Geno Smith, not Landry Jones, given preseason Big 12 POY honors


Snubbed — and that’s putting it lightly — by the Big East for Offensive Player of the Year in 2011, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is feeling the love in his new conference, the Big 12.

Smith was named the Big 12’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year and first-team quarterback over Oklahoma’s Landry Jones.  Smith led the Mountaineers last year with 4,385 yards passing, good for fourth in the nation, and 31 passing touchdowns, good for 12th  (tied). Jones, however, was third in the country in passing yards last year with 4,463, though he threw two fewer touchdowns than Smith and twice as many interceptions.

However, the Sooners are the class of the Big 12’s preseason all-conference team, along with Oklahoma State, with five selections. OU wide receiver Trey Metoyer was chosen as preseason Newcomer of the Year. Texas defensive end Alex Okafor was selected as Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Here is the full list. Big 12 media days are next week.

^ 2011 Preseason Team
* 2011 All-Big 12 First Team selection
# 2011 All-Big 12 Second Team

Utah State player upgraded to fair condition after collapse

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Utah State redshirt freshman wide receiver Josh Davis is in fair condition on Friday, one day after collapsing at spring football practice following sudden cardiac arrest, the university announced.

Davis, initially was listed in critical condition, was breathing on his own. He is in the intensive-care unit at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah.

Davis’ parents arrived in Utah on Thursday evening.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Davis, who is from Carlsbad, California, collapsed at Merlin Olsen Field and was immediately treated by the training staff, the university said. He was taken to Logan Regional Hospital.

The university said Davis was stabilized in the Logan hospital before being moved to Ogden.

Alabama suspends freshman defensive back after drug arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.

Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.