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Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank drives home strong message to Terps

Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour, spoke to the Maryland football team at the conclusion of yesterday’s practice.

Plank gave a terrific speech that was captured on video, driving home the message of “Done, Done, Done.”

After a very nice introduction by head coach Randy Edsall, Plank told the team, “In sitting where you were that many years ago, boy I didn’t have it all figured out.  But I knew that if I did all the right things Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. It wasn’t going from Day 1 to Day 100.  And that’s the difference of teams that make it happen.”

Planked continued, “We use that statement ‘I Will.’  Like ‘I’ll will it to happen.’  And if I can leave you guys with anything in life, any idea of what drives our company, what drives myself, what drives our love for this university, for this team and family, it’s this idea of ‘will.’”

Take a couple of minutes to watch Plank’s speech.  You’ll be glad you did.

Darrell Hazell lands soft job at previous Kent State staff

Kent State wrapped up spring practice last weekend.  The Blue topped the Gold in a 6-0 barn burner.

Head coach Darrell Hazell said, "I would attribute the final score to good defense. The defense was flying around. The offense was moving the ball between the 20s and stalled in the redzone."

This week, while speaking at a booster club engagement, Hazell seemed to take a little shot at the previous coaching staff.

Hazell said, “One of the problems that existed at Kent State before we got there was that they never committed to recruiting the great players in this great state. There are 719 schools in this state that play football. There’s more than enough players to go around.”

According to the Kent State spring roster, only 41 of 84 players come from the state of Ohio.  Some other states that are represented on the Kent State roster include Florida (8), Pennsylvania (7), Georgia (7), and North Carolina (5).

Hazell added, “We visited 177 schools in the state of Ohio, once we took the job, in three weeks in January. We are so excited to be representing Kent State University, and there’s no way in the world we’re going to let the good players (Massillon) puts out and the rest of this state puts out get away from us. We are very, very, very blessed and committed to this area and this state.”

Hazell, the former wide receivers coach at Ohio State, will visit Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa for his first game as a head coach.  Kent State opens at Alabama, against UL-Lafayette, at Kansas State, and against South Alabama. 

What are you saying about your QB? Here's what Mark Richt thinks of his.

Plenty of coaches could only wish to offer comments about their quarterback like Mark Richt did about Aaron Murray on Wednesday afternoon.

To say the least, Richt isn’t losing any sleep over his quarterback situation heading into August camp.

Richt stated, “I’m just very thankful to have him. Since the minute he got on campus, he’s been preparing for his moment to be the starting quarterback at the University of Georgia.”

“What I mean by that is that he’ll put in the extra time in the film room and he’ll work hard on his fundamentals. He’s the kind of guy that’s very results-oriented and he’ll do whatever it takes to get prepared, whether that means putting in his own time or not.”

“He loves the team, he loves football, the camaraderie, he loves to win and he loves to prepare to be great. There’s not one guy on the team right now that would look at Aaron and say, “this guy isn’t paying the price for us to have a shot at the Eastern Division champions.” He’s what you’re looking for in a leader and a player—the whole thing.”

As a red-shirt freshman, Murray completed 61% of passing attempts with 24 TD / 8 INT.  He averaged 234 yards per game, but gone is All-SEC wide receiver AJ Greene.

Georgia opens against Boise State in the Georgia Dome on September 3rd at 8 pm EST on ESPN.  A week later, the Bulldogs will host South Carolina.


Dan Mullen takes a trip to the Pacific Northwest

Dan Mullen was in Eugene, Oregon on Monday to observe the Oregon Ducks up-tempo style of practice.

Mullen and Chip Kelly have known each other for years.

"I was out there more to see how they run the program and I wanted to see how they practice,” said Mullen.

"You hear about how their practice is very different from a lot of people. I think we're very high-tempo at practice, but they do some things that are quicker and we do some things that are quicker than them."

Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen also visited with the Oregon staff and watched practice.

Oregon will play their spring game on Saturday April 30th.  Interestingly, fans that bring 3 non-perishable food cans will be admitted free of charge.

With LSU first up on the Ducks’ schedule, we have confirmed that Chip Kelly will be in total focus (100% locked in) beginning July 5th.

Mullen won’t lock in until just before August camp.  Mississippi State opens at Memphis.

UPDATE: Chip Kelly will be glad that Mullen didn't stay for this morning's scrimmage in Eugene.  Kelly might have been embarrassed.

According to John Hunt of The Oregonian, "Before the Ducks finally scored, nearly an hour and a half into the scrimmage - remember, some drives start in the red zone - they had reached double digits in turnovers. That's actual turnovers, not drops or fumbles recovered by the offense - on a perfectly dry day."

Offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich said, "I've never seen anything like that, and hopefully, here, we won't again. Today can't happen. A Pop Warner team can't practice like that.''

Leach, Gundy, and Jack Arute talk 420

It’s April 20th or 4-20.  Jack Arute began the College Football Playbook on Sirius/XM radio by saying we all know what 4-20 is.

Leach’s response…a lethargic ”What’s that?”

Special guest Mike Gundy chimed in, “420? That was the minimum number of yards Coach Leach’s teams threw for each Saturday.”

Gundy, once again, is excited about his offense.

“Offensively, we’re going to be as good or better as we were.  Statistically, I don’t know, but I know we’ll be as effective. I think for the first time ever since I’ve been here, we are two deep on the offensive line.”

Gundy pointed out that having a 27 year old quarterback helps.

“It’s been a great advantage for us.  He’s (Weeden) married so he has to go home at night.  He understands our tempo.  He does a really nice job managing the clock, it reminds me of the NFL guys when they get 1:34 left.   They get so many plays cuz they know how to run the operation.”

On the defensive side, Gundy said, “We’re young again at defensive tackle and it seems like we say that every year.  We’re almost 2 deep at safety and corner.  I think we’ll be as good as we’ve ever been in the secondary.”

“We need to find someone in the middle of the defense to make tackles.”

Overall, “People are going to know who we are.  It’s not like Oklahoma State is going to surprise anybody this year.”

UPDATE: Jack Arute just finished the second segment with, "Going back to the start of our show, 4-20 is the celebration of marajuana, just so you know."

Leach simply responded as if in shock, "Wow."

Mike Sherman ready to turn up the heat on Aggies

Coming off a 9-4 year including a six-game winning streak within the Big 12 Conference, Mike Sherman says the Aggies have grown up.

Going into his 4th year, Sheman says, “This year will be a real test for us to prove that we've taken that step, a team that's built its foundation and can have success above and beyond what we had last year.”

Sherman admits his coaching style will change a little with this year’s team.

He explained, “You have to understand the psyche of each team and play to that. When we had all those freshmen playing a couple of years ago, my coaching style was a little different than it will be this year. You had to kind of coddle them a little bit and bring them along.”

“This team is a lot more resilient and can handle things better. You bear down harder on a team that has the maturity to handle criticism when things go poorly. It was evident this spring. You notch it up.”

Texas A&M opens with three consecutive home games against SMU, Idaho, and Oklahoma State.  

Clearly, offensive line coach Jim Turner isn't coddling anyone.  See Coach Turner mic'd up during spring ball, right here.

South Carolina assistant: We're not going to win. We're going to win big.

South Carolina quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus has a guy named Garcia in his position meeting room that has to drive him crazy.

You never know what you’re getting.  Except Spurrier knew he was signing a high school senior that at times rocked a full beard and mullet.

At the time, Mangus was serving as the offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach at MTSU.

Now, Mangus doesn’t know if Garcia will return at all due to his indefinite suspension.  In fact, many South Carolina fans are fed up with Garcia, who has now been suspended five different times.  The popular opinion might be to move on without Garcia.

Interestingly, Mangus told Travis Haney of the Charleston Post and Courier, “The kids love Garcia. Garcia is a Velcro-type guy. The kids like hanging out with him. If I was 22, I'd hang out with him.”

To us, it will be interesting to see if Steve Spurrier and athletic director Eric Hyman take the strategy once used by John Calipari for a player who was suspended multiple time.

Calipari once said, “Remember that what's right isn't always popular... and what's popular isn't always right.”

Everybody makes mistakes; that's why they put erasers on pencils.  

Is it too late? Or does Garcia get one more chance (seriously, this is the last time) to get a handle on all things outside of football?

One thing is for sure according to Mangus, with or without Garcia, “Our best years of football are ahead. We're not going to win. We're going to win big.”

In unrelated news, Spurrier turned 66 today.  Have no idea, but we'll guess he's currently on the 402 yard Par 4, hole #8...with an Original Coors.

Big 12 coaches differ on elimination of championship game

Bob Stoops, Mike Gundy, Gary Pinkel, and Bill Snyder shared their opinions on the elimination of the Big 12 Conference championship game during a conference call on Tuesday.

Gundy and Stoops are glad the game has been eliminated.

Gundy explained, "I've always felt like that our goal as a league should be to have a national champion, and anything that takes away from that we should avoid. And we've accomplished that by eliminating the championship game."

Stoops said, “We had to win our championship then go win the national championship or BCS game when we just won a huge game, it's like we had to do it twice. Now we don't have to do it, and I think it is an advantage.”

Pinkel didn’t like the move and made an interesting point.

Pinkel said, "I really think the championship game and divisions are good for college football. I think it's rather obvious, too, since the Pac-10 went to it (beginning this year). We're going to miss that, I don't think there's any question about it."

Bill Snyder added, “I think most people view the Big 12 as one of the top two conferences in the United States. There are four or five trophies in our trophy case that in all likelihood would not have been there had we not had a North and South Division. And I think there are a lot of schools that profited by that, particularly schools in the North."

Despite the elimination of the championship game this year, the Big 12 Conference will have exposure on the traditional conference championship Saturday.  Bedlam, the Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State game, will be played in Stillwater on that date.