A look at what’s making headlines after the first week of college football preseason training camp.
- Former UMass quarterback Brandon Hill ends up at Monmouth after leaving the program in April in search of more playing time.
- NFL.com talent evaluator Gil Brandt listed Rob Blanchflower among his Top 5 senior tight ends for 2013.
- I spoke to UMass football’s running backs after Monday’s practice, and right now it’s pretty clear that Jordan Broadnax is the early leader in the competition for the starting job.
- Former Collegianite Daniel Malone has taken his talents to MassLive.com, and caught up with UMass punter and Ray Guy Preseason Watch List member Colter Johnson after Tuesday’s practice.
- There’s no question attendance was poor for UMass games at Gillette Stadium last season. As a result, the Minutemen must meet the minimum attendance of 15,000 this season or face a 10-year probationary period.
On the MAC:
- Explosive Kent State running back Dri Archer cracked the Sporting News’ preseason first-team All-Americans list as a kick returner.
- Saturdayblitz.com previews the best MAC games on the 2013 conference schedule.
- Western Michigan has landed commitments from four- and three-star recruits and is rated higher in recruiting than some of the top programs in the nation. New head coach P.J. Fleck, 32, could be a big reason why.
- Footballnation.com takes a look at the MAC’s 10 most pressing questions heading into the season. I get the impression that they don’t think UMass is as bad as a pair of fellow MAC teams.
- Hustle Belt’s readers have both Ohio and Northern Illinois, who each play UMass this season, going undefeated in MAC play.
On the NCAA:
- A new, football-only subdivision could be in the works, officially making college football a national super-power. As if it wasn’t obvious already.
- The summer hasn’t been kind to Texas A&M quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, and the recent reports about him getting paid $7,500 for autographs won’t make life any easier with the season less than a month away. Considering how much the A&M has made off the Heisman and Johnny Football memorabilia, it might be time for the NCAA to reconsider the stranglehold it has on its players. They’re human too, you know.
- There’s been plenty of heat taken by the NCAA as a result of the point above, especially on Twitter, so the NCAA fan shop will now no longer sell team merchandise. Probably the only good move they could make at this point.
- If UMass wants a boost at wide receiver in a couple of years, it appears Arkansas sophomore receiver Mekale McKay is considering transferring from the SEC program. It’s probably a little far-fetched for UMass fans to consider, but I’m sure the 10 seconds of hope were fun while they lasted.
- Defending Big 12 champions Kansas State is out to prove people wrong after feeling snubbed when they failed to make the Top 25 in the Coaches poll and were picked to finish sixth in the conference. That isn’t good news for UMass, which visits Bill Snyder Family Stadium Sept. 14.
Nick Canelas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @NickCanelas.