Dre’mont Jones among 3 to stay
Redshirt-junior defensive tackle Dre’mont Jones announced that he was returning for his senior season at Ohio State instead of declaring for the NFL Draft, cleveland.com reported. Jones was projected to be a first-round pick.
The university also learned that wideout Parris Campbell and running back Mike Weber have indicated that they’re going to stay.
So far, cornerback Denzel Ward, linebacker Jerome Baker and defensive end Sam Hubbard are the only Buckeyes to have declared early for the draft. The deadline to declare for the draft is Jan. 15.
Five declare for draft
National champion Alabama once again must replace a number of key players leaving early for the NFL draft, including All-America safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick, safety Ronnie Harrison and tailback Bo Scarbrough announced Thursday they’re skipping their senior seasons. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne is also entering the draft, and wide receiver Calvin Ridley already had announced his departure.
Fitzpatrick, regarded as a potential top 10 pick, said it wasn’t a tough call for him.
Fitzpatrick, Ridley and Payne are projected as likely first-round draft picks. Harrison said he received a second-round grade from the College Advisory Committee. Scarbrough declined to say what feedback he got.
Alabama has had 25 underclassmen enter the draft since 2009, and 14 of them have been first-rounders.
Orgeron reinstates Ensminger as OC
BATON ROUGE, LA.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron insists that he always thought of Steve Ensminger as a top candidate for offensive coordinator.
Orgeron offered a mea culpa Thursday, saying he only demoted Ensminger back to tight ends coach in 2017 to fulfill a pledge to hire big-name offensive coach who could bring a fresh, innovative scheme to LSU.
Orgeron’s hiring of Matt Canada didn’t work out, and Orgeron cannot explain why because LSU’s $1.7 million settlement bars public discussion of the reasons for Canada’s departure after only one season.
However, Orgeron was at liberty to assert that putting the offense back in the hands of an assistant with whom he’s worked well before is the right move now.
“When I got the job, I remember saying that I was going to find the best offensive coordinator in the country,” Orgeron said. “I did all I could do.
“Things didn’t work out and we moved on,” Orgeron continued. “Steve Ensminger is the best coordinator for LSU.”
Cowboys fire defensive coordinator
Oklahoma State has fired defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer.
Spencer joined the staff as defensive line coach in 2008 and was elevated to defensive coordinator in 2013. In a statement released Thursday, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he was “very appreciative for the 10 years of loyal service that Glenn Spencer gave to Oklahoma State.”
Oklahoma State’s offenses have been outstanding the past several years, but its defenses have lagged behind.
This season, the Cowboys hit a low when they lost 62-52 at home to Oklahoma behind Baker Mayfield’s 598 yards passing. Oklahoma State also had poor defensive showings in losses to TCU and Kansas State that took the Cowboys out of the national championship picture.