Notes from around the college football nation: Middle School recruiting frenzy and Vandalism destroys college football

How a college football fan views a map

How a college football fan views a map

I recently got one step closer to kick off  -  just purchased my Athlon Sports College football preview magazine.  Once I have that magazine in my hands, life is good.  It makes me realize the season is almost here (even though it is forever away).  We still have so much to talk about.  The recruiting trail for middle school kids is really starting to heat up along with some more trash talk down in the South.  Let’s get into some of the news from last week sprinkled with my thoughts about the college football scene:

1. Who needs to put on a show anymore while playing as a high school senior?  Just show off during football camps while in middle school and coaches will come knocking.  USC offered a scholarship to an 8th grader last week in hopes of getting an early jump on the 2018 recruiting trail.  Crazy talk!  I know Kiffin is desperate for Wide Receivers but let’s hit the brakes a little.  Not to be outdone by its crosstown rival, UCLA also offered an 8th grade QB.  Then, since the SEC always feels they do it bigger and better, Kentucky steps in and offers a scholarship to a 7th grader.  HOLY COW!  What is going on.  I feel coaches do this more for the attention and to make headlines during the slow times.  Also, how many of us actually think Kentucky will have the same football coach for more than 3 years?  Is Kiffin really going to be with USC until 2018… probably not.  What will happen to these kids who, having banked on a coach’s word all the way to their senior year, watch on as that coach gets canned?  That kid has nowhere else to turn when the new coach at “University U” does not honor the prior scholarship offer.  It is just the beginning of a future debacle if you ask me.  The NCAA is a mess right now but they should step in and put a limit on when scholarship offers can be extended.  I am thinking 16 or 17 years of age at the youngest.

Kentucky making headlines for more than just losing games

Duncan Cavanah

Kentucky making headlines for more than just losing games

2. Have you all heard what happened at Clemson with Howard’s Rock?  I know college football rivalries are intense (and fun) but fans still need to keep themselves under control.  I STRONGLY dislike FSU and GEORGIA but would never think about going to those schools or stadiums and causing damage.  Let’s hope the vandals are quickly caught and this matter put to rest.  College football has such rich history that we need to preserve and build upon, not destroy.  It’s upsetting when fans go beyond rivalries and to the extremes.  I visited Clemson’s Memorial Stadium and was able to see Howard’s Rock before all this happened.  I’m glad I did because I know they will have the display on lock down from now on.

My son and I when we visited Clemson's Stadium

Jeff Hostetler

My son and I when we visited Clemson’s Stadium

3. I feel like I have written about Texas A&M every week this off-season… so why stop now.  Rumor has it that Coach Sumlin was offered the Philadelphia Eagles job at one point.  True or not, I think a lot of team GM’s will be looking at how Chip Kelly does in the NFL to gauge if Coach Sumlin could thrive there and be worth pursuing.  Sumlin runs a very similar offense to Oregon and is definitely the “IT” coach right now.  To add just a little more news from College Station, Johnny Football has the odds in his favor to win the Heisman again next season.  If he continues to put up similar numbers, and possibly lead his team to the SEC championship game, then it could be a lock.  Manziel may be the oddsmakers’ favorite, but I still think the Heisman will go to another random face from the crowd.  It happens every year and I expect this upcoming season to be no different.  Now for some Johnny Football highlights:

4. One last thought.  Last week I pointed out that coaches in the SEC had agreed they were going to keep it quiet, but you would expect Spurrier to open his mouth and say something, right?  Nope, not this week.  It was Georgia’s coach Richt doing all the trash talk directed at Spurrier.  I think Richt has a point in talking a little trash talk about their schedule this season.  Georgia could start the year off going 1-3 if things do not break their way in games vs LSU, South Carolina and Clemson in the first 4 weeks.  Brutal.  It’s about time some random SEC coach other than Spurrier is making making waves or calling SABAN the devil.

With all that behind us, let us just sit back and relax while reading our college football preview magazines.  Let the debate begin as to which conference is the best or why our favorite player is a Second Team All-American and not a First Team.  I have a week of vacation coming and I will spend a lot of time reading and analyzing my college football magazine, planning out some upcoming games to focus on.  Go grab a copy and then share some of your thoughts on the upcoming season.

NATIONAL NEWS:

1. College football mailbag

2. Penn State can’t decide

3. Football is first priority at USC

4. Football gone forever

5. Alabama rolling… again

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Jeff Hostetler

Jeff Hostetler

Jeff Hostetler may not have won a Super Bowl with the Giants ( though his uncle of the same name did). He has been an obsessed college football fan living in Florida ever since the Gators beat FSU in the Sugar Bowl to earn the UF's first national championship. Ever since Jeff has immersed himself in everything possible related to college football. He enjoys watching, writing, playing, and otherwise obsessing over all things football. A graduate of the University of Florida, he brings a perspective to FishDuck free of our extreme green & yellow homerism glasses to look at the current landscape of collegiate athletics.