Twitter Tuesday: Antonio Callaway, NFL rookies, Oklahoma, Texas
Our weekly #TwitterTuesday file continues as readers ask National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell their football questions via social media. Here are five questions we chose, including Farrell’s take on Antonio Callaway’s suspension.
Personally, not knowing full details regarding each of his incidents, Antonio Callaway's one-game suspension seems a bit light.
In May 2016 he was cited for marijuana possession with the charges later dropped as part of a plea deal. Earlier that year he was suspended in the wake of sexual assault allegations, but was later cleared and never sat a game. Now he’s part of a group that used their student IDs improperly to make purchases.
Callaway has exhibited a clear pattern of bad behavior and poor decision making. Perhaps more worrying for Callaway is that the NFL is watching. He is a very talented player, but talent will only get you so far.
Based on this pattern of behavior, I don’t think Callaway is long for Gainesville. He could be the latest example of a great talent who destroys any chance of NFL success. At the very least, even if he’s squeaky clean from here on out, it could cost Callaway a first-round grade in the eyes of a few NFL teams.
I have a few in mind, but the quarterback that is under the most pressure of all is Auburn's Jarrett Stidham. Now, I'm not saying I think Stidham will be a flop. But the expectations heaped upon Stidham have been immense to say the least. Many feel he’s the missing piece for Auburn and could lead it to a national title. That’s a lot of pressure for a guy who has completed all of 75 college football passes and last threw a touchdown in 2015. There will be an adjustment that needs to be made to the speed of the SEC defenses and a learning curve that could lead to some ups and downs.
I think Stidham will have a good year but I don’t see him contending for the Heisman Trophy. Only Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, J.T. Barrett and Deondre Francois have better betting odds, per the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, than Stidham to win the Heisman. That’s a bit heady.
Remember the hype around Jeremy Johnson at Auburn? Stidham is better and more college ready, but I’m not buying in until I have to.
There have been a lot of impressive rookies through the first week of the NFL preseason. In fact, there have been so many that it’s hard to choose just one player. Should it be Mitch Trubisky with the Bears or DeShone Kizer with the Browns or even Deshaun Watson with the Texans?
Nope, let’s focus on the defensive side of the ball and single out Derek Barnett with the Eagles. I know T.J. Watt had two sacks for the Steelers in his debut and Myles Garrett was all over the field for the Browns, but Barnett’s two sacks, two tackles for a loss and two QB hits was the most impressive to me.
When you watch Barnett in his first game, his use of his hands is elite, while his hustle and motor is as expected. I felt the Eagles got a steal with Barnett at No. 14. After having Reggie White star in Philly, it’s fitting that the man who broke White’s sack record at Tennessee would end up in Philadelphia with a chance to follow in his footsteps.
One preseason game doesn't mean much, but Barnett certainly impressed me based on that small sample size so far.
The Sooners' offensive line class is off the hook. With the addition of Darrell Simpson now, Oklahoma has commitments from the No. 3 offensive tackle in Brey Walker and the No. 11 offensive tackle in Simpson. JUCO offensive tackle Tramonda Moore is a bit of a wildcard but he has a ton of upside as well giving the Sooners a great 1-2-3 punch so far.
A lot depends on how the Sooners finish things out as Penn State, Ohio State, Miami, Georgia, Florida and others could all make claim to having the top offensive line class for 2018, but when it comes to tackles right now I’d put Oklahoma just ahead of Miami for the best start. Bill Bedenbaugh deserves a ton of credit.
Does Texas have a chance? Sure. USC will be favored, and many will expect Sam Darnold and the Trojan offense to carve up a Longhorn defense that wasn’t very good last year, but something tells me this could be a closer game than many think.
Texas opens the season at home against Maryland and San Jose State, and should be able to work out some of the kinks that come with a coaching change by the time it plays USC. The Trojans, meanwhile, will be coming off a game against Stanford, an opponent that traditionally plays them physically, and could be a bit more beat up.
When it comes to established talent, the edge has to go to USC but an upset out at the Coliseum is not out of the question.