Kedon Slovis (shoulder) should be good to go for spring ball
Injuries bothered USC QB Kedon Slovis for much of last season. None of the injuries seemed too serious until he banged up his shoulder against Oregon in the PAC-12 championship game, though. Slovis went down on the last play of the game, so it’s not like he needed to play through injury, but it became known afterwards that it would be an injury that could stick around for some time.
Thankfully, all signs point to Slovis’ shoulder being just fine for spring ball. Perhaps he could be a little slow to start just in case, but HC Clay Helton says the shoulder is healed and he should be ready to go.
While Slovis did suffer a bit of a sophomore slump in 2020, the Trojans are surely glad to have him back and ready for spring ball. Over the past two seasons, Slovis has thrown for 47 touchdowns to 16 picks, while managing 8.3 yards per attempt. Again, some of those numbers are weighed down by a middling 2020 season, but the expectation is that Slovis should be able to get right back on track.
It’s no surprise that a handful of HC Gus Malzahn’s former staffers and players have followed him to a school that could be turned back into a G5 powerhouse. OL coach Herb Hand, QB coach GJ Kinne, and WR Nate Craig-Myers, all of whom were at Auburn with Malzahn at some point, have turned to UCF this offseason. The latest addition to that list is DE Big Kat Bryant.
Bryant was a long-time rotational end for the Tigers. Though never someone who emerged into a major role, Bryant was a nice piece for Auburn up front. He picked up eight sacks, five passes defended, and two interceptions in three years as a contributor for Auburn.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound end is now moving to a program where he can more conceivably start and produce at a high level. While the SEC may have been too stiff of competition for him to shine, Bryant should be able to find some more production in his final year of eligibility with UCF. Nobody on UCF’s defense earned more than four sacks last season, so it would be a huge boon for the unit if Bryant could top that.
Editor’s Note: Get an edge with our premium Betting Tools that are packed with live odds, betting trends, predictions, player prop projections, our extensive Edge Finder and much more. And don't forget to use promo code WELCOME10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!
Michigan lands Texas Tech transfer QB Alan Bowman
Michigan has found their new QB . . . maybe.
This past week, the Wolverines picked up former Texas Tech QB Alan Bowman via the transfer portal. Though not the hottest name on the market, Bowman was somewhat productive for the Red Raiders. Bowman’s best season was a sophomore campaign in which he averaged 8.1 yards per attempt, a figure which fell just below 7.0 in each of the following two seasons. He completed an impressive 67% of his passes over the course of three seasons and finished his Tech career with 33 passing touchdowns to 17 interceptions.
It’s unclear if Bowman will be the starting quarterback, but the expectation is that he will fight for the job. That extra competition is necessary now that QB Joe Milton, who would have been in the mix, left town via the transfer portal. That said, this will be Bowman’s final year of eligibility, so this is little more than a bandaid for Michigan.
Former LSU TE Arik Gilbert rescinds transfer to Florida
The Arik Gilbert saga continues. Earlier this year, Gilbert bailed from the LSU program to seek a transfer. Seeing as the 2020 LSU Tigers were nothing close to the 2019 squad, it makes sense that many players — both on the roster or committed as recruits — decided to drop the program.
Shortly after leaving LSU, Gilbert had reportedly found his new school: Florida. And it makes perfect sense. The Gators were still in the SEC, like LSU, and are probably the program best poised to deal with Alabama right now, save for maybe Georgia. The Gators are also losing TE Kyle Pitts to the NFL Draft, who would have been Gilbert’s competition for snaps.
Just this week, though, Gilbert announced that he will no longer be attending Florida and will instead look for a new opportunity. Despite the sudden decommitment, Gilbert lived up to the five-star hype as a freshman and should have plenty of options available to him on the transfer market. After leaving high school as one of the best TE recruits ever, Gilbert caught 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns, which is pretty darn ridiculous for a freshman tight end in the nation’s toughest conference.
Three 2022 five-star recruits come off the board
With 2021 National Signing Day behind us, the 2022 class is starting to ramp up ever so slightly with some early commitments. Just in the past week, a small handful of five-star recruits gave out verbal commitments.
Perhaps the biggest commitment is that of five-star QB Ty Simpson to Alabama. The Crimson Tide swooped in on Simpson over a number of other wonderful schools, including Clemson. At 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, Simpson is not the biggest QB around and does not sport a rocket arm, but he’s got plenty of creativity and mobility to be a nuisance behind center. He is also plenty comfortable throwing on the move, too, and should prove to be a playmaker for the Tide in due time. It’s unlikely we will see him until 2020 five-star recruit Bryce Young plays out his eligibility, but keep Simpson in the back of your mind down the road.
Michigan also pulled themselves one of these recent five-star commits. CB Will Johnson made his verbal commitment to the Wolverines and their young coaching staff last weekend. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound cornerback has fantastic size and length for the position, which is part of why he currently sits as a top-15 recruit nationally. Gauging Johnson’s exact speed right now is tricky without any testing times to go off of, but he should be able to keep up just fine. Johnson’s father also attended Michigan back in the early ‘90s, which could help explain why Johnson chose the program.
The last of the major recruits to come off the board this past week was ATH Sam McCall. The five-star recruit likely projects as a defensive back, though he does also play wide receiver in high school. At 6-foot-, 180-pounds, McCall has adequate size, but it’s really his instincts and play speed that set him apart from some of the four-star DBs below him. The Florida State 2022 recruiting class is really starting to shape up nicely so far, thanks to commitments such as McCall’s.