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College Player News Wire
Offense: QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | C | OG | OT | K
Defense: DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | FS | SS | P

  Latest College Player News
Previous 25 Notes Next 25 Notes
01/08/19- Tua Tagovailoa, So, Alabama, 6-1, 218
Tua Tagovailoa dropped back on Alabama's third play of the game, threw in between two receivers and had the ball intercepted and returned for a touchdown. It proved to be that kind of night for the Crimson Tide's uber-talented quarterback, who didn't fare nearly as well as a starter in the College Football Playoff championship game as he did a year ago in relief. Tagovailoa threw two interceptions, was stopped on a pair of fourth-down runs and struggled mightily in the final three quarters of a 44-16 loss to Clemson on Monday night, the most lopsided loss of coach Nick Saban's storied career at Alabama.

"It was a poor decision on my part," Tagovailoa said about the early interception. "I just think we came out, and we were killing ourselves. We shot ourselves in the foot by me throwing that interception for a touchdown, and then not finishing drives the way we wanted to. Just didn't go the way we wanted to." Tagovailoa announced his arrival as a star on this stage a year ago when he came off the bench to throw three TD passes, including the game-winner in overtime to beat Georgia 26-23 for the championship in Atlanta. He followed that up with a Heisman Trophy runner-up campaign, throwing 41 TD passes and only four interceptions for the top-ranked Crimson Tide (14-1) to lead them back to the playoff as a sophomore. - AP College Football

01/08/19- Trevor Lawrence, Fr, Clemson, 6-5, 215
Trevor Lawrence passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns and No. 2 Clemson rolled No. 1 Alabama 44-16 on Monday night in the College Football Playoff national championship game. In the fourth consecutive playoff meeting between the Tigers and Tide, Clemson evened the series and beat 'Bama for the national title for the second time in three seasons. Clemson is the first team in the AP poll era, dating back to 1936, to finish 15-0. Coach Nick Saban and the Tide (14-1) were looking for a sixth national championship in 10 years, trying to add to an already unprecedented run in the sport. Instead, Clemson crushed Alabama, becoming the first opponent to beat the Tide by more than 14 points since Saban became coach in 2007. - AP College Football

01/07/19- *Dwayne Haskins Jr., rSo, Ohio State, 6-2, 220
Record-setting Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. says he is leaving school to enter the NFL draft. The third-year sophomore announced Monday on Twitter that he will depart the program after one year as a starter in which he broke most school and Big Ten single-season passing records. He also finished third in Heisman Trophy voting. Haskins is projected to be a first-round draft pick. His decision comes after he completed 25 of 37 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the Rose Bowl, which also was the last game for retiring coach Urban Meyer. The announcement Friday that Georgia quarterback Justin Fields would transfer to Ohio State divulged Haskins' decision. Haskins said he and Fields talked before Fields made the decision to come to Ohio State with a chance to be the starter next season. - AP College Football

01/07/19- *Dwayne Haskins Jr., rSo, Ohio State, 6-2, 220
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins has officially declared for the NFL Draft making his announcement via Twitter. Haskins is the fifth player - along with Nick Bosa, Dre'Mont Jones, Mike Weber and Michael Jordan- to declare for the NFL Draft. Haskins put together a historic season in his first year as a starter throwing for 4831 yards and 50 touchdowns - both Big Ten records - in route to a third-place finish for the Heisman Trophy and leading Ohio State to a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl victory. Haskins is considered to be a first-round pick and with Oregon's Justin Herbert electing to return to school for another year, he could potentially be the first quarterback taken. - Stephen Means, Cleveland.com

01/07/19- *Byron Murphy, rSo, Washington, 5-11, 182
The Huskies, as expected, have lost another top defensive back early to the NFL draft. Washington cornerback Byron Murphy on Monday morning announced he will enter the NFL draft, leaving the Huskies with two seasons of eligibility remaining. As a third-year sophomore, Murphy is eligible to enter the 2019 draft. He is the second UW defensive back to leave early since the Rose Bowl, following junior safety Taylor Rapp's announcement last Wednesday. Both Murphy and Rapp received second-round grades from the NFL College Advisory Committee.

Murphy, from Scottsdale, Ariz., was an Associated Press second-team All-American in 2018 and a first-team all-Pac-12 selection. He was the MVP of the Pac-12 championship game after he returned an interception 66 yards for the game's only touchdown, helping the Huskies to a 10-3 victory over Utah last month. After a redshirt season in 2016, Murphy appeared in 20 games for UW over the past two seasons, all starts, and posted 74 career tackles, seven interceptions, 27 pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He missed six games in 2017 because of a broken foot. - Adam Jude, Seattle Times

01/07/19- *Hamp Cheevers, Jr, Boston College, 5-10, 180
Boston College junior cornerback Hamp Cheevers announced Saturday that he will forego his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL Draft. The nation's co-leader with seven interceptions in 2018, Cheevers had a breakout year in his first season as a starter for the Eagles. Cheevers earned All-America honors by six organizations following the season. The Trenton, Fla., native, tied for second on the squad with seven pass breakups in addition to his seven interceptions. For his career, Cheevers played in 30 games with 56 career tackles, 2.5 TFLs, nine interceptions and 11 pass breakups. He forced three fumbles and recovered a fumble during his career at the Heights. - Boston College Football

01/07/19- *David Montgomery, Jr, Iowa State, 5-10, 216
Iowa State two-time All-American running back David Montgomery, who became the eighth player in school history with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons this fall, decided today he will enter his name for the 2019 NFL Draft and forgo his final season of eligibility at Iowa State. Montgomery announced his decision on Twitter this morning. "The last three years have been nothing short of amazing," Montgomery wrote via Twitter. "From the first day I stepped onto campus in Ames, it has felt like home. From the roar of the crowd at Jack Trice Stadium, to the quiet of studying for exams, to the warmth that has been shown to me by Cyclone fans, I could not have asked for anything better than my experience at Iowa State. It has truly been the best decision of my life."

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Montgomery was a key part of Iowa State's resurgence on the gridiron the past two seasons, helping the Cyclones to back-to-back 8-5 marks with his dependability and durability in the backfield. The two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection ranked third in the Big 12 and 23rd nationally in rushing, averaging 101.3 rushing yards in 12 games in 2018. He reached the 100-yard mark seven times during the season, tying for third on ISU's season list, and led the team with 13 touchdowns. - Iowa State Football

01/07/19- Rodrigo Blankenship, rJr, Georgia, 6-0, 191
Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship says he'll be returning to the Bulldogs for his senior season. The specialist known for his thick glasses announced his decision on Twitter. He wrote, "I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Dawg Nation, I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE." Blankenship decided not to follow the lead set by four teammates. Wide receivers Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman, running back Elijah Holyfield and tight end Isaac Nauta entered the NFL draft last week. Also, backup quarterback Justin Fields is expected to transfer. Underclassmen have until Jan. 14 to declare their plans. Blankenship took over the kicking job in 2016, earned a scholarship and developed into one of the nation's most reliable weapons. This season, he connected on 19 of 23 field goals and all 65 extra points to finish with 122 points. - AP College Football

01/06/19- *Tyree Jackson, rJr, Buffalo, 6-6, 245
University at Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson is forgoing his senior season by declaring himself eligible for the NFL draft. Jackson calls it a "once in a lifetime opportunity" in a posting Sunday on Instagram. He has been contemplating his future since placing his name into the NCAA transfer portal shortly after completing his season with a 42-32 loss to Troy in the Dollar General Bowl. Jackson is a redshirt junior who already has graduated. He says he reached his decision by consulting with his family, and adds he's "really excited about the journey ahead, and I am going to attack it head on." Jackson had a career-high 3,131 yards passing for 28 touchdowns, one short of matching the school's single-season record, and 12 interceptions this season. He also scored seven touchdowns rushing. Overall, Jackson has completed 56 percent of his passes for 6,999 yards with 49 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in 32 career games. Buffalo also stands losing its top two receivers. Anthony Johnson is graduating, and K.J. Osborn is exploring the possibility of transferring. - AP College Football

01/05/19- *James Williams, rJr, Washington State, 5-11, 205
Washington State running back James Williams is forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Williams made his announcement on social media on Saturday. Williams and the Cougars closed out their season on Dec. 28 with a 28-26 win over Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl. Williams was not much of a runner during his career at Washington State, although he had 12 touchdowns rushing and averaged 4.6 yards per carry this season. Williams' strength was as an elite pass catcher in Mike Leach's offense. Williams had a team-high 83 catches for 613 yards this season and finished his career with 202 receptions in three seasons. Williams' 83 receptions tied for 17th nationally. - AP College Football

01/05/19- Easton Stick, rSr, North Dakota State, 6-2, 221
A perfect ending for North Dakota State coach Chris Klieman and quarterback Easton Stick, and yet another championship for the Bison. Stick ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more as the Bison beat Eastern Washington 38-24 on Saturday for their record seventh FCS title, the fourth in five years with Klieman as head coach before he takes over at Kansas State. "It was a special journey - 15-0, end it with a national championship. ... The story's complete," said Klieman, 69-6 as head coach and part of all of those titles, three as defensive coordinator. "That's something that movies are made out of, dreams are made out of, books are written about." North Dakota State (15-0) has won all those seven FCS titles over the past eight seasons. Stick, who succeeded Carson Wentz as NDSU's quarterback, threw for 198 yards and ran for 121 in his 49th victory to become the winningest FCS quarterback. Stick leaves with school records for total yards (11,216), passing yards (8,693) and 129 total touchdowns (88 passing, 41 rushing). "This place is special," Stick said. "Quarterback's a unique position. You're only as good as players you're surrounded with. ... I'm so thankful for every guy I played with because as a freshman you come in and you just want to be a part of it." - AP College Football

01/05/19- *Amani Hooker, Jr, Iowa, 5-11, 210
Iowa junior defensive back Amani Hooker says he will enter the NFL draft. Hooker, a first-team All-Big Ten pick and the league's defensive back of the year, announced Saturday on social media that he's leaving school early and turning pro. The 6-foot, 210-pound Hooker starred as a hybrid safety/linebacker for the Hawkeyes (9-4) in 2018, picking off three passes while making 65 total tackles. He had six tackles in Tuesday's 27-22 win over Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl. - AP College Football

01/04/19- Justin Fields, Fr, Ohio State, 6-2, 225
Quarterback Justin Fields confirmed Friday night he is transferring to Ohio State following one season as Georgia's backup. Fields' much-anticipated announcement gives new Ohio State coach Ryan Day a sublimely talented dual-threat passer to run his offense if Dwayne Haskins Jr. makes an expected jump to the NFL. Fields decided to transfer from Georgia after he was unable to beat out starter Jake Fromm. Fields announced the transfer after he was expected to visit the Ohio State campus earlier Friday. Fields issued a statement on his Twitter account in which he said his one season at Georgia "has given me the opportunity to refine my skills under great coaches and to play with incredibly talented teammates who've become like brothers to me." Fields' arrival at Ohio State is huge for Day, who took over as coach Wednesday after Urban Meyer's retirement. Fields was the overall No. 2 national prospect in the 2018 recruiting class and was highly sought after he announced his intention to transfer last month. Fields helped give Georgia coach Kirby Smart the nation's top-rated signing class last year. The Kennesaw, Georgia-native deepens Ohio State at quarterback and sets up an intriguing competition with Tate Martell. - AP College Football

01/04/19- *Julian Love, Jr, Notre Dame, 5-11, 193
Notre Dame All-America cornerback Julian Love and tight end Alize Mack are forgoing their final seasons of eligibility and entering the NFL draft. Both players made their announcements Friday on Twitter. Love's decision was no foregone conclusion and will leave a big hole in the Fighting Irish secondary in 2019. The 5-foot-11, 193-pound Love told reporters after the Cotton Bowl loss last week to Clemson that he received a second-round grade from the NFL draft advisory board. The junior broke up 36 passes the past two seasons at Notre Dame, including a school-record 20 in 2017. Mack was a senior, though he missed the entire 2016 due to academics and had another season of eligibility. The former four-star recruit caught a career-high 36 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns. - AP College Football

01/04/19- *Elijah Holyfield, Jr, Georgia, 5-10, 215
Georgia's offense was hit with a four-player exodus of juniors to the NFL on Friday that took away the team's top three receivers and second-leading rusher. Tailback Elijah Holyfield, tight end Isaac Nauta and wide receivers Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman announced Friday they are skipping their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft. Holyfield, the son of former boxing champion Evander Holyfield, joined D'Andre Swift to give Georgia two 1,000-yard rushers for the second straight season. Holyfield ran for 1,018 yards with seven touchdowns. Holyfield said on his Twitter account he was grateful for the support from his teammates, coaches and Georgia fans. "I am humbled by the love you have given me during my time in Athens, and you all have ensured red and black will forever run through my veins," Holyfield said. Coach Kirby Smart issued a statement in which he said: "We wish the best" to the four "as they pursue their careers at the next level. - AP College Football

01/04/19- Jake Bentley, Jr, South Carolina, 6-3, 224
South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley is returning for a final season with the Gamecocks. Bentley announced Friday on Twitter that he would come back for his senior season. The 6-foot-4, 224-pound passer was a junior who had been South Carolina's starter since the middle of his freshman season in 2016. Bentley was considering turning pro and had received an evaluation from the NFL Draft Advisory Board about his chances at the next level. Bentley threw for 3,171 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in an up-and-down season. Bentley set career highs with 510 yards and five TDs passing in a 56-35 loss at Clemson. But he completed just 17 of 40 throws without a touchdown in a 28-0 loss to Virginia in the Belk Bowl. - AP College Football

01/04/19- *J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, rJr, Stanford, 6-2, 225
Stanford receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside will skip his senior season to declare for the NFL draft. Arcega-Whiteside announced his decision Friday, thanking his coaches, teammates and family members. Arcega-Whiteside caught 63 passes for 1,059 yards and 14 touchdowns this season for the Cardinal. The 6-foot-3 Arcega-Whiteside is dangerous in the red zone with his size and jumping ability and is projected as a second-day selection in the draft. His 23 TD catches the past two seasons are the third most in college football in that span. Arcega-Whiteside is the third Stanford player to declare for the draft. He joins guard Nate Herbig and tight end Kaden Smith. - AP College Football

01/04/19- *Mecole Hardman, Jr, Georgia, 5-10, 183
Georgia's offense was hit with a four-player exodus of juniors to the NFL on Friday that took away the team's top three receivers and second-leading rusher. Tailback Elijah Holyfield, tight end Isaac Nauta and wide receivers Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman announced Friday they are skipping their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft. Hardman had 34 catches for 532 yards and seven touchdowns. Nauta had 30 catches for 430 yards and three touchdowns. Nauta's top game of the season came against Florida, when he had five catches for 73 yards. - AP College Football

01/04/19- *Riley Ridley, Jr, Georgia, 6-1, 200
Georgia wide receiver Riley Ridley and tight end Isaac Nauta are skipping their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft, taking away two of the Bulldogs' top three receivers. Ridley and Nauta announced the decisions on Friday on their Twitter accounts. "I could not imagine any other program preparing me for the next stay the way this one has," Ridley said, adding thanks for coach Kirby Smart and the coaching staff. Ridley, the younger brother of Atlanta Falcons rookie Calvin Ridley, led Georgia with 44 catches for 570 yards and nine touchdowns. He finished strong with five-catch games against Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game and against Texas in the Sugar Bowl. - AP College Football

01/04/19- *Isaac Nauta, Jr, Georgia, 6-4, 240
Georgia tight end Isaac Nauta says he is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Nauta was third on the team with 30 catches for 430 yards and three touchdowns this season. His top game of the season came against Florida, when he had five catches for 73 yards. Nauta announced his decision on his Twitter account on Friday. He says he made the decision to pursue his "life-long dream" of playing in the NFL after consulting with his family and coaches. Nauta is the first Georgia underclassman to declare for the draft. The school is awaiting decisions from other underclassmen including tailback Elijah Holyfield, wide receivers Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman and defensive back J.R. Reed. - AP College Football

01/04/19- *Michael Jordan, Jr, Ohio State, 6-6, 312
Ohio State will lose experience and leadership on the offensive line with center Michael Jordan's decision to leave early for the NFL draft. The 6-foot-7, 312-pound lineman announced he would forgo his senior season in a tweet on Friday, saying that "in my heart, I know I am ready for the NFL, largely because I have been coached by the very best." After starting as a true freshman and playing two years at left guard, Jordan moved to center last season to replace All-American Billy Price. Jordan's announcement comes after linebacker Malik Harrison and safety Jordan Fuller, both draft-eligible NFL prospects, said they were staying at Ohio State. Running back Mike Webster and defensive tackle Dre'Mont Jones have announced their early departures. - AP College Football

01/03/19- *Zach Gentry, rJr, Michigan, 6-7, 262
Michigan cornerback David Long and tight end Zach Gentry are entering the NFL draft, skipping their final seasons of college eligibility. Long and Gentry made their announcements Wednesday on social media. The 6-foot-8 Gentry was a third-team, All-Big Ten player. The converted quarterback had 32 receptions for 514 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. Gentry had another season of college eligibility because he redshirted as a freshman. - AP College Football

01/02/19- *Clifton Duck, Jr, Appalachian State, 5-10, 175
Appalachian State junior defensive back Clifton Duck has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft. He announced his decision on Tuesday afternoon through a Twitter post. Duck is the first App State player to leave early for the NFL during the FBS era, and he's believed to be the first in school history. "I would like to thank all the people who have supported me on this journey," Duck's message said. "Playing at App State was the opportunity of a lifetime - three straight Sun Belt championships and three straight bowl wins are memories I will always cherish. "Special thanks to my Mom, Dad and my siblings for their never-ending support. Thanks to Coach (Bryan) Brown for what he taught me about the game. To the LOB (Legion of Boone) and my teammates - my brothers forever." Underclassmen have until Jan. 14 to apply for special eligibility for the draft. Should he carry out that process, he will forgo his senior season and cannot return to App State. His decision also puts an end to a stellar cornerback tandem. Tae Hayes, who started opposite Duck, just finished his senior season. Both were key figures in a defense that's grabbed 73 interceptions since the start of the 2015 season. - Andrew Dye/Journal Now

01/02/19- *David Long, Jr, Michigan, 5-11, 198
Michigan cornerback David Long is entering the NFL draft and skipping his senior season. Long made the announcement Wednesday on social media. The eighth-ranked Wolverines were without defensive end Rashan Gary and linebacker Devin Bush in their 41-15 loss to No. 10 Florida in the Peach Bowl after both juniors declared themselves eligible for the draft. Long chose to play in the bowl while weighing his options to stay or go pro. Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson, offensive guard Ben Bredeson, cornerback Lavert Hill and safety Josh Metellus have all said they're coming back for their senior seasons. Long was voted All-Big Ten in 2018 by coaches. He had one interception, broke up eight passes and made 17 tackles as a junior. - AP College Football

01/02/19- *Marquise Brown, Jr, Oklahoma, 5-10, 168
Oklahoma receiver Marquise Brown will skip his senior season and declare himself eligible for the NFL Draft. Brown made the announcement Wednesday on social media. Brown, whose cousin is Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown, is nicknamed "Hollywood" for his flashy play and the name of his hometown, Hollywood, Florida. In two seasons, he caught 132 passes for 2,413 yards and 17 touchdowns. He leaves sixth in school history in career yards receiving. This season, he joined Ryan Broyles as the only Oklahoma receivers to gain more than 1,000 yards receiving in a season more than once. He's only listed at 5-foot-10 and 168 pounds, but after a breakout sophomore season, he got stronger in the offseason and improved his route running. This season, he caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 scores and was named a first-team AP All-American. The yardage total was fourth in school history for a single season. - AP College Football

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