|Brynn Anderson/Associated Press|
|Nick Saban's Alabama team is expected to be back in the national-title hunt this season.|
It was a relatively quiet day in college football. Some might say it was almost too quiet.
But perhaps that means there will be plenty of good (and perhaps some bad) news coming tomorrow.
Of course, the biggest college football story of the day was the NCAA board of directors' vote to pass sweeping reforms in regards to how college athletics will be governed in the near future. It's big news, but certainly is more closely related to off-the-field matters than position battles or X's and O's.
Down in Tuscaloosa, though, Alabama did hit the field and held another training camp practice. They moved the session to their indoor practice facility, which means the media was able to observe things a little closer than normal when it comes to the offense. Several observers thought presumed starting quarterback Jacob Coker looked sharp, throwing some crisp passes with nice velocity.
We even got a video peek at Coker from the Tide practice on Thursday. The clip includes Lane Kiffin showing off solid hands and decent arm strength for a quarterback 20 years removed from his time at Fresno State.
Here's what else you need to know from Thursday's training camps:
2. In other Crimson Tide news, Saban said star defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson has a sprained knee that could keep him out for a week. However, defensive linemen Jarran Reed and Brandon Ivory returned to action on Thursday after serving suspensions. The head coach also announced freshman defensive tackle O.J. Smith will be out for the year after undergoing shoulder surgery.
3. Arizona State is replacing several starters on defense and that seemed to be quite apparent today in practice. According to Arizona Republic beat writer Doug Haller, the offense averaged "about 11 yards per carry." That's great news for offensive coordinator Mike Norvell, not so much for head coach Todd Graham's defense. The offense gained all those yards without starting running back D.J. Foster, who was held out of practice.
4. Florida State hasn't ramped up to a full-pads practice yet, but the team did get some work done in Tallahassee on Thursday. There's not a whole lot in this video from the school beyond some impressive-looking athletes off the hoof. Perhaps that's why Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said there could be as many as 15 NFL Draft picks among the Seminoles starters in a conference call today.
5. There were a bunch of late-night practices on Wednesday, which means a few updates from them surfaced today. One of the juiciest was Maryland coach Randy Edsall calling out receiver Deon Long. As half of the Terps' star receiver tandem with Stefon Diggs, Long hasn't had a sharp camp so far and it seems as though the head coach had seen enough after Wednesday's practice. "Deon's got to get a lot better," Edsall told reporters. "I'm not happy with the way Deon is practicing right now." Long missed nearly nine months of work after breaking his leg last season, so it's understandable if he's a tad rusty, but that's quite the statement from Edsall telling him to step it up.
6. Although the injury occurred a few days ago, Hawaii announced Thursday that freshman receiver Devan Stubblefield would be out for the season after tearing the ACL and meniscus in his knee. The local recruit was widely expected to contribute to the offense this year and seemed on track to start as early as the opener against Washington. The loss of Stubblefield really makes the Rainbow Warriors thin at wide receiver after the losses of Keith Kirkwood (transferred) and Vasquez Haynes (season-ending shoulder surgery).
7. A pair of impressive visitors hit Stanford's practice today: College Football Playoff Selection Committee member and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
8. One of the big weapons Oregon State will look for as they replace all-everything wide receiver Brandin Cooks is tight end Connor Hamlett. He's apparently already feeling the effects of the training-camp grind as Mike Riley said he was out with foot and knee injuries that he had to ice. Offensive lineman Grant Bays was also out for the Beavers after his back injury flared up.
9. Marcus Mariota is looking for wide receivers he can count on with Bralon Addison still recovering from the ACL tear he suffered during spring practice. Senior Keanon Lowe pretty much has one spot locked down, impressing many this camp with his selfless play and blocking abilities. Also notable -- it sounds as though sophomore Dwayne Stanford is emerging as the best option opposite Lowe on the outside and turned in a terrific catch on Wednesday.
You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.