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#pounditFriday, March 5, 2021

College Football

Joe Burrow has great reaction to EA Sports bringing back NCAA Football

Joe Burrow

EA Sports set social media ablaze on Tuesday with the news that we will soon have another college football video game, but the announcement was bittersweet for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

Burrow, who is a little more than a year removed from leading LSU to a national championship, had a great tweet after EA Sports dropped the big news. The first overall pick said his dream was to be on the cover of the game.

He probably would have been, too. Burrow won the Heisman Trophy and set several records en route to a national title in 2019. Had EA Sports still been producing the “NCAA Football” series last summer, Burrow likely would have been the obvious choice for the cover.

Most people are overjoyed that EA Sports is bringing back a college football game, and you can see some of the best Twitter reactions here. Perhaps an exception can be made to allow Burrow to fulfill his dream.

Twitter goes wild over EA Sports bringing back ‘NCAA Football’

NCAA Football 14

EA Sports made an announcement on Tuesday that many video game enthusiasts have been waiting years for, and the internet reacted exactly how you might expect.

After years of hiatus due to licensing and compensation issues, college football is returning to EA Sports. The game will be called “EA Sports College Football” rather than “NCAA Football,” but there will be some sort of college football game in the near future.

There has not been a new version of “NCAA Football” since “NCAA Football 14” was released in the Summer of 2013. Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was on the cover.

Twitter went ballistic after EA Sports dropped the news:

EA Sports vice president and general manager Daryl Holt told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein that the plan is to move forward with rosters that do not include the the names, images or likenesses of real college players.

The NCAA is in the process of changing its amateurism rules regarding athletes profiting off their name, image and likeness. A case is expected to be heard later this year, and CBS reported last month that the goal is to enact legislation in 2021. Holt says EA Sports will be prepared to adapt to that.

“We’ll just keep tabs on everything as it develops and we’ll be ready,” he told ESPN. “That won’t be a problem for us. But it’s really, that’s not an answer for us right now to decide. We’re as much passengers as anyone else.”

The game will feature over 100 college teams. EA Sports partnered with collegiate licensing company CLC to secure the rights to FBS schools, traditions, uniforms and more.

If you want to know how popular the “NCAA Football” series was, just look at the way some schools have used it as a recruiting tool. To say that gamers and college football fans are ecstatic would be an understatement.

Is Tate Martell likely to transfer to UNLV?

Tate Martell

Tate Martell once again entered the NCAA’s transfer portal recently, meaning he will likely soon be enrolling at his third different school in four years. Is he headed to UNLV?

UNLV is considered the favorite to land Martell, according to 247 Sports. Martell, who was recruited as the No. 2 dual threat quarterback in the country back in 2017, made a name for himself at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. He was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2016.

After he was featured on Netflix’s “QB1: Beyond the Lights,” Martell originally committed to Ohio State in 2017. He then transferred to Miami after Justin Fields joined the Buckeyes. Martell lost out on the quarterback job at Miami and was shifted to wide receiver. He stood little chance of playing QB for the Hurricanes in 2021 after D’Eriq King announced his decision to return to school.

Martell opted out of the 2020 college football season in September after being suspended by Miami. He recently sent some tweets about getting his mind right after not being active on social media for several months.

Here is why Dabo Swinney was at the US Soccer friendly

Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney was in attendance for US Soccer’s international friendly against Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla. What was the Clemson football coach doing there? Did he suddenly become a huge soccer fan?

The explanation for his attendance at the game actually is pretty cool.

Swinney’s godson is Tanner Tessmann, who is one of the substitutes on the US Soccer team.

The US won the game 7-0 and Tessmann got to see some action as a sub.

Tessmann, 19, plays for FC Dallas and actually skipped college to go pro. He turned down the opportunity to play football and soccer at Clemson in order to pursue his pro career.

Tessmann shared on Twitter last week how excited he was for the opportunity to play his first game with the senior national team.

It was cool for Swinney to be there too. And no, we shouldn’t expect this to be the start of a Ted Lasso move for Dabo.

Dylan McCaffrey to transfer to Northern Colorado to play for dad Ed

Dylan McCaffrey

Former Michigan quarterback Dylan McCaffrey has settled on his transfer destination, and he’ll be playing for someone he knows quite well.

McCaffrey announced Sunday he will transfer to Northern Colorado, where his father Ed serves as head coach.

McCaffrey’s brother Christian was among those congratulating Dylan on the decision.

Dylan was a four-star quarterback who was heavily recruited by the likes of LSU and Penn State before ultimately landing at Michigan. He opted to transfer in September after losing out on the starting quarterback job to Joe Milton. McCaffrey has two years of eligibility remaining and, as a graduate transfer, will be able to play immediately.

The Northern Colorado Bears play in the Big Sky Conference at FCS level. They did not play a season in 2020, so 2021 will mark Ed McCaffrey’s first year in charge of the program on the field. They went 2-10 in 2019 and haven’t made the playoffs since 2002, so perhaps Dylan and his pedigree will mark a major turnaround for them.

Photo: Maize & Blue Nation/Flickr via CC-by-SA 2.0

Jeff Fisher reportedly a finalist for Montana State football job

Jeff Fisher

Jeff Fisher has not coached since being fired by the Los Angeles Rams in 2016, but he is in the mix for another job.

Fisher tweeted a photo on Saturday flying over a city from a plane. He asked his Twitter followers to guess where he was.

Fisher was flying to Bozeman in Montana.

Colton Pool, the sports editor of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, says that Fisher is a finalist for the Montana State job.

Montana State has a vacancy after Jeff Choate left to take a job on Steve Sarkisian’s staff at Texas.

Fisher is 62 and has only coached in the NFL during his lengthy coaching career. He coached the Oilers/Titans from 1995-2010. And then he became the Rams’ head coach from 2012-2016. His reputation was tarnished when he seemingly went 7-9 every year with the Rams. Seeing Sean McVay turn the team around in one year also didn’t help the perception surrounding Fisher.

Fisher seems to really want back into coaching because he also inserted his name into another job.

Deion Sanders lays down expectations for Jackson State program

Deion Sanders

By the looks of things, Deion Sanders is very determined to create his own culture at Jackson State.

The football icon is in the midst of his first full offseason as Jackson State’s head coach. He has yet to actually coach a game due to the cancellation of the football team’s 2020 season, but he is very clearly putting his stamp on the program based on the messages he’s sending out on social media.

Coaching at an HBCU is definitely a unique challenge due in large part to the financial disparity with more powerful programs. Still, Sanders seems to be something of an equalizer. He’s begun to attract some pretty impressive recruits to the program ahead of his first season of on-field action.

We have no idea how Sanders will do in terms of the daily ins and outs of coaching. Unsurprisingly, the guy attracts recruits, and he has high demands of them. This will be a program to watch in 2021.

Tennessee AD has great response to report about leaks

Tennessee Vols logo

Tennessee athletic director Danny White has had a busy month, taking over as the school’s new athletic director and hiring a football coach. There has also been some speculation that he’s been up to other things, but he had a great response to that.

College football writer Steven Godfrey claimed that White had sent out an internal memo announcing an investigation into various leaks that the program dealt with during its head coach search. White saw that tweet and disputed it in a great way.

Even if such an investigation was taking place, it seems quite unlikely that White would be leading it himself. Like he said, the guy’s busy with a lot of other things.

It’s worth noting that a lot of the speculation about Tennessee’s coaching search turned out to be wrong when the school ultimately hired Josh Heupel. Maybe the leaks weren’t that big a deal.

Jimmy Johnson shares how Urban Meyer can be successful in NFL

Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson is one of a handful of coaches to find success at both the NFL and NCAA levels, and he has some advice for the latest person trying to do it.

Johnson believes Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer must utilize his knowledge from recruiting the top college players and bring in talent in order to succeed at the NFL level.

“When I went to the Cowboys, I had never coached in professional football and I was going to a team that had three straight losing seasons,” Johnson told Analis Bailey of USA Today. “They were the worst team in the league record-wise. And I realized that there wasn’t enough talent there. But I knew the players. I had been in these players’ homes. I was in Troy Aikman’s home his sophomore year in high school.

“(Meyer) knows all of the great players around the country. So utilize that expertise to bring in talent. So if he brings in the right coaches and he brings in the right talent he is going to be successful.”

It does come down to talent, and Johnson is right about that. In college, Meyer led a program that could offer top recruits things that most programs couldn’t. That included the chance to win a championship and high-level facilities. That won’t be true in the NFL, where he’ll face much stiffer competition.

Johnson clearly believes Meyer can succeed. Some others are much more skeptical. Only time will tell.

Ex-LSU player Ray Parker facing disturbing animal abuse allegations

LSU logo

Former LSU football player Ray Parker was suspended last year after he was charged in a domestic violence incident, and that is not the only legal trouble he is facing.

Parker was charged with misdemeanor battery of a dating partner last September. He had been free on $4,500 bond until he was arrested this week on an outstanding warrant for animal cruelty. Police say the warrant was issued in September not long after his domestic violence arrest.

According to a police report obtained by Lea Skene of The Advocate, authorities found evidence of animal abuse when they were investigating the domestic abuse case and issued a warrant shortly after. The warrant states that Parker routinely abused his pitbull puppy.

The puppy, named Kash, suffered a broken leg and rib. Parker sent text messages to his girlfriend about punishing the dog for urinating on the floor and said it might end up “dead or injured.” In one message, Parker told his girlfriend to come get “this … broke leg dog.” Parker’s roommate told police he witnessed Parker kick the dog multiple times and that he told Parker to “chill out.”

Parker’s girlfriend ended up taking the dog and bringing it to the LSU vet school for treatment. Police later learned the dog needed to have one of its legs amputated because of breaks and fractures.

Parker, a defensive end, redshirted when LSU won the national championship in 2019. He was then suspended indefinitely back in December.