One of the things that resonated the most on Monday, when Bill O'Brien spoke with the media, was how everybody will be expected to compete this spring for positions. That includes the freshmen, who O'Brien says will be given every opportunity to compete.
O'Brien said incoming quarterback Christian Hackenberg will certainly be in the mix once he arrives this summer and a redshirt year for his prized quarterback recruit was not necessarily part of the plan. The same goes for tight end Adam Breneman and other freshmen already on campus this spring. O'Brien has been clear in saying that the best players will play. Bob Flounders took a look at which true freshmen may have a role when the fall comes around. Also from PennLive.com, O'Brien's roster management will be key to getting through the remainder of the NCAA sanctions gutting available scholarships for three more years.
- The new Big Ten divisions apparently are coming together. As I speculated in January, it looks as though Penn State will be placed in a division along with Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and newcomers Maryland and Rutgers. Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com's Big Ten blog says the final decision is which Indiana school is placed in each division. Rittenberg has Purdue ultimately going to the west division, placing Indiana in the same division as Penn State. I had it the other way around but have always admitted you could swap these two schools between divisions without losing much of anything.
- Speaking of Purdue, all but two spring practices will be open to the fans. Cool idea.
- Former Michigan Wolverine and Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard is one of the targets of a lawsuit over a famous photo of him doing his Heisman pose. The photographer, Brian Masck, is suing Howard, Sports Illustrated, Walmart, Amazon and more claiming this snapshot (credited to Getty Images) has been used without his permission for years.
In scores of other games...
- The "Current" Big East and ESPN announced they had reached an agreement on future media rights. In short, the new deal runs through the spring of 2020 and every conference-controlled football game will be available on TV or digital platform. Also, the conference championship game is slated to begin in the 2015 season (when Navy joins) and will be carried by ABC or ESPN on Championship Saturday. No financial details were revealed. The conference, which is continuing to focus on a new conference name since the Catholic 7 is taking the Big East name with them, is focusing on a new name and hopes to have one as soon as possible.
- Gunner Kiel, who has previously committed to Indiana and LSU, has left the Notre Dame program. It was expected he would not be around this spring but Brian Kelly confirmed he has moved on when he was not listed on the spring roster. So where does he go now?
- South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore will audition for NFL scouts at South Carolina's pro day next week. Lattimore, who chose to stay home with the Gamecocks over Penn State, dislocated his right knee in a game against Tennessee in October and decided to turn pro a year early.
"It seems absurd that someone can come after you more than two decades after you've played your last down and sue you over your own likeness," Howard said in an interview with The Detroit Free Press this week.
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