Oklahoma State video coordinator Jeff Naple passes away

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Sad news out of Stillwater, as Oklahoma State video coordinator Jeff Naple passed away on Sunday morning after a bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 54.

An Oklahoma State graduate, Naple served the Pokes’ athletics department for 25 years, first as a student manager under head coach Jimmy Johnson, then as a member of the Cowboys’ video staff. Naple worked under head coaches Pat Jones and Bob Simmons, then left to take jobs at Pittsburgh, Webb Technology Group and with the Dallas Cowboys. He returned to Stillwater in 2001 as video coordinator for Les Miles, and remained on staff when Mike Gundy took over in 2005.

“(Naple’s) service to Oklahoma State and to Cowboy football over a span of many years was remarkable,” Gundy said in a statement. “He was outstanding at his job and played an important role in helping me do mine. We are going to miss his sense of humor and everything that he brought to our program.

“He had been battling cancer since he was diagnosed in July, but it wasn’t until about a week ago that I saw him shed a tear. It wasn’t because he was afraid of what was to come, it was because he wasn’t going to be able to serve Oklahoma State anymore. That’s how loyal he was.”

Naple is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and 16-year-old son, Nick.

Alabama’s Anderson repeats as Bronko Nagurski award winner

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. has become the second two-time winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the nation’s top collegiate defensive player.

Anderson was presented the award on Monday night by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pound Anderson had 10 sacks for the No. 5-ranked Crimson Tide this season. He also won the award last year after recording 17 1/2 sacks.

Anderson, a junior, had two sacks in Alabama’s regular-season win finale against rival Auburn and had his first touchdown when he returned an interception 25 yards against Louisiana-Monroe.

Anderson joins former Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald as the only two-time winner of the award. Fitzgerald won the award in 1995 and 1996 and later went on to become the head coach at Northwestern.

It’s unclear if Anderson will enter the NFL draft or return to Alabama next season.

FSU standout QB Jordan Travis returning for senior season

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, the fourth player in school history to account for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in a single season, is staying in school for his senior year.

Travis made the announcement Monday, the same day hundreds of players across the nation entered the NCAA transfer portal or declared for the NFL draft. Travis chose a different path and could be an early favorite in next year’s Heisman Trophy race.

“So many memories have been made on this field and we’re not done yet,” Travis said in a highlight video posted on social media. “See y’all in 2023.”

A fourth-year junior, Travis has 22 touchdown passes to go along with seven rushing scores, one receiving and just four interceptions. He has led the 13th-ranked Seminoles (9-3) to five consecutive wins as they prepare to play Oklahoma (6-6) in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 29 in Orlando.

Travis joined FSU’s three Heisman Trophy winners – Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and Jameis Winston in 2013 – to account for 3,000 yards and 30 TDs in a season. He is one of six QBs in Power Five conferences with at least 20 TD passes and four or fewer interceptions.