What to Make of the Transfer Rumors
We are potentially entering one of the most prolific offseasons of quarterback free-agent transfers in college football history. Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson were both mentioned in Heisman Trophy discussions during the last calendar year, and have both been connected to LSU over the last week. Both players have done their best to quell transfer rumors, but that won't make them go away.
Are there any other possible destinations other than LSU within the SEC?
Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Ole Miss and Florida could all wade into the quarterback free-agent market if they so choose.
Would any of those schools go down that road? Rebels' head coach Hugh Freeze wouldn't rule out adding another quarterback, even though DeVante Kincade, Ryan Buchanan and junior college signee Chad Kelly will all be in the mix to replace Bo Wallace.
"You're going to consider anyone you feel like helps your football team move another step forward," Freeze said after the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. "I'm anxious to see both of those guys [Kincade and Buchanan] go to work, and whoever else we decided to bring in during the spring...we've got a lot of kids returning too."
If Miller transfers, whichever program lands him is getting a bona fide superstar who will make an immediate impact.
Golson would be an upgrade from current situations, but his 14 interceptions and 12 fumbles (eight lost) should be very concerning to any team who takes a chance on him. On top of that, he won't graduate from Notre Dame till May, and the SEC's new rule on graduate transfers could make it hard for Golson, who admitted that his 2013 expulsion was due to cheating, according to Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated.
SEC Bylaw 22.214.171.124 (d) of the Graduate Student Exception, which was sent to B/R from the SEC, could stand in the way.
(d) The student-athlete has not been subject to official university or athletics department disciplinary action at any time during enrollment at any previous collegiate institution (excluding limited discipline applied by a sports team).
There is an appeal/waiver process in place for any team in the SEC to take Golson. Would it apply? The conference did block basketball player Eric McKnight's potential transfer to Tennessee this summer, and as Ben Fredrickson of the KnoxNews.com reported this summer, that rule could have played a part.
There will be a huge market if one or both decide to transfer, which will make this offseason a lot of fun.
Big News for Auburn's Defense
Auburn's defense has been more of a joke than a juggernaut ever since Tommy Tuberville moved on after the 2008 season, but head coach Gus Malzahn has taken it upon himself to fix the problem. Malzahn signed former Florida head coach Will Muschamp to coordinate his defense last month, and the duo got great news on Tuesday.
Linebacker Cassanova McKinzy announced on Twitter that he's coming back to the Plains for his senior season.
McKinzy finished second on the Tigers with 91 tackles, and ever since the middle of the 2013 season, he has evolved into a force in the middle of the Tigers defense. With Muschamp calling the shots, his performance, draft stock and Auburn's defense will all benefit from another go-round in the orange and blue—as USA Today's Dan Wolken notes.
McKinzy will anchor a linebacking corps that could include veteran Kris Frost, rising sophomore Tre' Williams, veterans Anthony Swain and Justin Garrett and perhaps several talented incoming freshman. They'll be playing for a coach in Muschamp who's well schooled on not only coaching versatile and successful linebackers, but getting new pieces up to speed in a hurry.
McKinzy is a proven leader and fundamentally sound tackler, which isn't the norm in Auburn's defense. He and Auburn will mutually benefit from his return in 2015.
South Carolina already saw 4-star cornerback Mark Fields decommit from the program in December, and now another key piece of the recruiting class in a position of need could be headed elsewhere.
Arden Key, a 4-star defensive lineman from Lithonia, Georgia and a longtime commitment, announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he is opening up his recruitment.
Being No. 1 on his board is nice, but certainly is more perilous than it was when he was committed to the Gamecocks.
The news dropped South Carolina down four spots to No. 16 in the most recent 247Sports team recruiting rankings, which is a far cry from the top five—which is where South Carolina was hovering just a few months ago.
A sign of more struggles for South Carolina? You bet.
The 7-6 season was a disappointment, and now key pieces of the recruiting class who were being counted on to fix the primary problems in Columbia are jumping ship.
Putting the Coaching Hat on
By now, you already know a little bit about 4-star wide receiver prospect Cordell Broadus. The 6'2", 195-pounder from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas is the son of music mogul Snoop Dogg, and he has earned offers from several high-profile programs, including UCLA, USC, LSU and Arizona State.
Broadus' dad is his harshest critic.
Snoop Dogg was in Atlanta this week for the world premiere of his new ESPN documentary Snoop & Son: A Dad's Dream at the College Football Hall of Fame. Snoop—who also serves as a coach in his Snoop Youth Football League, gave a scouting report on what Broadus needs to work on to become a star at the collegiate level.
"He's really good at blocking," Snoop said. "He has great blocking technique. He can position his body to make great catches and he has soft hands."
As is the case in the documentary, which debuts on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 14, Snoop put his "coaching hat" on and offered constructive criticism on what his son needs to improve upon to become a star.
"He needs to work on attacking the ball at its highest point, and be a little bit more aggressive as a receiver and not as timid," Snoop said. "I've seen him grow as a receiver and grow into the beast that I want him to be, but I feel like there's still a lot of room to grow. I feel like the next coach and the next program that gets him will get a guy with a lot of upside."
Where will Broadus end up?
A common theme during the first two episodes that were screened during the premiere was Broadus getting out of Snoop's shadow, which, in part, is a reason the family moved to Las Vegas in the first place. Broadus says during the show that it might be a better idea to stay away from USC due its location and his dad's unwavering support for the Trojans.
If that were to happen, Snoop wouldn't care.
"I'm an SC guy," Snoop said. "Regardless of where he goes, I will have on my SC drawers and socks. If he picks another university, I'll have on that university's sweatshirt with SC drawers and socks."
- LSU has become synonymous with early departures, but that could be changing. As Shea Dixon of 247Sports points out, news has trickled out that safety Jalen Mills and offensive linemen Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins all could come back. That'd be huge for a program that's in desperate need of good news after sputtering to an 8-5 record and 4-4 conference mark.
- John Burt, a 4-star wide receiver from Tallahassee, Florida, just decommitted from Texas, and has Auburn in the mix. At 6'3", 180 pounds, Burt has the potential to grow into his frame in a college strength and conditioning program, and be a force over the middle and deep for the Tigers if he lands on the Plains.
- Jim McElwain met with the media on Wednesday, and for the most part, he had the CEO role down, confirming the dismissal of defensive tackle and former hot-shot recruit Gerald Willis, according to Richard Johnson of The Alligator. More importantly, McElwain out of context is fun.
Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays, 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208.