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Friday, April 28, 2017

College Football

Papa John resigns from Louisville Athletic Association board

Papa John

John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s pizza chain, has resigned from the Louisville Athletic Association board.

Schnatter is heavily involved with the University of Louisville, and his pizza company has been a major donor to the school. The businessman is on the school’s board of trustees but no longer on the athletic association’s board after recently criticizing the school’s athletic department.

According to the Louisville Courier Journal, Schnatter said he was told the school’s athletic department leadership was “invisible.” He also said the athletic department needed to be fixed.

Schnatter was not in attendance for Thursday’s athletics board meeting and has been replaced on the board, according to the Courier-Journal.

School athletic director Tom Jurich laughed when asked if Schnatter was pushed out or resigned.

Report: Ray Lewis’ son leaving Utah State

Rayshad Lewis, the son of former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis, is reportedly looking for a new collegiate home.

Isaac Draxler of Scout.com reported that Lewis, a top wide receiver for Utah State and possible two-way player, will transfer.

It is unclear why Lewis is leaving Utah State, as he had been getting playing time and there were no indications that there was anything amiss off the field. The player himself posted a cryptic tweet Friday morning.

Lewis has been mooted as a possible defender and special teams player in addition to his duties as a receiver. There is no indication where he may transfer to or if a Power Five school is within the realm of possibility, but given that his father still keeps close ties to his alma mater, he’d probably like to have a look there if he could.

H/T CollegeFootballTalk
Photo via Rayshad Lewis/Instagram

10 colleges that have produced the best current NFL players

LSU Field logo

The NFL Draft is coming up, meaning teams will be selecting players from colleges around the country in order to beef up their rosters. They’ll be picking players who played at big schools and small schools, hoping to strike gold. A look back into the history books spins a tale of which college programs have churned out the largest number of players and their subsequent level of success. But what about the existing crop of NFL players? Which schools have tended to produce the best players in the league of late?

The following list is subjective: here’s a look at which college programs have produced the best current NFL talent.

10. Cal Golden Bears

California is probably not a program many expected to see on this list. And while we could have gone with Ohio State, Florida, Penn State, Michigan, Texas or Notre Dame in this spot, there’s no denying the top-end talent Cal has produced.

27 former Golden Bears found themselves on an NFL roster last season, and two of them were named to The Top 100 Players of 2016, including the only quarterback in the league arguably as talented as Tom Brady.

Aaron Rodgers, a first-round pick in 2005, is not only a Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP, but was also twice named the NFL MVP. He’s also gone to six Pro Bowls and been name an All-Pro four times in his career. He led the NFL in touchdown passes in 2016 and owns numerous all-time NFL records — so many, in fact, that it would eat up a quarter of this article listing them all out.

Overshadowed by Rodgers, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan also made an appearance on the Top 100 players list, checking in at No. 99 overall. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler who will likely eclipse 50 career sacks this coming season.

Other big names produced by California include Keenan Allen, C.J. Anderson, Jared Goff, DeSean Jackson, Marvin Jones, Mychal Kendricks, Alex Mack, Shane Vereen and Mitchell Schwartz. They also have produced the man they call Beast Mode — Marshawn Lynch.

9. Miami Hurricanes

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Nick Saban: Alabama looked ‘adequate’ in spring game

Nick Saban

It’s no secret that Alabama head coach Nick Saban has exceptionally high standards for his program, but on Saturday, he managed to be somewhat critical of their spring game performance.

Saban dismissed his team as “adequate” after the A-Day festivities, adding that they have a lot of work to do before their Sep. 2 season opener against Florida State.

Saban strives for perfection. He was never going to see it in a glorified scrimmage, but he was looking for it anyway, and he made certain to note publicly that it wasn’t there. There’s a reason one former assistant admitted that one set of memories of working under Saban would stand out more than all the others.

Maryland plays spring football game in front of near-empty stadium

The Maryland Terrapins held their spring game Saturday, and to say the event was sparsely attended would be putting it mildly.

The Terps went 6-7 in 2016 and haven’t had a winning season since 2014, so it’s not really a surprise their spring game wouldn’t be a huge draw. That said, as evidenced by these photos, it’s safe to say the game wasn’t a draw at all.

Kyle Melnick of the Diamondback, who posted the photo, confirmed that this small gaggle of people wasn’t even a group of fans — it was the band.

Just a reminder that Alabama routinely gets upwards of 90,000 people for their spring game. We obviously wouldn’t expect the Terps to draw anything similar, but it looks like the tally there would be fortunate to reach triple digits.

Fan wears Clemson championship gear to Alabama spring game

Alabama logo

Fans attending Alabama’s spring football game received an unpleasant reminder of how the previous season ended thanks to one trolling fan.

The fan — who claimed he’d come all the way from North Carolina — popped up at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday to annoy some Crimson Tide fans by reminding them how last year’s National Championship went.

Jerry Hinnen of the War Eagle Reader speculated that the same fan had made an appearance at SEC Media Day in 2015 with the same goal, except wearing Ohio State gear that day.

Look, sometimes you just have to troll Alabama fans. If it is indeed the same guy, he’s elevating it to a life’s mission.

H/T TheSpun

5 early favorites to win college football championship

Nick Saban

National Signing Day has come and gone, spring games are starting across the nation, and college football coaches, players, and fans are already looking ahead with excitement to the 2017 season. Some fans have more reason to be excited than others, though, with strong returning cores and top recruiting classes setting several squads up for potential runs at the national championship early in 2018.

Here are five teams who stand a pretty good chance at making the College Football Playoff and possibly winning the whole thing next season.

5) USC Trojans

After about five years in what was, at least for them, the college football wilderness, the USC Trojans are back and barreling toward elite status under Clay Helton. Quarterback Sam Darnold will be a Heisman candidate after throwing for 3,086 and 31 touchdowns as a freshman. They’ll lose some talent on the offensive line, but they recruited well by bringing in highly-rated recruits Austin Jackson and Jalen McKenzie.

The reality is this team will go as far as Darnold can take them.

Once he seized control of the quarterback position, the Trojans reeled off nine consecutive victories, including a rather convincing 26-13 win at eventual College Football Playoff participant Washington. It all culminated in an epic comeback to beat Penn State in the Rose Bowl, which should give this team a really good feeling heading into a 2017 season, where a playoff berth is a very real possibility.

4) Oklahoma Sooners

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