doesn’t bother me that much because I know the people that say some of these things have never actually taken a snap behind center, never had a 300-pound lineman about to hit them while they have to read the defense downfield,” Mayfield said. “If I was worried too much about it, I’d be worried about the wrong things.

“But I do use some of it as motivation. I can listen to all the people patting me on the back, or I can listen to the people saying I need to get better. I know I need to get better, or else there would be nobody saying that.”

Mayfield is expected to be the third or fourth quarterback off the board on April 26, though he should still land in top 15 picks in what’s a stacked quarterback draft class.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is “firmly in the mix” to be taken No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns after dominating the combine, sources told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

He would be the first running back taken at the top of the draft since the Cincinnati Bengals took Ki-Jana Carter – also of Penn State – in 1995.

Barkley has long been considered the premier prospect at his position but helped force his way into the conversation – which has been dominated by quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen – by producing a great 40-yard dash time and vertical leap.

It remains a question of positional value for Cleveland, however. The Browns have been highly criticized for passing on quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Carson Wentz in years past, so taking a player like Barkley, who plays what’s perceived as one of the lesser-valued positions, could be a risk.

Barkley lit up his final year in college, racking up 1,271 rushing yards, 271 receiving yards, and 21 total touchdowns.

Baker Mayfield hopes to distance himself from Johnny Manziel, but he doesn’t mind following his path to the NFL.

Speaking Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Mayfield said he wouldn’t mind being selected by the Cleveland Browns, and even relishes the opportunity to help the downtrodden franchise.

“If anyone’s gonna turn them around, it’s me,” Mayfield said at his media availability. “They’re close.”

Manziel was a first-round draft choice by the Browns in 2014, but flamed out after two NFL seasons.

Mayfield believes he’s among the most talented quarterbacks available in this year’s draft.

“I’m the most accurate quarterback in this draft, by far,” he said.