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Video: Inside the Illinois QB battle and their spring ball draft

Illinois decided to engage their fan base this off season by cracking their quarterback competition wide open and having camera crews embedded with each of the three guys battling it out.

The latest installment takes place just before their orange and blue spring game, and includes some good coaching points from Bill Cubit during practice before stretching into their annual spring ball draft with the seniors and coaching staff compiling the teams.

With just three scholarship quarterbacks available, and one of them being senior Reilly O'Toole (who helped draft his team), the first pick of the draft, which belonged to O'Toole's team, was fellow quarterback Wes Lunt. That left Aaron Bailey the only other scholarship quarterback available for the Orange team. Great strategy considering Lunt threw for over 1,000 yards and completed 61% of his passes while starting a handful of games for Oklahoma State.\

These episodes have had quite a bit of time in between each of them, but it's always a great idea to provide fans and recruits a peek like this inside of the program. Really looking forward to the season finale.




Video: 'Big man' 7-on-7

Who doesn't love watching a big man 7-on-7?

Here, the Angelo State offensive line take on the defensive line. Some of these guys can move pretty well, and they even try to pull off some trickeration at about the 30 second mark, but the offensive line's ability to swivel their hips and break on the ball was sorely underestimated.

Notice that both teams looks like they're running lots of zone coverage...wouldn't want any one-on-one mismatches out there.




Sold! Arkansas State coaching auction goes for $11,700

The results are in, and Arkansas State's head-coach-for-a-day auction has gone for $11,700 to a bidder that is anonymous at this time.

The auction drew 58 bids over four days, rising from a starting price of $2,500. More valuable than the $11,700, though, is the marketing value that the Red Wolves' auction generated. Th e auction was picked up by nearly every major college football blog on the web.

The brainchild of new head coach Blake Anderson, Arkansas State will give the money to the Red Wolves Foundation to help fund the program. "This is a great way for us to raise money to help us function when a line item doesn't fit, as in needing a new computer or a bus to take us somewhere," Anderson told ESPN.com.

The winner will don Red Wolves coaching gear and a head set and call plays for the defending Sun Belt champs. 

For the record, Arkansas State pays Anderson $700,000 to serve as the Red Wolves' real head coach for the other 364 days a year. 

Self-styled sports business expert Darren Rovell has more on the auction: 

Wouldn't we all love to have $12 grand to burn at 25?




These HS helmets are the first of their kind

 

According the Shiloh Christian's (AR) website, the Saints will be taking the field this fall with a brand new custom gold chrome helmet unlike any other gold dome out there.

The Saints apparently worked hand in hand with Riddell to select a "Championship Gold" color that would help their helmet stand out from other gold lids.

As their site explains "The new helmet is the first of its kind in high school football. The new paint developed by Riddell has a reflective chrome-like aspect to it, while still maintaining the gold color and sheen. While the Saints have worn different shades of gold throughout the years, this helmet brings it all into one shiny, vegas gold that truly represents the Shiloh championship tradition."

Head coach Josh Floyd noted that their aim was to do something for the kids that would help set them apart, and this hits the mark. The helmets still maintain their old integrity while incorporating a modern flavor of sorts, and the video certainly helps the overall allure as well.

It's not everyday you get to work hand in hand with a company like Riddell to create your own color, so props to Shiloh Christian and head coach Josh Floyd for a job well done on these. There really isn't a whole lot that a lot of programs feel like they can do with the traditional gold helmets, but coach Floyd and his guys proved that notion wrong.

   

 

 




In his effort for a repeat, Jimbo Fisher compares FSU to Microsoft and Google

It's a tale as old as sports. The head coach of the reigning champions worries about how to motivate his fat and happy team enough to climb the mountain again in search of championship number two. It spans across all sports and all levels of play. When Rutgers topped Princeton on that November day in 1869, the Queensmen's head coach (as Rutgers was then known) was surely worried about motivating his squad for another run at the title as soon as they left the field.

And now it's Jimbo Fisher's turn to worry about this all-too-desirable problem. It's the most first world of problems in the coaching world, but it's a problem nonetheless and it demands an answer.

Fisher isn't necessarily concerned with honing in on the 2014 title (at least not yet), but he is focused on getting Florida State back to its incredible 14-year run of Top 5 finishes.

"Being back is being able to consistently contend," Fisher told Stewart Mandel of SI.com. "To me it's like a company like Microsoft or Google. Sometimes they're the best company in the world that year, but sometimes they're second or third or whatever. But you know one thing. When you deal with them you're dealing with quality. You're dealing with people who are committed to excellence. When you're back, that's what you do, and I think that's what we are doing right now."

Fortunately for Fisher, his message appears to be sinking in.

"Like coach Fisher says, teams only have a one-year life expectancy," said defensive back Jalen Ramsey. "After that one year you have to move on. You have to go on with your other team and hunt another national championship. We're really trying to change our focus and aim our purpose to doing everything to get ourselves another one."

Although Jameis Winston admits to being "bored", he says it's the type of boredom that comes with a season's worth of experience and a fully-secured starting job. "It's good to be bored, because when you're bored you want to do more," he says. "By me being bored, that makes me [say], 'OK, I'm bored, think about the little things.'"

If Fisher really wants Florida State to become college football's version of Apple and Google, he'll have to churn out the college football version of the Windows and Android year after year. It certainly helps to have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and a wealth of first-round talent in that case. 

Read the full piece here.




Video: A day in the life of a Tiger student-athlete (dunk contest included)

Memphis released this video earlier today profiling the daily life of one of their players.

The cameras follow around senior linebacker Charles Harris for a day from the time he walks out of the house in the morning to breakfast, to his first class, to a "team activity" (which just happens to be an intense game of dodgeball, and a dunk contest at a facility of trampolines), and finally back to his place for the night.

For college programs that can't get recruits on campus as much as they'd like, this is a great, cost-effective alternative.




Updated: Some of the Best Graphics in Football

Last week I noted how impressed I have been over the past year or two with the graphics Ohio State's Sammy Silverman creates. I said at the time that his have to be top 5 in the country and solicited input from others. 

Well, one week later, I haven't found anyone who can knock him off the top rung. 

A number of programs sent in some very cool graphics. Some that were player specific for recruiting can't be shared; but some of those were awfully fine. Will see what we can do in the future to share some of those. 

With that said, I've created a quick collection on Exposure to share some of the ones that were sent in. There are more and we'll add to this collection later today and this week.

We certainly welcome additional submissions ([email protected] or @FootballScoop).  




Cat or no cat, Bo Pelini has spring football figured out

Spring football is about evaluation, about getting better, about trying new things and about getting the ball rolling so your team can hit the ground running in early August. First and foremost, that's what spring football will always be about.

But it's also about having fun. Football should always be fun, and spring football especially so since the crucible of game day is still more than four months away. 

Bo Pelini isn't anyone's depiction of fun during a fall Saturday, but the man knows how to make spring football fun for his players. By now you're surely aware of his move Saturday, for which he won the highly mythical FootballScoop Spring Game National Championship for a second straight year. 

Pelini's public image has taken a sharp turn since November, when he dared the Huskers' administration for fire him following a loss to Iowa in the regular-season finale. The Gator Bowl defeat of Georgia was the turning point, and now Operation Turnaround has Nebraska's arrow pointed upward heading into the 2014 season. 

A happy player is a productive player and an invested player, and Pelini - with a little help from that darn cat - now has a locker room full of them.