Andre Debose And Matt Patchan Cleared To Play

File this under News We Already Know. Doing some cleanup after a quick vacation and an ongoing bug that is doing it’s best to destroy any enjoyment I might have in life.
There you have it. You can go ahead and wipe the sweat off of your brow and let out a sigh of relief. Andre Debose and Matt Patchan have been cleared to play. To read the full quote from the University of Florida, check out Alligator Army, but here’s the basic idea: there are no eligibility issues with either player. Both can play, so says the NCAA (hey, it’s Friday, I don’t apologize for a rhyme here and there).
This is great news for Florida, but continues to be bad news for Miami. The NCAA was quick to inform Florida, Georgia, and Kansas State of the eligibility of Debose, Patchan, Orson Charles, and Bryce Brown. What does that mean for the Hurricanes? It means they’re the focus of the investigation and will be the program on the NCAA’s radar for now.
Be happy the two Gators mentioned have been cleared, but continue to be amazed with the state of college football.

The Long Snapper (8/3/10)

College football.  James Smith.  Pageant contestants.
• Not good news for those of you hoping to catch a glimpse of Florida in action before the 2010 season-opener.  The Gators have decided to close all practices to the media and fans, so reports on some of your favorite players may be hard to come by.  The season isn’t that far off now, but this news doesn’t help us get there any faster.
GatorBait.net gives us 10 predictions for the Gators.  It’s hard to disagree on any of them, but I do have a few points:
I’ve said for a while now that I think Mike Gillislee is going to push Emmanuel Moody.  Gillislee is more talented than most think and could get a significant number of carries in 2010.  Moody is still a more than capable running back, but it’ll be hard to keep Gillislee off the field.
I’m not sure it matters if Lawrence Marsh is a starter or not.  The Gators could use a rotation-approach at defensive tackle.  Expect to see Marsh, Jaye Howard, Omar Hunter, and Terron Sanders each get plenty of time.  As for those five-star DTs Florida added, this is a position where it can take a little longer to develop at the next level.  While they both could play in 2010, it’s not a bad thing if they are limited as they adjust to the college game.
And finally, this isn’t a knock on Jelani Jenkins, but I believe Jon Bostic may be better suited to play middle linebacker.  Jenkins is a freakish athlete who could play at any LB position, but what’s best for Florida might be to get both on the field at the same time.  If that’s the case, I think Bostic may be the good MLB choice with Jenkins utilizing his speed on the outside.
Sampson Genus.  Great name.  One of USF’s best players.  Genus is dedicated to being a leader on the field and in the locker room.
• USF had a shot at pulling in linebacker Glen Staley.  Maybe an outside one, but there were rumors the former USC signee was down to the Bulls and FSU at one point.  Unfortunately, Stanley ended up going with the Seminoles.  The LB will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Jeremiah Masoli has found a home at Ole Miss.  The former Oregon quarterback was offered a chance to walk on at Ole Miss and will take head coach Houston Nutt up on it (I’ll do my best to never again write the phrase “nut up on it.”).
Masoli has about a month to learn the Rebels system and if he does well in practice could earn the starting job.  The quarterback will be eligible to play right away and without a clear leader at the position, Masoli could gain control of the job.
There are people who paint Masoli as the bad guy in this whole process.  He was, after all, dismissed from his former program.  And then there are those who call Nutt dirty for accepting a player with Masoli’s record.  It’s hard to argue with that second group.
I have a feeling Masoli stays out of trouble while a Rebel though.  He knows this is his chance to redeem himself and get people to think of him as a football player again.
• The Bryce Brown situation sure is fun to watch unfold.  It’s really a matter of who you choose to believe at this point.  Did Brown ask for his release at a certain point?  Did he text his request to Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley?  Did the two meet to discuss it?  It’s hard to know what really happened.
Regardless, Brown has not been released from his scholarship.  The running back seems to want to transfer to Kansas State, but is having a hard time getting Dooley and Tennessee to cooperate.  However, it could be because Brown may not be going about it the right way.  Interesting saga involving a former #1 overall recruit.

Bryce Brown Ruled Ineligible…We Think

It appears as if the NCAA has ruled Tennessee freshman running back Bryce Brown ineligible. At least that could be an indication as to why the Vols are appealing the ruling. Tennessee will not reveal the reasoning behind the appeal except to say they’re looking to get Brown eligible. One would assume that means the NCAA declared him not able to play. Then again, it’s hard to tell at this point.

Brown has been a topic of discussion for quite some time now. From “I hope my team is in the running, he’s just neat!” To “let that kid bust somewhere else!” The latter coming from those that got sick of the antics which were general led by Brown’s “adviser” Brian Butler. Who knew high school kids now have individuals acting as agents? At least publically?

It looks like Butler organized some fundraising for Brown (and others) to go on a trip to visit various colleges. Butler contends the trip had nothing to do with athletics, but was merely a chance for high school kids to get the chance to visit various schools. Yeah. Okay! If you believe that, take off your helmet and step away from the computer slowly. You should not be operating any kind of machinery.

As I said, it’s hard to determine if Brown has really been ruled ineligible at this point, but if he has, this could be a big blow to the Tennessee backfield. We all know this is a rebuilding year for the Vols, but Brown was a major part of that. Luckily they still have Jonathan Crompton to lead them to the promised land (i.e. the six win mark).

Even looking at the worst case scenario – the NCAA upholding the phantom decision that Brown can’t play – this wouldn’t affect Tennessee in any other way. This happened long before he had signed with the Vols during a simpler time when the SEC was without Lane Kiffin.

Morning Reading: Impact Freshmen

During my freshman year at Florida, I didn’t get on the field. It could something to do with the fact that I’m slow and have very little athletic talent, but I like to think I redshirted due to a crowded depth chart. No need to talk about the fact that Steve Spurrier had no idea I claimed myself a member of the team. I’m still waiting for my jersey and locker.

There are a number of true freshmen that could make an immediate impact for their teams this year. It’s not an exact science because for every highly-rated recruit that makes an name for himself right off the bat (Percy Harvin) there’s one that takes longer to come along and might not even be on the team a few years later (Torrey Davis). But based on recruiting rankings and team needs, we can make a guess about who will tear out of the gates.

Florida fans are drooling over the prospects of playmaker Andre Debose teaming up with the likes to Tim Tebow, Jeffery Demps, and Chris Rainey. But Debose obviously isn’t the only potential superstar freshman.

Debose’s high school teammate Ray Ray Armstrong could see the field at Miami in a variety of positions. He’ll most likely start out in the defensive backfield, but don’t be surprised if the Hurricanes try to get the ball in his hands on offense. Gator fans were hoping running back Trent Richardson would follow in the footsteps of another former Escambia back – Emmitt Smith – but Richardson chose to take his talents to Alabama. And then there’s Bryce Brown, who strung Miami along well after signing day before deciding on Tennessee.

None or all of these freshmen could make an immediate impact, but in an age where you get your young stars on the field as soon as possible, don’t expect any of them to redshirt.

The Long Snapper: Brandon James, Carl Johnson, Mike Leach, Bryce Brown, and Chris Smelley

Running Flintstone-esque around football fields is rough on one’s tires. So rough in fact, sometimes a fix up is needed. Florida’s pint-sized speedster Brandon James will be hobbled for a few weeks while he recovers from surgery on his right foot. Broken bones be damned, James will be ready come fall to claim every return record known to man.

Big Carl’s House of Date Rape?!? The story of Florida offensive lineman Carl Johnson continues to get weirder and weirder. Allegedly, Big Carl said some freaky things. We don’t know how true said statements are just yet, but one thing is for certain: Johnson was arrested for violating a restraining order. This has the potential to be something that won’t end well at all.

Deadline. Gone. Mike Leach didn’t sign the latest contract extension that was presented to him and it may be the last he gets from Texas Tech. With two years left on his current contract, Leach seems happy with seeing it out and figuring out the rest when the time comes.

The school Bryce Brown has been “committed” to has had enough. When his letter of intent expires on Wednesday, Miami may not renew it. Coaches can’t discuss recruits until their letters are signed, so Randy Shannon has no comment, but it appears as if his patience may be worn thin. What’s the over/under on the number of years Brown will spend at whatever school he ends up choosing anyway? 1.5? 2?

A stink that could only come from Tuscaloosa. Former South Carolina quarterback Chris Smelley transferred to Alabama to join the Crimson Tide baseball team. Now Smelley appears interested in joining Bama on the football field as well.

The Long Snapper: Celebration Penalties, George Selvie, Bryce Brown, and More…

The NCAA’s rules committee wants coaches to begin to debate celebration penalties. The idea being toyed around with is to turn dead-ball penalties into live-ball ones – effectively meaning touchdowns could be taken away. Does that mean we might be close to seeing the last of the linebacker punt? Although celebrations can sometimes be taken too far, for the most part they’re all in good fun and there should be a line drawn between celebrating and taunting.

Coming out of high school, George Selvie might never have pictured himself as an All-American defensive end. Selvie was a little known offensive lineman out of Pensacola, FL. A few years later, the USF star has some company when it comes to low-rated recruits making a big splash.

The nation’s top rated player (according to Rivals.com) was committed to attend Miami for nearly a year, but not long before signing day, Bryce Brown had a change of heart and wanted to explore all of his options. Now it appears he has Tennessee on his radar. Brown will visit the Vols this weekend. He will make one final visit after that and then announce his decision on March 12.

The state of the economy is reaching college football. Miami will bus it to UCF and USF during the 2009 season. Instead of jetting it, the Hurricanes will hit the road.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Austin College fullback Zach Swirczynski, who passed away after collapsing during a pick-up basketball game.