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Longhorns’ Ingram poised for breakout campaign

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Longhorns’ Ingram poised for breakout campaign

By Nick Moyle, Staff writer
1 day ago

AUSTIN — All season long there were flashes. At times in 2018, the true freshman from Carthage looked more like a hardened upperclassman than the Cal graduate transfer who served as his guide to college football

Other times, Texas running back Keaontay Ingram looked every bit the part of an overwhelmed teenager trying too hard to prove himself on a stage that can overwhelm and drown even the best recruits.

Tre Watson, the graduate transfer who was UT’s leading rusher in 2018, is gone, leaving Ingram as the undisputed lead back. And the consensus within the program, from coach Tom Herman to running backs coach Stan Drayton to quarterback Sam Ehlinger, is that he’s ready.

“He’s also put on 15, 20 pounds of, you know, what we call armor ... because that’s a violent position, one that takes a pretty good beating,” Herman said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “He understood that he needs to pack on that muscle to try to stay healthy throughout the season, and then I think the second year in the system he’s become a lot more patient. I think he understands also when a run is blocked for 4 yards, go get the 4 yards — don’t try to hit a home run every time.”

Ingram on Wednesday was named to the Doak Walker watch list, a validation of the hype surrounding him on the heels of a season in which he gained 708 yards on 142 carries (5 yards per carry) with five total touchdowns. He also flashed solid skills as a pass catcher, reeling in 27 receptions for 170 yards and two scores.

When asked which offensive players most excited him aside from senior wideout Collin Johnson, Ehlinger’s mind immediately went to the man he’ll be handing off to plenty in 2019.

“Extremely excited about Keaontay Ingram,” Ehlinger said Tuesday. “When you’re a true freshman, it’s hard to fill your full potential. In the spring, he was killing it. I think he’s going to have a good year.”

Ingram will be operating behind an offensive line that lost a combined 132 games of experience with the graduations of Calvin Anderson, Patrick Vahe and Elijah Rodriguez. There is some concern as to how the new-look line will mesh, but Herman is optimistic.

“I think our offensive line if we stay healthy has ... a chance to be as good as we have (had) in our three years here,” Herman said.

If the line holds up its part of the bargain, Ingram could be poised for a true breakthrough campaign in 2019.

Texas stocks

D-line for 2020

What a week it was for Texas defensive line coach Oscar Giles.

On Wednesday, Houston Cy Ridge defensive tackle Vernon Broughton announced his commitment to Texas. The 6-foot-5, 286-pound prospect is the nation’s No. 6 defensive tackle and the state’s No. 10 overall prospect, per the 247Sports composite.

On Thursday, Texas got a commitment from Corner Canyon (Utah) three-star defensive end Van Fillinger. The 6-3, 250-pound Fillinger is Utah’s No. 3 prospect and the nation’s No. 18 strong-side defensive end, per 247.

Giles has coached two Big 12 defensive linemen of the year (Poona Ford in 2017; Charles Omenihu in 2018) since returning to Texas and previously worked with Houston All-America end Ed Oliver, the No. 9 pick in this year’s NFL draft.

Shackelford back

on watch list

Texas senior offensive lineman Zach Shackelford on Friday was named to the preseason Rimington Trophy watch list for the second straight season. The award is presented to the “most outstanding center” in Division I.

Shackelford has appeared in 40 career games with 27 starts, including 10 last season. He is expected to anchor an offensive line that will feature some new faces this season and is one of several players on the team’s leadership council.

“He’s bigger and stronger, I can tell you that,” Herman said of Shackelford. “He’s healthier. He went through some ankle issues early when we got here.

“We think he is as good a center as there is in the country. He’s brilliant when it comes to making the calls. The center is kind of the quarterback of the offensive line, and he’s really the glue that holds that group together.”


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Mack Brown explains why he returned to North Carolina — and why he left Texas


Mack Brown explains why he returned to North Carolina â and why he left Texas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mack Brown made national headlines when North Carolina announced in November he would return to coach the Tar Heels for the 2019 season.

Eight months after that announcement, Brown shed light on the question still burning in everyone's mind: Why return to coach college football at age 67 and after a five-year hiatus?

After joking that his wife Sally would only let him return to coaching at one of three locations — Hawaii, the Bahamas or Chapel Hill — Brown proceeded to say he felt like he had "unfinished business" from his original 10-year tenure at North Carolina.

"When we left (North Carolina), we were fourth in the country, I think," Brown said at ACC Kickoff on Thursday. "We had just won 10 (games) and then won 11. We were recruiting as well as anybody in the country, we were getting most of the guys we wanted out of the state of North Carolina, some out of Virginia, some out of South Carolina and Georgia. We were really on a roll and, because of a lot of different circumstances, Sally and I thought it was best for us to leave at that time."

Regarding his return to UNC — which comes 22 years after first leaving Chapel Hill, and five years since coaching his last game for Texas — Brown said it came down to multiple factors.

"We decided, No. 1, we were not going to live anywhere we didn't want to live. And we love Chapel Hill," Brown said. "We raised our children here ... and some of our kids went to the University of North Carolina. We love the place and we've had a lot of success here.

"And I think as much as anything, I love fixing things, and right now we're struggling. We need to get more people in the seats and we've got to improve our gameday experience. The guys to me are talented, but we have to finish games like we should. ... All of those things are exciting to me."

While addressing media during his news conference, Brown also touched briefly on his stint at Texas, where he went 158-48 over 16 seasons and led the Longhorns to the 2005 national championship.

In talking about what he learned at Texas and what he might do differently at North Carolina, Brown mentioned why he got back in the game — and how that was linked to the end of his tenure in Austin.

"You get into coaching because you love the game and you love the players," Brown said. "And if you're not careful, you win so many games it becomes about the wins more than anything else. And I asked Coach (Darrell Royal), who won three national championships at Texas, maybe 10 years in, I said, 'Coach, why did you quit at 52 years old?'

"He said, 'Because the wins became a relief and the losses became disaster. Devastation,'" Brown said. "And he said there was no joy. And then I looked up and found myself at Texas where if we didn't win all the games, it was my fault and your worth becomes what you do with wins. And you don't realize that while you're there. So I'm going to have fun."


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There Is Nothing Remotely Controversial About Jim Harbaugh's Urban Meyer Comments

July 19, 2019

CHICAGO — More than a day after Jim Harbaugh offered up a few thoughts on a podcast, I’m still looking for the controversy, still wondering how the college football world has nuked the coach’s lukewarm take into something so scorching.

Here’s what Michigan’s coach told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami. Brace yourself. Or don’t. “Urban Meyer's had a winning record,” Harbaugh said on the podcast. “Really phenomenal record everywhere he's been. But also, controversy follows everywhere he's been.”

Let’s see, then: A year after Meyer was being excoriated over how much he knew (which was a lot more than he initially claimed) about the allegations of domestic abuse against former assistant coach Zach Smith, on the heels of the coach’s three-game suspension and eventual retirement, Harbaugh dared to suggest Meyer’s career was controversial. Meyer—the man who spent last fall talking himself in circles until most fans were too dizzy to realize everything he’d ignored, who saw 31 of his players arrested in six years at Florida, 10 of them charged with felonies.

But certainly, instead of taking Harbaugh’s words in stride, or even acknowledging them as accuracy from one of the game’s more bombastic sets of vocal cords, let’s drum them up as controversy. Instead of thinking, wow, a college coach actually speaking the plain truth, let’s expound upon the fact that Harbaugh’s teams at Michigan never beat Meyer’s Ohio State squads—because one must beat another coach in order to point out obvious truths about him, it seems.

By that logic, then, is Harbaugh allowed to point out Meyer’s “really phenomenal record”? Or is that kind of analysis also restricted only to the coaches of the 32 squads lucky enough to put up Ws against Utah, Florida and Ohio State during Meyer’s tenure?


This might be the silliest piece of “news” to come out of college football in 2019, but it also offers a lens into the sport today, where coaching is supposed to be some sacred fraternity where winning trumps morals and the truth is better delivered watered down, or not at all. The Big Ten without Meyer has a controversy vacuum, and so in looking to fill it, we’re creating a hubbub over a coach acknowledging Meyer’s own controversial past. Unpack that.

“I don't think it was anything that was anything new or anything of a bombshell,” Harbaugh said Friday in his morning media availability, when the first question he fielded was about his treatment of Meyer on the podcast. “It's things that many of you all understand and have written about.” Later in the day, he doubled-down, asserting (correctly) that Meyer’s off-field legacy is “well-documented.”

Sure, Harbaugh didn’t need to say what he did. And he knew before uttering that sentence, innocuous in any world but this one, that it would turn heads. Really, it’s just a shame he didn’t have the guts to utter it a year ago, when Meyer was defending his own indefensible conduct. That would have held more weight, but it doesn’t make what Harbaugh said Thursday any less true.

What does cheapen his take is his further treatment of the subject of Meyer—or rather, the coach’s absence. Asked later on Friday if his team has an opening in a Big Ten East without its winningest coach this decade, Harbaugh offered first a stare and then a recalcitrant answer: “That’s something I don’t know.” Strictly speaking, yes, but the coach would have served himself better by doing anything other than playing dumb. Sure, a rookie head coach, or any change that major, might work in our favor. Or even: Ryan Day has proven he has what it takes to keep Ohio State competitive. In part by Harbaugh’s doing, the Big Ten has been Urban vs. Jim for the past four seasons, and his most recent comments extended that rivalry beyond the end of Meyer’s coaching career. So if Harbaugh is going to style himself as a truth-teller, that should extend further than just pointing out the easy critiques.


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College Football Win Totals: Best Bets in the Big 12



Texas: 9.5 (Over +125, Under -145 at William Hill)

A 28-21 win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl meant that we were going to hear “Texas is back” for the entire offseason. And sure enough, we have. But the Longhorns currently enter the 2019 campaign as one of the most overhyped teams in the country, and it’s time to take advantage of that by fading them even before opening kickoff.

Everyone remembers how Texas finished last year, but some may forget how the Longhorns had to scratch and claw just to get to nine wins in the regular season. After losing to Maryland to start the season, Texas snuck past lowly Tulsa at home with a seven-point win. The Longhorns also had one-score wins against Kansas State, Texas Tech and Kansas, none of whom made a bowl last season. And the close games weren’t misleading: Texas was actually outgained in yards per play (the Longhorns defense allowed 5.6 YPP, offense averaged 5.5 YPP last season).

According to Bill Connelly, Texas had a second-order win total of 8.3 last season, meaning that this was the Longhorns’ most likely number of wins based on their statistical profile. Second-order wins measures a team’s luck, and a team with a big difference in actual wins vs. second-order wins (like Texas’s 1.7) means more likely than not that regression is in store.

Then there’s the fact that the Longhorns have to replace a good number of starters. Texas ranks 121st in Connelly’s returning production metric, the worst mark of any Power 5 team. That includes a ranking of 123rd on defense, which makes sense given the entire defensive line, two leading tacklers at linebacker, both starting outside cornerbacks and starting nickel are gone from last year’s team. On the other side of the ball, there will be turnover on the offensive line with three new starters to be broken in (though one is projected to be junior guard Derek Kerstetter, who started 15 games in his first two seasons). Sam Ehlinger also lost top target Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

Ehlinger and freakish 6’6” receiver Collin Johnson are the two biggest names on the offense, while fellow senior wideout Devin Duvernay and sophomore tailback Keaontay Ingram—the team’s second-leading rusher (683 yards on 5.1 YPC) last season—also figure to play big roles. Despite all the talent on offense last year, that unit simply wasn’t explosive, as it ranked 115th in IsoPPP. Texas was tied for 124th in 40-yard offensive plays, and was one of two schools (Central Michigan the other) that didn’t register a 50-yard play the entire season.

Ehlinger’s dual-play capability has both its positives and negatives. His running can open things up for Ingram and freshman back Jordan Whittington, which is needed since the Longhorns weren’t particularly efficient running the ball last season. But because he runs so often (he had five games of at least 15 carries last season), he gets hit often. And that leads to more injuries, like when he was removed from games against Baylor and Iowa State due to hurting his throwing shoulder. Last season, Texas was rescued by the play of backup Shane Buechele when Ehlinger was hurt on the sideline. With Buechele transferring to SMU, the backup duties now fall to redshirt freshman Casey Thompson.

On defense there are more questions, particularly with talented, but inexperienced players expected to start at cornerback and linebacker. Safeties Caden Sterns (a 2018 freshman All-American) and Brandon Jones are the strength of the unit, though the defensive line features a few upperclassmen in the rotation. But even with Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year Charles Omenihu (9.5 sacks) in the fold last season, Texas only ranked 91st in adjusted sack rate. Getting to the quarterback quicker and more often would certainly make life easier for this young secondary.



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Kirk Herbstreit betting on Texas as title contender

ByBRAD CRAWFORD 82 minutes ago


One of the dozen or so teams across college football with legitimate national title hopes this fall, the Texas Longhorns have surfaced as a team to watch just outside the Top 5 according to College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

During Wednesday's early-morning taped segment on SportsCenter, Herbstreit joined Chris Falica and Stanford Steve in a roundtable discussion on who they'd pick as a national championship darkhorse based on preseason odds.

“I love to go to the Kentucky Derby and I’m a horse racing guy, so I hate the favorite,” Herbstreit said. "So in this case, I'm trying to beat the favorite. Because of that, I see value with Texas at 20/1. With (Sam) Ehlinger coming back, he’s got enough weapons led by Collin Johnson. I think this team can make some noise and there’s very good chance they go to Dallas against Oklahoma undefeated.

"If they’re able find a way to win it, look out, because Texas can be one of those teams to keep an eye on.”

The Longhorns' path to the College Football Playoff is cut and dry — beat LSU and win the Big 12 Championship with one loss or fewer and Tom Herman's team is a near lock to get in. The primary question facing this season's team is how quickly the Longhorns can replace their eight departed starters on defense.

Horns247 analyst Jeff Howe on this team's Playoff potential Playoff road:

Since the inception of the College Football Playoff, the Big 12 champion has only been left out twice — in 2014 when Baylor and TCU shared the league crown and in 2016 when Oklahoma was one of two two-loss conference champions. If Texas is able to handle business then things like the Big 12 title game and the CFP will take care of themselves, but Herman is more concerned with keeping his team focused on the process involved in making the journey worthwhile as opposed to what could be waiting for the Longhorns when they reach their destination.

At Big 12 Media Days, Herman didn't mention title aspirations and simply took the one-game-at-a-time mantra, as he always does. External expectations are high, but Herman is keeping his team grounded best he can.

“Obviously, the micro goal is to go 1-0 every day,” Herman said. “You ask me if we have any big goals; the only one I’ll ever talk about is being in the hunt for the conference title in the months of November and December and us knowing that if we play our best, our best is good enough to play with or beat anybody on our schedule.”

Texas came up a few plays short from winning a conference championship last fall before carrying that momentum into the Sugar Bowl and humiliating Georgia, the SEC's runner-up who was favored by two touchdowns.




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Art Briles still doesn't get it: 'I just want to coach football. That's all I'm concerned with'

Yahoo Sports Ben Weinrib,Yahoo Sports 3 hours ago Email

Disgraced former Baylor Bears football coach Art Briles has not been one to totally own up to his mistakes.

Despite apologizing for overseeing dozens of players who committed alleged sexual assaults, Briles says he has been and should be exonerated of any wrongdoing.

Briles’ tone-deaf comments continued in an interview with the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron that ran on Sunday.

“I just want to coach football,” Briles said. “That's all I’m concerned with. It’s all I’ve ever done. I just want to coach football, it doesn’t matter what level. Football is football, and as far as what I want to accomplish, there’s really nothing there other than getting back on the field and working with coaches and players.”

There’s no doubting that Briles wanted to get back to leading a football team since he was ousted from Baylor in May 2016 following an independent investigation of the school’s handlings of sexual assaults. Landing a head coaching job with Mount Vernon High School in Texas gives him a sense of stability after finding it hard to get steady work for years.

But only being concerned with football is what got Briles in this situation in the first place. Putting the well-being of his team (and salary) above that of any other student at Baylor caused irreparable damage.

Former Baylor head football coach Art Briles watches the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears warm up before an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins) Former Baylor head football coach Art Briles will coach at Mount Vernon High School in Texas this fall. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

These comments recall what he said in his introduction at Mount Vernon: “You’ll make no bigger impact in this world than when you shape the lives of young people.”

No kidding coaches have the power to shape young people. Briles just happened to do a terrible job of that. That even dates back to his last stint coaching the high school ranks, when players also allegedly had issues with sexual assault.

Since his initial apology, Briles has changed his tune to say that he felt bad for the “systematic shortcomings at Baylor” rather than his ability to keep players in check over and over again. The way he talks, it feels like he’s a step away from saying that people are trying to just trying to make a buck off his name.

“I’m a football coach,” Briles said. “If you’re in the public eye, then you’re going to have people who are going to doubt you and maybe not want everything to work out for you personally and professionally. But if you know yourself and know your instincts and your integrity, then that’s all you can control. I know who I am, and that is a good starting place for me.”

For years, every school in America knew who Briles was too. But now he — and Mount Vernon by proxy — continues to dig a deeper hole for himself one comment at 

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Position U: Which schools produce the most talent at each position


Clemson's receivers have shirts they wear to workouts with "WRU" emblazoned across the front, a little nod to the pedigree of their position. At present, Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross make for worthy representatives of what they happily claim is Wide Receiver U, the best incubator for pass-catching talent in America. As evidence, they can point to Sammy Watkins, Nuk Hopkins and Mike Williams -- and on and on down the line of greats who built their reputations on the field at Death Valley, then went on to success in the NFL.

Of course, there are a few other schools that might take exception to that WRU moniker. From Julio Jones to Jerry Jeudy, Alabama has been churning out All-Americans like clockwork. And how about Oklahoma State's run from Dez Bryant to Tylan Wallace?


Which school is the real WRU -- or, for that matter, QBU or DBU or O-line U? It's a debate that deserves real answers, so we did the math.

ESPN Stats & Information dug deep into the numbers, culled details on all-conference performers, All-Americans, NFL draft picks and stars from the pro ranks, and came up with a formula to determine the official rankings for the schools best at producing quarterbacks, receivers, tight ends, running backs, linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.


We weighted an All-America nod higher than an All-SEC selection. We had to come up with a metric to determine a player's performance at the next level that would function for all position groups, so we used average Approximate Value over the first four seasons (or fewer, if applicable) in the NFL. We needed a way to account for Notre Dame's lack of conference affiliation, and we used Brian Burke's NFL draft pick values chart to figure out how much more to value a first-round draft pick than a seventh-rounder.

And in the end, these programs are the best of the best at recruiting and developing elite talent and then shipping it off to stardom in the NFL.



Quarterback U

It's only fitting that the most high-profile position is arguably the most interesting in our rankings.

USC narrowly edged Oklahoma as the official QBU, but it's far from clear-cut. USC has reloaded at the position unlike any other program, going from Carson Palmer to Matt Leinart to John David Booty to Mark Sanchez to Matt Barkley to Cody Kessler to Sam Darnold -- all of whom were drafted and four of whom were taken in the first round.

Oklahoma, on the other hand, boasts an incomparable run of truly elite guys, with four Heisman winners (Jason White, Sam Bradford, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) in the past 15 years, and three of those guys went first overall in the NFL draft. It's a slight edge for USC in consistency, but advantage Sooners when it comes to producing the most elite talent.

Perhaps as interesting as the teams at the top, however, is the team at No. 33. That'd be Alabama, checking in just after Syracuse and only a few spots ahead of Delaware. No team has dominated on the field during the BCS/College Football Playoff era quite like the Crimson Tide, but they've done it without elite QBs ... until last season, anyway.

Meanwhile, though the top 10 is full of big names, the team at No. 11 is worth a mention, too: Fresno State. Recruiting the Carr brothers worked out pretty well for the Bulldogs. If we run the numbers for QBU again in 10 years, however, Clemson might be the team at the top. The Tigers currently rank 16th, but with Deshaun Watson, Trevor Lawrence and soon hotshot recruit D.J. Uiagalelei, the current run of superstar quarterbacks for Dabo Swinney is tough to match. -- David Hale

1. USC
Notable players: Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez, Sam Darnold

2. Oklahoma
Notable players: Jason White, Sam Bradford, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray

3. Oregon
Notable players: A.J. Feeley, Joey Harrington, Marcus Mariota, Justin Herbert

4. Texas
Notable players: Major Applewhite, Chris Simms, Vince Young, Colt McCoy

5. Florida State
Notable players: Chris Weinke, Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel, Jameis Winston

6. Louisville
Notable players: Chris Redman, Brian Brohm, Teddy Bridgewater, Lamar Jackson

7. Auburn
Notable players: Jason Campbell, Cam Newton, Nick Marshall, Jarrett Stidham

8. Florida
Notable players: Jesse Palmer, Rex Grossman, Chris Leak, Tim Tebow

9. Texas A&M
Notable players: Jerrod Johnson, Ryan Tannehill, Johnny Manziel, Kellen Mond

10. Ohio State
Notable players: Craig Krenzel, Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor, J.T. Barrett, Dwayne Haskins


Trent Richardson (3) and Eddie Lacy (42) are just two of the numerous RBs to come out of the Crimson Tide's vaunted program. AP Photo/Dave Martin

Running Back U

How deep, talented and productive has Alabama been at the running back position the past two decades?

Perhaps this is the best way to answer that question: Eddie Lacy was Alabama's starter for only one season (2012), but he piled up more than 2,400 rushing yards in his career. He's one of seven Alabama running backs to be selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft, going back to 2000, and that includes a couple of Heisman Trophy winners in Derrick Henry in 2015 and Mark Ingramin 2009. While a handful of schools might stake claim to the Running Back U moniker since the start of the BCS in 1998, Alabama sits atop the throne.

Alabama is one of four SEC schools to make the top 10, and it edged Wisconsin, which has churned out the likes of Melvin Gordon, Ron Dayne, Montee Ball, Michael Bennett and James White in recent years. And talk about backfields loaded with talent. Miami's 2001 stable featured Frank Gore, Willis McGahee and Clinton Portis, and Arkansas in 2006 had Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis in the same backfield. The 2004 Auburn backfield was equally stout, with Ronnie Brown and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, who went second overall and fifth overall, respectively, in the 2005 NFL draft.

One team surprisingly absent from the Running Back U top 10 is Georgia, which has had its share of talented runners over the years. In the past four years, the likes of Sony Michel, Nick Chubb and Todd Gurley have rumbled their way through Athens, but a lack of star power in the first half of the BCS era held the Dawgs back. -- Chris Low

1. Alabama
Notable players: Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry, Shaun Alexander

2. Wisconsin
Notable players: Ron Dayne, Melvin Gordon, Montee Ball

3. LSU
Notable players: Leonard Fournette, Kevin Faulk, Jacob Hester

4. Oklahoma
Notable players: Adrian Peterson, Samaje Perine, DeMarco Murray

5. Miami
Notable players: Frank Gore, Willis McGahee, Edgerrin James

6. Pittsburgh
Notable players: James Conner, LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis

7. Texas
Notable players: Ricky Williams, Cedric Benson, Jamaal Charles

8. Oregon 
Notable players: LaMichael James, Jonathan Stewart, LeGarrette Blount

9. Arkansas
Notable players: Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Peyton Hillis

10. Auburn
Notable players: Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, Tre Mason


Former USC wideout and current Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is one of three 3,000-yard receivers the Trojans have produced in the past 15 seasons. Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receiver U

How did the Trojans get atop this list? Well, USC has eight seasons of all-conference wide receivers, which tied for fifth among Power 5 schools, and the Trojans have five All-American seasons from receivers, which tied for first nationally with Oklahoma State.

Those five All-Americans were huge factors in this ranking, and so were the 17 receivers drafted since the 1998 season, second only to Ohio State's 21. USC also had three receivers taken in the first round in that span.

In the past 15 seasons, USC has produced three 3,000-yard receivers: Marqise Lee, Dwayne Jarrett and JuJu Smith-Schuster. That's tied for first on this list with Oklahoma: Ryan Broyles, Sterling Shepard and Jalen Saunders.

The biggest surprise has to be LSU on this list. LSU has just five all-conference seasons from receivers and one All-American wideout: Josh Reed in 2001. Anemic offense and the lack of a 3,000-yard receiver over the past 15 years make you wonder how of all the Tigers in college football, these were the ones to make it in the top five.

Well, since 1998, 17 LSU receivers have been drafted. Do the names Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry mean anything to you? No one ever said LSU doesn't recruit studs, even if that potential wasn't always maximized in school. -- Edward Aschoff

1. USC
Notable players: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mike Williams, Marqise Lee, Dwayne Jarrett

2. Ohio State
Notable players: Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr., David Boston

3. Florida State
Notable players: Kelvin Benjamin, Rashad Greene, Peter Warrick

4. Oklahoma State
Notable players: James Washington, Justin Blackmon, Dez Bryant

5. LSU
Notable players: Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Clayton, Jarvis Landry

6. Oklahoma
Notable players: Marquise Brown, Ryan Broyles, Jalen Saunders, Sterling Shepard

7. Florida
Notable players: Percy Harvin, Andre Caldwell, Antonio Callaway

8. Michigan 
Notable players: Devin Funchess, Braylon Edwards, David Terrell

9. Alabama
Notable players: Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones, Jerry Jeudy

10. Notre Dame
Notable players: Golden Tate, Will Fuller, Michael Floyd


Former Miami tight ends Jimmy Graham (80) and Greg Olsen (88) have carved out long NFL careers. AP Photo/Mike McCarn

Tight End U

Miami can officially say it is Tight End U. As if the Hurricanes haven't already been making that proclamation, it's now undeniable. Miami has so many big names and impact players at the position, it's hard to deny the program the top spot.

Tight ends have evolved, and there is more value in the position now than ever. Names such as Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen helped make that transition.

It isn't surprising to see Iowa so high on this list either, as the Hawkeyes regularly produce top tight ends year in and year out. In fact, Iowa became the first school to have two tight ends chosen in the first 20 picks of the NFL draft in April, when T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were both selected in the first round. Iowa is a team that could take over the No. 1 spot if Miami isn't careful. -- Tom VanHaaren

1. Miami
Notable players: Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, David Njoku, Chris Herndon

2. Iowa
Notable players: Dallas Clark, Scott Chandler, Tony Moeaki, C.J. Fiedorowicz, George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant

3. Stanford
Notable players: Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz, Austin Hooper, Dalton Schultz

4. Missouri
Notable players: Martin Rucker, Chase Coffman, Michael Egnew, Dwayne Blakley

5. Wisconsin
Notable players: Owen Daniels, Travis Beckum, Lance Kendricks, Troy Fumagalli

6. Oklahoma
Notable players: Mark Andrews, Blake Bell, James Hanna, Jermaine Gresham, Stephen Alexander

Notable players: Bryan Fletcher, Marcedes Lewis, Thomas Duarte, Caleb Wilson

8. Arizona State 
Notable players: Todd Heap, Brian Jennings, Zach Miller

9. Virginia
Notable players: Heath Miller, Bill Baber, Chris Luzar, Patrick Estes, Tom Santi

10. BYU
Notable players: Gabe Reid, Daniel Coats, Dennis Pitta, Jonny Harline


Alabama offensive linemen Jonah Williams (73) and Ross Pierschbacher (71) were both 2019 NFL draft selections. Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Offensive Line U

It's no surprise that Alabama finds itself at the top of this list with Wisconsin a close second. In this research, Alabama had the most seasons with an all-conference player and has had an incredible amount of players drafted since 1998.

The Crimson Tide and Badgers led most of the categories analyzed, and though offensive linemen can be difficult to evaluate individually, when you look at the draft results for both teams, it's easy to see why these two top the list. It will be difficult to dethrone these two programs, but Oklahoma and Notre Dame have been making a big push as of late. The Irish in particular have had a run of top offensive linemen taken in the NFL draft and seemingly have more on the way. -- Tom VanHaaren

1. Alabama
Notable players: Andre Smith, James Carpenter, D.J. Fluker, Cam Robinson, Jonah Williams, Ross Pierschbacher

2. Wisconsin
Notable players: Joe Thomas, Gabe Carimi, Kevin Zeitler, Travis Frederick, Michael Deiter, David Edwards

3. Oklahoma
Notable players: Jammal Brown, Davin Joseph, Phil Loadholt, Trent Williams, Lane Johnson, Orlando Brown, Cody Ford

4. Michigan
Notable players: Jon Jansen, Steve Hutchinson, Jeff Backus, David Baas, Jake Long, Taylor Lewan

5. Ohio State
Notable players: LeCharles Bentley, Nick Mangold, Mike Adams, Jack Mewhort, Taylor Decker, Pat Elflein, Billy Price

6. USC
Notable players: Winston Justice, Ryan Kalil, Sam Baker, Tyron Smith, Matt Kalil, Marcus Martin, Chuma Edoga

7. Notre Dame
Notable players: Luke Petitgout, Jeff Faine, Zack Martin, Nick Martin, Ronnie Stanley, Mike McGlinchey, Quenton Nelson

8. Florida State 
Notable players: Tra Thomas, Rodney Hudson, Menelik Watson, Bryan Stork, Cameron Erving, Tre' Jackson

9. Texas
Notable players: Jay Humphrey, Leonard Davis, Mike Williams, Derrick Dockery, Justin Blalock, Connor Williams

10. Florida
Notable players: Kenyatta Walker, Max Starks, Maurkice Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert, Mike Pouncey, D.J. Humphries, Jawaan Taylor



Defensive Back U

With just a few glances at Twitter during the season, you'll see that Florida and LSU players -- current and former -- and their official football team accounts are constantly bombarding the internet with claims of "DBU."

It actually might be college football's best rivalry over the past few years.

Unfortunately for both schools, they have to take a back seat to the real DBU: Ohio State.

Since 1998, Ohio State has 26 all-conference seasons by defensive backs (tops in the country) and six All-American seasons, which ranks second behind that of Alabama and LSU (eight). Since the 1998 season, 30 Buckeyes defensive backs have been drafted, among them 12 first-round picks, including three -- Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley -- in 2017.

After the Buckeyes, it was a run of SEC teams, with LSU, Alabama and Florida taking spots two through four. -- Edward Aschoff

1. Ohio State
Notable players: Marshon Lattimore, Denzel Ward, Eli Apple, Malcolm Jenkins

2. LSU
Notable players: Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Jamal Adams

3. Alabama
Notable players: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Mark Barron, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

4. Florida
Notable players: Vernon Hargreaves III, Joe Haden, Reggie Nelson

5. Florida State
Notable players: Jalen Ramsey, Derwin James, Myron Rolle

6. Texas
Notable players: Kenny Vaccaro, Earl Thomas, Quentin Jammer

7. USC
Notable players: Adoree' Jackson, Taylor Mays, Troy Polamalu

8. Miami 
Notable players: Kenny Phillips, Brandon Meriweather, Sean Taylor

9. Virginia Tech
Notable players: Kyle Fuller, Kam Chancellor, DeAngelo Hall

10. Oklahoma
Notable players: Roy Williams, Andre Woolfolk, Zack Sanchez


Former Alabama defensive linemen Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne have taken their talents to the NFL and the Washington Redskins. Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire

Defensive Line U

Ask any quarterback in the SEC, and you won't exactly be surprised by our DLU winner. Of course it's Alabama.

The Crimson Tide's defensive front has been tormenting opposing offenses for the better part of the past decade, and the litany of D-line superstars to emerge from Tuscaloosa -- from Jarret Johnson to Quinnen Williams -- includes 12 All-SEC seasons and five All-Americans. Of course, the Dabo Swinney era at Clemson gives the Tide a run for its money. Clemson has had 17 All-ACC seasons from D-linemen, with last season's group -- Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Austin Bryant and Dexter Lawrence -- all drafted, including three in the first round. As much as the playoff battles between the Tide and Tigers have been a staple of college football the past few years, so too might be this battle for the official title of D-line U.

Clemson has a new group of emerging stars, including K.J. Henry and Xavier Thomas, and Alabama inked eight blue-chip D-linemen in the 2019 class, including five-star stud Antonio Alfano.

Perhaps the most surprising name in our rankings is North Carolina, which checks in at No. 12. It hasn't been a great run of late for the Tar Heels, but UNC dominated the early part of this era with names such as Ebenezer Ekuban, Ryan Sims, Julius Peppers, Kentwan Balmer, Robert Quinn, Quinton Coples and Sylvester Williams, all first-round picks.

Looking for the up-and-coming contender for DLU? Try Ohio State, which has had 11 defensive linemen drafted in the past decade and is likely to add another first-rounder in Chase Young next year. -- David Hale

1. Alabama
Notable players: Cornelius Griffin, Antwan Odom, Terrence Cody, Marcell Dareus, A'Shawn Robinson, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Da'Shawn Hand, Quinnen Williams

2. Clemson
Notable players: Gaines Adams, Phillip Merling, Ricky Sapp, Da'Quan Bowers, Jarvis Jenkins, Andre Branch, Grady Jarrett, Vic Beasley, Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd, Dexter Lawrence, Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell

3. Penn State
Notable players: Courtney Brown, Anthony Adams, Michael Haynes, Jimmy Kennedy, Tamba Hali, Aaron Maybin, Jared Odrick, Devon Still, Carl Nassib, Austin Johnson

4. LSU
Notable players: Booger McFarland, Marcus Spears, Kyle Williams, Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson, Arden Key, Michael Brockers, Benny Logan

5. Florida State
Notable players: Corey Simon, Jamal Reynolds, Darnell Dockett, Travis Johnson, Brodrick Bunkley, Everette Brown, Tank Carradine, Timmy Jernigan, Bjoern Werner, Eddie Goldman, Mario Edwards Jr., DeMarcus Walker, Brian Burns

6. Ohio State
Notable players: Mike Vrabel, Ryan Pickett, Will Smith, Cam Heyward, Johnathan Hankins, Adolphus Washington, Joey Bosa, Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, Dre'Mont Jones, Nick Bosa, Chase Young

7. Texas
Notable players: Shaun Rogers, Casey Hampton, Cory Redding, Marcus Tubbs, Tim Crowder, Brian Orakpo, Lamar Houston, Malcolm Brown

8. Florida 
Notable players: Jevon Kearse, Gerard Warren, Jarvis Moss, Derrick Harvey, Carlos Dunlap, Sharrif Floyd, Dominique Easley, Taven Bryan, Jachai Polite

9. USC
Notable players: Kenechi Udeze, Shaun Cody, Mike Patterson, Frostee Rucker, Lawrence Jackson, Sedrick Ellis, Everson Griffen, Leonard Williams

10. Tennessee
Notable players: Darwin Walker, Shaun Ellis, Albert Haynesworth, John Henderson, Justin Harrell, Dan Williams, Derek Barnett


Roquan Smith is the latest in a long line of Georgia linebackers to find NFL success. Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Linebacker U

It's hard not to be mesmerized by all of the talent Georgia has produced at running back dating to Herschel Walker, arguably the greatest player to ever play in the SEC.

But when you glance across at the other side of the ball, the Bulldogs have been equally blessed at linebacker. In the past five years, they have produced seven NFL draft picks at either inside or outside linebacker. Go back seven years, and that number jumps to 10 linebackers taken in the NFL draft, including four first-rounders.

Historically, the Linebacker U tag might have been reserved for Penn State, and the Nittany Lions are still up there. But the Dawgs claim the top spot since the start of the BCS in 1998, thanks to their array of run-stuffing inside linebackers, pass-rushing specialists on the outside and do-it-all guys cut from the mold of Boss Bailey, who was the heartbeat of the 2002 Georgia defense that ranked fourth nationally in scoring.

Georgia finished just ahead of SEC counterpart Alabama, which has also produced great linebackers over the years. Good luck finding a more versatile linebacker in recent years than C.J. Mosley, one of nine Alabama linebackers to be picked in the NFL draft in the past six years. Speaking of Penn State, it's hard to find a more decorated trio at one school in the past 20 years than LaVar Arrington, Paul Posluszny and Dan Connor, though the folks at Ohio State would be quick to counter with such legendary names as Andy Katzenmoyer, James Laurinaitis and A.J. Hawk. -- Chris Low

1. Georgia
Notable players: Roquan Smith, Justin Houston, Alec Ogletree

2. Alabama
Notable players: C.J. Mosley, Rolando McClain, Dont'a Hightower

3. Ohio State
Notable players: A.J. Hawk, Andy Katzenmoyer, James Laurinaitis

4. USC
Notable players: Rey Maualuga, Clay Matthews, Chris Claiborne

5. Penn State
Notable players: LaVar Arrington, Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor

6. Oklahoma
Notable players: Curtis Lofton, Teddy Lehman, Rocky Calmus

Notable players: Robert Thomas, Anthony Barr, Myles Jack

8. Florida State
Notable players: Ernie Sims, Lawrence Timmons, Tommy Polley

9. Michigan
Notable players: Devin Bush, LaMarr Woodley, Larry Foote

10. Florida
Notable players: Brandon Spikes, Jarrad Davis, Jevon Kearse

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.



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From being 'shook' to Tim Tebow comparisons: How Sam Ehlinger became the face of Texas' return to national prominence


Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is pictured above on June 14, 2019, in Austin. (Thao Nguyen/Special Contributor)

By Chuck Carlton, Staff Writer Contact Chuck Carltonon Twitter:@ChuckCarltonDMN

Less than a year ago, Sam Ehlinger was on the verge of being yet another Texas player caught in the apparently endless revolving door at quarterback.

Before Ehlinger placed his personal stamp on the position, before he put an exclamation point on the Texas-is-back narrative at the Sugar Bowl and before he accounted for 41 touchdowns last season, his starting job was anything but certain.

In Texas' season opener at Maryland, Ehlinger threw two fourth-quarter interceptions during a crushing 34-29 loss. In the aftermath, a whole lot of doubt centered on the quarterback spot, especially given the presence of veteran backup Shane Buechele.


Coach Tom Herman backed Ehlinger strongly at his Monday press conference, even prompting a phone call from the quarterback thanking him for the vote of confidence. Now, Herman sees that particular sequence as the point when he knew Ehlinger was the right player at the right position at the right time.

"His response after the Maryland game," Herman said. "You could tell privately that he was a bit shook. I'm proud of [offensive coordinator] Tim Beck, I'm proud of our offensive staff, I'm proud of his teammates for making him understand that we all believe in him."

Ehlinger showed gradual growth, especially in a key early home win against USC.

"The USC game really kind of lifted him up to have the confidence we knew was in there," Herman said.


By the time he accounted for five touchdowns in a Red River Showdown win over Oklahoma, there was no doubt about Texas' quarterback for the first time this decade.

While Ehlinger always projected swagger going back to his time at Austin Westlake, the transition to Texas took time, something that didn't happen until the middle of last season.

"Honestly, I was finally comfortable with college football," Ehlinger said.

Thao Nguyen/Special Contributor

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is pictured above on June 14, 2019, in Austin. (Thao Nguyen/Special Contributor)

It's hard to miss Ehlinger now. He's a popular choice for the regional cover of numerous college football preview magazines. Moreover, he's the face of Texas' return to national contender status. Ehlinger drew more than 50 reporters in a scrum at Big 12 media days, by ESPN's count.

"It's tough being Sam," senior receiver Collin Johnson joked while joining the photographers.

Because of that, the junior has become more of a target than any recent predecessors. Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield, a nemesis going back to Oklahoma and Austin high school football, targeted Ehlinger at a summer football camp. NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, during a rambling address to Louisiana Tech fans hyping the opener at Texas, suggested that Ehlinger "ain't that good."


Ehlinger said the criticism was "completely irrelevant in my mind."

Or not.

"Sam loves to play with a chip on his shoulder," Herman said, "and I'm sure he will use this to crank it up a notch."

In both playing style and the reaction he invokes, Ehlinger has drawn comparisons to former Florida Heisman winner Tim Tebow. Like Tebow, Ehlinger (6-3, 230) is a bruising runner and an efficient if not natural thrower. Tebow was also a polarizing figure, viewed both as a candidate for sainthood and public enemy No. 1.

Texas running backs coach Stan Drayton, a former Florida assistant, seems the similarities.

"The very first day I met Sam Ehlinger, I made that comparison," Drayton said at a recent THSCA coaching school in Houston. "The motivation was different between the two, but the passion comes out the same way. Obviously, they both have a gift of being able to run the ball and being productive running the football from that position."


Tebow led Florida to a national championship. So far, Ehlinger has gotten Texas to 10 wins and the Sugar Bowl win over Georgia.

"I'm really excited for where we're at," Ehlinger said. "I've always said that I want the University of Texas to always be competing for championships. I think we're at a place in our program where we have a chance to do that. That's ultimately where I want us to be."

Ehlinger will play a key role in whether Texas remains in the national discussion.

Although Ehlinger started all 14 games last season, he's also subject to injury because of his running style.

And he's the only quarterback on the Texas roster to have taken a snap in a college game. The Longhorns without Ehlinger probably aren't a Big 12 contender.


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Ranking college football's best jobs entering 2019




8655505.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offset-y0.50&width=620&height=320 (Photo: Tim Warner, Getty)

“All the money that is not up at the Vatican is at UT.” – billionaire booster Red McCombs in 2013

Texas is far more than a revenue giant. But it certainly helps. The Longhorns claim boosters with deep pockets, a multi-year TV deal with ESPN and a lucrative contract with Nike. Swirl it all together, and Texas has more financial flexibility than almost any program. Location is a huge plus for Texas as well. The Lone Star State can fuel a national title winner almost on its own – seriously, check out the Longhorns’ 2005 roster. And when things are going right for the Longhorns, they’re the “it” brand in the nation’s premier high school football state. Texas can also recruit to one of the best public-school educations in the country, and Austin is a place people want to live.  

Administrative instability dinged this job earlier in the decade. But the combination of athletic director Chris Del Conte and president Greg Fenves has proven to be a stabilizing pair. Del Conte’s ramped up fundraising efforts, and the Longhorns have several major facility projects in the works – Texas opened up state-of-the-art locker rooms last year. The Longhorns' support staff has grown each year of the Tom Herman era. Texas is also greatly advantaged playing in the Big 12, which creates a favorable playoff path.

The political and booster pressure at Texas is enormous, perhaps exceeding any other program. But I’m not sure there’s a better job out there when the Longhorns are right.



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Texas running back Keaontay Ingram adds ‘armor’


AUSTIN — Every now and then, Keaontay Ingram will allow himself to gorge on a pizza. He’ll even slip in a few burgers on occasion, especially if there’s no morning practice the next day.

a group of baseball players playing a football game: Longhorns running back Keaontay Ingram takes a handoff from quarterback Sam Ehlinger on the first day of fall practice Friday.© Jay Janner, Staff Photographer / Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman

Longhorns running back Keaontay Ingram takes a handoff from quarterback Sam Ehlinger on the first day of fall practice Friday.

Those few indulgences aside, the sophomore running back has adhered to a strict diet and training regimen. He’s learned the value of the training room. And after playing last season at around 205 pounds, he’s added about 20 pounds of muscle — “armor,” as coach Tom Herman refers to it — without sacrificing any speed or fluidity.


“I really had to change my diet,” Ingram said Saturday morning after the team’s second fall practice. “When I first got here, I didn’t know anything about diet and nutrition. After I got that down, it really had a big impact on my growth..

“I feel like I’ll be able to stay healthy this year. I don’t feel like I’m 223, to be honest with you — still feel like I’m 205. And hopefully I’ll be able to have a

impact on the offense.”

Ingram looks like the breakout candidate for a Texas offense that could be one of the most dynamic in the Big 12. He’s the undisputed top back after sharing the load with graduate transfer Tre Watson in 2018, and the Carthage product is eager to enter this campaign healthy after dealing with a nagging knee injury throughout most of last season.

It was frustrating,” Ingram said of his injury woes. “I didn’t know everything. I didn’t know the ropes. Not staying healthy, I feel like it was a bump there, bump there. And I just couldn’t figure it all out together.

“But this year I feel like I’ve got it all figured out. I’m just going to keep my body healthy, stay in the training room and stuff like that.”

Most true freshman tailbacks at Power Five schools would be satisfied with rushing for 708 yards on 5.0 yards per carry with five total touchdowns, as Ingram did in his first college campaign. But that didn’t come close to cutting it for the former Under Armour All-American.

Ingram deemed his own individual season “highly disappointing” and said he’s anxious to bring “more to the table” as the top talent in this Texas backfield. He also has taken on Watson’s role as the group’s leader, taking true freshman Jordan Whittington under his wing.

Together, the two are expected to play an outsize role as Herman and offensive coordinator Tim Beck try to keep star quarterback Sam Ehlinger upright. That means a steady infusion of run-pass options designed to open up the field and keep the defense on its heels.

“I’m really excited for our RPO game because it’s going to give our elite running back … a chance to really have a limited box because it’s my job to keep those guys out of the box with a pass,” Ehlinger said Saturday.” Just that little second (of uncertainty) is enough for Keaontay Ingram (or) Jordan Whittington to get another step. I’m really excited about that because I think it’s going to open things up in the running game and the passing game.”

Redshirt sophomore left tackle Sam Cosmi is equally eager to see what the pair can do this year.

“Phenomenal players,” Cosmi said Saturday. “I enjoy blocking for them, I can tell you that. Really close with them. Ingram, I actually got to eat out with him a couple times. Really good guys, really love blocking for them. I tell them all the time, ‘My joy comes out of seeing you get touchdowns.’”



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9 minutes ago, primal defense said:


Texans reportedly waive D'Onta Foreman; could they set their sights on Melvin Gordon?



Texans will feel the wrath of his dad.

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I feel bad for Sanders, but what I need to know is how long will Ingrahm be out? I hat,hate,hate when the first word out of camp is that the guy "tweeked" a knee....what in hell does that mean? Any knee trouble is serious, but this could be really serious. What has anyone heard?

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