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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

College Football

Peyton Manning counseled Justin Herbert on NFL Draft decision

Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert surprised many by opting to return to Oregon for his senior season, passing up the chance to be the best quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft pool. It turns out he got some advice along the way from someone who’d know the process quite well.

Herbert said he spoke with Peyton Manning as he was making his decision on his future.

“I kind of talked to Peyton Manning a little bit,” Herbert told Chantel Jennings of The Athletic. “He offered some really good advice. He’s a guy who has done an incredible job. I have so much respect for him, and if there’s anyone who I could emulate, it’d be him. He just offered some great advice.”

Manning essentially told Herbert to push aside emotion and feelings and consider the short- and long-term ramifications of each choice. That led Herbert to decide to play one final year in college — the same decision Manning made in 1996.

Herbert had another iconic quarterback eyeing his progress during the season, and his stock was high. Ultimately, though, he’s elected to put off the NFL for a year. It worked out for Manning, and Herbert can only hope that he’s anywhere close to as successful.

Stephen A Smith totally embarrasses himself with Dwayne Haskins comments

Stephen A Smith

Stephen A Smith really needs to reconsider his ability to competently speak about football.

The ESPN personality has made headlines the last few months for the wrong reasons — embarrassing himself with his lack of football knowledge, with this December video taking the cake.

On Friday, he exposed himself for his pathetically wrong take on Dwayne Haskins. Smith said he sees the former Ohio State quarterback as “more of a runner than a thrower.”

Smith made it clear once again that he does not watch football and that he in all likelihood never saw Haskins play. Haskins is a pocket passer, period. There is no debate. It feels like Smith was racially stereotyping Haskins as a runner because he’s black, not because of the type of football he plays. This would be like calling Jameis Winston a running quarterback; everyone knows he’s not.

And in case you need more, stats say Haskins only scrambled on five percent of his dropbacks last season. A guy who runs once out of 20 times is not a running quarterback.

But you know the worst part? Rather than just admit he was wrong and take the L, Smith kept trying to defend himself even though he had been busted. Fans weren’t letting him off the hook.

Smith has rapidly lost credibility and proved just how difficult it is to be knowledgeable about multiple sports. It’s impossible to watch everything, and when your job requires you to comment on things you haven’t seen, you’re going to get exposed like this at times.

Justin Fields granted eligibility for 2019 at Ohio State

Justin Fields

Ohio State will have Justin Fields under center in 2019.

The NCAA granted Fields an immediate eligibility waiver on Friday, ensuring that the transfer quarterback will be free to play for the Buckeyes in the 2019 season.

A former five-star recruit, Fields will be a sophomore when he sets foot on Ohio State’s campus. This doesn’t count as much of a surprise considering the quarterback who had previously been expected to take over sought an immediate transfer as soon as Fields decided he would go to Ohio State.

Fields will almost certainly start immediately, replacing the NFL-bound Dwayne Haskins. It should ensure that the Buckeyes don’t miss a beat at the quarterback position.

Jim Harbaugh wants Michigan to build a Tom Brady statue

Tom Brady

Jim Harbaugh likes to keep the links to Michigan football’s past alive, and he also loves Tom Brady, so it’s no surprise that a new proposal of his reflects both of these things.

The Michigan coach said on his “Attack Each Day” podcast that he believes a statue of Brady should be erected somewhere on Michigan’s campus after collecting his sixth Super Bowl last week.

“I think it’s time, don’t you, for a Tom Brady statue to built right here,” Harbaugh said, via Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports. “Right in front of Schembechler Hall, or do you put it in the stadium? Where would you put the Tom Brady statue? … The tunnel? Maybe the tunnel? Where do you put it? Maybe some of the listeners can tell us.”

Let’s just say that, in light of Harbaugh’s previous assessments of Brady, this take cannot come as a huge surprise. That said, he may have a point here. If you boil it down to collegiate accomplishments, Brady won’t be remembered as Michigan’s best-ever quarterback, but when you take his entire career into account you can understand why the Wolverines would want a constant reminder that he did, in fact, go to school and play there.

QB Shane Buechele announces transfer to SMU

Shane Buechele

Shane Buechele has made his transfer from Texas official and has a new home.

The quarterback announced on social media Thursday that he will graduate from Texas this spring and then begin his academic and athletic career at SMU after that. In his note, Buechele thanked Texas and the coaches he’s played for.

As a graduate transfer, Buechele will be eligible to play this fall. He only has one year left of eligibility after spending three seasons at Texas.

During his Longhorns career, Buechele completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 4,636 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Twitter reacts to Miami signing intimidating Australian punter Louis Hedley

Louis Hedley

National Signing Day is on Wednesday, and the Miami Hurricanes got a jump in the process on everyone else with a signing that has the internet buzzing.

The Hurricanes signed Australian punter Louis Hedley, a transfer from City College of San Francisco. Hedley was able to sign before everyone else because it’s already Wednesday in his native Australia. And the photo of him signing had everyone talking. Why? Take a look.

Hedley is 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and fully tatted. The dude screams intimidation. He is also said to be in his mid-20s, unlike most players signing, who are usually in their late teens.

Take a look at the Twitter reactions.

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Mark Richt to work in studio for ESPN during Signing Day

Mark Richt Miami

Rather than locking down commitments on Wednesday, Mark Richt will be discussing them on TV.

Richt will be serving on ESPN’s broadcasting crew during its coverage of National Signing Day Wednesday, the network announced on Monday.

Richt abruptly stepped down as Miami’s head coach on Dec. 30, just days after an ugly loss to Wisconsin in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. He went 9-4 in his first season on the job and then took a major step forward going 10-3 in his second season, producing the school’s first double-digit win season since 2003. The program appeared to be on the right track, but the Canes slipped to 7-6 this season and looked terrible offensively.

Just after Richt stepped down, Manny Diaz was hired as head coach. He has brought in Tate Martell as a transfer QB and is working hard on recruiting.

Now 58, you have to wonder whether Richt will go into broadcasting permanently or attempt a return to coaching.