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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

College Football

Bryce Love still planning to attend NFL Combine despite torn ACL

Bryce Love

Bryce Love skipped Stanford’s appearance in the Sun Bowl, which seemed somewhat odd for a player who loves to play as much as he does. Now we know why.

Yahoo’s Pete Thamel revealed on Friday that Love suffered a torn ACL during Stanford’s final regular season game, a win over rival Cal. Love underwent surgery on Dec. 18 by Dr. James Andrews in Alabama and is now rehabbing.

According to Thamel, Love is still planning to attend the NFL Combine and participate in a limited fashion despite his recovery from surgery. Love vows to come “back better than I’ve ever been.”

Love burst on the scene as a junior when he rushed for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Cardinal. However, he dipped to just 739 yards and 6 touchdowns in 10 games during the 2018 season. He missed time with injuries and continued to battle ankle issues, which also plagued him as a junior.

Though Love will still get drafted, his surgery will impact his draft status and lead to him likely not being selected until the later rounds.

Could Jalen Hurts, Dan Enos be package deal at Miami?

Jalen Hurts

The Miami Hurricanes could be on their way to turning around their football program in a hurry.

Not only have the Canes replaced Mark Richt as head coach with Manny Diaz, but they also hired Dan Enos as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Enos is a former head coach at Central Michigan who spent three years as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas before going to Alabama for the 2018 season. Enos was an associate head coach/quarterbacks coach for the Crimson Tide during their run to the national championship game.

What’s odd is that Enos was believed to be in line to be promoted to Alabama offensive coordinator and is instead heading to Miami for the same role.

There’s something more to this move that needs to be kept in mind. The hiring of Enos could impact Miami’s ability to land a major transfer.

Jalen Hurts is planning to leave Alabama as a graduate transfer. He had already shown interest in Miami prior to the announcement of Enos’ hiring by the program. If he has any interest in continuing with Enos, going to Miami would make perfect sense. Cane Sport says he is set to visit Miami on Sunday.

If the Hurricanes are able to land Hurts along with Enos, they would be in excellent shape for the 2019 season.

Tate Martell hints at transfer with big Twitter bio change

Tate Martell

Tate Martell entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal this week, but that does not necessarily mean he is going to leave Ohio State. If you pay attention to his social media activity, however, you have probably gotten the impression that he is putting the Buckeyes in his rearview.

Early Friday morning, Martell changed his Twitter bio to remove any references to Ohio State. He even described himself as the “Quarterback at…” for a short time.

Martell later changed his profile to simply say “Quarterback,” but it used to say “Quarterback at The Ohio State.”

Schools have permission to contact a player about joining their program once the player enters the transfer portal, but they are under no obligation to leave. With Martell, leaving seems highly likely. He has been buried on the depth chart for two years at Ohio State and would likely have to ride the bench once again in 2019 with Georgia transfer Justin Fields heading to Columbus. There has already been speculation about where Martell might end up, and the former five-star recruit seems intent on saying goodbye to Ohio State.

Miami among possible transfer destinations for Tate Martell

Tate Martell

Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell is exploring the idea of transferring after he entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal this week, and there has already been speculation about where he might end up.

Miami would be one program to watch, for one obvious reason and some that are less obvious. The Hurricanes have seemingly been a quarterback away from title contention for a few years now, and new head coach Manny Diaz surely must think they can do better than N’Kosi Perry. Plus, as Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors notes, two of Martell’s former high school teammates will be at Miami in 2019 after another announced he is transferring there this week.

West Virginia has been mentioned as another possible landing spot for Martell, as Mountaineers starting quarterback Will Grier is heading for the NFL Draft.

Eligibility will likely play a big factor in where Martell ends up — both his own and that of Justin Fields. Fields, who is transferring to Ohio State from Georgia, is looking for an eligibility waiver to be able to play right away. If he can’t get it, Martell would be the favorite to start for the Buckeyes.

Martell, who just finished his redshirt freshman season, may have to sit out next year if he transfers. His only real hope would be to somehow obtain a waiver based on Urban Meyer retiring, but that seems unlikely to happen. There have been indications that Miami and another top quarterback who can play right away have mutual interest, but perhaps the Hurricanes could make a huge splash by landing both QBs if Martell is going to sit out 2019 anyway.

Jalen Hurts, Miami appear to have mutual interest

Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts and the Miami Hurricanes appear to have mutual interest.

Hurts has entered his name in the NCAA’s transfer portal. Since he graduated in December as a junior, Hurts still has one year of eligibility remaining and could play immediately upon transferring.

With Hurts expected to leave the Alabama program, he should have no shortage of potential suitors. Among them could be Miami. Hurts has followed Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz and tight ends coach Brevin Jordan on Twitter.

Hurts was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman and went 26-2 as a starter at Alabama. He helped the Crimson Tide to two appearances in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Hurts was replaced during last year’s title game in favor of Tua Tagovailoa, who was named the starter for the 2018 season.

Miami landing Hurts would be a huge get for Diaz and his coaching staff. However, Diaz will have to make quite the recruiting pitch because Hurts will be a wanted man, as reports say Oklahoma and Florida State are also on Hurts’ list.

Report: Kyler Murray expected to enter NFL Draft

Kyler Murray

Baseball looks like it will be losing a top athlete to the NFL.

The Oakland A’s expect Kyler Murray to enter the NFL Draft, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser. Moreover, when it comes time in February for him to decide whether he will attend big league camp with the Oakland A’s or prepare for the draft at the NFL Combine, Murray is expected to choose football.

Murray was drafted No. 9 overall by the A’s in the 2018 MLB Draft following his spectacular spring season at Oklahoma. The Texas native batted .296 with 13 doubles, 10 home runs, a .954 OPS and 10 stolen bases for the Sooners baseball team, which led to him becoming a top-10 pick. At that point, Murray had only played college football sporadically as a freshman at Texas A&M and as Baker Mayfield’s backup at Oklahoma as a sophomore.

The A’s let Murray play college football in the fall, and he exploded with a season that culminated in him winning the Heisman Trophy. Given his abilities as both a passer and runner, combined with the success Mayfield had as a rookie, the expectation is Murray would be a first-round pick and have success in the NFL.

Murray’s chances of success seem higher in football than baseball, where he would have to work his way up through the minor leagues. Unless choosing the less dangerous sport were his priority, picking football makes more sense. He would be highly-paid as a quarterback and have a better chance at immediate success than baseball.

Murray would have to pay back his bonus with the A’s, who would not receive a compensatory draft pick if they do not sign the outfielder.

Arkansas QB Ty Storey listed in NCAA transfer portal

Arkansas Razorbacks

Now that the college football season has ended, the transfer season has officially begun.

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has entered his name into the transfer portal, as has Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush. You can add another QB to that list — Arkansas’ Ty Storey.

Storey passed for 1,584 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for the Razorbacks during the season. He took over early in the seaso for Cole Kelley, who is also transferring. Freshman Connor Noland also saw some action at quarterback this season for Arkansas. Arkansas went 2-10 and 0-8 in conference this season, their first under new head coach Chad Morris.