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The Battle for the Starting Spot Starts Now

Who will be leading your team’s offense in 2021?

 

We’ve already been witness to a long list of transfers, opt-outs and draft declarations this spring. Now that schools are gearing up for spring practice, we’re anxious to see who will be leading some of the key offenses in the Big 12 and SEC.

A little competition can push teams to new heights or fracture a program’s moral. Check out some of the Big 12 and SEC teams with their starting QB spot on the line this spring.

BIG 12

TEXAS
Top Contenders: Casey Thompson vs Hudson Card
Thompson surprised the entirety of the Longhorn fan base with his unbelievable coming out party vs Colorado in the Valero Bowl this past winter. While some are quick to tab Thompson as the front runner based on his performance in 2020, don’t sleep on Hudson Card. The sophomore ranked fourth in the 247Sports Composite rankings for the 2020 class, rubbing elbows with the likes of Alabama’s Bryce Young, Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud. With a new coaching staff leading the Longhorns this year, the starting spot is up for grabs. Will they gravitate toward Thompson and his Valero Bowl highlight reel or get behind the raw, young talent of Card?

TCU
Top Contenders: Max Duggan vs Matthew Downing
Max Duggan won the hearts of the TCU fan base with a solid comeback from being sidelined for a heart condition in 2020. While Duggan impressed with his rushing ability, his accuracy was less than consistent. The Horned Frogs return Red Shirt Junior Matthew Downing to the quarterback race along with a hole host of new potential in Oklahoma transfer Chandler Morris, German commit Alexander Honig and incoming freshmen in Sam Jackson and Trent Battle.

TEXAS TECH
Top Contenders: Tyler Shough vs Henry Colombi
Wildcard: Maverick McIvor
It’s the battle of the transfers for the Red Raiders starting spot this spring. Utah State transfer Colombi earned the starting spot during what was a less than productive 2020 season for Texas Tech. Colombi put up decent numbers in 2020 but Red Raiders fans have high hopes for the recent Oregon transfer Tyler Shough. The on again, off again Ducks starter comes to Lubbock with a ton of potential. The wildcard in the battle—Red Shirt Freshman Maverick McIvor. Either way, coach Matt Wells is hoping for a QB to lead his team to an exciting start to the 2021 season vs Houston at the Texas Kickoff in Houston this Labor Day.

SEC

TEXAS A&M
Top Contenders: Zach Calzada vs Haynes King
After four years with 2019 Texas Bowl MVP Kellen Mond at the helm, the Aggies are in need of a new leading man on offense. They return key weapons that should make for a deadly offense in 2021 if they can find the right fit for QB. Frontrunners for the job are Red Shirt Sophomore Zach Calzada and Sophomore Haynes King. The two hopefuls present two very different styles. Calzada has built a reputation as a pocket passer with a powerful arm while King presents as a dual-threat, long and athletic with success playing both basketball and track in high school.

ALABAMA
Top Contenders: Bryce Young vs Paul Tyson
Wildcard: Jalen Milroe
Mac Jones stole the show in Tuscaloosa in 2020, leaving the Crimson Tide with a perfect record and high hopes for a new quarterback to come in and continue the streak. The battle for the starting spot this spring will feature 2020 back up Sophomore Bryce Young, who put up solid numbers in the few snaps he took during the 2020 season and Red Shirt Sophomore Paul Tyson. Young was able to show his accuracy and comfort throwing outside of the pocket in 2020 but has proven reluctant thus far to really make a difference rushing. His competitor, on the other hand, is a powerful pro-style quarterback who has some eyebrow-raising film from high school we’re waiting to see translate to the college level after a few years under Saban’s wing. The wildcard for the starting spot with the Crimson Tide? Highly rated incoming freshman Jalen Milroe out of Katy, Texas.

 LSU
Top Contenders: Max Johnson vs TJ Finley
Wildcard: Garrett Nussmeier
The Tigers return Max Johnson and TJ Finely after a lackluster season in 2020. LSU struggled all year to find their identity after losing an insane level of talent after winning their National Championship in 2019. For two freshmen thrown into an unprecedented season in the SEC West, their performance was pretty solid but not enough to push the Tigers past a 5-5 conference record. Both revealed good fundamentals and the ability to move well in and out of the pocket their freshmen year. However, for LSU to return to their previous glory, we will need to see one of these solid, full-of-potential quarterbacks step up and really lead the offense this spring. But the spring may bring more than just a battel between Johnson and Finley. Wildcard freshman Garrett Nussmeier comes in with a reputation for success, extremely impressive film and a true competitors spirit.

 

 

CFB Insider

National Signing Day 2021

The future is looking bright for college football.

An unprecedented year means an unprecedented signing day. While major announcements were a little more social distanced than normal, there was no shortage of drama over National Signing Day this week—but not necessarily the same type of drama that we’re used to seeing.

On top of the normal pressure facing high school hopefuls and recruiting coordinators this year, we saw two new factors affecting the 2021 recruiting class in a major way:

Virtual Recruiting: With limited to no campus visit opportunities, established coaching staffs had the edge over organizations with new faces. Not only were recruiting opportunities limited for these coaches to see players, we’re seeing that a virtual meet and greet truly does not hold the same weight as an in-person meeting. As a result, none of the organizations with a staff hired in 2020 (or later) broke the top 15 in recruiting class rankings after Wednesday.

The Transfer Portal: The new NCAA guidelines make it easier for players to enter the transfer portal this year, meaning the recruiting pool in these unprecedented times just got a whole lot more experienced. Data is still not complete for the year but it looks like we will see a couple hundred fewer high school players signing to scholarships at the FBS level in 2021.

So, with the limitations of last year, who won National Signing Day 2021? Check out the 2021 recruiting class ranks plus a few exciting new players to watch:

1. Alabama—We can’t wait to watch five-star running back Camar Wheaton, who signed yesterday, make his mark as a part of the Crimson Tide!

2. Ohio State

3. Clemson

4. Georgia

5. LSU

6. Texas A&M—The Aggies edged their rivals to secure four-star running back LJ Johnson yesterday and the rumor mill tells us that they will be adding a transfer in the No. 1 Junior college offensive tackle Jordan Moko on Friday.

7. Oregon

8. Notre Dame

9. USC

10. Michigan

11. Miami

12. Oklahoma

13. Ole Miss—the Rebels secured a steel in the highest ranked signee on Wednesday in Tywone Malone. We’re excited to see how this four-star DT makes an impact.

14. Florida

15. North Carolina

16. Texas—The Longhorns swooped up former Nortre Dame committed defensive lineman David Abiara who will arguably be poised to make an impact immediately upon arrival in Austin. We are also excited about our 2021 Mr. Texas Football winner and Texas commit Johnathan Brooks.

17. Maryland

18. Wisconsin

19. Washington

20. Arkansas—The Hogs didn’t add any new signees during this wave of commits, but were able to wrap up with a top 20 class in Sam Pittman’s first year.

21. Tennessee

22. Iowa

23. Nebraska

24. NC State

25. Penn State

 

Ancillary Events

2021 National Girls & Women in Sports Day

Celebrating the Women of LSSE

National Girls & Women in Sports Day is a chance to celebrate the amazing girls and women that work to make the sports industry what it is today. Whether they are on the field or behind the scenes the role of women in sports is invaluable.

Check out the women of LSSE and what inspires them to continue to help run the (sports) world!

Jasmine Butler
Senior Events & Marketing Coordinator

Providing fans with memorable experiences is what motivates me to work in sports. There is truly nothing like getting to provide experiences for someone that they can’t get anywhere else. That’s what I love about sports, we get to come in and do such incredible things everyday and have the opportunity to create an incredible moment for someone else. Seeing the joy on the faces of fans, knowing that I was a part of creating that joy, is a rush unlike anything else.

Carly Boatwright
Marketing Manager

I was an athlete growing up and all through college. After I graduated, I knew that I wanted to continue to be a part of the community that helped shape me into the person I am today. I'm inspired by the opportunity to bring people of all backgrounds together to unify them around their team. It doesn't matter what you look like, think like, talk like, where you're from, if you are fan then you are family. This unity allows us to come together to support our communities in life changing ways. I am humbled and blessed to be able to be a part of it!

 

Sarah Dedmon
Events Manager

Sports have been an invaluable aspect of my life. They have taught me some of my greatest lessons, strengthen me in ways I didn’t know where possible, challenged me physically and mentally, provided me with countless memories, and given me more joy than I could have ever hoped for. Without sports I wouldn’t be the person I am today and when it came time to picking a career, there seemed to be no greater fit. I cherish the opportunity to bring those same lessons, memories, and joys to others and hopefully shape their lives in the way that sports has helped shape mine.  

CFB Insider

Who Ya Got: 2021 CFP Championship Edition

The tumultuous 2020 college football season is coming to an end with one of the most anticipated games of the year, (1) Alabama vs (3) Ohio State. Both teams are coming off of impressive wins. Alabama (not so surprisingly—Irish fans don’t hate) slammed Notre Dame 31-14 in the Rose Bowl presented by Capital One and Ohio State (a little more surprisingly) ran away with the Allstate Sugar Bowl with a 49-28 victory over Clemson.

Who will remain undefeated after the Buckeyes and the Crimson Tide battle at National Championship? Read on to see what the experts say.

College Football News
Prediction: Ohio State

ESPN Football Power Index
Prediction: Alabama

CBS Sports
Prediction: Alabama

Sporting News
Prediction: Alabama

Sports Illustrated
Prediction: Alabama

Think you know better than the experts?? Make your prediction for a chance to win a Karbach Brewing Co. giftcard and Love Street branded can speaker. Must be 21 or over to enter!

ENTER TO WIN

 

CFB Insider

2020 Heisman Trophy Race Still Wide Open

Do you agree with these expert Heisman predictions?

Like most things in 2020, the Heisman Trophy race is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The winner will be awarded on January 5 in a virtual ceremony with voting running until December 21 and the finalists being announced on Christmas Eve.

Delayed seasons, cancelled and postponed games, and other COVID related challenges means that this year’s race will go down to the wire. Conference championship matchups will likely be do or die to determine this year’s finalists and ultimately a winner. 

Read on to check out who the experts think will be in the running for the 2020 Heisman Trophy.

CBS Sports

  1. Justin Fields, Ohio State
  2. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson 
  3. Jamie Newman, Georgia
  4. Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

NFL.com

  1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
  2. Justin Fields, Ohio State
  3. Sam Ehlinger, Texas
  4. Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

New York Post

  1. Mac Jones, Alabama
  2. Kyle Trask, Florida
  3. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
  4. Justin Fields, Ohio State

247Sports

  1. Mac Jones, Alabama
  2. Justin Fields, Ohio State
  3. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
  4. Kyle Trask, Florida