Red Raider Gridiron | Thompson and Cantrell to Travel; Defense to Focus on Turnovers

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IR coach Eric Morris discusses two freshman receivers, Carlos Thompson and Dylan Cantrell, who are expected to travel with the team to play SMU. Also, the defense is putting a greater emphasis on creating turnovers.

1. Notebook | Some good things here from the LAJ as we get some information on some freshmen who will be traveling, including IR Carlos Thompson and IR/WR Dylan Cantrell (I'm guessing that Cantrell isn't really going to be labeled by a position as his career progresses). Here's IR coach Eric Morris:

"Carlos has done a good job," Morris said. "Maybe some of the best ball skills of anybody we have on our entire team. For how small he is, he does a great job going up and getting some things and making some catches you wouldn’t think a little 5-8 kid could. He’s a competitive kid that loves to play football and have fun with it."

Thompson always seemed like a guy that was way too productive to only have a handful of scholarship offers. I think his best offer was to Old Dominions, meanwhile, he's the leading receiver (by a decent ways) on his Manvel team with two 4-star players that had a ton of offers. I shrug my shoulders and think that I'm glad we have him. And here's Morris on Cantrell:

"We expect big things from Dylan," Morris said. "He’s a smart kid that’s come in and picked up everything. He’s a tough kid that’s done everything we’ve asked and made it through camp healthy, and so Dylan we’re looking forward to contributing to this team."

And we also get information that RT Rashad Fortenberry will start at right tackle, which should help the rest of the offensive line fall into place. Here's OL coach Lee Hays:

"Right now, Rashad’s starting to come on," Hays said Tuesday. "I’m excited about how much he’s improved. I’ve gotten a chance to see him get after it a little bit. He was hurt the first half of camp, really, but I’m excited about him."

There's also bits on LB Zach Barnes, LB Malik Jenkins, DT Kerry Hyder and WR Bradley Marquez, but I don't want to copy and paste everything, so go check it out.

2. Improving Turnovers | The LAJ has a bit on how the defense wants to completely change the turnover margin for the team and it's been awful for the past three years. Here's co-DC Matt Wallerstedt:

"We’ve got five circuits of different situations that guys could find themselves in in the course of the game," first-year defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said. "We travel in groups and go to that circuit. It’s only a minute and change, minute and 30 seconds per group. It’s not anything that’s exhausting them, but just working on technique of ball disruption and getting the ball out and on the ground and getting it back for our offense."

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3. Good Links | I don't have time to list all of the links, but these are interesting:

  • This is just a beautiful bit of internet-makings, from SBNation and Bill Connelly, the College Football Index. Speaking of Connelly, you can read the first chapter of his book that you can purchase, the chapter is about why we love the silly, irrational, ridiculous, beautiful world of college football.
  • The NYT on the talk of injuries and the speed of the game. Kingsbury is mentioned, but not discussed here.
  • Kingsbury on the Ticket, sorta as I haven't found the podcast of this, so this is the best mini-summary that you'll get.
  • Another article from the NYT about college football's most dominant player, which is ESPN. It's lengthy, but it's worth your time.
  • Another bit on ESPN from SI, which is that ESPN and Frontline were set to do a documentary on concussions and all of a sudden ESPN said that they could no longer participate in the documentary. The implication here is that the NFL put some pressure on ESPN not to give such bad publicity to a heck of a problem with the sport and in particular, the NFL.  Frontline ain't scared. Football Study Hall has another bit on head injuries and young football players.
  • Yahoo! Sports has a preview of a book called "The System" about some of the dark and somewhat disturbing aspects of college football. You should read this in anticipation of the weekly conversation with SARR. And the preview itself makes programs like Missouri and coaches like Lane Kiffin look really bad.

4. Kingsbury Era | Big 12 Sports (the official site of the Big 12) and I think at this point, I'm pretty talked out about lots of things (I really need for there to be a game so that we have something to discuss that's tangible), but I thought this was a good quote from head coach Kliff Kingsbury:

"I think my expectations for the program are probably higher than anybody's in the country," Kingsbury said. "It's not like we're coming to a program that's broken. If we're not getting done what I think we should get done, that is what it is and that's pretty black and white. I don't put any extra pressure on myself. I just try and get better each and every day with our program."

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