College Football Recruiting Bubbles to Top
By Bo Carter
DFW Correspondent, sportsandoutdoors.guru
Let’s call off Inflate-Gate discussions and get to the crux of February football.
Nope, it isn’t Super Bowl XLIX. it is the date many high school seniors and collegiate gridiron fans have circled for months on their calendars: Wednesday, Feb. 4. Signing day.
Surveys show that less than 1 percent of all college football student-athletes ever make it to the NFL, and less than 5 percent of all signees actually start one game during their freshmen seasons. Even so, schools such as North Texas, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, and others still dream there may be another RB Samaje Perine of Oklahoma (1,713 yards and 21 TDs as a freshman in 2014) out there. Everybody is looking for the rare talent, the standout who could turn a team’s 4-8 or 3-9 record last season into a bowl bid in post-2015.
Every signee is a superstar – until he shows up on campus and he must adjust to bigger opponents and faster speed of play. Some incoming freshmen rated as 4- and 5-star players by recruiting pundits barely make it through two-a-days in August. But be we all can dream, can’t we?
But pinning your hopes on the whims of an 18-year-old can be dicey business. Example: Texas A&M commitment QB Kyler Murray of Allen, Texas, ruffled feathers among Aggies when he agreed to visit old rival Texas. As signing days looms ever nearer, expect more late movement among prospects.
Stay tuned for more amateur recruiting analysis after the Feb. 4 fact.
NFF College Hall of Fame Facts
Notable anniversary death dates for Hall of Famers are Jan. 27 include the legendary Illinois running back Red Grange in 2002 and Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch in 2004.
Grid notes: UTEP’s non-conference schedule next year includes September trips to Arkansas and Texas Tech … In another intriguing early 2015 matchup, Brigham Young and Nebraska clash in the opener for both schools … Baylor’s No. 7 finish in final 2014 national Top 25 polls is the best in school history while topping a No. 9 ratings’ conclusion by the 1951 Bears.
North Texas, TCU and other area high school and collegiate football student-athletes have been assisting the North Texas Food Bank and Tarrant County Food Bank in helping raise funds and awareness for the Souper Bowl for Hunger Program as dozens of Dallas-Fort Worth area super markets.
Coaching roller-coaster: Through last Sunday there have been 15 head coaching changes in post-2014 for the 128 NCAA FBS members…Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is Phil Stele’s College Football 2014 National Coach of the Year recipient…Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has been working the recruiting trail and enjoying his new contract with AU football… Former Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos has accepted a position as offensive coordinator at Arkansas…Texas Tech is finalizing individual pacts with new defensive coordinator David Gibbs and other members of the 2015 coaching staff… Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren has been mentioned for positions at Georgia and other FBS programs…Kentucky’s Vince Marrow and Stanford’s Shannon Turley and Lance Anderson turned down offers from Michigan and will remain at their posts…Former Central Florida secondary coach Kirk Callahan has accepted a new position at Florida.
Baylor assistant coach Kendal Briles remains as offensive coordinator while the Bears selected Cris Dishman as safeties coach and Tate Wallis as receivers coach…Alabama’s former assistant strength coach Mark Hocke was named head strength and conditioning coach at Georgia…Current Texas A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis is working with LSU authorities on a possible contract buyout negotiation…Toledo head coach Matt Campbell has signed a contract extension…Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer noted that the Hokies 33-17 bowl win over Cincinnati had helped in his recovery from recent throat surgery. VT also expects to retain defensive coordinator Bud Foster for the 2015 outing…Former Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian has accepted a position as the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coach.
Mid-American Conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher denoted a possible cost of school attendance of $500,000-1 million annually for each MAC member when new NCAA full-scholarship and stipend regulations go into effect … Longtime North Texas radio broadcaster (25 seasons) and sports talk host George Dunham of KTCK Radio in Dallas is retiring as play-by-play voice of the Eagles prior to the 2015 campaign…Chelsea Rebar and Chip Howard have been keeping fans up-to-date on offseason college football happenings for WTAW Radio in College Station, Texas, on talk shows, and Howard covered the College Football Playoff championship contest.
Three Baylor defensive starters from 2014 will miss all or parts of 2014 spring workouts, starting Feb. 23, due to offseason surgery. They are DB Orion Stewart, DE Shawn Oakman and DB Ryan Reid…Former LSU and Vanderbilt QB Stephen Rivers is transferring to another university for the 2015 season. He is the younger brother of former NC State and current San Diego Chargers QB standout Phillip Rivers… Vinny Papale Jr. is expected to sign with a NCAA FBS school on Feb. 4 after a stellar high school career in the Cherry Hill, N.J., area. His father Vinny Papale was immortalized as an undrafted performer for three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles after graduating from St. Joseph’s (Pa.).
NFF board member Jerry Jones and wife Jean have made a $10.65 million donation to Arkansas athletics for scholarships and future projects…Duke athletics continues to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Cameron Indoor Stadium built in honor and now memory of NFF College Hall of Fame player Eddie Cameron…Former Central Washington and 16-year NFL standout Jon Kitna is taking over as head coach at Waxahachie (Texas) HS.
Colorado athletics has launched a new $105 million campaign for athletics facility…Kent State has retained Collegiate Sports Associates to assess its athletics program and long-range planning… work continues at a near-record pace to complete the total makeover of Texas A&M’s Kyle Field by August for the 2015 season…Oregon State athletics recently dedicated a new indoor practice facility and offices…There are new stadium proposals in Los Angeles and San Diego for 70-75,000-seat facilities suitable for college and pro football teams as well as soccer and other sports.
2015-16 College Football Playoff Schedule
(All Televised by ESPN, Times TBD)
Dec. 31, 2015 – Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Host Bowl East
Dec. 31 – Goodyear Cotton Bowl, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, CFP Semifinal Game
Dec. 31 – Capital One Orange Bowl, Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla., CFP Semifinal Game
Jan. 1, 2016 – VIZIO Fiesta Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz., Host Bowl West
Jan. 1 – Rose Bowl presented by Northwest Mutual, Big Ten vs. Pac-12, Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, Calif., Host Bowl
Jan. 1 – Allstate Sugar Bowl, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La., Host Bowl
Jan. 11- College Football Championship Game, U. of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Bo Carter is former sports information director of the Southwest Conference and Big 12. He currently serves as secretary of the College Baseball Writers. Follow Bo on Twitter at #bcarter52 and Facebook at Bo Carter (Carrollton, Texas).