- Frank Coyle's Blog
- College Football Mondays
- Ahead of the Curve
- NFL News
- College News
- Order Publication
UNI's James Ruffin Chosen for East-West Game
85th Annual East-West Shrine Game
Photo - DE James Ruffin - Northern Iowa
University of Northern Iowa senior defensive end James Ruffin has been selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Ruffin is a strong candidate this year for the Buck Buchanan Award, the Defensive Player of the Year award for the subdivision level. He will travel to Orlando, Fla., to take part in the East-West Shrine Game which is set for Jan. 23, 2010, at the Florida Citrus Bowl. It is the first year in Orlando after several years in Houston, Texas after a long history in San Francisco as the oldest All-star classic in college football. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Ruffin leads the Missouri Valley Football Conference in sacks and ranks No. 9 in the nation (0.95 sacks/game). He has totaled 44 tackles with 9.5 sacks, 12 TFL and 2 forced fumbles in a dominant performance in the Missouri Valley Conference. He earned Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 for an outstanding overall performance. Ruffin is one of five players currently on the East-West roster from the lower level of play. He becomes the third UNI Panther football player to be selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game through the years. The two previous players (Brad Meester in 2000 and Chad Setterstrom in 2002) each went on to play in the National Football League.
East-West Shrine Game Roster (early invitees)
East Roster -
First Name / Last Name / Position / School
Ali Villanuea - Tight End - Army
Dan Lefevour - Quarterback - Central Michigan University
Thomas Austin - Offensive Guard - Clemson University
Kavell Conner - Inside Linebacker - Clemson University
Vince Oghobaase - Defensive Tackle - Duke University
Van Eskridge - Free Safety - East Carolina University
John Skelton - Quarterback - Fordham University
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah - Cornerback - Indiana University of Pa
Jamar Chaney - Inside Linebacker - Mississippi St University
Ted Larsen - Center - North Carolina St University
Willie Young - Defensive End - North Carolina St University
Arthur Jones - Defensive Tackle - Syracuse University
Andre Roberts - Wide Receiver - The Citadel
Brandon Lang - Defensive End - Troy University
Cameron Sheffield - Outside Linebacker - Troy University
Andre Anderson - Running Back - Tulane University
Mitch Petrus - Offensive Guard - University of Arkansas
Torell Troup - Defensive Tackle - University of Central Florida
Lindsey Witten - Defensive End - University of Connecticut
Jon Asamoah - Offensive Guard - University of Illinois
Michael Hoomanawanui - Tight End - University of Illinois
Terrell Skinner - Free Safety - University of Maryland
Darryl Sharpton - Inside Linebacker - University of Miami
Nate Byham - Tight End - University of Pittsburgh
Kion Wilson - Inside Linebacker - University of South Florida
Chris Scott - Offensive Tackle - University of Tennessee
O'Brien Schofield - Outside Linebacker - University of Wisconsin
Barry Church - Strong Safety - University of Toledo
Ed Wang - Offensive Tackle - Virginia Tech
Brandon Ghee - Cornerback - Wake Forest University
West Roster -
First Name / Last Name / Position / School
Tony Washington - Offensive Tackle - Abilene Christian University
Chris Thomas - Safety - Air Force Academy
Dexter Davis - Outside Linebacker - Arizona St University
Chris McGaha - Wide Receiver - Arizona St University
Joe Pawelek - Inside Linebacker - Baylor University
J.D. Walton - Center - Baylor University
Max Hall - Quarterback - Brigham Young University
Shelley Smith - Offensive Guard - Colorado St University
Seyi Ajirotutu - Wide Receiver - Fresno St University
Robert Malone - Punter - Fresno St University
Lonyae Miller - Running Back - Fresno St University
Reggie Stephens - Offensive Guard - Iowa St University
Perrish Cox - Cornerback - Oklahoma St University
Zac Robinson - Quarterback - Oklahoma St University
Erik Lorig - Defensive End - Stanford University
Ekom Udofia - Defensive Tackle - Stanford University
Jerry Hughes - Outside Linebacker - Texas Christian University
Daryl Washington - Inside Linebacker - Texas Christian University
Brandon Carter - Offensive Guard - Texas Tech University
Earl Mitchell - Defensive Tackle - University of Arizona
Devin Ross - Cornerback - University of Arizona
Tyson Alualu - Defensive Tackle - University of California
Mike Tepper - Offensive Tackle - University of California
Syd'Quan Thompson - Cornerback - University of California
Verran Tucker - Wide Receiver - University of California
Ryan Moya - Fullback - UCLA
Alterraun Verner - Cornerback - UCLA
Danario Alexander - Wide Receiver - University of Missouri
Larry Asante - Strong Safety - University of Nebraska
James Ruffin - Defensive End - University of Northern Iowa
Auston English - Defensive End - University of Oklahoma
TJ Ward - Free Safety - University of Oregon
Joshua Pinkard - Free Safety - University of Southern California
Zane Beadles - Offensive Tackle - University of Utah
Kenny Alfred - Center - Washington St University
Frank Coyle is a consultant for several All-star games including the Senior Bowl. He is a longtime Member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe, etc. He is a voter for different weekly Team and Player Awards.
Florida & ‘Bama Headed for Clash
Team of the Week - Ohio St.
Player of Week - Dexter McCluster
Ole Miss senior running back Dexter McCluster set a school record with 282 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns as the Rebels defeated Tennessee, 42-17. McCluster, who had 324 all-purpose yards, scored on runs of 15, 23, 32 and 71 yards as Ole Miss earned its first win against Tennessee since 1983 and off to their best start since 2003.
Photo – RB Dexter McCluster - Ole Miss
Team / Ranking
1. Florida (10-0) – Gators roll over SC and prep for SEC title game.
2. Alabama (10-0) – Tide won the SEC West with win over MSU and get ready for showdown with Auburn prior to Florida game in SEC title clash.
3. Texas (10-0) – Longhorns are rolling through the Big 12 each week and headed for BCS title game.
4. Cincinnati (10-0) - Bearcats are looking to go unblemished with only Illinois and Pittsburgh on the schedule.
5. Texas Christian (10-0) – Frogs hoping to get into the top four by season’s end.
6. Boise St (10-0) - Broncos keep winning and looking to earn one of the premier matchups.
7. Georgia Tech (10-1) – Tech clinched ACC division and looking to advance higher when top clubs fall.
8. Pittsburgh (9-1)- Panthers are starting to believe in themselves with their two top rivals West Virginia and Cincinnati remaining.
9. LSU (8-2) – Tigers are still a very good club despite a struggling offense.
10. Ohio St (9-2) – Buckeyes took care of Iowa and Penn St that earns them a return to the top ten rankings.
11. Oregon (8-2) – Ducks jumped on Arizona St last weekend.
12. Oklahoma St (8-2) – Cowboys may have the best offense in the nation when right.
13. Stanford (7-3) – Cardinal shocked Southern Cal and Oregon in back to back victories.
14. Wisconsin (8-2) - Badgers won a key game with win over Michigan St.
15. Iowa (9-2) – The Hawkeyes have dropped two in a row with OT loss to Ohio St.
16. Penn St (9-2) – Nittany Lions clean up on soft Indiana matchup.
17. Virginia Tech (7-3) – Tech routed Maryland.
18. Clemson (7-3) – Tigers are peaking at the right time.
19. North Carolina (7-3) – Tar Heels have won three straight over Va Tech, Duke and Miami.
20. USC (7-3) – Trojans got ambushed by Stanford on Saturday.
21. Oregon St (7-3) – Beavers jumped on Washington with a bowl bye resting on the results.
22. Miami (7-3) - Canes came up short in Chapel Hill vs NC.
23. BYU (8-2) – Cougars just got by New Mexico last week.
24. Houston (8-2) - Cougars ran out of time vs Central Florida.
25. Ole Miss (7-3) – Ole Miss earned its first win against Tennessee since 1983 and clinched bowl eligibility for the second straight year.
Frank Coyle is a longtime Member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe, etc. He is a voter for weekly Team and Player Awards.
NFL Power Rankings – Week 10
Team of the Week - Saints
Player of the Week – Kurt Warner
Photo – Drew Brees - Saints
Rank / Team
1. Indianapolis Colts (8-0)
Colts face their arch rival this week with the Patriots coming to town.
2. New Orleans Saints (8-0)
The Saints are very explosive behind Drew Brees in this high powered attack.
3. Minnesota Vikings (7-1)
The Vikings’ and Brett Farve are well rested with the Lions coming to town.
4. New England Patriots (6-2)
Patriots and QB Tom Brady are hitting stride and could be the best in the league in time.
5. Dallas Cowboys (6-2)
Cowboys are peaking as the second half begins with many key NFC games on the agenda.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
Steelers are prepping for a major AFC North battle with the Bengals coming to town.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2)
The Bengals face their acid test with trip to Pittsburgh this week.
8. Denver Broncos (6-2)
The Broncos lost tough game vs Steelers and holds only a 1 game lead over rising Chargers.
9. Arizona Cardinals (5-3)
Cards’ Kurt Warner toasted the Bears with 5 TD passes to keep them atop the NFC West standings.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (5-3)
Eagles go on road to San Diego and Chicago next in key matchups.
11. Atlanta Falcons (5-3)
Falcons face a critical run of five NFC matchups on the schedule that may determine their fate this season.
12. San Diego Chargers (5-3)
Chargers won a key game vs the Giants that keeps them just behind the Broncos with the critical second half of the season starting.
13. New York Giants (5-4)
The Giants lost their 4th game in a row and are looking more like the Detroit Lions that title contenders.
14. Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
Ravens facing a must win situation after recent losses and have the Browns in key Monday night contest.
15. Houston Texans (5-4)
Texans have improved nicely this season and get a bye this week to prepare for playoff run.
16. New York Jets (4-4)
Bye week preps them for critical stretch run that will decide their playoff hopes.
17. Chicago Bears (4-4)
Bears are struggling to get any momentum together to mount a playoff run.
18. Green Bay Packers (4-4)
Packers were horrible vs the Bucs and have to regroup quickly with the Cowboys coming to town.
19. Miami Dolphins (3-5)
The Dolphins have played many tough games and look to soft schedule to get back into playoff hunt.
20. Buffalo Bills (3-5)
Bills look to make a run here with a stretch of games vs non contenders over next five weeks.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4)
Jags need a winning streak now to get into the playoff hunt.
22. San Francisco 49ers (3-5)
The 49ers are struggling and need to regroup for Thursday night game vs the Bears.
23. Carolina Panthers (3-5)
Panthers are slip sliding away this season.
24. Seattle Seahawks (3-5)
Seahawks hit the road for three weeks with little hope of getting back in the playoff picture.
25. Tennessee Titans (2-6)
Titans have won two in a row and hope to finish strong with an eye on next season.
26. Washington Redskins (2-6)
Skins have shown little this season and will look to wholesale changes this offseason.
27. Oakland Raiders (2-6)
The Raiders are hoping to correct things for second half after bye week.
28. Kansas City Chiefs (1-7)
Chiefs face a tough stretch of games to finish a very forgettable season.
29. Cleveland Browns (1-7)
Browns at home on Monday night vs Ravens with a chance at some credibility.
30. St. Louis Rams (1-7)
The Rams get the Saints after bye week with a chance to end their run at perfection.
31. Tampa Bay Bucs (1-7)
The Bucs shocked the Packers for their first win of the season.
32. Detroit Lions (1-7)
Lions face a tough second half schedule and working on a five game losing streak.
Dez Bryant Enters NFL Draft 2010
Suspended By NCAA Until 2010 Season Bryant Turns Pro
Photo - Dez Bryant - Oklahoma St
The NCAA informed Oklahoma St University junior wide receiver Dez Bryant this week that his appeal for his suspension was rejected and he will not play this season. Bryant immediately declared for the NFL Draft 2010 in April. Bryant will remain suspended for one calendar year and could have been eligible to return to game action in September of 2010. OSU appealed the original decision on Oct 27 to the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee.
Bryant is one of the top prospects at the receiver position for the NFL 2010 Draft. The junior receiver was ruled ineligible for violating an NCAA bylaw. The powerful 6’2” 215 lb. receiver was ruled ineligible earlier this fall by the school after he reportedly lied to the NCAA officials about a visit and workout at the home of former NFL star defender Deion Sanders. Bryant is a blue chip prospect for the NFL game and is coming off a huge sophomore performance last season when he had 87 receptions with 19 TDs for over 1,500 yards while averaging over 17 yards per catch. We ranked him in the Top 20 Prospects for the NFL Draft 2010 with Top 10 potential if he performs well at the NFL Combine this February.
I will have exclusive updates on this matter and an extensive Underclassmen Report in our November Newsletter out later this month
Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season
The NCAA interviewed Bryant twice earlier this year about allegations at which time he denied that he had visited Sanders. That was proven false, but the fact that he lied to the NCAA is a violation that led to the suspension. Oklahoma St University began the process of applying to the NCAA on his behalf for reinstatement that was ruled on this week. This incident did not involve anyone associated with the OSU football or athletic department staffs, any employee of the university, alumni, donors, or any third-party affiliated with OSU.
Semifinalists for Maxwell Award
Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski announced the 2009 Semifinalists for the 73rd Maxwell Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year The respective list includes a field of 16 candidates for the Bednarik Award
Photo – Noel Devine - W. Virginia
www.draftinsiders.com - Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award
All Semifinalists are listed in alphabetical order with the player's school, position and class designated.
Best, Jahvid, University of California Berkley, RB, JR
Clausen, Jimmy, Notre Dame, QB, JR
Devine, Noel, West Virginia University, RB, JR
Gerhart, Toby, Stanford University, RB, SR
Ingram, Mark, University of Alabama, RB, SOPH
Keenum, Case, University of Houston, QB, JR
LeFevour, Dan, Central Michigan University, QB, SR
Lewis, Dion, University of Pittsburgh, RB, FR
Matthews, Ryan, Fresno State University, RB, JR
McCoy, Colt, University of Texas, QB, SR
Moore, Kellen, Boise State University, QB, SOPH
Ponder, Christian, Florida State University, QB, JR
Rodgers, Jacquizz, Oregon State University, RB, SOPH
Shipley, Jordan, University of Texas, WR, SR
Tate Golden, Notre Dame, WR, JR
Tebow, Tim, University of Florida, QB, SR
The Maxwell Football Club will announce the winner of the 73rd Maxwell Award and the 15th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 10,
2009. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club's Awards Dinner, to be held on Friday, March 5, 2010 at the Harrah's Entertainment Complex in Atlantic City, N.J.
Frank Coyle is a longtime Member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe, etc.
Yankees Win 27th World Title
Photo – Yankee Hideki Matsui
The New York Yankees won their 27th world championship with a victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in game six of the 2009 World Series. Veteran Hideki Matsui tied a World Series record with six RBIs, Andy Pettitte won on short rest and the Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 in Game 6 seizing that elusive title — the most in all of sports. It marked a title in their first season at the new Yankee Stadium just as they did in their inaugural campaign in the original Yankee Stadium in 1923. It was the Yankees first world title since 2000 and their first WS appearance since 2003.
Hideki Matsui’s 6 RBI’s on his first three at-bats pushed New York to 7-1 lead, they never surrendered. With a 2-run HR, a 2-run single and a 2-run double, slugger Matsui gave the Yankees all they needed to insure their 27th championship.
Matsui won the Series MVP award for his heroics that began when he powered a quick rout of old foe Pedro Martinez. When Yankee longtime bullpen stopper Mariano Rivera got the final outs, it was celebration time in the Bronx for sports greatest team of all-time.
One season, one World Series crown — the team’s first since winning three straight titles from 1998-2000.
DraftInsiders.com and ProFootballDraftNetwork.com
will be collaborating on a weekly article posted mid week during the college football regular season to review the prior weeks most notable performances from a NFL Draft 2010 perspective.
NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 9
Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season
Anthony Dixon - Fast Rising Prospect
Photo – Anthony Dixon – Miss St
RB Anthony Dixon – Senior – Miss St
Big physical senior running back had another strong performance in the Miss St win over South Carolina. He is a powerfully built back who has performed well in the SEC, displaying very strong inside running with the burst of speed to break big plays. Against USC, he carried over 30 times and 200 yards. He uses his powerful big frame as a battering ram to run over defenders, though he has the lateral quickness and speed that allows him to break into the second level. He has outstanding size and vision with good speed and quickness that will keep him from the top tier of backs. He is an honest runner with natural running skills that will earn him an invite to a major All-star game.
LB Brandon Spikes - Senior – Florida
Athletic senior linebacker has been instrumental in the success of the Gators defense over the past three seasons. In the Florida victory over Georgia on Saturday, he was detected of poking the eyes of a Georgia runner. Spikes is a savvy versatile athletic backer who flows to the ball well and finishes with strong sure tackling. He has been considered a highly regarded first round prospect and possible top ten selection at this point. The cheap shot in the Georgia has drawn attention and he will be watched closely by NFL scouts if it is a pattern on the field going forward. Thus far he has had no on or off the field issues, but the recent incident has no place in the game.
DE Jermaine Cunningham – Senior – Florida
Explosive edge rusher has displayed impact ability over his SEC career and had another strong effort vs Georgia. He has been a major difference maker for this undefeated club, relying on a very quick first step and good hand technique to separate from blockers with the upfield speed to sack the QB. He has the frame to fill out further to become an every down pro defender at end in a 4-3 front. He also has the mobility to also play up in the 3-4 scheme, though would face an adjustment period with no experience in that scheme. His ability to apply pressure off the edge will earn him invites to a major All-star game that could elevate his stock further.
DT Dan Williams – Senior - Tennessee
The Vols won another key game vs South Carolina and Williams was instrumental setting the pace for their defensive line. South Carolina struggled throughout the game rushing the ball with Williams wrecking havoc from the inside. He gets a powerful push in the middle that collapses the pocket and forces the QB to rush his throws. He also clogs the middle that keeps backers free to run to the ball and make tackles. He combines excellent size and strength with good mobility and quickness to be an every down pro defender.
WR Tim Brown - Senior - Rutgers
Fast senior receiver/ returner was instrumental in the Rutgers victory over UConn with a last minute 81 yard TD reception. Brown has been instrumental in the Rutgers passing offense this season. He is a big play specialist who is very dangerous after he gets his hands on the ball and capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. He flashes impact ability despite his smallish size of 5’8” 170 lbs. He combines very good speed, agility and hands along with natural running skills to be dangerous every time he touches the ball. He displays a well developed skill set for the position that has allowed him to average over 20 per reception this season. He could be one of the top situational playmakers in this draft class with a strong postseason.
Denis Krusos - Editor
Pro Football Draft Network
WR Riley Cooper, Senior, Florida
Florida’s offense came alive against Georgia in an impressive 41-17 win. Cooper’s two touchdown catches (22 and 29 yards) in the 1st quarter put the Gators up 14-0 and they never looked back. He displayed outstanding concentration, hands and body control on one of his scoring grabs. Florida’s leading wide receiver (31 receptions, 474 yards (15.3 per), 5 touchdowns) is sneaky fast and has good size. Cooper is physical, smart and will block to support the running game. He could provide value in the middle rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft.
CB Kyle Wilson, Senior, Boise State
Boise State annihilated San Jose State 45-7 and remained undefeated. The Broncos’ confident cornerback, Kyle Wilson, picked off a pass and raced 27 yards for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. He also contributed with 5 tackles (1 tackle for loss). Wilson is a dangerous kick returner and had a punt return for 17 yards and a kickoff return for 20 yards. Wilson is small (5’ 10”and 185 lbs), but he is physical for his size. He changes direction well and has quick feet. Kyle Wilson looks like a good fit to cover the slot receiver at the next level and his kick return ability is a plus.
WR Brandon Banks, Senior, Kansas State
The Wildcats’ tiny (5’7”and 154 lbs) receiver played a big role in Kansas State’s valiant effort to defeat Oklahoma. The Sooners prevailed 42-30, but Banks tied a school record (Darren Sproles is the other player) with 351 all-purpose yards. Banks returned a kick-off 98 yards for a touchdown (his 4th kick-off return for a score this year). He stood out as a receiver with 9 catches for 156 yards (17.3 per). His size will be a definite obstacle in the NFL. However, Banks is strong for his size and is fearless with the ball in his hands. He has the speed and quickness to be a dangerous kick returner. There have not been many successful receivers that weighed less than 170 pounds in the NFL. Kelvin Martin played 10 years in the NFL and was a skinny 163 pounds. Banks may not be drafted, but he will be in a camp to show that he can make something happen on special teams.
QB Zac Robinson, Senior, Oklahoma State
Zac Robinson entered the Texas game on a roll and was making better decisions in recent games. He crashed down to earth against a quality Longhorns’ defense, as Texas destroyed the Cowboys 41-14. Robinson completed 15 passes in 28 attempts (54%) for only 143 yards (5.1 yards per attempt). His 4 interceptions (2 returned for touchdowns) really hurt Oklahoma State. Robinson threw a garbage time touchdown pass in the 4th quarter. Robinson telegraphed his passes and allowed the Texas secondary to jump routes. The Longhorns’ defensive backs have too much speed to get away with this. This certainly will be the case in the NFL. Texas did not sack Robinson and his mistakes were not due to overwhelming pressure. The loss raises serious concerns as to Robinson’s potential to play quarterback professionally.
FS Taylor Mays, Senior, USC
USC’s defense was humiliated in Oregon’s 47-20 victory. The Ducks ran for a staggering 391 yards! Oregon averaged 8 yards per carry and scored 4 times on the ground. They also had success in the air and threw for 222 yards and a touchdown (no interceptions). The entire USC defense played terribly and with little emotion. Taylor Mays made 8 uneventful tackles that were mostly downfield. He was frequently blocked effectively in run support and did not get his hands on a ball in pass coverage. Mays likes to try to intimidate with his physical hits, but Oregon stood their ground. It will be interesting to see how Mays and his defensive teammates bounce back from this performance.
Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season