Football Gazette's Small College Football Blog

Don Hansen's Football Gazette Blog of information, comments, notes, and tidebits on Small College Football. NCAA 1-AA & Mid Major, Division II & Mid Major, Division III, NAIA, and NCCAA

Thursday, June 15, 2006

News and Notes from around college football for June 12, 2006

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc.


2006 Bronco Nagurski Trophy Watch List Announced

Fifty-six players from 48 teams in 11 conferences comprise the preseason watch list for the 2006 Bronco Nagurski Trophy, as announced last week by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The award, named after the former Minnesota All-America and 1951 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, annually recognizes the best defensive player in college football.
The Charlotte Touchdown Club sponsors the trophy, which has been part of the FWAA’s stable of awards since 1993. Nine players from the Big 12 appear on this year’s preseason watch list, the most of any conference. Eight schools (California, Clemson, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Pittsburgh, Texas Christian, Utah and West Virginia) each have a pair of nominees. The list includes
2005 FWAA First Team All-Americas Paul Posluzny (Penn State) and Brandon Meriweather (Miami, Fla.).

Football Stars Prevalent in MLB Draft

Current and future college football stars found their way among the 1,502 selections in last week’s Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
The Chicago Cubs used a fifth-round pick on Notre Dame’s All-America wide receiver Jeff Samardzija, who also pitches on the Fighting Irish’s baseball team. Washington starting quarterback Isaiah Stanback and Southern Miss QB/WR Damion Carter were selected in the later rounds despite both not playing organized baseball since high school. Texas A&M punt returner Jordan Chambless heard his name called in 43rd round by the L.A. Dodgers.
Gridiron standouts Curt Bradley (WR, Northern Iowa), Joey Vincent (QB, New Mexico State) and Scott Carroll (QB, Missouri State) were also among the 954 college athletes taken.

Of the 542 high school players selected, the Florida Gators saw two highly touted football recruits drafted with Derrick Robinson selected by the Kansas City Royals and Riley Cooper drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Prep standouts Daniel Stegall and Justin Woodall, both selected by the New York Mets, committed in February to play football at Miami (Fla.) and Alabama, respectively, although Stegall already signed with the Mets this past weekend. Jared Mitchell, a highly touted LSU wide receiver recruit, went to the Minnesota Twins in the tenth round, while the Angels dipped into the football talent pool again to select Washington recruit Jacob Locker in round 45. Other notable 2006 signees selected in the MLB Draft included Brent Brewer (Florida State recruit, drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers), Justin Curry (North Carolina, Cincinnati Reds) and Darin McDonald (Idaho State, Philadelphia Phillies).

Sprinturf Donates $100,000 Playing Surface to the College Football Hall of Fame

Officials from The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) and Sprinturf jointly announced today plans to begin the immediate installation of Sprinturf’s synthetic playing surface on the Hall’s Gridiron Plaza in South Bend, Ind. The replacement of the 12-year-old surface at the Plaza with Sprinturf, valued at $150,000 and donated through an agreement with the Hall, marks the beginning of Sprinturf’s association as the official and exclusive synthetic turf provider for the College Football Hall of Fame. “Sprinturf has an outstanding reputation with their innovative product design and market leadership,” said NFF Chairman Ron Johnson. “I want to thank them for recognizing the relevance of the College Football Hall of Fame brand to the entire football community. Our brand will allow them to connect with key audiences from coast-to-coast while our plaza will provide them with a great showcase for their product during the more than 200 Hall events each year.” The all-rubber infill system patented by Sprinturf currently serves as the playing field of dozens of colleges and high schools, including the football playing fields at Utah State, the University of Montana, St. John’s (MN) and the University of Pennsylvania, and practice fields at Auburn and UCLA.

Two-Minute Drill

The National Football Foundation will host a Celebrity Golf Classic on July
17 at Hawthorn Woods Country Club in Chicago to benefit the NFF’s Play It Smart. More information can be found at ... The Minnesota Golden Gophers selected Kansas City-based HOK Sport to design their new on-campus football stadium... Lou Holtz and Louisiana State coach Les Miles will join former Tampa Bay Devil Rays owner Vince Naimoli on a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to the Persian Gulf in the coming weeks. The three will visit with troops supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom...

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy swam 300 yards across the lake to help rescue a neighbor who was suffering a seizure on a dock... Notre Dame defensive back Tom Zbikowski won his professional boxing debut last Saturday with a first-round knockout of Robert Bell... Richard Kovalcheck, Arizona’s former starting quarterback who is transferring to Vanderbilt, will be one of the first student-athletes to take advantage of the NCAA’s new rule which allows transfers to play immediately if they’ve completed their undergraduate degree...

South Carolina and N.C. State are discussing a home-and-home series for 2008 and 2009... For the fourth consecutive year, Navy will play games in three NFL stadiums: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore against Notre Dame, Ford Field in Detroit against Eastern Michigan and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia against Army... Northern Illinois and Iowa will kickoff their
2007 seasons against one another in Soldier Field during Labor Day weekend... Louisiana-Lafayette filled this year’s 12th football game slot last week with North Carolina A&T and also secured a game with McNeese State for 2007... The Big 12 Conference announced that San Antonio will serve as the site for the conference’s 2007 football championship...

“Legacy Seats” at BYU’s LaVell Edwards Stadium have already sold out for the
2006 season, the fastest pace for premium ticket sales in the stadium’s history... 2,000 Middle Tennessee fans logged on to vote and select the endzone design for the new turf being installed at Floyd Stadium this year.
Middle Tennessee State is also looking to place a pool near their student section in Floyd Stadium for their home opener versus Florida International to help support their Beach Bash promotion... Construction to restore parts of the Yale Bowl has commenced with plans to complete the restoration by the start of the football season this year... Penn State’s season ticket sales for 2006 are on a record pace, with more than 5,000 new season ticket packages already sold... Central Michigan will sport a newly designed jersey this year courtesy of an agreement with New Balance... South Florida will receive a new football practice complex as part of a $10 million donation by longtime supporters Frank and Carol Morsani... Scenes from the new “We Are Marshall” movie about the 1971 Marshall football team are being shot at Morris Brown College’s Herndon Stadium...

Head Coach Danny Hope and the rest of his staff at Eastern Kentucky University hosted the Ray Guy Kicking Academy last week, named in honor of the 2004 College Football Hall of Fame inductee... Kansas State head coach Ron Prince spoke about the changing face of college football to several hundred people in attendance at the quarterly “Good Morning Manhattan” event in Kansas... The University of Colorado hosted their first “Breakfast with the Buffs” to provide fans the opportunity to meet CU coaches and administrators. Among the attendees was new Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins...

Former Purdue quarterbacks Mike Phipps, who will receive induction into the College Football Hall of Fame this December, and Drew Brees will highlight the festivities at the second annual Honors Dinner hosted by the National Football Foundation’s Northwest Indiana Chapter on June 18... The NFF’s West Virginia chapter officially renamed its chapter after 2005 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Don Nehlen... 1997 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Ricky Hunley served as master of ceremonies at the Cincinnati NFL/NFF Coaching Academy this past weekend...

Florida announced that more than 40 percent of its scholarship football players earned a 3.0 or better in the spring semester... The Kansas football team recorded a 2.67 GPA in the spring semester, a team record... 42 members of the Penn State football team recorded at least a 3.0 GPA during this past spring semester... East Carolina agreed to terms with WSFL-FM in North Carolina to be the flagship station for Pirates football for the next five years... Iowa State is close to attaining its goal set back in February of having its football games available on the radio to every household in the state...

The SEC distributed a league-record $116.1 million to its 12 schools during the 2005-06 year. SEC school presidents and chancellors also approved a new rule at their league meetings that now requires an internal review of all incoming athletes with questionable transcripts or a large increase in test scores... Louisville administrators approved a school-record athletics budget of $40.85 million for 2006-07 following a year in which the sports department took in an estimated $40.4 million, a record for revenues...
South Carolina State AD Charlene Johnson became the first female last week to be named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Chair of the league’s Directors of Athletics...

1997 Biletnikoff Award winner Randy Moss and linebacker Charles “Chuck”
Henry, who starred on the 1971 Marshall team as a true freshman following the team’s devastating plane crash a year prior, headline a class of six announced as part of the 2006 class of the Marshall University Athletic Hall of Fame... The Independence Bowl will induct former Ole Miss running back Deuce McAllister and former LSU lineman Alan Faneca and coach Gerry DiNardo into their Hall of Honor on June 19... Former Delaware All-America wide receiver Dennis Johnson and longtime Delaware assistant coach Irv Wisniewski, who helped develop the school’s famous “Wing T” offense, were among nine inductees into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame last month... Texas athletics administrator Bill Little and former Texas Tech head coach Spike Sykes recently earned induction into Big Country Hall of Fame in Abilene, Texas... Former Central Michigan All-America running back Bernie Raterink heads a list of six Chippewas to be inducted into the Central Michigan University Hall of Fame this fall... Tennessee Sports Information Director Bud Ford will be inducted into the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame on July 27...

UTEP recently hired former Michigan administrator Brian Wickstrom as the school’s new senior associate athletic director... Ron Vaccaro, a 2004 Yale graduate, will serve as the team’s football radio play-by-play announcer this season... AFCA named Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to its Board of Trustees... North Texas named Chip Garber as their new secondary coach...
Middle Tennessee hired Russell Patterson as the new head football strength coach... Tennessee Tech named Dr. Jeff Roberts as the university’s new Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA... Buffalo hired Charles “Buddy” Morris as its new Director of Sports Performance.

Schedule Spotlight: Mountain West Conference

Team – Date – First Opponent (Home/Away)

Air Force – September 9 – Tennessee (A)
Brigham Young – September 2 – Arizona (A) Colorado State – September 2 – Weber State (H) New Mexico – September 2 – Portland State (H) San Diego State – August 31 – UTEP (H) Texas Christian – September 2 – Baylor (A) UNLV – September 2 – Idaho State (H) Utah – September 2 – UCLA (A) Wyoming – September 2 – Utah State (H)

With 119 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. The NFF presents the MacArthur Trophy, the Draddy Trophy and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., Play It Smart, the NFF Center for Youth Development Through Sport at Springfield College (Mass.), the NFL-NFF Coaching Academy, and scholarships of over $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.

NFF Contacts
Phil Marwill.......Director of Communications Chris Caputo.......Communications Assistant
22 Maple Ave.
Morristown, NJ 07960


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