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  • This true freshman may already be the wisest player in college football

    Josh Rosen

    Josh Rosen,  subject of Jim Mora’s tough-love coaching a couple weeks ago, does not carry himself like one might expect. Not for a former No. 1 quarterback recruit that immediately walked into UCLA’s football building and won the starting quarterback job as a true freshman. His nickname is The Rosen One, after all.

    But in an interview with Uproxx recently, Rosen displayed a level of maturity well beyond his years, one that his peers would be wise to adopt and coaches would be well-served to share with their own players.

    Rosen on the recruiting process:

    “I kind of feel bad for all these full-grown men that have to convince teenagers to go to a certain school. I’m telling coaches, ‘You can lay off the phone calls’. No matter how great a guy a coach is, calling me every other day is not going to affect my decision that much.”

    On why he chose UCLA over the Ivy League:

    “I loved Princeton. But it’s not worth it when you weigh what football can do for you outside of football. I’ve only been [at UCLA] for three months and I’ve already made connections a normal college kid shouldn’t be able to make. You have to use football in the way that’s right for you.”

    Rosen has already secured an internship for the summer of 2016.

    On his relaxed approach to the game:

    “If anyone says I’m not doing it the right way. I don’t really care. If I was that emotionally invested, at like, a do-or-die level, I’d burn myself out. Some people hate the sport but keep rolling with it, because football is their life. It’s not my life.”

    On not staying grounded:

    “You can’t believe your own hype too much. You can’t forget that you’re still a teenager, still growing, still going through puberty. People take this stuff way too seriously.”

    It’s almost like Rosen approaches college football like it’s a game played by unpaid students. What the heck is wrong with him?

    Read the full story here.

  • Cam Cameron undergoes cancer treatment, plans to coach in 2015

    Cam Cameron

    Forever proving college football programs’ ability to keep a secret when they truly want to, LSU revealed Friday evening offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has undergone treatment for prostate cancer this summer but plans to coach in 2015.

    The Tigers, thankfully, insist Cameron has been given a clean bill of health.

    LSU is eerily experienced at bracing for an offensive coordinator’s health scare during fall camp, as then-OC Steve Kragthorpe announced in August 2011 he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Kragthorpe coached LSU’s quarterbacks in 2011 and 2012 and has since served as the program’s special assistant to the head coach/chief of staff.

    LSU opens the 2015 season against McNeese State next Saturday.

  • Illinois has fired head coach Tim Beckman

    Tim Beckman

    FootballScoop has learned that Illinois has fired head coach Tim Beckman. We are told offensive coordinator Bill Cubit will serve as interim head coach.

    The school has announced the change, saying the preliminary results into a review of Beckman’s program following allegations of mistreatment from former players were convincing enough that the school needed to move on from its head coach just a week before opening kickoff.

    “The preliminary information external reviewers shared with me does not reflect our values or our commitment to the welfare of our student-athletes, and I’ve chosen to act accordingly,” AD MikeThomas said in a statement. “During the review, we have asked people not to rush to judgment, but I now have enough information to make this decision in assessing the status and direction of the football program.”

    From the press release:

    During a preliminary briefing from the external reviewers, Thomas said he learned of efforts to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players to avoid or postpone medical treatment and continue playing despite injuries. He also said in some instances student-athletes were treated inappropriately with respect to whether they could remain on scholarship during the spring semester of their senior year if they weren’t on the team.

    Beckman has been dismissed with cause, meaning he will not receive the $3.1 million remaining on his contract or his $743,000 buyout.

    Beckman posted a 12-25 mark in three seasons at the school, peaking with a 6-7 2014 campaign that ended in a Heart of Dallas Bowl loss to Louisiana Tech. Beckman came to Illinois after a 21-16 stint at Toledo, leading the Fighting Illini to two wins in his 2012 debut and then adding two victories per season.

    Illinois opens the 2015 season against Kent State in one week.

    Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest in all coaching news.

    Update: Beckman responded to the allegations, calling them “utterly false” in a statement he released.

    “I am shocked and extremely disappointed by the decision Mike Thomas and the University of Illinois made today regarding my employment as Head Coach of the football team. First and foremost, I firmly deny the implications in Mike’s statements that I took any action that was not in the best interests of the health, safety and well-being of my players. The health and well-being of our student athletes is of paramount importance to me, and any statement made to the contrary is utterly false. Additionally, in connection with scholarships for student-athletes, I have complied with the policies and regulations of both the University and the NCAA and I have fully supported the University’s compliance office. Moreover, all of the actions that I took regarding individual scholarships were in lockstep with the University’s appointed personnel and the directions and approvals I received from University officials.”

    Read the full statement here.

  • Minnesota has released a “Frogger” style game for you to play


    The name of the game for athletic departments in the modern age of college football is to find a way to connect with your fan base, and there are an infinite amount of ways to do that.

    Earlier today, Minnesota released an interesting game called Go Gopher Go inspired by everyone’s favorite 1981 video game – Frogger. In it, you control Goldy the Gopher, and have to navigate your way through a sea of TCU defenders, and then onto Goldy’s slide and push-up planks to get to the top of the screen.

    Something tells me Big Ten fans are going to waste a good portion of their work day trying to beat their previous high score on this. Give it a try yourself via this link.

    If we’re being honest, I’ve already spent 15 minutes on it…and I’m not very good.

    Minnesota opens up with TCU at home on Thursday, September 3rd (less than a week away) at 8pm EST.


  • Ben Herbert has a great illustration every strength coach can borrow



    Pete Thamel has a long, up-close profile of Bret Bielema’s Arkansas and how much – and how successfully – it differs from Bobby Petrino’s Arkansas up at Campus Rush. It’s a great read. At the heart of the change is a little trick strength coach Ben Herbert brought with him from Wisconsin.

    Prior to Wisconsin’s 2009 season, strength coach Ben Herbert bought two oversized houseplants from the Home Depot and stationed them in the weight room. One plant’s nametag read: “I’m The Governor. I take pride in how I care about myself. I focus on nutrition, hydration and meal frequency.” The other’s tag read: “I’m The Deacon. What’s going on? I’ve heard all these things about feeding the body well and hydrating, but I’ve got this far doing it my own way.”

    Over the next four weeks Herbert fed The Governor heavy doses of Miracle Grow and water. He fed The Deacon cheap whisky, Miller High Life and crumbled bits of Oreos and Doritos. “The Governor shot up and looked beautiful,” Herbert said. “And The Deacon looked and smelled so bad that guys were begging me to get it out of the weight room.” Herbert’s plant parable resonated to such a degree that a few weeks ago a Central Michigan transfer who debuted for Wisconsin in 2009 shot Herbert a message. “I’m in Governor mode,” J.J. Watt, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, texted after a strenuous workout.

    House plants go for as little as $5.99 a piece at and a pound and a half of Miracle Gro goes for the same price. Herbert taught his players a lesson his words could never accomplish for the price of one Andrew Jackson. Brilliant.

    Herbert also created a culture where players strived to become the best workout warriors on the team, and the reward was a harder workout.

    Herbert also instilled a unique incentive to the weight room, as the program’s top four performers—Williams, junior linebacker Brooks Ellis, junior defensive end Jamichael Winston and senior receiver Keon Hatcher—earned invitations into a special Black Room workout. Throughout the summer, only those four were allowed to enter the converted closet where they endured separate, more rigorous workouts than the rest of their teammates. The Black Room serves as motivation for the best workers on the roster, and it features a photograph of Mike Tyson. The accompanying quote doubles as a mantra for the Hogs: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

    Read the full piece here.