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NCAA College Football 2016: Schools Cannot Go “Camping” and Other News

The news means Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh will not be taking up residence in the south, which had been a bone of contention for SEC schools. According to USA Today, the new rule requires Football Bowl Subdivision schools “to conduct camps and clinics at their school’s facilities or at facilities regularly used for practice or competition.”

In other words, programs must stay on their side of the fence. The move by Meyer and Harbaugh appeared to be part of an attempt to get a jump on athletes who lived in the south and would be heavily courted by the 14 schools that makeup the Power 5 conference.

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James Franklin of Penn State started this trend two years ago and was taken a step further last season by Harbaugh when he held camps in the south. Ohio State also did one in conjunction with Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton.

The Big Ten showed great opposition to the decision by the NCAA governing body, adding it ““limits the prospective student-athlete’s options who…deserve a chance to have interaction with the best coaches in the country regardless of where you’re from.”

Arkansas head coach Brett Bielema said he was prepared to “visit” these satellite camps had the rule not been changed. Bielema has been one of the more outspoken coaches in the SEC on this issue.

“If these satellite camps go through, I’ve been in discussion with two Big Ten teams. I’ve been in discussion with teams in Florida and Texas, as well as the (Dallas) Cowboys,” Bielema said. “If this thing goes through, we’re going to do an exclusive camp right there with the Cowboys unique to us that no one else in the SEC will be able to do. That’s going to be a huge advantage.”

Now, it is not an issue with the conference or any other conference that feels it is being infringed on by other universities.

JACK ANOTHER RAY LEWIS?

A story from CBS Sports senior writer Pete Prisco compares Myles Jack, the linebacker from UCLA, to a faster version of Ray Lewis. It may be an exaggeration, but if an NFL team can get the same kind of production from Jack as the future Hall of Fame linebacker, then Jack might be the best player taken on April 28. Jack is expected to be a top 10 draft pick, potentially a top 5 selection.

When I asked one NFL general manager if he compared favorably to former Baltimore Ravens great Ray Lewis, the general manager had this to say:

“Yes, but Jack is faster.”

Lewis is this generation’s glamour middle linebacker, the violent, fast, athletic, tough, knock-your-head-off player who kids grew up playing on Madden. Jack was one of those kids, which is why when the comparisons were presented to him he turned into a sheepish kid, rather than the confident player you see on the field.

The only knock on Jack right now is how he has progressed from a knee injury that took the majority of his final season in school. He did not run at his Pro Day, but there is enough film on him that shows his speed and agility.

KELLY: I’M THE BEST

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When Ole Miss starts playing its 2016 schedule, they will certainly have a confident quarterback behind center. Chad Kelly, when asked, proclaimed himself to be the best signal caller in the nation.

As Tony Barnhart of Gridironnow.com pointed out in his recent column, Kelly had a great season in 2015, leading the SEC in total offense (4,542 yards, 8.04 yards per play). Only Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel has posted more total yards in a season (5,116 in 2012 and 4,873 in 2013).

But Kelly was especially good in the second half of the season. He threw 13 interceptions on the year, but only one in the last four games, and that one, coach Hugh Freeze told me, was because the receiver didn’t continue a route.

Kelly should be the best in SEC when the season starts and if the Rebels win in the tough conference, plus non-conference opponents, it is possible he will get Heisman Trophy consideration.

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