NEWS AND NEAR NEWS

Media outlets wishing to interview Colin Lindsay or Pigskin Paul Guillemette about the draft or other football topics should email the editor or call 613-692-1088

LSU RB Guice sidelined again … From the ‘that didn’t go so well’ file. Star LSU junior RB Derrius Guice re-injured his knee in last weekend’s win over Syracuse and will reportedly will not play when the Tigers host Troy this coming week. The team had indicated that Guice, a potential top 5-10 prospect for the 2018 draft, would not play against the Orange, but he ended up playing and ultimately starting after reportedly appealing to the athletic department. However, Guice only managed 14 yards on 8 carries in the win over Syracuse, one of the worst teams in the country. Now all LSU can do is hope that Guice is available when they play at Florida next week.

Thanks for nothing !!!  Just got a nice email from the folks at DAZN, the streaming company that has made such a mess of replacing the NFL Sunday Ticket in Canada, offering a second month of free service to Canadian subscribers as compensation for the dreadful coverage to date. The problem is, that entering the 3rd week of the NFL schedule, DAZN still doesn’t appear to have a clue how to figure out the bugs. Bottom line is that another month of unwatchable coverage is still unwatchable.

Another interesting weekend on college football docket … For the second week in a row, there are no true marquee match-ups on the college football schedule, but there’s still plenty to see this weekend, especially with an eye toward the 2018 draft. As usual, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has posted his weekly picks of the games he’ll be watching this weekend with an eye toward next draft. Included on Pigskin’s list of games to watch is a key Big Ten match-up between 5th ranked Penn State and Iowa. That game features a head-to-head match-up between RBs Saquon Barkley of Penn State, arguably the top-rated back in this year’s draft class, and Iowa’s underrated Akrum Wadley. In fact, 2018 is increasingly looking like it could be the ‘Year of the RB.’ And two other top RBs will be going head-to-head late Saturday night when Arizona State hosts Oregon (10:30 PM ET, but unfortunately only on deep cable on the PAC-12 channel). Indeed, the Ducks’ Royce Freeman (#21, 5-11, 240) and Kalen Ballage (#7, 6-2, 230) are arguably the top two senior RBs in the country. Meanwhile, there are a couple of edge rusher-big ugly type match-ups also worth the price of admission. Maybe the most intriguing comes in the Boston College at Clemson (3:30 PM ET; ESPN2) when star Eagles DE Harold Landry (#7, 6-2, 255), who led the country in sacks last fall, faces rising Clemson junior OT Mitch Hyde (#75, 6-5, 295). And speaking of rising LT prospects, Mississippi State LT Martinas Rankin (#55, 6-5, 315) gets another chance to show off when the #16 MSU Bulldogs play the #6 Georgia Bulldogs (7 PM ET; ESPN) and their athletic edge rushers Lorenzo Carter (#7, 6-4, 245) and Davin Bellamy (#17, 6-4, 245).  Enjoy!

Now you don’t see him; now you do … Just a day after he was apparently ruled out of Saturday’s game with Syracuse, star LSU junior RB Derrius Guice has been cleared to play against the Orange. Guice, who is considered to be one of the top prospects at the position for the 2018 draft along with Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, was injured late in the 3rd quarter of last weekend’s shocking loss at Mississippi State when he was rolled up on in a pile after a carry. However, while he is expected to get some snaps against Syracuse this weekend, Guice likely will be used sparingly.

Growing the game … Here’s an interesting thought. If your nationally televised Thursday night game in the 3rd week of the season is going to be between a couple of teams more likely to be in the hunt for the #1 draft pick overall than a playoff spot, why not spice things up a little by dressing the teams in really ugly, garish unis!

LSU RB Guice ‘questionable’; other college football injury updates … LSU is now saying that star junior RB Derrius Guice is “very questionable” for Saturday’s game against Syracuse because of an undisclosed knee injury. That’s a concern, because earlier in the week LSU head coach Ed Orgeron waved off Guice’s absence from practice as a “minor injury.” Full story

Who caught Pigskin’s eye in college football last week … With the third week of the college football season in the books, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette weighs in with some thoughts on the players that caught his eye in last weekend’s action.

Saints get Dolphins’ 2018 5th for former #1 LB Anthony … New Orleans has traded LB Stephon Anthony to Miami in exchange for what is being reported as a 5th round pick in 2018. Anthony, whom the Saints selected with the 31st pick overall in 2015, led the New Orleans’ defense with 112 tackles as a rookie, but he productivity plummeted to just 16 tackles in 2016 after he was moved from MLB to the strong side. Anthony missed the first two games of this year with an ankle injury, but was able to pass the Dolphins’ physical to complete the deal.

Star Horns OT Williams to undergo knee surgery; out indefinitely … Texas has confirmed that All-American junior LT Connor Williams will undergo surgery on his knee after he tore the MCL and sprained both the the MCL and PCLs in his left knee. The surgery is expected to take place in the next week to 10 days. There is no timetable on Williams’ return pending how well the surgery goes, but it appears that he is out for an extended period. Needless to say, the injury will also impact Williams’ draft status. It does appear likely that he may have time to get fully rehabbed in time for pre-draft testing, although he may be tempted to enter the draft no matter what. Stay tuned!

Top SEC Slash out for year with broken leg … South Carolina junior WR and KR Deebo Samuel one of the more explosive players in the country, will miss likely miss the rest of the year after breaking his leg during the Gamecocks’ 23-23 loss to Kentucky yesterday.The 6-0, 215-pound Samuel had 15 receptions for 250 yards and 3 scores thru three games this fall, while he also returned a pair of KOs for scores and added another on a rush.  Could make for a tough decision for Samuel this off-season whether to enter the 2018 draft despite barely playing.

‘Horns LT Williams out with knee … For those tuning in the Texas-USC game hoping to see star Longhorns’ LT Connor Williams and are wondering whatever happened to #55, he left the game in the first half with an apparent knee injury and will not return. Needless to say, Texas officials, not to mention NFL scouts will be holding their collective breaths until we finally get a full diagnosis. Stay tune!

NFL looking at potential DAZN disaster up north … Back in an earlier life I worked for too many years for the national statistical agency up here in Canada. And we would kind of joke that up at HQ there was a guy ‘Responsible for Bad Ideas!’ It appears that the NFL may have hired that guy. Just signed up the new DAZN streaming service that is replacing the old reliable NFL Sunday Ticket package. What a disaster. Watching – or to be more precise, trying to watch tonight’s Monday Night Games – I’d get maybe 8-10 seconds of continuous video, then the picture would freeze or break-up. I might get every 10th frame or so at times. It was essentially unwatchable. And apparently I am not alone. In fact, the NFL is reportedly aware of the issue, but there are some really serious issues here. Anyone else having problems – or solved some – we’d love to hear from people … ed

LSU DE/OLB Key cleared to play; other college football notes … LSU announced earlier this morning that star junior DE/OLB Arden Key, a potential top 5-10 prospect for the 2018 draft, has been cleared to play this coming weekend when the Tigers open their SEC schedule Saturday night at Mississippi State with KO slated for 7 PM ET on ESPN. Key underwent a shoulder procedure during the offseason and sat out LSU’s first two games. It’s still clear how much Key will play against the Bulldogs given that he has been limited in practice until this week, but if he can go it will set up a really intriguing match-up with rising Mississippi State LT Martinas Rankin. Oklahoma also got some good news coming out of their big win over Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday in that TE Mark Andrews won’t miss any game time. Andrews hurt a left knee early in the second quarter against OSU and did not return,. Andrews did remain on the sideline and with an ice pack on his knee, but it didn’t look good. Instead, Andrews is expected to play Saturday when the 2nd-3rd ranked Sooners play Tulane. Meanwhile other significant injuries of note around college football this past weekend include Jonathan Duhart, a 6-3, 220-pound senior All-CUSA WR entering the season, will miss the rest of the year with a foot injury; Boston College C Jon Baker is out for the season because of a torn ACL in his right knee. He originally limped off the field a week ago in the win over Northern Illinois and was originally listed as out for this past Saturday’s game against Wake Forest, an hour before kickoff, it was announced that he’d be out for the season; Iowa OT Ike Boettger suffered an Achilles injury in the win over Iowa State Saturday and will most likely miss the rest of the season; Florida TE Deandre Goolsby is possibly out for the season with a leg injury; Wisconsin DE Chikwe Obasih is out indefinitely with a leg injury; Louisville senior reserve RB Jeremy Smith will miss the rest of the season with a toe injury. Elsewhere, Washington State QB Luke Falk will return to the starting line-up this week against Oregon State after being benched briefly in the Cougars’ win against Boise State this past weekend. Then when he went back in, Falk suffered an apparent head injury and was kept out of the rest of the game for precautionary reasons.

Pigskins weekly picks and prospects watch in college football … The second full weekend of the college football schedule kicks off later this evening. And once again this week there are a number of really big games. We profiled the Ohio State-Oklahoma match-up of two top 5 teams earlier today, but the Buckeyes-Sooners dual is just the tip of the iceberg this weekend. GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has posted his weekly preview of other key games this weekend featuring prospects for the 2018 draft he’ll be focusing on this weekend.

Who to watch in college football this week … The college football schedule maker has been in fine form so far this year. Last week, they kicked off the season with #1 Alabama playing #3 Florida State. And this week it will be more of the same with second-ranked Ohio State hosting #5 Oklahoma in another game with major national implications. This game also features some major Heisman implications as both QBs are among the top half dozen or so leading legitimate contenders for his year’s collegiate player-of-the-year honors. The OU-OSU contest also features a draft treat when mammoth Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown takes on a bevy of talented Ohio State edge-rushers. Here’s our full preview of who to watch when the Buckeyes tangle with the Sooners.

High ankle sprain for top pick Garrett; could extended time … Cleveland has confirmed that DE Myles Garrett, the first player selected at the 2017 draft, has a high ankle sprain and will miss at least the first two weeks of the season. However, it could also be longer. Garrett, though, is not expected to require surgery on the ankle, although he was in a walking boot earlier today and may elect to get a second opinion on the injury.

Are you really ready for some football !!!   The 2017 NFL season kicks off later tonight when the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots host Kansas City at 8:30 PM ET on NBC. To get folks warmed up,  the GBN braintrust has put together their collective wits and made their picks for the upcoming season. And just for fun, we’ve also posted our annual pre-season projection for the opening round of the upcoming draft.

Who caught Pigskin’s eye in college football last week … With the first week of the college football season in the books, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette weighs in with some thoughts on the players that caught his eye in last weekend’s action.

LSU confirms DE Key out for second straight week … LSU has confirmed that star junior DE Arden Key, a top 5-10 prospect for the 2018 draft, will not play again this coming Saturday when LSU hosts Tennessee-Chattanooga in what should be a laugher. Key, who had 12 sacks last fall, is still not 100% after undergoing shoulder surgery in May. Key has reportedly been working on the sidelines at practice this week, but has still not been cleared for full contact; in fact, it appears there is no timetable for Key’s return and the rumblings out of Baton Rouge are that team officials are really just hoping that Key will be available when the Tigers start their SEC schedule later in September. Meanwhile, it appears that Florida junior WR Antonio Galloway, arguably the Gators’ top prospect for the upcoming draft, will also miss another week as he remains under suspension until an ongoing investigation into alleged credit card fraud is completed.

Star UMass TE injured in season-opener; status remains unclear … NFL scouts are keeping a close eye on UMass as they wait for word on the injury status of star Minutemen TE Adam Breneman who was injured in the team’s loss to Coastal Carolina in their season opener on the weekend. The 6-5 Breneman, a one-time Penn State recruit who played two years with the Nittany Lions, led all TEs in college football with 70 receptions in 2016 – and already had 9 in less than 3 quarters before being injured against Coastal Carolina.

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