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Thursday, April 18, 2019

College Football

Bob Stoops, Lincoln Riley dispel rumors about Kyler Murray’s father

Lincoln Riley

Both Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley went on Twitter Tuesday to dispel some negative rumors about Kyler Murray’s father.

Beginning earlier this month, there was a report saying NFL personnel had concerns about Murray’s father, even comparing him to LaVar Ball. NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero said on Tuesday that Kyler is calling the shots with his sports future, but the reporter still advised NFL teams to talk with the elder Murray before drafting the quarterback.

Riley, who has coached Murray the last two seasons at Oklahoma, decided to step up and defend Kevin Murray with a tweet sent on Tuesday, saying the rumors about him interfering “couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Stoops, who was the coach at Oklahoma when Murray transferred there, similarly said Kevin was not an issue.

At the least, this is good public relations from the Oklahoma coaches and should make NFL teams feel more comfortable about drafting Murray. But you have to wonder whether there’s something going on behind the scenes that has led to this reaction from scouts.

Former No. 1 recruit Jaelan Phillips announces transfer to Miami

Miami Hurricanes

Manny Diaz continues to make noise in Miami.

The Hurricanes head coach added a new player to the program as Jaelan Phillips announced his transfer to Miami.

Phillips was formerly a 5-star prospect ranked No. 1 in his class by 247 Sports. He began his career at UCLA but dealt with injuries and only played in 10 games over his first two seasons. He had 41 tackles and 4.5 sacks in his career with the Bruins.

Previous reports indicated Phillips was considering USC and Stanford, but instead, he ends up at Miami, who also brought in transfer Tate Martell.

Report: Oregon wanted to hire Texas ace recruiter Bryan Carrington

Bryan Carrington Texas

The Texas Longhorns have been cleaning up in the recruiting game, and one of their recruiting staffers is starting to become a hot commodity.

Bryan Carrington, Texas’ Director of Recruiting, was approached by Oregon but turned them away, according to Horns 247.

Carrington first joined Tom Herman’s coaching staff as an unpaid volunteer at Houston. He was brought over to Austin when Herman took the job at Texas and was promoted to his current job/title last year. He has gone on the road recruiting players and helps seal commitments, always sharing good news by tweeting a silence emoji when the program gets a new commitment. Carrington’s Twitter account has become a favorite of Texas fans and has helped the Longhorns grow in the recruiting field.

In addition to Oregon, LSU has expressed interest in hiring Carrington in the past. But the Texas native grew up a Longhorns fan, making this somewhat of a dream job for him. He is a major player to watch in the recruiting world.

Can Kyler Murray run a sub-4.30 40-yard-dash?

Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray is a tremendous athlete who possesses some impressive skills. But just how impressive is he? We may find out at the NFL Combine.

Murray spoke with some reporters on Monday and said he will attend the combine in Indianapolis, though he is unsure if he will participate in the drills. If he decides to run, that might really turn heads.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill Jr, Murray said the last time he ran the 40-yard-dash he was timed at 4.3.

If Murray ran a 4.3 and is faster now, might he actually be timed in the 4.2 range? If he does, that would be a game-changer.

Though Murray already won the Heisman Trophy and showed how dynamic of a player he can be on the field, sometimes teams and evaluators needs to see raw numbers to validate and confirm what they believe to be true. Showing that kind of speed would likely ensure Murray goes in the top 15.

Ex-Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson transfers to Maryland

Former Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Josh Jackson has announced his transfer destination.

Jackson said on Twitter Monday that he has committed to Maryland.

Jackson spent the past three years at Virginia Tech and enjoyed a strong redshirt freshman season in 2017. Then he suffered a fractured fibula in September, which ended his redshirt sophomore season early. A January article in the Roanoke Times suggested Jackson was offended that he would have to compete for his starting job in the spring. That and the multiple transfers from the program contributed to his decision to leave.

Jackson passed for 3,566 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions at Virginia Tech. He will be a graduate transfer eligible to play in the fall and have two years of eligibility left. This is a huge pickup for first-year head coach Mike Locksley.

Jaylon Ferguson’s agent rips NFL for rescinding Combine invitation

Louisiana Tech defensive end Jaylon Ferguson will not be allowed to attend the NFL Scouting Combine later this month because of an incident that took place several years ago, and his agent is furious with the league over the decision.

Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported on Wednesday that Ferguson, the NCAA’s all-time sack leader, was uninvited from the Combine after a background check revealed he was charged with simple battery during his freshman year. On Thursday, Ferguson’s agent Safarrah Lawson blasted the NFL for “vilifying the future players of the league” rather than affording them an opportunity to prove they have learned from their mistakes.

Ferguson’s charge stemmed from a fight at a McDonald’s restaurant, and Lawson described it as a “scuffle” between two teenagers that took place before the 23-year-old even began playing college football.

You could argue that what Ferguson did was not nearly as bad as the allegations against some other players who have been barred from the Combine, but the NFL is obviously trying to take a zero-tolerance stance. Not working out for teams at the Combine should not prevent Ferguson from being a high draft pick.

Report: DC Todd Grantham turns down Bengals to remain at Florida

Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals remain in search of a defensive coordinator after being turned down by their latest candidate.

Todd Grantham will stay at Florida as the Gators’ defensive coordinator despite interviewing with the Bengals twice, according to reports. Picksticks.com’s Harrison Tenzer first reported the news on Grantham, with Graham Hall confirming the report.

Grantham met with the Bengals twice and the position was his to take if he wanted it, according to a Cincinnati Enquirer report. Grantham signed a three-year, $4.47 million deal with Florida last year and is in the middle of that deal.

In addition to Grantham, the Bengals have considered Jack Del Rio, Dom Capers and Dennis Allen for their defensive coordinator position, and nothing has worked out so far.

Cincinnati is overhauling its coaching staff after hiring Zac Taylor, a Sean McVay disciple, and is looking to improve the No. 30 defense in the league last year in points allowed.