Things are starting to heat up in the world of college football, with several programs having at least part of their roster returning to campus to begin involuntary workouts starting Monday. There's still a long way to go, but it's starting to look like there's at least a chance that the season is going to begin on time.
Without further ado, here's a look at the top stories from the previous week.
Clemson WR Ross undergoes surgery, will miss 2020 season
This is not only the biggest story of the week, but arguably the biggest story of the summer not related to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, Clemson junior WR Justyn Ross underwent surgery for a congenital fusion in his spine, and he'll miss the 2020 season. It was originally believed that Ross was suffering from a stinger, but it was revealed in an X-ray that he had two vertebrae and a spine fused together along with a bulging disc.
Obviously, this is a huge loss for the Tigers. The 6-foot-4 sophomore caught 66 passes for 865 yards and eight touchdowns last year, and was expected to be the go-to option for Trevor Lawrence in his junior season after Tee Higgins left for the NFL. With Higgins and Ross no longer available for Clemson in 2020, the top wideout is likely Amari Rodgers, but keep in mind that Rodgers tore his ACL last spring, and is viewed as more of a slot option. Joe Ngata and Frank Ladson were both five-star recruits, but they played sparingly last season. The talent at wide receiver is obvious for the 2019 runner-ups, but it's fair to say that this might be one of the very few question marks for the Tigers coming into the 2020 season.
The other question, of course, is what this does for Ross's draft stock. He was widely viewed as one of the top wideouts in this 2021 class, but now there will be serious health questions involving the talented wide receiver. He's eligible to enter the 2021 draft, and it'll be very interesting to see if he returns to Clemson for his redshirt junior season or instead enters the professional ranks. Ross vowed to "shock the world," in a tweet after the surgery, but there's no doubt his medical report will be studied scrupulously by NFL teams if he does enter the draft.
Multiple Alabama players test positive for COVID-19
Multiple outlets report that at least five players on the Alabama roster have tested positive for the coronavirus. The names of those players have not been disclosed. Those who tested positive are now in quarantine.
Alabama was not the only school that saw players test positive. Oklahoma State redshirt senior LB Amen Ogbongbemiga tested positive for COVID-19, announcing that he had taken part in a protest related to the murder of George Floyd in Tulsa. Marshall also announced that two football players -- identities undisclosed -- tested positive for the virus, although the players were also said to be asymptomatic.
The question now becomes not only about these players' well-being, but how well can teams keep the virus from spreading to other players and their loved ones. These issues will have to be figured out if we'll have a season start on time in late August/September.
Notre Dame-Navy contest moved from Dublin to Annapolis
This was a long time coming, but the scheduled contest between Notre Dame and Navy scheduled to be played in Dublin officially has a new home, and a new date.
Instead of opening the season in Ireland, the Fighting Irish and the Midshipmen will play at Navy-Marine Corp Memorial Stadium. This will be the first time the two programs -- and keep in mind this is one of the oldest rivalries in sports -- meet at the stadium.
The game was scheduled to take place in Aviva Stadium in Dublin on August 29, but the games' new location necessitates a revised date. The contest will take place on Labor Day weekend, either on September 5 or September 6. It's very likely that this is not the first time we'll see a game change locations and change dates in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Turk allowed to return to Arizona State despite entering draft
Here's a weird one. Arizona State redshirt senior punter Michael Turk had his eligibility restored by the NCAA and will return to school for the 2020 season.
This comes despite the fact that Turk declared for the draft over the winter, and even hired an agent. In a social media video, Turk said that "due to COVID-19 and extenuating circumstances," the NCAA has given him a re-up on his eligibility. You might remember the 6-foot, 226-pound punter for his work at the combine; putting up 25 bench press reps of 225 pounds. It's a big return for the Sun Devils, as Turk was a first-team All-Pac 12 performer in 2019.
Former Auburn coach Dye passes away
Former Auburn head coach Pat Dye passed away on Monday due to complications related to kidney function. He also tested positive for the coronavirus while he was in the hospital.
After playing for Georgia from 1957-1960, he spent three years in the CFL before beginning his coaching career. He worked as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming from 1974-80, but his greatest success came at Auburn. he went 99-39-4 in his time there from 1981-1992, and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. He was 80-years-old.
Texas A&M received a verbal commitment from four-star 2021 T Reuben Fatheree II ... Former Wisconsin redshirt senior RB Bradrick Shaw transferred to Cal ... Tennessee senior RB Tim Jordan was arrested on multiple charges in Florida on Saturday. Jordan was charged with one count each of carrying a concealed firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana ... Former Mississippi State sophomore DB Jarrian Jones transferred to Florida State ... Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said that all returning student athletes will be required to test for both COVID-19 and COVID-19 antibodies ... USC received a verbal commitment from four-star 2021 QB Miller Moss.
AL.com's Matt Zenitz reports that Alabama redshirt junior WR Tyrell Shavers entered the NCAA transfer portal ... Hawaii junior G Solo Vaipulu was arrested Monday for violating the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers ... Florida State HC Mike Norvell met with his team on Thursday to address the disingenuous comments he made to The Athletic regarding communication on race. Florida State senior DL Marvin Wilson released a Twitter video on equality after tweeting Wednesday that he and his teammates would not take part in voluntary workouts ... Utah suspended DC Morgan Scalley, effective immediately, for a text sent in 2013 involving a racial slur.