Former local high school standouts become impact freshmen

Posted Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
More information Numbers 101.6 The combined point averages between No. 4 Baylor and No. 10 Oklahoma State. Baylor, which leads the nation by scoring 61.2 points a game, will play at Oklahoma State, which is 14th with 40.4 a game. 22 Straight wins for Ohio State, although the Buckeyes were denied a bowl game last year by the NCAA. Ohio State hopes to keep that streak alive by finishing the season with wins against Indiana and Michigan but could still end up missing out on the BCS championship game. The streak started at the beginning of the 2012 season, after the Buckeyes lost four straight to end their 2011 season. Quotable “I think it’s a flawed system.” — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer on the BCS. Even though the Buckeyes are 10-0, they are third in the BCS rankings and will likely be left out of the championship game barring an upset of No. 1 Alabama or No. 2 Florida State. “I see him as a much more complete quarterback, a very good player. If there’s a better player in college football, I’d like to know who he is.” — LSU coach Les Miles on Texas A&M sophomore quarterback and reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, who will lead the Aggies against the Tigers on Saturday in Baton Rouge, La.
More information Games of the week Indiana at No. 3 Ohio State (2:30 p.m. Saturday, WFAA/8/ESPN 2): After Ohio State coach Urban Meyer made waves commenting on the BCS system being flawed this week, all eyes will be on the Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) to see if they can earn enough style points against the Hoosiers (4-6, 2-4) to gain ground in the computers. No. 1 Alabama is playing Chattanooga, and No. 2 Florida State hosts Idaho, games each should win easily. Ohio State needs a boost now, as well as another blowout win. No. 19 Wisconsin at No. 25 Minnesota (2:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN): Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) has won five straight games heading into its game against Minnesota (8-2, 4-2). This rivalry game has been played 123 times, the most of any matchup between FBS teams. The teams are both ranked entering this game for the first time since 2005, and the winner gets to claim Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Wisconsin has claimed the giant Axe nine straight times, the longest win streak in the series. No. 17 Arizona State at No. 14 UCLA (6 p.m. Saturday, KDFW/4): While UCLA (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) is the home favorite, Arizona State (8-2, 6-1) carries the better conference record into this matchup. The Bruins have proven they can handle the lower-tier Pac-12 teams but have struggled in the big games with losses to Stanford and Oregon. The final two games won’t be as tough a back-to-back as Stanford and Oregon, but after playing the ranked Sun Devils, UCLA will take on a resurgent No. 23 USC team in a rivalry game to finish the season. No. 8 Missouri at No. 24 Ole Miss (6:45 p.m. Saturday, ESPN): Missouri (9-1, 5-1 SEC) is trying to pull off one of the most surprising turnarounds in college football history. With two more wins, the Tigers will become SEC East champions a year after finishing 5-7 overall and 2-6 in SEC play. But for Missouri to make it to the SEC title game in Georgia, the Tigers will have to beat Ole Miss (7-3, 3-3 SEC), a tough task on the road against a team that has won four straight, and then No. 12 Texas A&M in the season finale.

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Many college football coaches don’t allow interviews with first-year players.

That hasn’t stopped several former local high school standouts from making statements.

At Alabama, A’Shawn Robinson has become the next elite defensive tackle for the No. 1 Crimson Tide.

Robinson, a top recruit out of Fort Worth Arlington Heights, has played in all 10 games for Alabama and leads the team with five sacks, a rarity for a true freshman playing for Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.

Saban named Robinson one of his defensive players of the week after Robinson had five total tackles in a 20-7 win against Mississippi State on Saturday.

Robinson is seventh on the team with 28 total tackles, 14 solo, and has six tackles for loss. Robinson and Alabama play Chattanooga at home this week before finishing the season at No. 6 Auburn.

At Texas State, a team that has become bowl eligible in just its second season as an FBS program, another former local player has become a first-year star.

Tyler Jones, who played at Stephenville, has taken over as the Bobcats’ top quarterback after starting the year in a rotation.

Jones has thrown for 1,026 yards and has completed 86 of his 135 passes with seven touchdowns and just four interceptions. He has also been a big part of the Bobcats’ ground game with 274 rushing yards.

After Texas State defeated Idaho on the road to reach six wins, Bobcats coach Dennis Franchione said Jones may be a freshman, but he “plays with a lot of moxie.”

At Oklahoma State, former Arlington Martin kicker Ben Grogan, like Robinson and Jones, has become an impact player.

Grogan leads the No. 10 Cowboys in scoring with 80 total points. He is 53-for-54 kicking extra points and has made 9 of his 15 field-goal attempts.

Grogan, who has had two of his field-goal attempts blocked, kicked a 41-yard field goal in a win against Texas Tech and made his only attempt (39) in the Cowboys’ 38-13 win at Texas last week. Earlier this season, Grogan made four field goals in a 33-29 win against Kansas State.

Oklahoma State will play No. 4 Baylor at home Saturday in a matchup that will help determine the Big 12 championship.

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