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Friday, February 24, 2017

College Football

Chad Kelly might show up to combine despite not being invited

Chad Kelly

The NFL recently withdrew its invitation to Chad Kelly for the upcoming Scouting Combine, but that may not stop the Ole Miss quarterback from showing up.

In an email to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Kelly’s agent Duray Oubre said the quarterback’s camp is “still considering the possibility of traveling to the Combine along with Chad.”

As Florio notes, there may be a situation where Kelly would be barred from taking part in official NFL activities inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be able to secure meetings with scouts and front office executives. While he might irritate league officials, Kelly’s persistence may impress some NFL teams.

Kelly was reportedly uninvited from the Combine because of off-field issues, of which he has had many. You can read more about why his reputation has been tarnished here.

Willie Taggart freezing out reporter who broke workout story

Willie Taggart

Willie Taggart’s brief tenure as Oregon’s new head football coach has been rife with media tension. And he isn’t exactly making things better.

Taggart is freezing out the reporter who broke the story about the team’s workouts that left three players hospitalized last month and led to the suspension of the program’s new strength coach.

Taggart says he spoke with Andrew Greif, who broke the story for The Oregonian, prior to the story’s publishing. He believes Greif did not report the story accurately.

“When you’re not fair and honest, then to me that’s personal,” Taggart told the Daily Emerald about his issues with Greif. “When you do something that’s negative and it’s going to be personal, then I won’t have s— to do with you.”

“‘You’ve got to be s—-ing me,’ was kind of my reaction,” Taggart said. “I explained exactly what happened and he didn’t report it.”

Both comments were censored to remove the profanity.

Greif says he did report things accurately and that Taggart did not say the workouts were not grueling or military-style, which are phrases the coach believes contributed to the story going viral.

Taggart is so upset with Greif that he is not speaking with the reporter and even ignored a text message from the reporter requesting to talk things out.

Taggart wants The Oregonian to print an apology for the story or correction, but the paper believes their reporting was accurate and has no plans to do so.

Besides the workouts matter, Taggart also had to deal with one of his new offensive assistants getting fired days after being hired for a DUI arrest. The season can’t come soon enough for Oregon.

10 most intriguing players to watch at the NFL Combine

Myles Garrett

The NFL Combine will be held from February 28 through March 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, giving NFL teams a close look at many of the league’s most promising prospects.

Players will not only have an opportunity to meet with NFL scouts and executives, but also to improve their potential NFL Draft stock with impressive performances on the field.

Whether it’s a debate about skill level, or players being over-hyped/underrated, there are many athletes who will be at Indianapolis with stories that are slightly more interesting than others.

With that in mind, here’s a look at 10 of the most intriguing players who will be at the NFL Combine.

10. Cooper Kupp (wide receiver, Eastern Washington)

There are 19 FCS players who will take part in the 2017 NFL Combine, and coming from small schools makes them all interesting. But of those who are slated to attend, perhaps none bring about as much intrigue as Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

Kupp will enter the combine and subsequently the NFL Draft having amassed more college receiving yards than the legendary Jerry Rice. As a freshman, he set FCS records with 93 receptions and 21 touchdowns, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. Kupp eventually closed out his career with 428 receptions for 6,464 yards and 73 touchdown.

Oh, and did we mention he’s a solid return man, can run the football, play gunner and if the situation calls for it, he can also throw the ball on some trick plays?

He has all the tools that make an interesting prospect, and he’s quite intelligent, having scored a 37 on his Wonderlic test while posting a 3.6 GPA. He’s also married and has not shown any off-field issues.

Needless to say, Kupp will be a name worth keeping an eye on. He’s drawn high praise from NFL scouts early on, his college resume speaks for itself, and he expects to put up some pretty impressive numbers to help improve his draft stock.

9. DeMarcus Walker (defensive end, Florida State)


Joe Mixon likely to go undrafted?

Joe Mixon

Because of an off-field incident that was similar to the one that ended Ray Rice’s NFL career, former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is a complete wild card heading into the draft. Many believe a team could select Mixon early based on pure talent, but at least one draft analyst is predicting he won’t be drafted at all.

Tony Pauline of believes Mixon will go undrafted despite the “astounding tape” NFL teams have on the 20-year-old.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Joe Mixon was not invited to the combine as I initially mentioned back on December 19th. I still maintain that he won’t be selected at any point in the draft for obvious reasons.

That being the case, I’m hopeful Mixon is signed after the draft and deserves a chance to play on Sundays.

The tape on Mixon is astounding at times. He dominates as both a ball carrier and pass catcher for entire drives at a time. Looking at it solely from a football perspective, I would stamp a late first-round grade on Mixon.

Mixon punched a woman in the face and knocked her unconscious in July 2014, and the disturbing footage was released a few months ago. He was also suspended one game last season for an incident in which he allegedly berated a parking lot attendant.

Mixon would be a lock to go in the first two rounds if not for the baggage that comes along with him, but assaulting a woman isn’t something that can be erased with a simple apology. Many teams will consider him undraftable.

H/T Rotoworld

Charlotte QB Kevin Olsen arrested on rape charges

Kevin Olsen

Kevin Olsen, the quarterback at UNC Charlotte and younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, has been arrested on rape charges.

Reports say Olsen has been charged with 2nd degree forcible rape, cyberstalking, assault on a female, and 2nd degree force sex offense.

He has been suspended from all football activities.

Here is a statement from the school about the matter:

“The University administration has been in close communication with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department regarding its arrest of student-athlete Kevin Olsen Sunday afternoon.

The allegations in this incident took place off campus. This incident occurred a week after a separate, unrelated case of alleged on-campus sexual assault involving acquaintances.

Olsen has been suspended from Charlotte Athletics, and the University is reviewing the case consistent with its disciplinary procedures.

Due to the ongoing CMPD investigation and federal protections on student information, the University will have no further comment on the investigation at this time.”

Greg Olsen had no comment on his brother’s arrest and asked for privacy.

Olsen passed for 842 yards and six touchdowns last season for the 49ers. He was essentially kicked off the team at his first two college stops — Miami and then Towson State — before going to a JC and then arriving at Charlotte.

D’Onta Foreman throws shade at Texas over decision to leave

D'Onta Foreman

Running back D’Onta Foreman decided to forego his senior season at Texas and enter the NFL Draft, where he is expected to be among the top running backs taken.

Foreman could have returned to school and tried to further earn his place among the great Longhorns backs, but he decided it was time to take his game to the next level. And as he said on Saturday night, the choice was easy once he saw his workload for his junior season.

Foreman carried the ball 323 times last season. He racked up 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns. He rushed for over 100 yards in every game he played, posting two 200-yard games and a 300-yard game. He finished the season second in the country in rushing and third in attempts.

Foreman knows that a running back’s shelf-life is not very long. Your body takes a lot of punishment when you tote the rock that much. Why not make sure you’re getting paid for it? That’s certainly what this man had in mind when he decided to skip his bowl game. You can’t blame Foreman for that mentality.

Paul Finebaum hilariously embracing new ‘Pete’ name

Pete Finebaum show

Paul Finebaum showed on Friday that he has a pretty good sense of humor.

The ESPN personality changed his Twitter handle and the name of his TV/radio show from “The Paul Finebaum Show” to “The Pete Finebaum Show” as a nod to his beef with Jim Harbaugh.

Finebaum, who is an SEC expert, has been critical of Harbaugh since the former 49ers coach’s arrival at Michigan. This week he accused Harbaugh of “cheating” by hiring the father of a top 2019 quarterback recruit to his Wolverines coaching staff.

In response, Harbaugh slammed Finebaum on Twitter, irreverently calling him “Pete.”

At least Finebaum has shown he can have a laugh about matters. Well played, Paul. Or should I say, Pete?

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